Arnold of Brescia
Arnold of Brescia known as Arnaldus, was an Italian canon regular from Lombardy. He called on the Church to renounce property ownership and participated in the failed Commune of Rome. Exiled at least three times and arrested, Arnold was hanged by the papacy was burned posthumously and thrown into the River Tiber. Though he failed as a religious reformer and a political leader, his teachings on apostolic poverty gained currency after his death among "Arnoldists" and more among Waldensians and the Spiritual Franciscans, though no written word of his has survived the official condemnation. Protestants rank him among the precursors of the Reformation. Born in Brescia, Arnold became an Augustinian canon and prior of a monastery in Brescia, he criticized the Catholic Church's temporal powers that involved it in a land struggle in Brescia against the Count-Bishop of Brescia. He called on the Church to renounce its claim and return ownership to the city government so as not to be tainted by possession—renunciation of worldliness being one of his primary teachings.
He was forced from Italy. According to the chronicler Otto of Freising, Arnold had studied in Paris under the tutelage of the reformer and philosopher Pierre Abélard, he took to Abélard's philosophy of reform ways. The issue came before the Synod of Sens in 1141 and both Arnold and Abélard's positions were overruled by Bernard of Clairvaux. Arnold stood alone against the church's decision after Abélard's capitulation; as a consequence he was commanded to silence and exiled by Pope Innocent II. He took refuge first in Zürich and probably in Bavaria, his writings were condemned to be burned as a further measure, though the condemnation is the only evidence that he had written anything. Arnold continued to preach his radical ideas concerning apostolic poverty. Arnold, known only from the vituperative condemnation of his foes, was declared to be a demagogue. Having returned to Italy after 1143, Arnold made his peace in 1145 with Pope Eugene III, who ordered him to submit himself to the mercy of the Church in Rome.
When he arrived, he found that Giordano Pierleoni's followers had asserted the ancient rights of the commune of Rome, taken control of the city from papal forces, founded a republic, the Commune of Rome. Arnold sided with the people and, after Pierleoni's deposition, soon rose to the intellectual leadership of the Commune, calling for liberties and democratic rights. Arnold taught, he succeeded in driving Pope Eugene into exile in 1146, for which he was excommunicated on 15 July 1148. When Pope Eugene returned to the city in 1148, Arnold continued to lead the blossoming republic despite his excommunication. In summing up these events, Caesar Baronius called Arnold "the father of political heresies", while Edward Gibbon expressed his view that "the trumpet of Roman liberty was first sounded by Arnold." After Pope Eugene's death, Pope Adrian IV swiftly took steps to regain control of Rome. He allied with Frederick Barbarossa, who took Rome by force in 1155 after a Holy Week interdict and forced Arnold again into exile.
Arnold was tried by the Roman Curia as a rebel. He was never accused of heresy. Faced with the stake, he refused to recant any of his positions. Convicted of rebellion, Arnold was hanged in his body burnt; because he remained a hero to large sections of the Roman people and the minor clergy, his ashes were cast into the Tiber, to prevent his burial place becoming venerated as the shrine of a martyr. In 1882, after the collapse of Papal temporal powers, the city of Brescia erected a monument to its native son. Arnoldists History of Rome in the Middle Ages Catholic Encyclopedia: "Arnold of Brescia" "Arnold of Brescia" Romedio Schmitz-Esser, Arnold von Brescia im Spiegel von acht Jahrhunderten Rezeption. Ein Beispiel für Europas Umgang mit der mittelalterlichen Geschichte vom Humanismus bis heute, Vienna-Berlin-Münster 2007. Romedio Schmitz-Esser, Arnold of Brescia in Exile: April 1139 to December 1143 – His Role as a Reformer, Reviewed, in: Exile in the Middle Ages. Selected Proceedings from the International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 8–11 July 2002, ed. by Laura Napran and Elisabeth van Houts, Turnhout 2004, p. 213–231.
