The Papal States (Italian: Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church (Italian: Stato della Chiesa, Italian pronunciation: [ˈstaːto della ˈkjɛːza; ˈkjeː-]; Latin: Status Ecclesiasticus; also Dicio Pontificia), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign rule of the Pope, from the 8th century until 1870. They were among the major states of Italy from roughly the 8th century until the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia unified the Italian Peninsula by conquest in a campaign virtually concluded in 1861 and definitively in 1870. At their zenith, the Papal States covered most of the modern Italian regions of Lazio (which includes Rome), Marche, Umbria and 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.
By 1861, much of the Papal States' territory had been conquered by the Kingdom of Italy. 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 and the papal residence and related buildings around the Vatican quarter of Rome, which the new Italian state did not occupy militarily. In 1929 the head of the Italian government, at the time the Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini, ended the crisis between unified Italy and the Holy See by negotiating the Lateran Treaty, signed by the two parties. This recognized the sovereignty of the Holy See over a newly created international territorial entity, the Vatican City State, limited to a token territory.
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). The territories were also referred to variously as the State(s) of the Church, the Pontifical States, the Ecclesiastical States, or the Roman States (Italian: Stato Pontificio, also Stato della Chiesa, Stati della Chiesa, Stati Pontifici, and Stato Ecclesiastico; Latin: Status Pontificius, also Dicio Pontificia "papal rule"). To some extent the name used varied with the preferences and habits of the European languages in which it was expressed.
For its first 300 years the Catholic Church was persecuted and unrecognized, unable to hold or transfer property. 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 churches and located on the outskirts of Ancient Rome, 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 deacons, 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 latifundias, whole or in part, across Italy and beyond.
This system began to change during the reign of the emperor Constantine I, who made Christianity legal within the Roman Empire, and restoring 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 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. But the Church held all of these lands as a private landowner, not as a sovereign entity. When in the 5th century the Italian peninsula passed under the control of Odoacer and, later, the Ostrogoths, the Church organization in Italy, with the pope at its head, submitted of necessity to their sovereign authority while asserting its spiritual primacy over the whole Church.
The seeds of the Papal States as a sovereign political entity were planted in the 6th century. Beginning in 535, the Byzantine Empire, under emperor Justinian I, launched a reconquest of Italy that took decades and devastated Italy's political and economic structures. Just as these wars wound down, the Lombards entered the peninsula from the north and conquered much of the countryside. By the 7th century, Byzantine authority was largely limited to a diagonal band running roughly from Ravenna, where the Emperor's representative, or Exarch, was located, to Rome and south to Naples (the "Rome-Ravenna corridor"), plus coastal enclaves.
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 Byzantines were unable to project to the area around the city of Rome. While the popes remained Byzantine subjects, in practice the Duchy of Rome, an area roughly equivalent to modern-day Latium, became an independent state ruled by the pope.
The Church's independence, combined with popular support for the papacy in Italy, enabled various popes to defy the will of the Byzantine emperor; Pope Gregory II even excommunicated Emperor Leo III during the Iconoclastic Controversy. Nevertheless, the pope and the exarch still worked together to control the rising power of the Lombards in Italy. As Byzantine power weakened, though, the papacy took an ever-larger role in defending Rome from the Lombards, usually through diplomacy. In practice, the 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 (728) to Pope Gregory II.
When the Exarchate of Ravenna finally fell to the Lombards in 751, the Duchy of Rome 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. In 751, Pope Zachary had Pepin the Younger crowned king in place of the powerless Merovingian figurehead king Childeric III. Zachary's successor, Pope Stephen II, later granted Pepin the title Patrician 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) of the properties formerly constituting the Exarchate of Ravenna to the pope.
In 781, Charlemagne codified the regions over which the pope would be temporal sovereign: the Duchy of Rome was key, but the territory was expanded to include Ravenna, the Duchy of the Pentapolis, parts of the Duchy of Benevento, Tuscany, Corsica, Lombardy and a number of Italian cities. The cooperation between the papacy and the Carolingian dynasty climaxed in 800, when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne Emperor.
