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
Francia called the Kingdom of the Franks, or Frankish Empire was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks during the Early Middle Ages, it is the predecessor of the modern states of Germany. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, West Francia became the predecessor of France, East Francia became that of Germany. Francia was among the last surviving Germanic kingdoms from the Migration Period era before its partition in 843; the core Frankish territories inside the former Western Roman Empire were close to the Rhine and Maas rivers in the north. After a period where small kingdoms inter-acted with the remaining Gallo-Roman institutions to their south, a single kingdom uniting them was founded by Clovis I, crowned King of the Franks in 496, his dynasty, the Merovingian dynasty, was replaced by the Carolingian dynasty. Under the nearly continuous campaigns of Pepin of Herstal, Charles Martel, Pepin the Short and Louis the Pious—father, grandson, great-grandson and great-great-grandson—the greatest expansion of the Frankish empire was secured by the early 9th century, by this point dubbed as the Carolingian Empire.
During the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties the Frankish realm was one large kingdom polity subdivided into several smaller kingdoms effectively independent. The geography and number of subkingdoms varied over time, but a basic split between eastern and western domains persisted; the eastern kingdom was called Austrasia, centred on the Rhine and Meuse, expanding eastwards into central Europe. It evolved into the Holy Roman Empire; the western kingdom Neustria was founded in Northern Roman Gaul, as the original kingdom of the Merovingians it came over time to be referred to as Francia, now France, although in other contexts western Europe could still be described as "Frankish". In Germany there are prominent other places named after the Franks such as the region of Franconia, the city of Frankfurt, Frankenstein Castle; the Franks emerged in the 3rd century as a term covering Germanic tribes living on the northern Rhine frontier of the Roman Empire, including the Bructeri, Chamavi and Salians.
While all of them had a tradition of participating in the Roman military, the Salians were allowed to settle within the Roman Empire. In 357, having been living in the civitis of Batavia for some time, Emperor Julian, who forced the Chamavi back out of the empire at the same time, allowed the Salians to settle further away from the border, in Toxandria; some of the early Frankish leaders, such as Flavius Bauto and Arbogast, were committed to the cause of the Romans, but other Frankish rulers, such as Mallobaudes, were active on Roman soil for other reasons. After the fall of Arbogastes, his son Arigius succeeded in establishing a hereditary countship at Trier and after the fall of the usurper Constantine III some Franks supported the usurper Jovinus. Jovinus was dead by 413, but the Romans found it difficult to manage the Franks within their borders; the Frankish king Theudemer was executed by the sword, in c. 422. Around 428, the king Chlodio, whose kingdom may have been in the civitas Tungrorum, launched an attack on Roman territory and extended his realm as far as Camaracum and the Somme.
Though Sidonius Apollinaris relates that Flavius Aetius defeated a wedding party of his people, this period marks the beginning of a situation that would endure for many centuries: the Germanic Franks ruled over an increasing number of Gallo-Roman subjects. The Merovingians, reputed to be relatives of Chlodio, arose from within the Gallo-Roman military, with Childeric and his son Clovis being called "King of the Franks" in the Gallo-Roman military before having any Frankish territorial kingdom. Once Clovis defeated his Roman competitor for power in northern Gaul, Syagrius, he turned to the kings of the Franks to the north and east, as well as other post-Roman kingdoms existing in Gaul: Visigoths and Alemanni; the original core territory of the Frankish kingdom came to be known as Austrasia, while the large Romanised Frankish kingdom in northern Gaul came to be known as Neustria. Chlodio's successors are obscure figures, but what can be certain is that Childeric I his grandson, ruled a Salian kingdom from Tournai as a foederatus of the Romans.
Childeric is chiefly important to history for bequeathing the Franks to his son Clovis, who began an effort to extend his authority over the other Frankish tribes and to expand their territorium south and west into Gaul. Clovis converted to Christianity and put himself on good terms with the powerful Church and with his Gallo-Roman subjects. In a thirty-year reign Clovis defeated the Roman general Syagrius and conquered the Kingdom of Soissons, defeated the Alemanni and established Frankish hegemony over them. Clovis defeated the Visigoths and conquered all of their territory north of the Pyrenees save Septimania, conquered the Bretons and made them vassals of Francia, he conquered most or all of the neighbouring Frankish tribes along the Rhine and incorporated them into his kingdom. He incorporated the various Roman military settlements scattered over Gaul: the Saxons of Bessin, the Britons and the Alans of Armorica and Loire valley or the Taifals of Poitou to name a few prominent ones. By the end of his life, Clovis ruled all of Gaul save the Gothic province of Septimania and the Burgundian kingdom in the southeast.
