Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto I, traditionally known as Otto the Great, was German king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henry I the Matilda. Otto inherited the Duchy of Saxony and the kingship of the Germans upon his father's death in 936, he continued his father's work of unifying all German tribes into a single kingdom and expanded the king's powers at the expense of the aristocracy. Through strategic marriages and personal appointments, Otto installed members of his family in the kingdom's most important duchies; this reduced the various dukes, co-equals with the king, to royal subjects under his authority. Otto transformed the Roman Catholic Church in Germany to strengthen royal authority and subjected its clergy to his personal control. After putting down a brief civil war among the rebellious duchies, Otto defeated the Magyars at the Battle of Lechfeld in 955, thus ending the Hungarian invasions of Western Europe; the victory against the pagan Magyars earned Otto a reputation as a savior of Christendom and secured his hold over the kingdom.
By 961, Otto had conquered the Kingdom of Italy. The patronage of Otto and his immediate successors facilitated a so-called "Ottonian Renaissance" of arts and architecture. Following the example of Charlemagne's coronation as "Emperor of the Romans" in 800, Otto was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 962 by Pope John XII in Rome. Otto's years were marked by conflicts with the papacy and struggles to stabilize his rule over Italy. Reigning from Rome, Otto sought to improve relations with the Byzantine Empire, which opposed his claim to emperorship and his realm's further expansion to the south. To resolve this conflict, the Byzantine princess Theophanu married his son Otto II in April 972. Otto returned to Germany in August 972 and died at Memleben in May 973. Otto II succeeded him as Holy Roman Emperor. Otto was born on 23 November 912, the oldest son of the Duke of Saxony, Henry the Fowler and his second wife Matilda, the daughter of Dietrich of Ringelheim, a Saxon count in Westphalia. Henry had married Hatheburg of Merseburg a daughter of a Saxon count, in 906, but this marriage was annulled in 909 after she had given birth to Henry's first son and Otto's half-brother Thankmar.
Otto had four full siblings: Hedwig, Gerberga and Bruno. On 23 December 918, King of East Francia and Duke of Franconia, died. According to the Res gestae saxonicae by the Saxon chronicler Widukind of Corvey, Conrad persuaded his younger brother Eberhard of Franconia, the presumptive heir, to offer the crown of East Francia to Otto's father Henry. Although Conrad and Henry had been at odds with one another since 912, Henry had not opposed the king since 915. Furthermore, Conrad's repeated battles with German dukes, most with Arnulf, Duke of Bavaria, Burchard II, Duke of Swabia, had weakened the position and resources of the Conradines. After several months of hesitation and the other Frankish and Saxon nobles elected Henry as king at the Imperial Diet of Fritzlar in May 919. For the first time, a Saxon instead of a Frank reigned over the kingdom. Burchard II of Swabia soon swore fealty to the new king, but Arnulf of Bavaria did not recognize Henry's position. According to the Annales iuvavenses, Arnulf was elected king by the Bavarians in opposition to Henry, but his "reign" was short-lived.
In 921, Henry forced him into submission. Arnulf had to accept Henry's sovereignty. Otto first gained experience as a military commander when the German kingdom fought against Wendish tribes on its eastern border. While campaigning against the Wends/West Slavs in 929, Otto's illegitimate son William, the future Archbishop of Mainz, was born to a captive Wendish noblewoman. With Henry's dominion over the entire kingdom secured by 929, the king began to prepare his succession over the kingdom. No written evidence for his arrangements is extant, but during this time Otto is first called king in a document of the Abbey of Reichenau. While Henry consolidated power within Germany, he prepared for an alliance with Anglo-Saxon England by finding a bride for Otto. Association with another royal house would give Henry additional legitimacy and strengthen the bonds between the two Saxon kingdoms. To seal the alliance, King Æthelstan of England sent Henry two of his half-sisters, so he could choose the one which best pleased him.