The precise nature of the relationship between the popes and emperors – and between the Papal States and the Empire – 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 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'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 by a powerful and corrupt aristocratic family, the Theophylacti. This period was later dubbed the Saeculum obscurum ("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 conquered northern Italy; 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 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 Treaty of Venice 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.
From 1305 to 1378, the popes lived in the papal enclave of Avignon, surrounded by 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.
During this Avignon Papacy, local despots took advantage of the absence of the popes to establish themselves in nominally papal cities: the Pepoli in Bologna, the Ordelaffi in Forlì, the Manfredi in Faenza, the Malatesta in 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 without legitimate heirs (1308) encouraged Pope Clement V to bring Ferrara under his direct rule: however, it was governed by his appointed vicar, Robert d'Anjou, King of Naples, 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 Orsini and the Colonna struggled for supremacy, dividing the city's rioni between them. The resulting aristocratic anarchy in the city provided the setting for the fantastic dreams of universal democracy of 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, 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 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 of Forlì, the Montefeltro of Urbino and the da Polenta of 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 April 29, 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.
During the Renaissance, 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 (as in the early 16th century) in conflict. The Papal States were involved in at least three wars in the first two decades. Pope Julius II, the "Warrior Pope", fought on their behalf.
The Reformation began in 1517. In 1527, before the Holy Roman Empire fought the Protestants, troops loyal to Emperor Charles V brutally 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, Marche and the Legations of Ravenna, Ferrara and Bologna extending north into the Romagna. It also included the small enclaves of Benevento and Pontecorvo in southern Italy and the larger Comtat Venaissin around Avignon in southern France.
The French Revolution affected the temporal territories of the Papacy as well as the Roman Church in general. In 1791 Revolutionary France annexed the Comtat Venaissin and Avignon. 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 (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 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 Jewish ghetto in Western Europe. The Papal States, in 1870, were the last countries to discontinue the practice of castrating young boys of musical promise, making them castrati, who were in demand musically. 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 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 Bourbons, with the House of Savoy in Sardinia-Piedmont constituting the only independent Italian state. 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 army.
The nationalist and liberal revolutions of 1848 affected much of Europe, and in February 1849, a 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 1850 and Pius IX switched to a conservative line of government.
As a result of the 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 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 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 September 10, 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 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 city was captured on September 20, 1870. Rome and what was left of the Papal States were 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 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) 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, and the Lateran Treaty with Italy (then ruled by the National Fascist Party under Benito Mussolini) was signed on February 11, 1929, creating the State of the Vatican City, forming the sovereign territory of the Holy See, which was also indemnified to some degree for loss of territory.
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, a number of styles arose; papal legate, as in the former principality of Benevento, or Bologna, Romagna, and the March of Ancona; or papal delegate, as in the former duchy of Pontecorvo and in the Campagne and Maritime Province. Other titles like Papal Vicar, Vicar General, and several noble titles like "count" or even "prince" were used. However, throughout the Papal States' history many warlords and even bandit chieftains ruled cities and small duchies with no title bestowed by the Pope.
Historically the Papal States maintained military forces composed of volunteers and mercenaries. 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 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 Garibaldi's Redshirts, Italian patriots, and finally the forces of the newly united Italy.
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 also disbanded in 1970 and the 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, whereupon they were sold on the death of Pius IX.
... separated from their theoretical overlord in Pavia by the continuing Imperial control of the Rome-Ravenna corridor.
The empire retained control only of Rome, Ravenna, a fragile corridor between them, ...
In 749 Ratchis embarked on a bid to capture Perusia, the key to the Rome-Ravenna land corridor
The Babylonian Captivity, 1309–1377
Term (coined by Petrarch) for the papal residence in Avignon (1309–1377), in reference to the Babylonian Captivity (...)
(...) under Giuseppe Garibaldi to overthrow the Neapolitan Bourbons. After defeating a Neapolitan force at Calatafirmi, Caribaldi captured Palermo after three days of street fighting.
An antipope (Latin: antipapa) is a person who, in opposition to the one who is generally seen as the legitimately elected Pope, makes a significantly accepted competing claim to be the Pope, the Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic Church. At times between the 3rd and mid-15th centuries, antipopes were supported by a fairly significant faction of religious cardinals and secular or anti-religious monarchs and kingdoms. Persons who claim to be pope, but have few followers, such as the modern sedevacantist antipopes, are not classified with the historical antipopes.Capture of Rome
The Capture of Rome (Italian: Presa di Roma), on 20 September 1870 was the final event of the long process of Italian unification known as the Risorgimento, marking both the final defeat of the Papal States under Pope Pius IX and the unification of the Italian peninsula under King Victor Emmanuel II of the House of Savoy.