Russell, Jeffrey Burton. Dissent and Order in the Middle Ages: The Search for Legitimate Authority. Wipf & Stock publishers. Arsenio Frugoni, Arnaldo da Brescia nelle fonti del secolo XII. Grado Giovanni Merlo, La storia e la memoria di Arnaldo da Brescia, in: Studi Storici 32/4 p. 943–952. Maurizio Pegrari, Arnaldo da Brescia e il suo tempo, Brescia 1991. George William Greenaway, Arnold of Brescia, 1931; the first biography in English. Pasquale Villari, Mediaeval Italy from Charlemagne to Henry VII, 1910. Ferdinand A. Gregorovius, History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages 6th ed. 1953–1957
The Papal States the State of the Church, 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 the 8th century until the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia unified the Italian Peninsula by conquest in a campaign concluded in 1861 and definitively in 1870. At their zenith, the Papal States covered most of the modern Italian regions of Lazio, Marche and Romagna, 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 known as the Papal State. The territories were referred to variously as the State of the Church, the Pontifical States, the Ecclesiastical States, or the Roman States. 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, 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 by individual members of the Roman churches would be considered as a common patrimony handed over successively to the legitimate "heir" of that property its senior deacons, who were, in turn, assistants to the local bishop. This common patrimony attached to the churches at Rome, 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, restoring to it any properties, confiscated; the Lateran Palace was the first significant new donation to the Church, most a gift from Constantine himself. Other donations followed in mainland Italy but 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 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 limited to a diagonal band running from Ravenna, where the Emperor's representative, or Exarch, was located, to Rome and south to Naples, 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 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. The pope and the exarch still worked together to control the rising power of the Lombards in Italy; as Byzantine power weakened, the papacy took an ever-larger role in defending Rome from the Lombards through diplomacy. In practice, the papal efforts served to focus Lombard aggrandizement on 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 to Pope Gregory II; when the Exarchate of
Sardinia and Corsica
The Province of Sardinia and Corsica was an ancient Roman province including the islands of Sardinia and Corsica. The Nuragic civilization flourished in Sardinia from 1800 to 500 BC; the ancient Sardinians known as Nuragics, traded with many different Mediterranean peoples during the Bronze Age and early Iron Age with the Myceneans and the Cypriots. Sardinians built many coastal settlements, like Nora and Tharros, the characteristic tower buildings the island is known for, the nuraghes. A similar civilization developed in Southern Corsica, where several torri were built; the ancient Sardinians had reached a high level of cultural complexity, building large federal sanctuaries, where the Nuragic communities gathered to participate in the same rituals during festivities. The Nuragic people were able to organize themselves and accomplish several complex projects, such as building refined temples, hydraulic implants like fountains and aqueducts, creating life sized statues despite the lack of an elite and lacking any degree of social stratification.
The Phoenicians established several commercial stations in the coast of Sardinia, the Sardinians and Phoenicians coexisted in urban centers across the coasts. Along with them went the Greeks, who founded the colonies of Alalia in Corsica, Olbia in Sardinia; the Carthaginians a Phoenician dependency, conquered Alalia in 535 BC with the Etruscans' help. After Corsica part of Sardinia came under the control of the Carthaginians. Though Rome had drawn up an earlier treaty with Carthage following the First Punic War, a complete disregard to this agreement led them to forcibly annex Sardinia and Corsica during the Mercenary War. In 238 BC, the Carthaginians, accepting defeat in the First Punic War, surrendered Corsica and Sardinia, which together became a province of Rome; this marked the beginning of Roman domination in the Western Mediterranean. The Romans ruled this area for 694 years; the Nuragic Sardinians and Corsicans however rebelled against the Roman rulers. A revolt broke out in 235 BC, but it was violently suppressed by Manlius Torquatus who celebrated a triumph over the Sardinians.
Other revolts arose in 233 BC, were repressed as well by the consul Carvilius Maximus, who celebrated with a triumph the same year. In 232 BC the Sardinians were defeated again, this time by the consul Manlus Pompilus, granted the honor of celebrating a triumph. In 231 BC, in light of the widespread tensions, a consular army was sent to deal with each island: one against the Corsicans, commanded by Papirius Maso, the other one against the Sardinians, led by Marcus Pomponius Matho. However, the consuls did not manage to report a triumph. A mass revolt, known as Bellum Sardum, broke out during the Second Punic War in 216 BC: a massive Sardinian rebellion led by the landowner Hampsicora, a native of the city of Cornus, who commanded an army of natives and allied Carthaginians with the title of Dux Sardorum, aided the Sardinian army with 15,000 foot soldiers and 1,500 knights; the Roman and the Sardo-Punic army fought at the battle of Decimomannu. The 2nd century BC was a period of turmoil in the province.
