Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the national church of the Armenian people. Part of Oriental Orthodoxy, it is one of the most ancient Christian communities; the Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its official religion under the rule of King Tiridates in the early 4th century. The church originated in the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century, according to tradition, it is sometimes referred to as the Armenian Orthodox Gregorian Church. The latter is not preferred by the church itself, as it views the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus as its founders, St. Gregory the Illuminator as the first official governor of the church, it is simply known as the Armenian Church. The Armenian Church believes in apostolic succession through the apostles Thaddeus. According to legend, the latter of the two apostles is said to have cured Abgar V of Edessa of leprosy with the Image of Edessa, leading to his conversion in 30 AD. Thaddaeus was commissioned by Abgar to proselytize throughout Armenia, where he converted the king Sanatruk's daughter, martyred alongside Thaddeus when Sanatruk fell into apostasy.
After this, Bartholomew came to Armenia, bringing a portrait of the Virgin Mary, which he placed in a nunnery he founded over a former temple of Anahit. Bartholomew converted the sister of Sanatruk, who once again martyred a female relative and the apostle who converted her. Both apostles ordained native bishops before their execution, some other Armenians had been ordained outside of Armenia by James the Just. Scholars including Bart Ehrman, Han Drijvers, W. Bauer dismiss the conversion of Abgar V as fiction. According to Eusebius and Tertullian, Armenian Christians were persecuted by kings Axidares, Khosrov I, Tiridates III, the last of whom was converted to Christianity by Gregory the Illuminator. Ancient Armenia's adoption of Christianity as a state religion has been referred to by Nina Garsoïan as "probably the most crucial step in its history." This conversion distinguished it from its Iranian and Mazdean roots and protected it from further Parthian influence. According to Mary Boyce, the acceptance of Christianity by the Arsacid-Armenian rulers was in defiance of the Sassanids.
When King Tiridates III made Christianity the state religion of Armenia between 301 and 314, it was not an new religion there. It had penetrated the country from at least the third century, may have been present earlier. Tiridates declared Gregory to be the first Catholicos of the Armenian Church and sent him to Caesarea to be consecrated. Upon his return, Gregory tore down shrines to idols, built churches and monasteries, ordained many priests and bishops. While meditating in the old capital city of Vagharshapat, Gregory had a vision of Christ descending to the earth and striking it with a hammer. From that spot arose a great Christian temple with a huge cross, he was convinced. With the king's help he did so in accordance with his vision, renaming the city Etchmiadzin, which means "the place of the descent of the Only-Begotten"; the Armenian Church participated in the larger Christian world and its Catholicos was represented at the First Council of Nicea. In 353, King Papas appointed Catholicos Husik without first sending him to Caesarea for commissioning before Rome had any plans for a universal Roman church.
Its Catholicos was still represented at the First Council of Constantinople. Christianity was strengthened in Armenia in the 5th century by the translation of the Bible into the Armenian language by the native theologian and scholar, Saint Mesrop Mashtots. Before the 5th century, Armenians had a spoken language. Thus, the Bible and Liturgy were written in Syriac rather than Armenian; the Catholicos Sahak commissioned Mesrop to create the Armenian alphabet, which he completed in 406. Subsequently, the Bible and Liturgy were written in the new script; the translation of the Bible, along with works of history and philosophy, caused a flowering of Armenian literature and a broader cultural renaissance. Although unable to attend the Council of Ephesus, Catholicos Isaac Parthiev sent a message agreeing with its decisions. However, non doctrinal elements in the Council of Chalcedon caused certain problems to arise. At the First Council of Dvin in 506 the synod of the Armenian and Caucasian Albanian bishops were assembled during the reign of Catholicos Babken I.