The capture of Rome ended the approximate 1,116-year reign (AD 754 to 1870) of the Papal States under the Holy See and is today widely memorialized throughout Italy with the Via XX Settembre street name in virtually every town of any size.Duchy of Castro
The Duchy of Castro was a fiefdom in central Italy formed in 1537 from a small strip of land on what is now Lazio's border with Tuscany, centred on Castro, Lazio, a fortified city on a tufa cliff overlooking the Fiora River which was its capital and ducal residence. Technically a vassal state to the Papal States, it in fact enjoyed de facto independence under the rule of the House of Farnese until 1649, when it was subsumed back into the Papal States.
It was created a duchy by Pope Paul III (1534–1549) in the bull Videlicet immeriti on 31 October 1537, with his son Pier Luigi Farnese and his firstborn male heirs as its dukes. It only lasted little more than 110 years and was eclipsed by the Farnese's possessions in Parma. It stretched from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Lago di Bolsena, in the strip of land bounded by the river Marta and the river Fiora, stretching back to the Olpeta stream and the lago di Mezzano, from which the Olpeta flows. The duchy of Latera and county of Ronciglione were annexed to it.Investiture Controversy
The Investiture Controversy or Investiture Contest was a conflict between church and state in medieval Europe over the ability to appoint local church officials through investiture. By undercutting imperial power, the controversy led to nearly 50 years of civil war in Germany. According to historian Norman Cantor, the investiture controversy was "the turning-point in medieval civilization", marking the end of the Early Middle Ages with the Germanic peoples' "final and decisive" acceptance of Christianity. More importantly, it set the stage for the religious and political system of the High Middle Ages.It began as a power struggle between Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV in 1076. There was also a brief but significant investiture struggle between Pope Paschal II and King Henry I of England from 1103 to 1107. The conflict ended in 1122, when Pope Callixtus II and Emperor Henry V agreed on the Concordat of Worms, which differentiated between the royal and spiritual powers and gave the emperors a limited role in selecting bishops. The outcome was largely a papal victory, but the Emperor still retained considerable power.Italian War of 1521–1526
The Italian War of 1521–26, sometimes known as the Four Years' War, was a part of the Italian Wars. The war pitted Francis I of France and the Republic of Venice against the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Henry VIII of England, and the Papal States. The conflict arose from animosity over the election of Charles as Emperor in 1519–20 and from Pope Leo X's need to ally with Charles against Martin Luther.
The war broke out across Western Europe late in 1521, when a French–Navarrese expedition attempted to reconquer Navarre while a French army invaded the Low Countries. A Spanish army drove the Navarrese forces back into the Pyrenees, and other Imperial forces attacked northern France, where they were stopped in turn.
The Pope, the Emperor, and Henry VIII then signed a formal alliance against France, and hostilities resumed on the Italian Peninsula; but, with the attention of both Francis and Charles focused on the battleground in northeast France, the conflict in Italy became something of a sideshow. At the Battle of Bicocca on 27 April 1522, Imperial and Papal forces defeated the French, driving them from Lombardy. Following the battle, fighting again spilled onto French soil, while Venice made a separate peace. The English invaded France in 1523, while Charles de Bourbon, alienated by Francis's attempts to seize his inheritance, betrayed Francis and allied himself with the Emperor. A French attempt to regain Lombardy in 1524 failed and provided Bourbon with an opportunity to invade Provence at the head of a Spanish army.
