Solidarity between the Papacy and the Empire Part I

By | February 10, 2022

This policy of kings comes to full maturity in the second half of the twentieth century, through the work of foreigners, you want the de facto substitution of bishops for the counts to be now more advanced, you want the reasons and advantages of preferring bishops to lay accounts in the government of the city and of the Italian committees, are, for distant kings, greater than for kings having their seat in Pavia.

And here is Otto I, king of Germany, invoked against Berengar by Adelaide, widow of Lothair, king of Italy and refugee with the bishop of Reggio. Ottone went down to Italy (951), entered Pavia almost without a fight, took the title of king of the Lombards, married the widow Adelaide in Pavia itself and, returning to Germany, invested Berengar and his son Adalbert with the kingdom, however mutilating him from the brand of Verona and that of Aquileia which passed to the Duke of Bavaria (and Carinthia), Enrico, brother of Ottone. That is, he moved the Italy-Germany border further south. King of Italy, Otto immediately spotted the imperial crown. In Rome there was Alberico: and the pope opposed the new king. But when Berengar wanted to do it himself, as a sovereign with full right, his enemies again resorted to Otto. Pope John XII, who was also the son of Alberico, his father died, he too urged him. He was also urged by bishops and abbots who had been favored by Berengar. And then Ottone rivaled the Alps. He wanted to be heir and continuator of Charles, king of the Franks. Of course, as he was brought to the empire by the strength of his kingdom of Germany, the reunification of several kingdoms and countries (Germany, Italy, Lorraine, part of Burgundy), the victories over infidels and the expansion on lands of infidels. at the service of religion, as well as the state, by the need to have control over bishops and abbots who have become state officials, by the same accentuated spiritual character of his office, by the hope especially of the clerics that empire meant more effective protection and almost restoration of the fortupe of the Church. Like this, while Berengar withdrew and closed himself in the fortresses, Otto marched without any opposition on Pavia, went to Rome and took the imperial crown with his wife, promised the pope protection, honor, maintenance of his temporal dominion, and ensured sovereignty to himself and heir on the Church. According to itypetravel, he went back to Charlemagne and Lothair. And since the moods soon changed, oppositions to the emperor arose in Rome itself, the pope participated in secret plots against him and had to flee, so Otto took the oath of fidelity from the Romans, gathered and presided over a synod, in which they intervened high clergy and Roman nobility and many bishops of the kingdom, he had one of his popes elected. New rebellion of the Romans, repressed in blood; return and death of the deposed John XII; election of a new pope without anyone asking the emperor’s consent, siege of Rome and its surrender to the German-Italic army collected by Ottone; new imperial intervention in the papal elections. The papacy is now in his hands again. Thus was accomplished the new transfer of the empire from the Franks to the Germans. The kingdom of Germany, purely German, even if initiated and fertilized by cultural germs of the surrounding Latin countries, had taken away the primacy of the Frankish one. It had moved eastward, that is, towards the peoples who had only recently entered the orbit of Roman-Christian life, the center of Europe. This had meant more frequent relations between Germany and Italy, a more lively tendency of the Germans towards Italy. Now, the royal and imperial crowns, in Pavia and Rome, seal this new situation. The history of Germany and the Germans almost converges with that of Italy.

Maximum effort of the new emperor, to establish and keep a firm footing in Rome. He did not have much regard for the Romans, whom he found torn by internal discord, politically and religiously depressed. When Liutprand, the emperor’s ambassador to Byzantium, said that Lombards, Saxons, Franks, Lorraines, Bavarians, Burgundians so despised the Romans that he found no other word of contempt for their enemies but this,  Roman; certainly he was saying something that even his master thought and said about him. For Otto I the city of the heart was Aachen, the most conspicuous city of the empire beyond the Alps, where Charles was buried. And the renewal of the empire in 962, in the person of Otto I, is a renewal not of the ancient empire, but of that of Charlemagne. To revive the dignity of Charlemagne, this is the political thought of the Saxons. But Rome is still, for Ottone himself,  caput mundi. And then, Rome meant the possibility of dominating or controlling the papacy: as Otto really did, with an energy which the emperor had long lacked, albeit by granting diplomas to bishops, now masters of two thirds of Italian cities. , providing for the recovery of lost lands, helping the pope to make the content of the Carolingian donations effective. It was reconfirmed that the pope’s temporal power meant his dependence on the emperor.

Solidarity between the Papacy and the Empire 1