The Merovingians were a hereditary monarchy. The Frankish kings adhered to th
Norcia, traditionally known in English by its Latin name of Nursia, is a town and comune in the province of Perugia in southeastern Umbria. Unlike many ancient towns, it is located in a wide plain abutting the Monti Sibillini, a subrange of the Apennines with some of its highest peaks, near the Sordo River, a small stream that flows into the Nera; the town is popularly associated with the Valnerina. The area is known for its air and scenery, is a base for mountaineering and hiking, it is widely known for hunting of the wild boar, for sausages and ham made from wild boar and pork. Such products have been named after Norcia. Traces of human settlement in Norcia's area date back to the Neolithic Age; the town's known history begins with settlement by the Sabines in the 5th century BC. After the conquest by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, it was an ally of ancient Rome in 205 BC, during the Second Punic War, when it was known in Latin as Nursia, but the earliest extant Roman ruins date from around the 1st century.
St. Benedict, the founder of the Benedictine monastic system, his twin sister St. Scholastica, were born here in 480. In the 8th century, an oratory was built. Monks came to Norcia in the 10th century. Contemporary monks care for the Monastery of St. Benedict, built over the Roman ruins of the house of Sts. Benedict and Scholastica. In the 6th century Norcia was conquered by the Lombards. In the 9th century it suffered from Saracen attacks. In the 11th century, it was part of the domain of Holy Roman Emperor. In the 12th century Norcia became an independent commune within the Papal territories, with an increasing political and economical prestige; the collaboration with the Benedictine abbey in Preci led to the creation of the Schola Chirurgica. Studies at this institution contributed to Norcia residents improving their swine breeding; the powerful Spoleto and the 1324 earthquake thwarted the city's ambitions, in 1354 it was returned definitively to the Papal authority. On 24 August 2016, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake and numerous strong aftershocks struck near Norcia, causing major damage to the towns in the region.
The people in the town of Norcia were not injured. The town of Norcia itself only suffered structural damage but this displaced many citizens. However, several small towns around the town received many collapsed buildings. On 30 October 2016, another magnitude 6.5 earthquake rocked Norcia, causing heavy damage to the city: among others the Basilica of St. Benedict has been destroyed; the older core of Norcia is flat, unusual among the towns of Umbria. It is enclosed by a full circuit of walls that has survived intact from the 14th century, they stood up despite many earthquakes. After the earthquake of 22 August 1859, the Papal States, to which Norcia belonged, imposed a stringent construction code forbidding structures of more than three storeys and requiring the use of certain materials and building techniques. Roman vestiges are observable throughout the city in the walls of San Lorenzo, its oldest extant church. On via Umberto is a small aedicule or corner chapel, sometimes called a tempietto, with faded frescoes, painted by Vanni della Tuccia in 1354.
Of greater interest are the two Romanesque arches, densely sculpted with zoomorphic and geometric forms. The main basilica is dedicated to St. Benedict and is connected to a functioning Benedictine monastery, the Monastery of St. Benedict. Though this edifice was built in the 13th century, it stood on the remains of one or more small Roman buildings, sometimes considered to have been a Roman basilica, or alternately the house in which the twin saints were born; the façade, in Gothic style, is characterized by a central rose window and relief portraying the four Evangelists. Inside, the fresco of the Resurrection of Lazarus was painted by Michelangelo Carducci; the altar in the left-hand transept housed a St Totila by Filippo Napoletano. The basilica was destroyed by an earthquake on 30 October 2016; the Renaissance church of Santa Maria Argentea is the cathedral. It holds some works by Flemish masters, a richly decorated altar by Duquesnoy, a Madonna and Saints by Pomarancio, a St Vicent Ferrer and the Sick by Giuseppe Paladini.
The Gothic church of Sant ` Agostino has many votive frescoes of St Sebastian. San Francesco, from the same century has a notable portal, surmounted by a Gothic rose window, with pink and white stone decorations. A fortress, the Castellina was built in 1555-1563 as the residence of the Papal governors, as designed by Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, it now houses a small museum with Roman and medieval artifacts, documents of the Middle Ages and periods. In the frazioni near the town proper, are The pieve of San Salvatore, at Campi, with two rose windows and two portals of different ages. In Campi is the parish church of St. Andrew, with an original triangular loggiato; the Church of San Salvatore and that of Sant'Andrea were damaged or destroyed in the 2016 earthquake. The frazione of Savelli has the ruins of Madonna della Neve, an elegant octagonal church designed by Bramante in the 15th century, it was destroyed by the 1979 earthquake. In San Pellegrino is the convent of Santa Maria di Montesanto, now in poor condition.