Francis himself led a second attack on Milan in 1525; his disastrous defeat at the Battle of Pavia, where he was captured and many of his chief nobles were killed, led to the end of the war. With Francis imprisoned in Spain, a series of diplomatic maneuvers centered on his release ensued, including a special French mission sent by Francis' mother Louise of Savoy to the court of Suleiman the Magnificent that would result in an Ottoman ultimatum to Charles—an unprecedented alignment between Christian and Muslim monarchs that would cause a scandal in the Christian world and lay the foundation for the Franco-Ottoman alliance. Suleiman used the opportunity to invade Hungary in the summer of 1526, defeating Charles' allies at the Battle of Mohács; but, despite these efforts, Francis would sign the Treaty of Madrid, surrendering his claims to Italy, Flanders, and Burgundy. Only a few weeks after his release, however, he repudiated the terms of the treaty, starting the War of the League of Cognac. Although the Italian Wars would continue for another three decades, they would end with France having failed to regain any substantial territories in Italy.List of popes
This chronological list of popes corresponds to that given in the Annuario Pontificio under the heading "I Sommi Pontefici Romani" (The Supreme Pontiffs of Rome), excluding those that are explicitly indicated as antipopes. Published every year by the Roman Curia, the Annuario Pontificio attaches no consecutive numbers to the popes, stating that it is impossible to decide which side represented at various times the legitimate succession, in particular regarding Pope Leo VIII, Pope Benedict V and some mid-11th-century popes. The 2001 edition of the Annuario Pontificio introduced "almost 200 corrections to its existing biographies of the popes, from St Peter to John Paul II". The corrections concerned dates, especially in the first two centuries, birthplaces and the family name of one pope.The term pope (Latin: papa, lit. 'father') is used in several Churches to denote their high spiritual leaders (for example Coptic Pope). This title in English usage usually refers to the head of the Catholic Church. The Catholic pope uses various titles by tradition, including Summus Pontifex, Pontifex Maximus, and Servus servorum Dei. Each title has been added by unique historical events and unlike other papal prerogatives, is not incapable of modification.Hermannus Contractus may have been the first historian to number the popes continuously. His list ends in 1049 with Pope Leo IX as number 154. Several changes were made to the list during the 20th century. Antipope Christopher was considered legitimate for a long time. Pope-elect Stephen was considered legitimate under the name Stephen II until the 1961 edition, when his name was erased. Although these changes are no longer controversial, a number of modern lists still include this "first Pope Stephen II". It is probable that this is because they are based on the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia, which is in the public domain.
A significant number of these popes have been recognized as saints, including 48 out of the first 50 consecutive popes, and others are in the sainthood process. Of the first 31 popes, 28 died as martyrs (see List of murdered popes).Mazzatello
Mazzatello (abbreviated mazza) was a method of capital punishment used by the Papal States from the late 18th century to 1870 involving the infliction of head trauma. The method was named after the implement used in the execution: a large, long-handled mallet or pollaxe. According to Abbott, mazzatello constituted "one of the most brutal methods of execution ever devised, requiring minimal skill on the part of the executioner and superhuman acquiescence by the victim". Megivern cites mazzatello as one example of an execution method devised by the Papal States that "competed with and in some instances surpassed those of other regimes for cruelty".The condemned would be led to a scaffold in a public square of Rome, accompanied by a priest (the confessor of the condemned); the platform also contained a coffin and the masked executioner, dressed in black. A prayer would first be said for the condemned's soul. Then, the mallet would be raised, swung through the air to gain momentum, and then brought down on the head of the prisoner, similar to a contemporary method of slaughtering cattle in stockyards. The condemned was usually knocked unconscious rather than being killed instantly, so the throat of the prisoner would then be slit with a knife.Along with drawing and quartering (sometimes, but not always, after a hanging), mazzatello was reserved for crimes that were considered "especially loathsome".A variation of this method appears in Alexandre Dumas' novel The Count of Monte Cristo as la mazzolata and mazzolato, when a prisoner sentenced to execution is bludgeoned on the side of his head with a mace.Mortara case
The Mortara case (Italian: caso Mortara) was an Italian cause célèbre that captured the attention of much of Europe and North America in the 1850s and 1860s. It concerned the Papal States' seizing from a Jewish family in Bologna of one of their children, six-year-old Edgardo Mortara (August 27, 1851 – March 11, 1940), on the basis of a former servant's testimony that she had administered emergency baptism to the boy when he fell sick as an infant. Mortara grew up as a Catholic under the protection of Pope Pius IX—who refused his parents' desperate pleas for his return—and eventually became a priest. The domestic and international outrage against the pontifical state's actions may have contributed to its downfall amid the unification of Italy.