In 181 BC the Corsi, a population living in Southern Corsica and North East Sardinia, rebelled against the Romans: the revolt was stopped by Marcus Pinarius Posca, who killed 2,000 rebels and enslaved a number of them. In 177/176 BC, in order to quell the rebellion of the Sardinian tribes known as the Balares and the Ilienses, the Senate sent the consul Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus to be in charge of two legions, it is estimated. Livy reports the inscription on the temple of the goddess Mater Matuta, in Rome, where the winners exhibited a commemorative plaque that said: Under the command and the auspices of the consul Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, the legion and the army of the Roman people subjugated Sardinia. More than 80,000 enemies were captured in the province. Conducting things in the happiest way for the Roman State, freeing the friends, restoring the income, he brought back the army safe and sound and rich in booty. In memory of these events, he dedicated this panel to Jupiter. In 174 BC, another revolt broke out in Sardinia, resulting in a Roman victory by Titus Manlius Torquatus with a strage et fuga Sardorum, leaving an estimated 80,000 Sardinians dead on the battlefield.
The following year another uprising occurred in Sardinia, the island's praetor Atilius Servatus was defeated and forced to take refuge on the other island. Atilius asked Rome for reinforcements. Cicerius, vowing to Juno Moneta to build a temple in case of success, reported a victory, killing 7,000 Corsi and enslaving 1,700 of them. In 163 BC, Marcus Juventhius Thalna quashed another revolt, without further details about the expedition, it is recorded that, upon hearing of the mission accomplished in Sardinia, the Roman Senate announced public prayers. However, the rebellion must have resumed shortly after, since Scipio Nasica was sent to pacify the
The Byzantine Empire 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 Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm. Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed.
Under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity; the borders of the empire evolved over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I, the empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries; the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, when it lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arab caliphate. During the Macedonian dynasty, the empire expanded again and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The empire recovered during the Komnenian restoration, by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the empire governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence, its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 ended the Byzantine Empire; the last of the imperial Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond. The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.
The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts; the publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world; the Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans", "Romania", the "Roman Republic", as "Rhōmais". The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and as late as the 19th century Greeks referred to Modern Greek as Romaiika "Romaic." After 1204 when the Byzantine Empire was confined to its purely Greek provinces the term'Hellenes' was used instead. While the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its predominant Greek element.
The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum were used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known as Rûm; the name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine Empire
Ferdinand Gregorovius was a German historian who specialized in the medieval history of Rome. Gregorovius was the son of Neidenburg district justice council Ferdinand Timotheus Gregorovius and his wife Wilhelmine Charlotte Dorothea Kausch. Gregorovius family members lived for over 300 years in Prussia and had many jurist and artists. One famous ancestor of Ferdinand's was Johann Adam Gregorovius, born 1681 in Johannisburg, district of Gumbinnen. An earlier ancestor named. Ferdinand Gregorovius was born at Neidenburg, East Prussia, studied theology and philosophy at the University of Königsberg. In 1838, he joined the Corps Masovia. After teaching for many years, Gregorovius took up residence in Italy in 1852, remaining in that country for over twenty years. In 1876, he was made honorary citizen of Rome, the first German to be awarded this honor. A street and a square are named after him, he returned to Germany, where he died in Munich. He is best known for Wanderjahre in Italien, his account of the travels on foot that he took through Italy in the 1850s, the monumental Die Geschichte der Stadt Rom im Mittelalter, a classic for Medieval and early Renaissance history.
He wrote biographies of Pope Alexander VI and Lucrezia Borgia, as well as works on Byzantine history and medieval Athens, translated Italian authors into German, among them Giovanni Melis. According to Jesuit Father John Hardon, S. J. Gregorovius was "a bitter enemy of the popes." Der Ghetto und die Juden in Rom, Mit Einem Geleitwort von Leo Baeck, Im Schocken Verlag/Berlin, 1935 Der Tod des Tiberius Geschichte des römischen Kaisers Hadrian und seiner Zeit The Emperor Hadrian Siciliana Corsica. Schwäbisch Hall: E. Fischhaber, 1855. Geschichte der Stadt Rom im Mittelalter Translated into English'The History of Rome in the Middle Ages'.. Von der Zeit Justinians bis zur türkischen Eroberung Lucretia Borgia und ihre Zeit John Leslie Garner's trans. of the 3rd German edition Die Grabmäler der Römischen Päpste, first edition 1857 in German in 1881 as Die Grabdenkmäler der Päpste and in English as The Tombs of the Popes Victoria Press, Rome 1904 Die Insel Capri. Idylle vom Mittelmeer M. Douglass Fairbairn's trans.