Henry selected Eadgyth as Otto's bride and the two were married in 930. Several years shortly before Henry's death, an Imperial Diet at Erfurt formally ratified the king's succession arrangements; some of his estates and treasures were to be distributed among Thankmar and Bruno. But departing from customary Carolingian inheritance, the king designated Otto as the sole heir apparent without a prior formal election by the various dukes. Henry died from the effects of a cerebral stroke on 2 July 936 at his palace, the Kaiserpfalz in Memleben, was buried at Quedlinburg Abbey. At the time of his death, all of the various German tribes were united in a single realm. At the age of 24, Otto assumed his father's position as Duke of Saxony and King of Germany, his coronation was held on 7 August 936 in Charlemagne's former capital of Aachen, where Otto was anointed and crowned by Hildebert, the Archbishop of Mainz. Though he was a Saxon by birth, Otto appeared at the coronation in Frankish dress in an attempt to demonstrate his sovereignty over the Duchy of Lotharingia and his role as true successor to Charlemagne
Pope John XI
Pope John XI was Pope from March 931 to his death in December 935. His mother was Marozia, the most powerful woman in Rome, yet the paternity of John XI became a matter of dispute. According to Liutprand of Cremona and the "Liber Pontificalis," his father was Pope Sergius III. Ferdinand Gregorovius, Ernst Dümmler, Thomas Greenwood, Philip Schaff, Rudolf Baxmann agree with Liutprand that Pope Sergius III fathered Pope John XI. If, true, John XI would be the only known illegitimate son of a Pope to have become Pope himself.. On the other hand, Horace Kinder Mann states: "Sergius at once declared the ordinations conferred by Formosus null; these assertions are only made by bitter or ill-informed adversaries, are inconsistent with what is said of him by respectable contemporaries." Reginald L. Poole, Peter Llewelyn, Karl Josef von Hefele, August Friedrich Gfrörer, Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Francis Patrick Kenrick maintain that Pope John XI was sired by Alberic I of Spoleto, Count of Tusculum, his mother Marozia was the de facto Roman ruler at the time, resulting in his appointment to the Papacy.
Marozia was thus able to exert complete control over the Pope. At the overthrow of Marozia around 932, John XI became subject to the control of Alberic II, his younger half brother; the only control left to the Pope was the exercise of his purely spiritual duties. All other jurisdiction was exercised through Alberic II; this was not only the case in secular, but in ecclesiastical affairs. It was at the insistence of Alberic II that the pallium was given to Theophylactus, Patriarch of Constantinople, to Artold, Archbishop of Reims, it was John XI who sat in the Chair of Peter during what some traditional Catholic sources consider its deepest humiliation, but it was he who granted many privileges to the Congregation of Cluny, on a powerful agent of Church reform. Saeculum obscurum Marozia Pope John XI at Find a Grave Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Latina with analytical indexes
Pope Benedict IX
Pope Benedict IX, born Theophylactus of Tusculum in Rome, was Pope on three occasions between October 1032 and July 1048. Aged 20 at his first election, he is one of the youngest popes in history, he is the only man to have been Pope on more than one occasion and the only man to have sold the papacy. Benedict was the nephew of his immediate predecessor, Pope John XIX. In October 1032, his father obtained his election through bribery. However, his reputed dissolute activities provoked a revolt on the part of the Romans. Benedict was driven out of Pope Sylvester III elected to succeed him; some months Benedict and his supporters managed to expel Sylvester. Benedict decided to abdicate in favor of his godfather, the Archpriest of St. John by the Latin Gate, provided he was reimbursed for his expenses. Gratian became Pope Gregory VI. Benedict subsequently had second thoughts and returned, attempted to depose Gregory. A number of prominent clergy appealed to King of the Germans to restore order. Henry and his forces crossed the Brenner Pass into Italy, where he summoned the Council of Sutri to decide the matter.