The participation of the Catholicoi of Georgia and Albania were set to make clear the position of the churches concerning the Council of Chalcedon. The "Book of Epistles" mentions that 20 bishops, 14 laymen, many nakharars participated in the council; the involvement in the council discussion of different level of lay persons seemed to be a general rule in Armenia. A century the 3rd Council of Dvin was convened during the reign of Catholicos Abraham I of Aghbatank and Prince Smbat Bagratuni, with clergymen and laymen participating; the Georgian Church disagreed with the Armenian Church, having approved the christology of Chalcedon. This council was convened to clarify the relationship between the Georgian churches. After the Council, Catholicos Abraham wrote an encyclical letter addressed to the people, blaming Kurion and his adherents for the schism; the Council never set up canons. Despite this, the Albanian Church remained under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Church while in co
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
Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
The Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem or Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and titular church in rione Esquilino, Italy. It is one of the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome. According to tradition, the basilica was consecrated circa 325 to house the relics of the Passion of Jesus Christ brought to Rome from the Holy Land by Empress St. Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I. At that time, the Basilica's floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem, thus acquiring the title in Hierusalem; the most recent Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Crucis in Hierusalem was Juan José Omella, since 28 June 2017. At one time the site of the temple of El Gabal, or Sol Invictus, the god of Emperor Elagabalus, the Basilica was built around a room in Empress St. Helena's imperial palace, the Palazzo Sessoriano, which she converted into a chapel circa AD 320. Relics were once in the ancient St. Helena's Chapel, subterranean. Here the founder of the Basilica had some soil from Calvary dispersed.
Some decades the chapel was converted into a basilica, called the Heleniana or Sessoriana. In the eighth century, the basilica was restored by Pope Gregory II. After falling into neglect, the Pope Lucius II restored the Basilica, it assumed a Romanesque appearance, with a nave, two aisles and porch. The Cosmatesque pavement dates from this period. In the vault is a mosaic designed by Melozzo da Forlì before 1485 depicting Jesus Blessing, Histories of the Cross, various saints; the altar has a huge statue of St. Helena, obtained from an ancient statue of the pagan goddess Juno discovered at Ostia; the Basilica was modified in the 16th century, but it assumed its current Baroque appearance under Pope Benedict XIV, its titular prior to his elevation to the Papacy. In 1601, during his first stay in Rome, Peter Paul Rubens completed his first altarpiece commission, St. Helena with the True Cross for the Chapel of St. Helena. Rubens was commissioned by Archduke Albert of Austria to paint an altarpiece with three panels for the Chapel.
Two of these paintings, St. Helena with the True Cross and The Mocking of Christ, are now in Grasse, France; the third, The Elevation of the Cross, was lost. New streets were opened to connect the Basilica to two other Roman major basilicas, San Giovanni in Laterano and Santa Maria Maggiore; the façade of the Basilica, designed by Pietro Passalacqua and Domenico Gregorini, shares the typical late Roman Baroque style of these other basilicas. In May 2011, the Cistercian abbey linked to the Basilica was suppressed by a decree of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, following the results of an apostolic visitation prompted by years of serious problems, including significant liturgical disputes. According to a Vatican spokesman, "an inquiry found evidence of liturgical and financial irregularities as well as lifestyles that were not in keeping with that of a monk." According to Il Messaggero, Simone Fioraso, an abbot described as a "flamboyant former Milan fashion designer", "transformed the church, renovating its crumbling interior and opening a hotel, holding regular concerts, a televised bible-reading marathon and attracting celebrity visitors with an unconventional approach."
Several famous relics of disputed authenticity are housed in the Cappella delle Reliquie, built in 1930 by architect Florestano Di Fausto, including part of the Elogium or Titulus Crucis, i.e. the panel, hung on Christ's Cross. A much larger piece of the True Cross was taken from the Basilica on the instructions of Pope Urban VIII in 1629 to St. Peter's Basilica, where it is kept near the colossal statue of St. Empress Helena sculpted by Andrea Bolgi in 1639; the apse of the Basilica includes frescoes telling the Legends of the True Cross, attributed to Melozzo, Antoniazzo Romano, Marco Palmezzano. The Museum of the Basilica houses a mosaic icon which, according to the legend, Pope Gregory I had made after a vision of Christ; the icon, however, is believed to have been given to the Basilica around 1385 by Raimondo Del Balzo Orsini. Notable is the tomb of Cardinal Francisco de los Ángeles Quiñones sculpted by Jacopo Sansovino in 1536. Raimondo Besozzi, La storia della Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.