In late 1857, Bologna's inquisitor Father Pier Feletti heard that Anna Morisi, who had worked in the Mortara house for six years, had secretly baptised Edgardo when she had thought he was about to die as a baby. The Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition held that this made the child irrevocably a Catholic and, because the Papal States forbade the raising of Christians by members of other faiths, ordered that he be kidnapped from his family and brought up by the Church. Police came to the Mortara home late on 23 June 1858 and kidnapped Edgardo the following evening.
After the child's father was allowed to visit him during August and September 1858, two starkly different narratives emerged—one told of a boy who wanted to return to his family and the faith of his ancestors, while the other described a child who had learned the catechism perfectly and wanted his parents to become Catholics as well. International protests mounted, but the Pope would not be moved. After pontifical rule in Bologna ended in 1859, Father Feletti was prosecuted for his role in Mortara's kidnapping, but was acquitted when the court decided he had simply followed orders. With the Pope as a substitute father, Mortara trained for the priesthood in Rome until the Kingdom of Italy captured the city in 1870, ending the Papal States. Leaving the country, he was ordained in France three years later at the age of 21. Father Mortara spent most of his life outside Italy and died in Belgium in 1940, aged 88.
For many, the Vatican's actions encapsulated all that was wrong with the Papal States and exposed pontifical rule as an anachronism. Several historians highlight the affair as one of the most significant events of Pius IX's papacy, and juxtapose his handling of it in 1858 with the loss of most of his territory a year later. The case notably altered the policy of the French Emperor Napoleon III, who shifted from opposing the movement for Italian unification to actively supporting it. The traditional Italian historiography of unification does not give much prominence to the Mortara case, which by the late 20th century was remembered mostly by Jewish scholars, but a 1997 study by the American historian David Kertzer has marked the start of a wider re-examination.Ottoman–Venetian War (1714–1718)
The Seventh Ottoman–Venetian War was fought between the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire between 1714 and 1718. It was the last conflict between the two powers, and ended with an Ottoman victory and the loss of Venice's major possession in the Greek peninsula, the Peloponnese (Morea). Venice was saved from a greater defeat by the intervention of Austria in 1716. The Austrian victories led to the signing of the Treaty of Passarowitz in 1718, which ended the war.
This war was also called the Second Morean War, the Small War or, in Croatia, the War of Sinj.Papal lira
The Papal lira was the currency of the Papal States between 1866 and 1870.Pope Gregory XVI
Pope Gregory XVI (Latin: Gregorius XVI; 18 September 1765 – 1 June 1846), born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 2 February 1831 to his death in 1846. He had adopted the name Mauro upon entering the religious order of the Camaldolese.
Strongly conservative and traditionalist, he opposed democratic and modernising reforms in the Papal States and throughout Europe, seeing them as fronts for revolutionary leftism. Against these trends Gregory XVI sought to strengthen the religious and political authority of the papacy (see ultramontanism). In the encyclical Mirari vos, he pronounced it "false and absurd, or rather mad, that we must secure and guarantee to each one liberty of conscience." He encouraged missionary activity abroad and condemned the slave trade. However, his harsh repression, financial extravagance and neglectfulness left him deeply unpopular domestically.
He is the most recent pope to take the pontifical name "Gregory", and the most recent non-bishop to become pope.Pope Pius IX
Pope Pius IX (Italian: Pio; 13 May 1792 – 7 February 1878), born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti (Italian: [dʒo'vanni ma'ri:a mas'tai fer'retti]), was head of the Catholic Church from 16 June 1846 to his death on 7 February 1878. He was the longest-reigning elected pope in the history of the Catholic Church, serving for over 31 years. During his pontificate, Pius IX convened the First Vatican Council (1869–70), which decreed papal infallibility, but the council was cut short owing to the loss of the Papal States.