Benedict and Gregory were all deposed. Henry nominated the bishop of Bamberg, Suidger von Morsleben, consecrated and became Pope Clement II in December 1046, thus clearing the way for Henry to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor by a Pope recognized as legitimate. While Benedict IX has an execrable reputation as pope, R. L. Poole suggests that some of the calumnies directed against him be understood in the context that they were perpetrated by virulent political enemies. Benedict was the son of Alberic III, Count of Tusculum, was a nephew of Pope Benedict VIII and Pope John XIX, he was a grandnephew of Pope John XII. His father obtained the Papal chair for him by bribing the Romans. Horace K. Mann, writing in the Catholic Encyclopedia says Benedict IX was about 20 when made pontiff in October 1032. Other sources state 11 or 12, based upon the unsubstantiated testimony of Rupert Glaber, a monk of St. Germanus at Auxerre. Benedict IX led an dissolute life and had few qualifications for the papacy other than connections with a powerful family.
In terms of theology and the ordinary activities of the Church he was orthodox. His life was scandalous, factional strife continued; the anti-papal historian Ferdinand Gregorovius wrote that in Benedict, "It seemed as if a demon from hell, in the disguise of a priest, occupied the chair of Peter and profaned the sacred mysteries of religion by his insolent courses." The Horace K. Mann calls him "a disgrace to the Chair of Peter", he was the first pope rumoured to have been homosexual. Pope Victor III, in his third book of Dialogues, referred to "his rapes and other unspeakable acts of violence and sodomy, his life as a pope was so vile, so foul, so execrable, that I shudder to think of it."According to Reginald Lane Poole, "In a time of acute political hostility accusations, as we know too well, are made and are believed, which in a calmer time would never have been suggested." He further suggests the credibility of such accusations was determined by probability rather than proof, a reaction to the Tusculum hegemony.
Poole observes that "we have to wait until he had discredited himself by his sale of the Papacy before we hear anything definite about his misdeeds. Poole considers Benedict "a negligent Pope likely a profligate man", but notes that the picture presented of Benedict is drawn at a time when the party opposed to him was in the ascendant, he had neither friends nor supporters, he was forced out of Rome in 1036, but returned with the help of Emperor Conrad II, who had expelled the bishops of Piacenza and Cremona from their sees. Bishop Benno of Piacenza accused Benedict of "many vile adulteries and murders". In September 1044, opposition to Benedict IX's dissolute lifestyle forced him out of the city again and elected John, Bishop of Sabina, as Pope Sylvester III. Benedict IX's forces returned in April 1045 and expelled his rival, who returned to his previous bishopric. Doubting his own ability to maintain his position, wishing to marry his cousin, Benedict decided to abdicate, consulted his godfather, the pious priest John Gratian, about the possibility of resigning.
He offered to give up the papacy into the hands of his godfather if he would reimburse him for his election expenses. Desirous of expurgating the See of Rome of such an unworthy pontiff, John Gratian paid him the money and was recognized as pope in his stead, as Gregory VI. Peter Damian hailed the change with joy and wrote to the new pope, urging him to deal with the scandals of the church in Italy, singling out the wicked bishops of Pesaro, of Città di Castello and of Fano. Benedict IX soon regretted his resignation and returned to Rome, taking the city and remaining on the throne until July 1046, although Gregory VI continued to be recognized as the true pope. At the time, Sylvester III reasserted his claim. A number of influential clergy and laity implored Emperor Henry III to cross the Alps and restore order. Henry intervened, at the Council of Sutri in December 1046, Benedict IX and Sylvester III were declared deposed while Gregory VI was encouraged to resign because the arrangement he had entered into with Benedict was considered simoniacal.
The German Bishop Suidger was crowned as Gregory's successor, Pope Clement II. Benedict IX did not accept his deposition; when Clement II died in October 1047, Benedict seized the Lateran Palace in November, but was driven away by German tro
Simony is the act of selling church offices and roles. It is named after Simon Magus, described in the Acts of the Apostles 8:9–24 as having offered two disciples of Jesus and John, payment in exchange for their empowering him to impart the power of the Holy Spirit to anyone on whom he would place his hands; the term extends to other forms of trafficking for money in "spiritual things." Simony was one of the important issues during the Investiture Controversy. Although an offense against canon law, Simony became widespread in the Catholic Church in the 9th and 10th centuries. In the canon law, the word bears a more extended meaning than in English law. Simony according to the canonists, says John Ayliffe in his Parergon, "...is defined to be a deliberate act or a premeditated will and desire of selling such things as are spiritual, or of anything annexed unto spirituals, by giving something of a temporal nature for the purchase thereof. In the Corpus Juris Canonici the Decretum and the Decretals deal with the subject.