Marie-Théodore de Busierre, Les sept basiliques de Rome Tome second, pp. 157-178. Paolo Coen, Le Sette Chiese. Claudio Rendina, La Grande Enciclopedia di Roma Belkin, Kristin Lohse. Rubens. Oxford Oxfordshire: Phaidon. Pp. 63–6. ISBN 0-7148-3412-2. Official Site Description in the site of the "Soprintendenza Speciale per il Colosseo, il MNR e l'Area archeologica di Roma" High-resolution 360° Panoramas and Images of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme | Art Atlas
Catacomb of Priscilla
The Catacomb of Priscilla is an archaeological site on the Via Salaria in Rome, situated in what was a quarry in Roman times. This quarry was used for Christian burials from the late 2nd century through the 4th century; this catacomb, according to tradition, is named after the wife of the Consul Manius Acilius Glabrio. Some of the walls and ceilings display fine decorations illustrating Biblical scenes; the modern entrance to the catacomb is on the Via Salaria through the cloister of the monastery of the Benedictines of Priscilla. The Catacombs of Priscilla are divided into three principal areas: an arenarium, a cryptoporticus from a large Roman villa, the underground burial area of the ancient Roman family, the Acilius Glabrio; the wall paintings in this catacomb include images of saints and early Christian symbols, such as the painting reproduced in Giovanni Gaetano Bottari's folio of 1754, where the Good Shepherd is depicted as feeding the lambs, with a crowing cock on His right and left hand.
Notable is the "Greek Chapel", a square chamber with an arch which contains 3rd century frescoes interpreted to be Old and New Testament scenes, including the Fractio Panis. Above the apse is a Last Judgment. New, somewhat controversial research has begun to suggest that the scenes traditionally interpreted as the deuterocanonical story of Susannah may be scenes from the life of a prestigious Christian woman of the 2nd century AD. Near this are figures of the Madonna and Child and the Prophet Isaiah dating from the early 3rd century; the Priscilla catacombs may contain the oldest known Marian paintings, from the early third century. Mary is shown with Jesus on her lap, the catacombs may have a depiction of the Annunciation, though the latter has been disputed. On account of the fact that seven early popes and many martyrs were buried in the cemetery, it was known as the "Queen of the Catacombs" in antiquity. Two popes were buried in the Catacomb of Priscilla: Pope Marcellinus and Pope Marcellus I.
Alleged relics of Popes Sylvester I, Stephen I, Dionysius were exhumed and enshrined beneath the high altar of San Martino ai Monti, in the Esquiline area of Rome. Pope Sylvester I was originally buried in San Martino ai Monti, although some sources say his remains were transferred there. An unidentified papal sarcophagus discovered during the demolition of Old Saint Peter's Basilica was attributed to Sylvester I and moved to Nonantola Abbey, near the altar that contains the remains of Pope Adrian III. Other sources describe a combination of Sylvester Vigilius in an altar in St. Peter's; the bones of Saints Praxedes and Pudentiana were contained in the catacomb until they were moved, in the 9th century, by Pope Paschal I to be housed in the rebuilt Santa Prassede. It is in this catacomb that the relics of saint Philomena were found. Reardon, Wendy J. 2004. The Deaths of the Popes. Macfarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-1527-4
Archbasilica of St. John Lateran
The Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and of Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in the Lateran, – known as the Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, St. John Lateran, or the Lateran Basilica – is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome in the city of Rome and serves as the seat of the Roman Pontiff, it is the oldest and highest ranking of the four papal major basilicas, giving it the unique title of "archbasilica". Because it is the oldest public church in the city of Rome, it is the oldest and most important basilica of the Western world, houses the cathedra of the Roman bishop, it has the title of ecumenical mother church of the Catholic faithful; the current archpriest is Angelo De Donatis, Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome. The President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, is ex officio the "first and only honorary canon" of the archbasilica, a title that the heads of state of France have possessed since King Henry IV; the large Latin inscription on the façade reads: Clemens XII Pont Max Anno V Christo Salvatori In Hon SS Ioan Bapt et Evang.
