Emperors vs. Popes

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During the Medieval times the popes and the emperors began to have several conflicts. The emperors wanted to have more power, and control a greater part of territory, including what we know as Italy today. On the other hand, the popes felt threatened by this, for they wanted a seperation that led to liberty, in which the church and the state should be divided. Also, the popes wanted to have the reign and the rule over the territory, without the interference of the state or an emperor.

One of the greater conflicts between them was during the twelfth  century. The King of Germany, also known as the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa wanted to gain the rule and reign over Italy. The actual pope of that time, Pope Aleander III, alarmed by this formed and alliance with the Lombard cities, called the Lombard League. After a long war between each other, Frederick died in the year 1190. However, the conflict had just begun. 

The next elected emperor, Otto, had promised to obey the churches wishes. Won by power and greed, Otto proceeded to go back on his promises made to Pope Innocent III. This made the pope depose Otto, and support Frederick’s son, Frederick II. After a disastrous invasion of France, Otto’s position crumbles, and Frederick II was now emperor in every sense. 

Again, the pope had Frederick II make key promises to the church, but as his father, he too wanted Italy. After making concessions, he gets the help of German prince’s. However, this resulted in no good, for he was excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX. Resulting in a raging war between them. Apparently with no solution, what led this to a stop was the death of Frederick’s son himself. 

Afterwards, for nearly 20 years there was no emperor. Until, Rudolf of Habsburg becomes emperor, but it was too late to centralize the Holy Roman Empire. Leading to the papal-states.  




Categories: Western Civilization 1 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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