It has a noteworthy cloister and a church with 17th-century canvasses and a 14th-century wooden statue, Madonna with Child. On 30 October 2016, a 6.6 mag
Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto IV was one of two rival kings of Germany from 1198 on, sole king from 1208 on, Holy Roman Emperor from 1209 until he was forced to abdicate in 1215. The only German king of the Welf dynasty, he incurred the wrath of Pope Innocent III and was excommunicated in 1210. Otto was the third son of Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria and Saxony, Matilda of England, his exact birthplace is not given by any original source. He grew up in England in the care of his grandfather King Henry II. Otto was fluent in French as well as German, he became the foster son of Richard I of England. In 1190, after he left England to join the Third Crusade, Richard appointed Otto Earl of York; the authenticity of this grant was doubted by the vassals of Yorkshire, who prevented Otto taking possession of his earldom. Still, he visited Yorkshire in 1191, he continued to claim the revenues of the earldom after becoming king of Germany, although he never secured them. Neither did he succeed in getting the 25,000 silver marks willed to him by his uncle in 1199.
In 1195, Richard began negotiations to marry Otto to Margaret and heir presumptive of King William the Lion of Scotland. Lothian, as Margaret's dowry, would be handed over to Richard for safekeeping and the counties of Northumberland and Cumberland would be granted to Otto and turned over to the king of Scotland; the negotiations dragged on until August 1198, when the birth of a son to William rendered them unnecessary. Having failed in his efforts to secure Otto an English earldom or else a Scottish kingdom, in September 1196 Richard, as duke of Aquitaine, enfeoffed Otto with the county of Poitou. There is some disagreement over whether Otto received Poitou in exchange for or in addition to the earldom of York. Otto was in Poitou from September 1196 until mid-1197, when he joined Richard in Normandy to confer over the appointment of bishops to the vacant sees of Poitiers, Limoges and Périgueux, he participated in the war against Philip II of France on the side of Richard. In October he returned to Poitou.
The German historian Jens Ahlers, taking into account Otto's life prior to 1198, considers that he might have been the first foreign king of Germany. After the death of Emperor Henry VI, the majority of the princes of the Empire, situated in the south, elected Henry's brother, Duke of Swabia, king in March 1198, after receiving money and promises from Philip in exchange for their support; those princes opposed to the Staufen dynasty decided, on the initiative of Richard of England, to elect instead a member of the House of Welf. Otto's elder brother, was on a crusade at the time, so the choice fell to Otto. Otto, soon recognized throughout the northwest and the lower Rhine region, was elected king by his partisans in Cologne on 9 June 1198. Otto took control of Aachen, the place of coronation, was crowned by Adolf, Archbishop of Cologne, on 12 July 1198; this was of great symbolic importance, since the Archbishop of Cologne alone could crown the King of the Romans. The coronation was done with fake regalia, because the actual materials were in the hands of the Staufen.
Otto's election pulled the empire into the conflict between France. Philip had allied himself with the French king, Philip II, while Otto was supported at first by Richard I, after his death in 1199 by his brother John; the papacy meanwhile, under Innocent III, determined to prevent the continued unification of Sicily and the Holy Roman Empire under one monarch seized the opportunity to extend its influence. Therefore, Innocent III favoured Otto, whose family had always been opposed to the house of Hohenstaufen. Otto himself seemed willing to grant any demands that Innocent would make; the confusion in the empire allowed Innocent to drive out the imperial feudal lords from Ancona and Perugia, installed by Emperor Henry VI. At the same time, Innocent encouraged the cities in Tuscany to form a league, called the League of San Genesio, against imperial interests in Italy; the cities placed themselves under Innocent's protection. In 1201, Innocent announced. In return, Otto promised to support the pope's interests in Italy.
Otto had the support of Ottokar I of Bohemia, who although at first siding with Philip of Swabia threw in his lot with Otto. Otto's cause was further strengthened by the support of Valdemar II of Denmark. Philip achieved a great deal of success in the civil war that followed, allowing him in 1204 to be again crowned king, this time by the archbishop of Cologne. In the following years, Otto's situation worsened because after England's defeat by France he lost England's financial support. Many of his allies changed sides including his brother Henry. Otto was defeated and wounded in battle by Philip on 27 July 1206, near Wassenberg, as a consequence he lost the support of the pope, who began to favour the apparent winner in the conflict. Otto was forced to retire to his possessions near Brunswick, leaving Philip uncontested as German king. Innocent III forced the two warring parties into negotiations at Cologne, in exchange for renouncing his claim to the throne, Philip promised Otto the hand of his daughter Beatrix in marriage, together with the Duchy of Swabia and an enormous dowry.
