Solidarity between the Papacy and the Empire Part II

By | February 11, 2022

In short, royal Italy and pontifical Italy, close together in the unity of command. There remains that other Italy that Lombards, Greeks, Islam, free cities contend with each other. He had been here, between sec. IX and X, a promising beginning of Byzantine restoration. Growing importance of Basilian monasticism, especially on the Aspromonte. Then, with the third and fourth decade of the century, a new crisis of imperial power following the Apulian and Calabrian insurrections, other Saracen and Slavic raids. Finally, a renewed Lombard pre-eminence, with Landolfo prince of Benevento and Capua and, even more, with Pandolfo Testa di ferro. Against it, he had moved into arms, with the help of the Marquises of Tuscany and Spoleto and Camerino, Giovanni XII, by virtue of the rights that the popes had over those principalities. In fact the Privilegium Othonis  confirmed to the pontiff, among other things, cities of Campania, Capua, Gaeta, Fondi, etc., the patrimonies of the church in the Benevento and Naples areas,  cunctum ducatum beneventanum. Interpolations here too? It is probable. What is certain is that the aims of the popes turned in those parts. But after 962, even Otto I. The empire and the kingdom returned to make themselves alive in southern Italy, with the same program of the Lombard kings and successors, especially Ludovico II. Except that now there was a conciliation and supportive political action by Otto I and Pandolfo Iron Head, which became the center and base of the political-military action of the Saxons in the south. Appointed Marquis of Spoleto and Camerino; taking possession of the Salerno principality after vicissitudes of defeats and victories, he became the head of a new Lombard unit, including Spoleto, Camerino, Salerno, Benevento, Capua.

Meanwhile, according to aceinland, Otto I was dead. And Otto II, his son, married to a Greek princess, had even wider thoughts: against the Saracens of the south and, in his secret, against the Greeks. To his misfortune, Pandolfo died just then and the Lombard unity was shattered again. And who had Benevento and Capua, who Salerno, who Capua, who else. The discords, the snares, the usurpations between the various princes and lords, the jealousies of Benevento against Capua began again. And it was a serious blow for Ottone too. However, once the affairs of Rome were put in order, the opposition of the aristocracy led by the Crescenzî who had taken the place of the family of Theophilacus in Rome after the death of Alberic II, and now opposed their own popes to imperial popes, Otto II moved towards the south, almost like a holy war. Even the Apulian rebels invoked him. He pacified the things of the Longobard principalities as best he could, made himself recognized by lords and cities, hostile entered Puglia, a Byzantine territory, and took Bari and Taranto, won the Arabs in Crotone. But in Stilo, in July 982, he was defeated by the Saracens. Except by a miracle, he returned to Rome. But on all sides, his partisans succumbed or retreated; his authority was vilified and his bishops expelled: Venice and Amalfi, which lived on relations with the East, opposed that anti-Greek policy. The work completed until then fell undone. Otto II also died in 983. The Byzantines were again raised up. Great pride in them: pride of “Romans” in front of “barbarians”, whether they were Lombards or Germans or other Germans; however much they rejected Rome as a culture and language and accepted and claimed it only as an empire. However, the Apulian rebels bowed to them, Bari and Trani and Ascoli and Lucera and Siponto were reoccupied, Bari became the center and capital of Byzantine Italy. There the catapan took up residence, first appearing in 975 and now becoming the highest authority of the empire in those provinces. Even the Saracens reappeared with new strength and new audacity, and since Byzantium found itself engaged in Syria and the Balkans, so the defense against the infidels remained in Italy entrusted to the subject populations, who, almost abandoned to themselves, made some resistance, they gathered around the nuclei of the urban aristocracies against the Saracens and the Byzantine tax authorities, they gave impetus to a principle of self-organization of the cities. But for the moment, Gerace and Cosenza and Matera and Oria fell and the suburbs of Bari were devastated and Taranto was attacked (990). Even this time, southern Italy, if it could be relatively easy to acquire it, was difficult to maintain. It lacked any cohesion. It is difficult to organize a unitary command there.

In the north and center of Italy, on the other hand, that is, in the kingdom, the authority of these German kings and emperors was sustained: and Otto III was able, when he came of age, to cross the Alps, to receive the usual homage in Pavia, to have in favor or not against. the lay lords, especially the powerful Hugh of Tuscany, Hugh the “great” and even more the ecclesiastical lords, bishops or abbots, who also in Germany were the main support for him and his dynasty. In Ravenna, the representatives of the Roman nobility presented themselves to him and negotiated with him for the election of the new pope.

Solidarity between the Papacy and the Empire 2