This abbreviated inscription translates to: "Pope Clement XII, in the fifth year to Christ the Savior, in honor of Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist". The inscription indicates, with its full title, that the archbasilica was dedicated to Christ the Savior and, centuries co-dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist; as the Cathedral of the Pope as Bishop of Rome, it ranks superior to all other churches of the Roman Catholic Church, including St. Peter's Basilica; the archbasilica is sited in the City of Rome. It is outside Vatican City, 4 kilometres to its northwest, although the archbasilica and its adjoining edifices have extraterritorial status from Italy as one of the properties of the Holy See, pursuant to the Lateran Treaty of 1929; the archbasilica's Latin name is Archibasilica Sanctissimi Salvatoris ac Sancti Ioannis Baptistae et Ioannis Evangelistae ad Lateranum, which in English is the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior and Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist at the Lateran, in Italian Arcibasilica del Santissimo Salvatore e Santi Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista in Laterano.
The archbasilica stands over the remains of the Castra Nova equitum singularium, the "New Fort of the Roman imperial cavalry bodyguards". The fort was established by Septimius Severus in AD 193. Following the victory of Emperor Constantine I over Maxentius at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, the guard was abolished and the fort demolished. Substantial remains of the fort lie directly beneath the nave; the remainder of the site was occupied during the early Roman Empire by the palace of the gens Laterani. Sextius Lateranus was the first plebeian to attain the rank of consul, the Laterani served as administrators for several emperors. One of the Laterani, Consul-designate Plautius Lateranus, became famous for being accused by Nero of conspiracy against the Emperor; the accusation resulted in the redistribution of his properties. The Lateran Palace fell into the hands of the Emperor when Constantine I married his second wife Fausta, sister of Maxentius. Known by that time as the "Domus Faustae" or "House of Fausta," the Lateran Palace was given to the Bishop of Rome by Constantine I.
The actual date of the donation is unknown, but scholars speculate that it was during the pontificate of Pope Miltiades, in time to host a synod of bishops in 313, convened to challenge the Donatist schism, declaring Donatism to be heresy. The palace basilica was converted and extended, becoming the residence of Pope St. Silvester I becoming the Cathedral of Rome, the seat of the Popes as the Bishops of Rome. Pope Sylvester I presided over the official dedication of the archbasilica and the adjacent Lateran Palace in 324, changing the name from "Domus Fausta" to "Domus Dei" with a dedication to Christ the Savior; when a cathedra became a symbol of episcopal authority, the papal cathedra was placed in its interior, rendering it the cathedral of the Pope as Bishop of Rome. When Gregory the Great sent the Gregorian mission to England under Augustine of Canterbury, some original churches in Canterbury took the Roman plan as a model, dedicating a church both to Christ as well as one to St. Paul, outside the walls of the city.
The church name "Christ Church" so common for churches around the world today in Anglophone Anglican contexts came from this Roman church, central to pre-medieval Christian identity. On the archbasilica's front wall between the main portals is a plaque inscribed with the words "Sacrosancta Lateranensis ecclesia omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput", which translate to "Most Holy Lateran Church and head of all the churches in the city and the world"; the archbasilica and Lateran Palace were re-dedicated twice. Pope Sergius III dedicated them to St. John the Baptist in the 10th century in honor of the newly consecrated baptistry of the archbasilica. Pope Lucius II dedicated them to John the Evangelist in the 12th century. Thus, St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist became co-patrons of the archbasilica, while the primary Patron is still Christ the Savior, as the inscription in the entrance indicates and as is traditional for patriarchal cathedrals; the archbasilica remains dedicated to the Savior, its titular feast is the Feast of
Fresco is a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid, or wet lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, with the setting of the plaster, the painting becomes an integral part of the wall; the word fresco is derived from the Italian adjective fresco meaning "fresh", may thus be contrasted with fresco-secco or secco mural painting techniques, which are applied to dried plaster, to supplement painting in fresco. The fresco technique has been employed since antiquity and is associated with Italian Renaissance painting. Buon fresco pigment is mixed with room temperature water and is used on a thin layer of wet, fresh plaster, called the intonaco; because of the chemical makeup of the plaster, a binder is not required, as the pigment mixed with the water will sink into the intonaco, which itself becomes the medium holding the pigment. The pigment is absorbed by the wet plaster; the chemical processes are as follows: calcination of limestone in a lime kiln: CaCO3 → CaO + CO2 slaking of quicklime: CaO + H2O → Ca2 setting of the lime plaster: Ca2 + CO2 → CaCO3 + H2O In painting buon fresco, a rough underlayer called the arriccio is added to the whole area to be painted and allowed to dry for some days.