Europe, including the Italian peninsula, was in the midst of considerable political ferment when the bishop of Imola, Giovanni Maria Cardinal Mastai-Ferretti, was elected pope. He took the name Pius, after his generous patron and the long-suffering prisoner of Napoleon, Pius VII. He had been elected by the faction of cardinals sympathetic to the political liberalization coursing across Europe, and his initial governance of the Papal States gives evidence of his own moderate sympathies; under his direction various sorts of political prisoners in the Papal States were released. A series of terrorist acts sponsored by Italian liberals and nationalists, which included the assassination of (among others) his Minister of the Interior, Pellegrino Rossi, and which forced Pius himself to briefly flee Rome in 1848, along with widespread revolutions in Europe, led to his growing skepticism towards the liberal, nationalist agenda. Through the 1850s and 1860s, Italian nationalists made military gains against the Papal States, which culminated in the seizure of the city of Rome in 1870 and the dissolution of the Papal States. Thereafter, Pius IX refused to accept the Law of Guarantees from the Italian government, which would have made the Holy See dependent on legislation that the Italian parliament could modify at any time. Pius refused to leave Vatican City, declaring himself a "prisoner of the Vatican". His ecclesiastical policies towards other countries, such as Russia, Germany or France, were not always successful, owing in part to changing secular institutions and internal developments within these countries. However, concordats were concluded with numerous states such as Austria-Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Canada, Tuscany, Ecuador, Venezuela, Honduras, El Salvador, and Haiti.
Pius was a Marian pope, who in his encyclical Ubi primum emphasized Mary's role in salvation. In 1854, he promulgated the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, articulating a long-held Catholic belief that Mary, the Mother of God, was conceived without original sin. He conferred the title Our Mother of Perpetual Help on a famous Byzantine icon from Crete entrusted to the Redemptorists. In 1862, he convened 300 bishops to the Vatican for the canonization of Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan.
His 1864 Syllabus of Errors stands as a strong condemnation against liberalism, modernism, moral relativism, secularization, and separation of church and state. Pius definitively reaffirmed Catholic teaching in favor of the establishment of the Catholic faith as the state religion in nations where the majority of the population is Catholic. However, his most important legacy is the First Vatican Council, convened in 1869, which defined the dogma of papal infallibility, but was interrupted as Italian nationalist troops threatened Rome. The council is considered to have contributed to a centralization of the church in the Vatican, while also clearly defining the Pope's doctrinal authority.
Many recent ecclesiastical historians and journalists question his approaches. His appeal for public worldwide support of the Holy See after he became "the prisoner of the Vatican" resulted in the revival and spread to the whole Catholic Church of Peter's Pence, which is used today to enable the Pope "to respond to those who are suffering as a result of war, oppression, natural disaster, and disease". After his death in 1878, his canonization process was opened on 11 February 1907 by Pope Pius X, and it drew considerable controversy over the years. It was closed on several occasions during the pontificates of Pope Benedict XV and Pope Pius XI. Pope Pius XII re-opened the cause on 7 December 1954, and Pope John Paul II proclaimed him Venerable on 6 July 1985. He was beatified on 3 September 2000 after the recognition of a miracle. Pius IX was assigned the liturgical feast day of 7 February, the date of his death.Pope Stephen II
Pope Stephen II (Latin: Stephanus II (or III); 714-26 April 757 a Roman aristocrat was Pope from 26 March 752 to his death in 757. He succeeded Pope Zachary following the death of Pope-elect Stephen (sometimes called Stephen II). Stephen II marks the historical delineation between the Byzantine Papacy and the Frankish Papacy.
Rome was facing invasion by the Kingdom of the Lombards. Pope Stephen II traveled all the way to Paris to seek assistance against the Lombard threat from Pepin the Short. Pepin had been anointed a first time in 751 in Soissons by Boniface, archbishop of Mainz, but named his price. With the Frankish nobles agreeing to campaign in Lombardy, the Pope consecrated Pepin a second time in a lavish ceremony at the Basilica of St Denis in 754, bestowing upon him the additional title of Patricius Romanorum (Latin for "Patrician of the Romans") in the first recorded crowning of a civil ruler by a Pope. Pepin defeated the Lombards – taking control of northern Italy – and made a gift (called the Donation of Pepin) of the properties formerly constituting the Exarchate of Ravenna to the pope, eventually leading to the establishment of the Papal States.Principality of Pontecorvo
The Principality of Pontecorvo was a principality in Italy created by Napoleon after he became King of Italy in 1805. It consisted of the Italian commune of Pontecorvo, an enclave of the Papal States from 1463 within the territory of the Kingdom of Naples.