The offender whether simoniacus or simoniace promotus, was liable to deprivation of his benefice and deposition from orders if a secular priest, or to confinement in a stricter monastery if a regular. No distinction seems to have been drawn between the sale of an immediate and of a reversionary interest; the innocent simoniace promotus was, apart from dispensation, liable to the same penalties as though he were guilty. Certain matters would not be regarded as such in English law. So grave was the crime of simony considered that infamous persons could accuse another of it. English provincial and legatine constitutions continually assailed simony; the Church of England struggled with the practice after its separation from Rome. For the purposes of English law, simony is defined by William Blackstone as "obtain orders, or a licence to preach, by money or corrupt practices" or, more narrowly, "the corrupt presentation of any one to an ecclesiastical benefice for gift or reward". While English law recognized simony as an offence, it treated it as an ecclesiastical matter, rather than a crime, for which the punishment was forfeiture of the office or any advantage from the offence and severance of any patronage relationship with the person who bestowed the office.
Both Edward VI of England and Elizabeth I promulgated statutes against simony, in the latter case through the Simony Act 1588. The cases of Bishop of St. David's Thomas Watson in 1699 and of Dean of York William Cockburn in 1841 were notable. By the Benefices Act 1892, a person guilty of simony is guilty of an offence for which he may be proceeded against under the Clergy Discipline Act 1892. An innocent clerk is under no disability. Simony may be committed in three ways – in promotion to orders, in presentation to a benefice, in resignation of a benefice; the common law has been modified by statute. Where no statute applies to the case, the doctrines of the canon law may still be of authority; as of 2011, simony remains an offence. An unlawfully bestowed office can be declared void by the Crown, the offender can be disabled from making future appointments and fined up to £1000. Clergy are no longer required to make a declaration as to simony on ordination, but offences are now to be dealt with under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003, r.8.
In 1494 a member of the Carmelite order, Adam of Genoa was found murdered in his bed with twenty wounds after preaching against the practice of simony. Concordat of Worms Gregorian Reform Civil law Simony Act 1588 Simony Act 1688 Simony Act 1713 Corruption in religion "Ayliffe, John". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Simony". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press. Lord Mackay of Clashfern Halsbury's Laws of England, 4th ed. Vol.14, "Ecclesiastical Law", 832'Penalties and disability on simony'. A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities: Being a Continuation of the'Dictionary of the Bible'. J. B. Burr Pub. Co. pp. "Simony". Weber, N. A. "Simony", Catholic Encyclopaedia' Thomas Aquinas, "Simony", Summa Theologica
A synod is a council of a church convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word synod comes from the Greek σύνοδος meaning "assembly" or "meeting", it is synonymous with the Latin word concilium meaning "council". Synods were meetings of bishops, the word is still used in that sense in Catholicism, Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy. In modern usage, the word refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not, it is sometimes used to refer to a church, governed by a synod. Sometimes the phrase "general synod" or "general council" refers to an ecumenical council; the word synod refers to the standing council of high-ranking bishops governing some of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches. The day-to-day governance of patriarchal and major archiepiscopal Eastern Catholic Churches is entrusted to a permanent synod. In Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, synods of bishops are meetings of bishops within each autonomous Church and are the primary vehicle for the election of bishops and the establishment of inter-diocesan ecclesiastical laws.