Many artists sketched their compositions on this underlayer, which would never be seen, in a red pigment called sinopia, a name used to refer to these under-paintings. Later,new techniques for transferring paper drawings to the wall were developed; the main lines of a drawing made on paper were pricked over with a point, the paper held against the wall, a bag of soot banged on them on produce black dots along the lines. If the painting was to be done over an existing fresco, the surface would be roughened to provide better adhesion. On the day of painting, the intonaco, a thinner, smooth layer of fine plaster was added to the amount of wall, expected to be completed that day, sometimes matching the contours of the figures or the landscape, but more just starting from the top of the composition; this area is called the giornata, the different day stages can be seen in a large fresco, by a sort of seam that separates one from the next. Buon frescoes are difficult to create because of the deadline associated with the drying plaster.
A layer of plaster will require ten to twelve hours to dry. Once a giornata is dried, no more buon fresco can be done, the unpainted intonaco must be removed with a tool before starting again the next day. If mistakes have been made, it may be necessary to remove the whole intonaco for that area—or to change them a secco. An indispensable component of this process is the carbonatation of the lime, which fixes the colour in the plaster ensuring durability of the fresco for future generations. A technique used in the popular frescoes of Michelangelo and Raphael was to scrape indentations into certain areas of the plaster while still wet to increase the illusion of depth and to accent certain areas over others; the eyes of the people of the School of Athens are sunken-in using this technique which causes the eyes to seem deeper and more pensive. Michelangelo used this technique as part of his trademark'outlining' of his central figures within his frescoes. In a wall-sized fresco, there may be ten to twenty or more giornate, or separate areas of plaster.
After five centuries, the giornate, which were nearly invisible, have sometimes become visible, in many large-scale frescoes, these divisions may be seen from the ground. Additionally, the border between giornate was covered by an a secco painting, which has since fallen off. One of the first painters in the post-classical period to use this technique was the Isaac Master in the Upper Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi. A person who creates fresco is called a frescoist. A secco or fresco-secco painting is done on dry plaster; the pigments thus require a binding medium, such as egg, glue or oil to attach the pigment to the wall. It is important to distinguish between a secco work done on top of buon fresco, which according to most authorities was in fact standard from the Middle Ages onwards, work done a secco on a blank wall. Buon fresco works are more durable than any a secco work added on top of them, because a secco work lasts better with a roughened plaster surface, whilst true fresco should have a smooth one.
The additional a secco work would be done to make changes, sometimes to add small details, but because not all colours can be achieved in true fresco, because only some pigments work chemically in the alkaline environment of fresh lime-based plaster. Blue was a particular problem, skies and blue robes were added a secco, because neither azurite blue nor lapis lazuli, the only two blue pigments available, works well in wet fresco, it has become clear, thanks to modern analytical techniques, that in the early Italian Renaissance painters quite employed a secco techniques so as to allow the use of a broader range of pigments. In most early examples this work has now vanished, but a whole painting done a secco on a surface roughened to give a key for the paint may survive well
Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto III was Holy Roman Emperor from 996 until his early death in 1002. A member of the Ottonian dynasty, Otto III was the only son of the Emperor Otto II and his wife Theophanu. Otto III was crowned as King of Germany in 983 at the age of three, shortly after his father's death in Southern Italy while campaigning against the Byzantine Empire and the Emirate of Sicily. Though the nominal ruler of Germany, Otto III's minor status ensured his various regents held power over the Empire, his cousin Henry II, Duke of Bavaria claimed regency over the young king and attempted to seize the throne for himself in 984. When his rebellion failed to gain the support of Germany's aristocracy, Henry II was forced to abandon his claims to the throne and to allow Otto III's mother Theophanu to serve as regent until her death in 991. Otto III was still a child, so his grandmother, the Dowager Empress Adelaide of Italy, served as regent until 994. In 996, Otto III marched to Italy to claim the titles King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor, left unclaimed since the death of Otto II in 983.