The principality was created by Napoleon for his General Jean Baptiste Bernadotte. It was nominally sovereign, but the prince did have to take an oath to the king.
The principality was short-lived. In 1815, after the Napoleonic Wars, the town was ceded back to the Papal States.
In 1820, the 'Republic' of Pontecorvo seceded from the Papal States, but Papal rule was restored in March 1821.
In 1860, it joined Benevento, the other southern Italian papal enclave, in being united with the new Kingdom of Italy.Prisoner in the Vatican
A prisoner in the Vatican or prisoner of the Vatican (Italian: Prigioniero del Vaticano; Latin: Captivus Vaticani) is how Pope Pius IX was described following the capture of Rome by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Italy on 20 September 1870. Part of the process of Italian unification, the city's capture ended the millennial temporal rule of the popes over central Italy and allowed Rome to be designated the capital of the new nation. The appellation is also applied to Pius's successors through Pope Pius XI.
As nationalism swept the Italian Peninsula in the 19th century, efforts to unify Italy were blocked in part by the Papal States, which ran through the middle of the peninsula and included the ancient capital of Rome. The Papal States were able to fend off efforts to conquer them largely through the pope's influence over the leaders of stronger European powers such as France and Austria. When Rome was eventually taken, the Italian government reportedly intended to let the pope keep the part of Rome west of the Tiber called the Leonine City as a small remaining Papal State, but Pius IX refused. One week after entering Rome, the Italian troops had taken the entire city save for the Apostolic Palace; the inhabitants of the city then voted to join Italy.For the next 59 years, the popes refused to leave the Vatican in order to avoid any appearance of accepting the authority wielded by the Italian government over Rome as a whole. During this period, popes also refused to appear at Saint Peter's Square or at the balcony of the Vatican Basilica facing it, as the square in front of the basilica was occupied by Italian troops. During this period, popes granted the Urbi et Orbi blessings from a balcony facing a courtyard, or from inside the basilica, and papal coronations were instead held at the Sistine Chapel. The period ended in 1929, when the Lateran Treaty created the modern state of Vatican City.Roman Republic (18th century)
The Roman Republic (Italian: Repubblica Romana) was proclaimed on 15 February 1798 after Louis Alexandre Berthier, a general of Napoleon, had invaded the city of Rome on 10 February. The Roman Republic was a client republic under the French Directory composed of territory conquered from the Papal States. Pope Pius VI was exiled to France and died there in 1799. It immediately took control of the other two former-papal revolutionary administrations, the Tiberina Republic and the Anconine Republic. The Roman Republic was short-lived, as the Papal States were restored in October 1799.Roman Republic (19th century)
The Roman Republic was a short-lived state declared on 9 February 1849, when the government of the Papal States was temporarily replaced by a republican government due to Pope Pius IX's flight to Gaeta. The republic was led by Carlo Armellini, Giuseppe Mazzini, and Aurelio Saffi. Together they formed a triumvirate, a reflection of a form of government seen in the ancient Roman Republic.
One of the major innovations the Republic hoped to achieve was enshrined in its constitution: all religions could be practiced freely and the pope was guaranteed the right to govern the Catholic Church. These religious freedoms were quite different from the situation under the preceding government, which allowed only Catholicism and Judaism to be practiced by its citizens. The Constitution of the Roman Republic was the first in the world to abolish capital punishment in its constitutional law.Sack of Rome (1527)
The Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527 was a military event carried out in Rome (then part of the Papal States) by the mutinous troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. It marked a crucial imperial victory in the conflict between Charles and the League of Cognac (1526–1529)—the alliance of France, Milan, Venice, Florence and the Papacy.War of the League of Cognac
The War of the League of Cognac (1526–30) was fought between the Habsburg dominions of Charles V—primarily the Holy Roman Empire and Habsburg Spain—and the League of Cognac, an alliance including the Kingdom of France, Pope Clement VII, the Republic of Venice, the Kingdom of England, the Duchy of Milan and the Republic of Florence.
|Early Middle Ages|
|High Middle Ages|
|Late Middle Ages|
of the faithful
|French Revolutionary |
and Napoleonic eras