A sobor is a formal gathering or council of bishops together with other clerical and lay delegates representing the church to deal with matters of faith, morality and canonical and cultural life. The synod in the Western churches is similar, but it is distinguished by being limited to an assembly of bishops; the term is found among those Eastern Orthodox Churches that use Slavic language, along with the Romanian Orthodox Church. The presence of clerical and lay delegates is for the purpose of discerning the consensus of the church on important matters. Kievan Rus' chronicles record the first known East Slavic church sobor as having taken place in Kiev in 1051. Sobors were convened periodically from on. Important sobors in the History of the Russian Orthodox Church are: Vladimir's Sobor in 1276 The Stoglavy Sobor in 1551 The Moscow Sobor of 1666–1667, to deal with disputes surrounding the ecclesiastical reforms of Patriarch Nikon The All-Russian Sobor of 1917, which restored the Moscow Patriarchate and elected Saint Tikhon as the first modern Patriarch of Moscow The All-Russian Sobor of 1988, called on the 1000th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus' to guide the church in the wake of glasnost and the loosening of the Soviet grip over the churchA bishop may call a sobor for his diocese, which again would have delegates from the clergy and parishes of his diocese, to discuss important matters.
Such diocesan sobors may be held only occasionally. In Roman Catholic usage and council are theoretically synonymous as they are of Greek and Latin origins both meaning an authoritative meeting of bishops for the purpose of church administration in the areas of teaching or governance. However, in modern use and council are applied to specific categories of such meetings and so do not overlap. A synod meets every three years and is thus designated an "Ordinary General Assembly." However, "Extraordinary" synods can be called to deal with specific situations. There are "Special" synods for the Church in a specific geographic area such as the one held November 16-December 12, 1997, for the Church in America. While the words "synod" and "council" refer to a transitory meeting, the term "Synod of Bishops" or "Synod of the Bishops", is applied to a permanent body established in 1965 as an advisory body of the pope, it holds assemblies at which bishops and religious superiors, elected by bishops conferences or the Union of Superiors General or appointed by the Pope vote on proposals to present for the pope's consideration, which in practice the pope uses as the basis of "post-synodal apostolic exhortations" on the themes discussed.
While an assembly of the Synod of Bishops thus expresses its collective wishes, it does not issue decrees, unless in certain cases the pope authorizes it to do so, then an assembly's decision requires ratification by the pope. The pope serves as president of an assembly or appoints the president, determines the agenda, summons and dissolves the assembly. Modern Catholic synod themes: X "The Bishop: Servant of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST for the hope of the world" 1998 XI "The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church 2005 XII "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church" 2008 XIII "New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith" 2012 Extraordinary General "The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization" 2014 Meetings of bishops in the Roman empire are known from the mid-third century and numbered twenty by the time of the First Council of Nicaea. Thereafter they continued by the hundreds into the sixth century; those authorized by an emperor and attended by him came to be called ecumenical, meaning throughout the world.
Today, Council in Roman Catholic canon law refers to an irregular meeting of the entire episcopate of a nation, region, or the world for the purpose of legislation with binding force. Those contemplated in canon law are the following: An ecumenical council is an irregular meeting of the entire episcopate in communion with the pope and is, along with the pope
Saracen was a term used among Christian writers in Europe during the Middle Ages to refer to Arabs and Muslims. The term's meaning evolved during its history. In the early centuries of the Common Era and Latin writings used this term to refer to the people who lived in desert areas in and near the Roman province of Arabia Petraea, in Arabia Deserta. In Europe during the Early Middle Ages, the term came to be associated with tribes of Arabia; the oldest source mentioning the term Saracen dates back to the 7th century. It was found in Doctrina Jacobi, a commentary that discussed the event of the Arab conquests on Palestine. By the 12th century, "Saracen" had become synonymous with "Muslim" in Medieval Latin literature; such expansion in the meaning of the term had begun centuries earlier among the Byzantine Greeks, as evidenced in documents from the 8th century. In the Western languages before the 16th century, "Saracen" was used to refer to Muslim Arabs, the words "Muslim" and "Islam" were not used.