Otto III sought to reestablish Imperial control over the city of Rome, which had revolted under the leadership of Crescentius II, through it the papacy. Crowned as Emperor, Otto III put down the Roman rebellion and installed his cousin as Pope Gregory V, the first Pope of German descent. After the Emperor had pardoned him and left the city, Crescentius II again rebelled, deposing Gregory V and installing John XVI as Pope. Otto III returned to the city in 998, reinstalled Gregory V, executed both Crescentius II and John XVI; when Gregory V died in 999, Otto III installed Sylvester II as the new Pope. Otto III's actions throughout his life further strengthened imperial control over the Catholic Church. From the beginning of his reign, Otto III faced opposition from the Slavs along the eastern frontier. Following the death of his father in 983, the Slavs rebelled against imperial control, forcing the Empire to abandon its territories east of the Elbe river. Otto III fought to regain the Empire's lost territories throughout his reign with only limited success.
While in the east, Otto III strengthened the Empire's relations with Poland and Hungary. Through his affairs in Eastern Europe in 1000, he was able to extend the influence of Christianity by supporting mission work in Poland and through the crowning of Stephen I as the first Christian king of Hungary. Returning to Rome in 1001, Otto faced a rebellion by the Roman aristocracy, which forced him to flee the city. While marching to reclaim the city in 1002, Otto suffered a sudden fever and died in a castle near Civita Castellana at the age of 21. With no clear heir to succeed him, his early death threw the Empire into political crisis. Otto III was born in July 980 somewhere between Aachen and Nijmegen; the only son of Emperor Otto II and his wife Theophanu, Otto III was the youngest of the couple's four children. Prior to Otto III's birth, his father had completed military campaigns in France against King Lothar. On 14 July 982, Otto II's army suffered a crushing defeat against the Muslim Emirate of Sicily at the Battle of Stilo.
Otto II had been campaigning in southern Italy with hopes of annexing the whole of Italy into the Holy Roman Empire. Otto II himself escaped the battle unharmed but many important imperial officials were among the battle's casualties. Following the defeat and at the insistence of the Empire's nobles, Otto II called an assembly of the Imperial Diet in Verona at Pentecost, 983, where he proposed to the assembly to have the three-year-old Otto III elected as King of Germany, becoming Otto II's undoubted heir apparent; this was the first time. After the assembly was concluded, Otto III and his mother Theophanu traveled across the Alps in order for Otto to be crowned at Aix, the traditional location of the coronation of the German kings. Otto II stayed behind to address military action against the Muslims. While still in central Italy, Otto II died on 7 November 983, was buried in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Otto III was crowned as king on Christmas Day 983, three weeks after his father's death, by Willigis, the Archbishop of Mainz, by John, the Archbishop of Ravenna.
News of Otto II's death first reached Germany shortly after his son's coronation. The unresolved problems in southern Italy and the Slavic uprising on the Empire's eastern border made the Empire's political situation unstable. With a minor on the throne, the Empire was thrown into confusion and Otto III's mother Theophanu assumed the role of regent for her young son. Otto III's cousin Henry II had been deposed as Duke of Bavaria by Otto II in 976 following his failed rebellion and imprisoned under the Bishopric of Utrecht. Following Otto II's death, Henry was released from prison; as Otto III's nearest male Ottonian relative, Henry II claimed the regency over his infant cousin. Archbishop of Cologne Warin granted Henry II the regency without substantial opposition. Only Otto III's mother Theophanu objected, along with his grandmother, the Dowager Empress Adelaide of Italy, his aunt, Abbess Matilda of Quedlinburg. Adelaide and Matilda, were both in Italy and unable to press their objections; as regent, Henry II took actions aimed less at guardianship of his infant cousin and more at claiming the throne for himself.
According to Gerbert of Aurillac, Henry II adopted a Byzantine-style joint-kingship. Towards the end of 984, Henry II sought to form alliances between himself and other important figure in the Ottonian world, chief among them his cousin King Lothar of France. In exchange for agreeing to make Henry II king of Germany, Henry II agreed to rel