Otto refused, as the civil war was again about to recommence, Philip was murdered on 21 June 1208. After Philip's death, Otto made amends with the Staufen party and became engaged to Philip's daughter Beatrix. In an election in Frankfurt on 11 November 1208, he gained the support of all the electoral princes, as he promised he would not make hereditary claims to the imperial crown on behalf of any children he might father. Now ful
The pope known as the supreme pontiff, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy; the current pope is Francis, elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI. While his office is called the papacy, the episcopal see and ecclesiastical jurisdiction is called the Holy See, it is the Holy See, the sovereign entity of international law headquartered in the distinctively independent Vatican City State, established by the Lateran Treaty in 1929 between Italy and the Holy See to ensure its temporal and spiritual independence. The primacy of the Bishop of Rome is derived from his role as the apostolic successor to Saint Peter, to whom primacy was conferred by Jesus, giving him the Keys of Heaven and the powers of "binding and loosing", naming him as the "rock" upon which the church would be built; the apostolic see of Rome was founded by Saint Peter and Saint Paul in 1st century, according to Catholic tradition.
The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history. In ancient times the popes helped spread Christianity, intervened to find resolutions in various doctrinal disputes. In the Middle Ages, they played a role of secular importance in Western Europe acting as arbitrators between Christian monarchs. In addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, charitable work, the defense of human rights. In some periods of history, the papacy, which had no temporal powers, accrued wide secular powers rivaling those of temporal rulers. However, in recent centuries the temporal authority of the papacy has declined and the office is now exclusively focused on religious matters. By contrast, papal claims of spiritual authority have been firmly expressed over time, culminating in 1870 with the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra—literally "from the chair"—to issue a formal definition of faith or morals.
Still, the Pope is considered one of the world's most powerful people because of his extensive diplomatic and spiritual influence on 1.3 billion Catholics and beyond, as well as the official representative of the Catholic Church being the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world, with a vast international network of charities. The word pope derives from Greek πάππας meaning "father". In the early centuries of Christianity, this title was applied in the east, to all bishops and other senior clergy, became reserved in the west to the Bishop of Rome, a reservation made official only in the 11th century; the earliest record of the use of this title was in regard to the by deceased Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Heraclas of Alexandria. The earliest recorded use of the title "pope" in English dates to the mid-10th century, when it was used in reference to the 7th century Roman Pope Vitalian in an Old English translation of Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.
The Catholic Church teaches that the pastoral office, the office of shepherding the Church, held by the apostles, as a group or "college" with Saint Peter as their head, is now held by their successors, the bishops, with the bishop of Rome as their head. Thus, is derived another title by which the pope is known, that of "Supreme Pontiff"; the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus appointed Peter as leader of the Church, the Catholic Church's dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium makes a clear distinction between apostles and bishops, presenting the latter as the successors of the former, with the pope as successor of Peter, in that he is head of the bishops as Peter was head of the apostles. Some historians argue against the notion that Peter was the first bishop of Rome, noting that the episcopal see in Rome can be traced back no earlier than the 3rd century; the writings of the Church Father Irenaeus who wrote around AD 180 reflect a belief that Peter "founded and organized" the Church at Rome.
Moreover, Irenaeus was not the first to write of Peter's presence in the early Roman Church. Clement of Rome wrote in a letter to the Corinthians, c. 96, about the persecution of Christians in Rome as the "struggles in our time" and presented to the Corinthians its heroes, "first, the greatest and most just columns", the "good apostles" Peter and Paul. St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote shortly after Clement and in his letter from the city of Smyrna to the Romans he said he would not command them as Peter and Paul did. Given this and other evidence, such as Emperor Constantine's erection of the "Old St. Peter's Basilica" on the location of St. Peter's tomb, as held and given to him by Rome's Christian community, many scholars agree that Peter was martyred in Rome under Nero, although some scholars argue that he may have been martyred in Palestine. First-century Christian communities would have had a group of presbyter-bishops functioning as leaders of their local churches. Episcopacies were established in metropolitan areas.