The term became obsolete following the Age of Discovery. The Latin term Saraceni is of unknown original meaning. There are claims of it being derived from the Semitic triliteral root srq "to steal, plunder", more from the noun sāriq, pl. sariqīn, which means "thief, plunderer". Other possible Semitic roots are šrq "east" and šrkt "tribe, confederation". In his Levantine Diary, covering the years 1699-1740, the Damascene writer ibn Kanan used the term sarkan to mean "travel on a military mission" from the Near East to parts of Southern Europe which were under Ottoman Empire rule Cyprus and Rhodes. Ptolemy's 2nd-century work, describes Sarakēnḗ as a region in the northern Sinai Peninsula. Ptolemy mentions a people called the Sarakēnoí living in the northwestern Arabian Peninsula. Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical history narrates an account wherein Pope Dionysius of Alexandria mentions Saracens in a letter while describing the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Decius: "Many were, in the Arabian mountain, enslaved by the barbarous'sarkenoi'."
The Augustan History refers to an attack by "Saraceni" on Pescennius Niger's army in Egypt in 193, but provides little information as to identifying them. Both Hippolytus of Rome and Uranius mention three distinct peoples in Arabia during the first half of the third century: the "Taeni", the "Saraceni" and the "Arabes"; the "Taeni" identified with the Arab people called "Tayy", were located around Khaybar and in an area stretching up to the Euphrates. The "Saraceni" were placed north of them; these Saracens, located in the northern Hejaz, were described as people with a certain military ability who were opponents of the Roman Empire and who were classified by the Romans as barbarians. The Saracens are described as forming the "equites" from Thamud. In one document the defeated enemies of Diocletian's campaign in the Syrian Desert are described as Saracens. Other 4th-century military reports make no mention of Arabs but refer to as'Saracens' groups ranging as far east as Mesopotamia that were involved in battles on both the Sasanian and Roman sides.
The Saracens were named in the Roman administrative document Notitia Dignitatum—dating from the time of Theodosius I in the 4th century—as comprising distinctive units in the Roman army. They were distinguished in the document from Arabs. Beginning no than the early fifth century, Christian writers began to equate Saracens with Arabs. Saracens were associated with Ishmaelites in some strands of Jewish and Islamic genealogical thinking; the writings of Jerome are the earliest known version of the claim that Ishmaelites chose to be called Saracens in order to identify with Abraham's "free" wife Sarah, rather than as Hagarenes, which would have highlighted their association with Abraham's "slave woman" Hagar. This claim was popular during the Middle Ages, but derives more from Paul’s allegory in the New Testament letter to the Galatians than from historical data; the name "Saracen" was not indigenous among the populations so described but was applied to them by Greco-Roman historians based on Greek place names.
As the Middle Ages progressed, usage of the term in the Latin West changed, but its connotation remained negative, associated with opponents of Christianity, its exact definition is unclear. In an 8th-century polemical work, John of Damascus criticized the Saracens as followers of a false prophet and "forerunner to the Antichrist."By the 12th century, Medieval Europeans had more specific conceptions of Islam and used the term "Saracen" as an ethnic and religious marker. In some Medieval literature, Saracens—that is, Muslims—were described as black-skinned, while Christians were lighter-skinned. An example is in The King of a medieval romance; the Song of Roland, an Old French 11th-century heroic poem, refers to the black skin of Saracens as their only exotic feature. The 15th-century Mishnah commentator, Rabbi Ovadiah of Bertinora, wrote that the word Saracen among Arabs had the connotation of "thieves"; the term "Saracen" remained in widespread use in the West as a term for "Muslim" until the 18th century when the Age of Discovery led to it becoming obsolete.
Arabs Arab–Byzantine wars Medieval Christian views on Muhammad Mohammedan Moors Orientalism Serkland Tatars
Pisa is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, straddling the Arno just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower, the city of over 91,104 residents contains more than 20 other historic churches, several medieval palaces, various bridges across the Arno. Much of the city's architecture was financed from its history as one of the Italian maritime republics; the city is home of the University of Pisa, which has a history going back to the 12th century and has the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, founded by Napoleon in 1810, its offshoot, the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, as the best-sanctioned Superior Graduate Schools in Italy. The origin of the name, Pisa, is a mystery. While the origin of the city had remained unknown for centuries, the Pelasgi, the Greeks, the Etruscans, the Ligurians had variously been proposed as founders of the city. Archaeological remains from the fifth century BC confirmed the existence of a city at the sea, trading with Greeks and Gauls.