Works by Ferdinand Gregorovius at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Ferdinand Gregorovius at Internet Archive Works by Ferdinand Gregorovius at LibriVox Works by Ferdinand Gregorovius at Open Library Ferdinand Gregorovius Latian Summers
Pope Lucius II
Pope Lucius II, born Gherardo Caccianemici dal Orso, was Pope from 9 March 1144 to his death in 1145. His pontificate was notable for the unrest in Rome associated with the Commune of Rome and its attempts to wrest control of the city from the papacy. Gherardo Caccianemici dal Orso, the son of Orso Caccianemici was born in Bologna, he was for many years a canon of the Basilica di San Frediano before his elevation by Pope Honorius II to cardinal priest of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in 1124. During this time there he renovated the basilica, attached a body of regular canons and improved its revenue stream. After he was elevated as pope, he presented to the church a copy of the Gospels bound with plates of gold and adorned with jewels, as well as an altar-cover and two chased silver-gilt ampullae for use at Mass. Honorius appointed him the librarian of the Diocese of Rome before appointing him papal legate in Germany in 1125. While there, he helped support the candidacy of Holy Roman Emperor Lothair III as well as appointing Saint Norbert of Xanten as the Archbishop of Magdeburg.
In 1128, Gherardo was sent to Benevento to govern the city, which had overthrown the previous rector. In 1130 he was again appointed legate to Germany by Pope Innocent II, where he was instrumental in convincing Lothair III to make two expeditions to Italy for the purpose of protecting Pope Innocent II against the Antipope Anacletus II, he had a further period as legate to Germany in 1135–36. He was one of the principal negotiators with Lothair III in attempting to force the monks of Monte Cassino to submit themselves to the authority of the papacy. In addition, he was sent to Salerno to negotiate the end of the schism involving Anacletus II with King Roger II of Sicily; as a principal supporter of Pope Innocent II, the pope rewarded him for his efforts by appointing him papal chancellor. After the papal election of 1144, Gherardo was elected as Lucius II and consecrated on 12 March 1144, he took his name in honor of Pope Lucius I, commemorated a few days prior to Gherardo's consecration. Lucius was involved in the usual running of church business throughout medieval Christendom.
In England, he granted a number of privileges to bishops and churches, including exempting the monastery of St. Edmund from all subjection to the secular authorities, he dispatched a papal legate, Igmarus, to England, charged to investigate the request of Bernard, Bishop of St David's, to elevate his see to the rank of Metropolitan bishop, to take the pallium to William, Archbishop of York. Regarding the political situation in England, he took the side of the Empress Matilda over the rights to the English crown. Early in his reign, Lucius received a request from prominent members of the town of Lucca to become the suzerain of the castle within the town in order to protect it from the war between Lucca and Pisa. Lucius received it on 18 March 1144 and for a payment of ten pounds of gold, agreed to defend it on his behalf. Lucius returned the castle to them as a fief. Meanwhile, in Portugal, King Afonso I, eager to maintain the newly established independence of Portugal from the Kingdom of León, offered to do homage to Lucius, as he had done to Pope Innocent II, to make the pope the feudal suzerain of his lands.
He offered Lucius his territory and a yearly tribute of four ounces of gold in exchange for the defence and support of the Apostolic See. Although Lucius accepted Afonso’s feudal homage on 1 May 1144, excused him from appearing in person, he did not acknowledge Afonso as King of Portugal, but instead as Dux Portugallensis; the royal title would be conferred by Pope Alexander III. The city of Corneto, formally belonging to the Papal States, was restored to the papacy during Lucius’ pontificate by a formal deed on 20 November 1144. Although Lucius had been the friend of King Roger II of Sicily and godparent to one of his children, the situation between the two would soon deteriorate; the two parties met at Ceprano in June 1144 to clarify the duties of Roger as a vassal of the Holy See. Lucius demanded the return of the principality of Capua, while Roger instead wanted additional territory that formed part of the Papal States in the south. Lucius II, on the advice of his cardinals, was unwilling to accept Roger’s demands and rejected them.
Infuriated, Roger returned to Sicily and asked his son Roger III, Duke of Apulia, to invade Campania. Roger did as he was asked, sent his general Robert of Selby against Lucius, ravaging the country as far north as Ferentino; this forced the Romans to capitulate, in September 1144, Lucius agreed to Roger’s terms, negotiating a seven-year truce. The Normans in return withdrew back to their conquered territories and promised not to attack Benevento or any other papal territory; this surrender on the part of Lucius II gave an opportunity for members of the Roman Senate to reassert their ancient independence and authority and to erect a revolutionary republic at Rome which sought to deprive the Pope of his temporal power. The principal groups involved in this movement were the merchants and artisans, while the urban nobility kept their neutrality; the Senate, which took all temporal power from the Pope during the pontificate of Innocent II, had been managed with considerable skill and firmness by Lucius at the beginning of his pontificate, convincing many senators to either leave the Capitoline Hill or to lay down their magisterium.