Antioch may have developed such a structure before Rome. In Rome, there were many who claimed to be the rightful bishop, though again Irenaeus stressed the validity of one line of bishops from the time of St. Peter up to his contemporary Pope Victor I and listed them; some writers claim that the emergence of a single bishop in Rome did not occur until the middle of the 2nd century. In their view, Linus and Clement were prominent presbyter-bishops
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
Spoleto is an ancient city in the Italian province of Perugia in east-central Umbria on a foothill of the Apennines. It is 29 km N. of Terni, 63 km SE of Perugia. Spoleto was situated on the eastern branch of the Via Flaminia, which forked into two roads at Narni and rejoined at Forum Flaminii, near Foligno. An ancient road ran hence to Nursia; the Ponte Sanguinario of the 1st century BC still exists. The Forum lies under today's marketplace. Located at the head of a large, broad valley, surrounded by mountains, Spoleto has long occupied a strategic geographical position, it appears to have been an important town to the original Umbri tribes, who built walls around their settlement in the 5th century BC, some of which are visible today. The first historical mention of Spoletium is the notice of the foundation of a colony there in 241 BC. After the Battle of Lake Trasimene Spoletium was attacked by Hannibal, repulsed by the inhabitants During the Second Punic War the city was a useful ally to Rome.
It suffered during the civil wars of Gaius Marius and Sulla. The latter, after his victory over Marius, confiscated the territory of Spoletium. From this time forth it was a municipium. Under the empire it seems to have flourished once again, but is not mentioned in history. Martial speaks of its wine. Aemilianus, proclaimed emperor by his soldiers in Moesia, was slain by them here on his way from Rome, after a reign of three or four months. Rescripts of Constantine and Julian are dated from Spoleto; the foundation of the episcopal see dates from the 4th century: early martyrs of Spoleto are legends, but a letter to the bishop Caecilianus, from Pope Liberius in 354 constitutes its first historical mention. Owing to its elevated position Spoleto was an important stronghold during the Vandal and Gothic wars. Under the Lombards, Spoleto became the capital of an independent duchy, the Duchy of Spoleto, its dukes ruled a considerable part of central Italy. In 774 it became part of Holy Roman Empire. Several of its dukes during the late 9th Century, rose to wear the crown of that Empire.
Together with other fiefs, it was bequeathed to Pope Gregory VII by the powerful countess Matilda of Tuscany, but for some time struggled to maintain its independence. In 1155 it was destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa. In 1213 it was definitively occupied by Pope Gregory IX. During the absence of the papal court in Avignon, it was prey to the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines, until in 1354 Cardinal Albornoz brought it once more under the authority of the Papal States. After Napoleon's conquest of Italy, in 1809 Spoleto became capital of the short-lived French department of Trasimène, returning to the Papal States after Napoleon's defeat, within five years. In 1860, after a gallant defence, Spoleto was taken by the troops fighting for the unification of Italy. Giovanni Pontano, founder of the Accademia Pontaniana of Naples, was born here. Another child of Spoleto was Francis Possenti, educated in the Jesuit school and whose father was the Papal assessor, Francis entered the Passionists and became Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
The Roman theater rebuilt. The stage is occupied by the former church of St. Agatha housing the National Archaeological Museum. Ponte Sanguinario, a Roman bridge 1st century BCE; the name is traditionally attributed to the persecutions of Christians in the nearby amphiteatre. A restored Roman house with mosaic floors, indicating it was built in the 1st century, overlooked the Forum Square. An inscription by Polla to Emperor Caligula suggests the house was that of Vespasia Polla, the mother of Emperor Vespasian. Roman amphitheater, it was turned into a fortress by Totila in 545 and in Middle Ages times was used for stores and shops, while in the cavea the church of San Gregorio Minore was built. The stones were used to build the Rocca; the Palazzo Comunale. Ponte delle Torri, a striking 13th-century aqueduct on Roman foundations: whether it was first built by the Romans is a point on which scholarly opinion is divided; the majestic Rocca Albornoziana fortress, built in 1359–1370 by the architect Matteo Gattapone of Gubbio for Cardinal Albornoz.
It has six sturdy towers which formed two distinct inner spaces: the Cortile delle Armi, for the troops, the Cortile d'onore for the use of the city's governor. The latter courtyard is surrounded by a two-floor porch; the rooms include the Camera Pinta with noteworthy 15th‑century frescoes. After having resisted many sieges, the Rocca was turned into a jail in 1800 and used as such until the late 20th century. After extensive renovation it was reopened as a museum in 2007; the Palazzo Racani-Arroni has a worn graffito decoration attributed to Giulio Romano. The inner courtyard has a notable fountain. Palazzo della Signoria, housing the city's museum; the majestic Palazzo Vigili includes the Torre dell'Olio, the sole mediaeval city tower remaining in Spoleto. Temple of Clitumnus lies between Spoleto and Trevi Duomo of S. Maria Assunta: Construction of the Duomo begun around 1175 and completed in 1227; the Romanesque edifice contains the tomb of Filippo Lippi, who died in Spoleto in 1469, designed by his son Filippino Lippi.
The church houses a manuscript letter by Saint Francis of Assisi. San Pietro extra Moenia: This church was founded in 4