The presence of an Etruscan necropolis, discovered during excavations in the Arena Garibaldi in 1991, confirmed its Etruscan origins. Ancient Roman authors referred to Pisa as an old city. Strabo referred Pisa's origins to king of Pylos, after the fall of Troy. Virgil, in his Aeneid, states that Pisa was a great center by the times described; the Virgilian commentator Servius wrote that the Teuti, or Pelops, the king of the Pisaeans, founded the town 13 centuries before the start of the common era. The maritime role of Pisa should have been prominent if the ancient authorities ascribed to it the invention of the naval ram. Pisa took advantage of being the only port along the western coast between Ostia. Pisa served as a base for Roman naval expeditions against Ligurians and Carthaginians. In 180 BC, it became a Roman colony as Portus Pisanus. In 89 BC, Portus Pisanus became a municipium. Emperor Augustus fortified the colony into an important port and changed the name as Colonia Iulia obsequens.
Pisa was founded on the shore, but due to the alluvial sediments from the Arno and the Serchio, whose mouth lies about 11 km north of the Arno's, the shore moved west. Strabo states, it is located 9.7 km from the coast. However, it was a maritime city, with ships sailing up the Arno. In the 90s AD, a baths complex was built in the city. During the last years of the Western Roman Empire, Pisa did not decline as much as the other cities of Italy due to the complexity of its river system and its consequent ease of defence. In the seventh century, Pisa helped Pope Gregory I by supplying numerous ships in his military expedition against the Byzantines of Ravenna: Pisa was the sole Byzantine centre of Tuscia to fall peacefully in Lombard hands, through assimilation with the neighbouring region where their trading interests were prevalent. Pisa began in this way its rise to the role of main port of the Upper Tyrrhenian Sea and became the main trading centre between Tuscany and Corsica and the southern coasts of France and Spain.
After Charlemagne had defeated the Lombards under the command of Desiderius in 774, Pisa went through a crisis, but soon recovered. Politically, it became part of the duchy of Lucca. In 860, Pisa was captured by vikings led by Björn Ironside. In 930, Pisa became the county centre within the mark of Tuscia. Lucca was the capital but Pisa was the most important city, as in the middle of 10th century Liutprand of Cremona, bishop of Cremona, called Pisa Tusciae provinciae caput, a century the marquis of Tuscia was referred to as "marquis of Pisa". In 1003, Pisa was the protagonist of the first communal war in Italy, against Lucca. From the naval point of view, since the 9th century, the emergence of the Saracen pirates urged the city to expand its fleet. In 828, Pisan ships assaulted the coast of North Africa. In 871, they took part in the defence of Salerno from the Saracens. In 970, they gave strong support to Otto I's expedition, defeating a Byzantine fleet in front of Calabrese coasts; the power of Pisa as a maritime nation began to grow and reached its apex in the 11th century, when it acquired traditional fame as one of the four main historical maritime republics of Italy.
At that time, the city was a important commercial centre and controlled a significant Mediterranean merchant fleet and navy. It expanded its powers in 1005 through the sack of Reggio Calabria in the south of Italy. Pisa was in continuous conflict with the Saracens, who had their bases in Corsica, for control of the Mediterranean. In 1017, Sardinian Giudicati were militarily supported by Pisa, in alliance with Genoa, to defeat the Saracen King Mugahid, who had settled a logistic base in the north of Sardinia the year before; this victory gave Pisa supremacy in the Tyrrhenian Sea. When the Pisans subsequently ousted the Genoese from Sardinia, a new conflict and rivalry was born between these mighty marine republics. Between 1030 and 1035, Pisa went on to defeat several rival towns in Sicily and conquer Carthage in North Africa. In 1051–1052, the admiral Jacopo Ciurini conquered Corsica, p