Now, encouraged by Lucius II's defeat, the Senate, led by Giordano Pierleoni, brother of the former Antipope Anacletus II, rebelled against Lucius II, driving out the papal prefects and establishing the Commune of Rome. They demanded the pope abandon all governmental duties, that he would retain only ecclesiastical
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries. From an autocracy in Carolingian times the title by the 13th century evolved into an elected monarchy chosen by the prince-electors. Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, became de-facto hereditary holders of the title, notably the Ottonians and the Salians. Following the late medieval crisis of government, the Habsburgs kept possession of the title without interruption from 1440–1740; the final emperors were from the House of Lorraine, from 1765–1806. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved after the defeat at Austerlitz by emperor Francis II, who continued to rule as Austrian emperor; the Holy Roman Emperor was perceived to rule by divine right, though he contradicted or rivaled the Pope, most notably during the Investiture controversy. In theory, the Holy Roman Emperor was primus inter pares among other Catholic monarchs.
In practice, a Holy Roman Emperor was only as strong as his army and alliances, including marriage alliances, made him. There was never a Holy Roman Empress regnant, though women such as Theophanu and Maria Theresa of Austria served as de facto Empresses regnant. Throughout its history, the position was viewed as a defender of the Roman Catholic faith; until the Reformation, the Emperor elect was required to be crowned by the Pope before assuming the imperial title. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was the last to be crowned by the Pope in 1530. After the Reformation, the elected Emperor always was a Roman Catholic. There were short periods in history when the electoral college was dominated by Protestants, the electors voted in their own political interest. From the time of Constantine I, the Roman emperors had, with few exceptions, taken on a role as promoters and defenders of Christianity; the reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the Christian emperor in the Church.
Emperors considered themselves responsible to the gods for the spiritual health of their subjects, after Constantine they had a duty to help the Church define orthodoxy and maintain orthodoxy. The emperor's role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, uphold ecclesiastical unity. Both the title and connection between Emperor and Church continued in the Eastern Roman Empire throughout the medieval period; the ecumenical councils of the 5th to 8th centuries were convoked by the Eastern Roman Emperors. In Western Europe, the title of Emperor became defunct after the death of Julius Nepos in 480, although the rulers of the barbarian kingdoms continued to recognize the Eastern Emperor at least nominally well into the 6th century. From the western perspective, the interregnum in the Roman Empire spanned the 8th centuries; the title of Emperor was revived in 800, when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III. The title of Emperor in the West implied recognition by the pope; as the power of the papacy grew during the Middle Ages and emperors came into conflict over church administration.
The best-known and most bitter conflict was that known as the investiture controversy, fought during the 11th century between Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII. After the coronation of Charlemagne, his successors maintained the title until the death of Berengar I of Italy in 924; the comparatively brief interregnum between 924 and the coronation of Otto the Great in 962 is taken as marking the transition from the Frankish Empire to the Holy Roman Empire. Under the Ottonians, much of the former Carolingian kingdom of Eastern Francia fell within the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire. Since 911, the various German princes had elected the King of the Germans from among their peers; the King of the Germans would be crowned as emperor following the precedent set by Charlemagne, during the period of 962–1530. Charles V was the last emperor to be crowned by the pope, his successor, Ferdinand I adopted the title of "Emperor elect" in 1558; the final Holy Roman Emperor-elect, Francis II, abdicated in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars that saw the Empire's final dissolution.
The term sacrum in connection with the German Roman Empire was first used in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa. The standard designation of the Holy Roman Emperor was "August Emperor of the Romans"; when Charlemagne was crowned in 800, he was styled as "most serene Augustus, crowned by God and pacific emperor, governing the Roman Empire," thus constituting the elements of "Holy" and "Roman" in the imperial title. The word Roman was a reflection of the principle of translatio imperii that regarded the Holy Roman Emperors as the inheritors of the title of Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, despite the continued existence of the Eastern Roman Empire. In German-language historiography, the term Römisch-deutscher Kaiser is used to distinguish the title from that of Roman Emperor on one hand, that of German Emperor on the other; the English term "Holy Roman Emperor" is a modern shorthand for "emperor of the Holy Roman Empire" not corresponding to the historical style or title, i.e. the adjective "holy" is not intended as modifying "emperor".