The Papal Monarchy: The Western Church from 1050 to 1250

By Colin Morris | Go to book overview
Save to active project


i. The Situation in the Mediterranean World

The Cluniac monk Raoul Glaber had already before the middle of the eleventh century commented that the preaching of the Gospel in the north of Europe had enjoyed much greater success than in the south.1 The Roman Church recognized the need to assist in the organization of the new churches in Scandinavia and to send missions to the remoter regions, but its attention was more occupied by the Mediterranean. There the frontier between the Latin, Greek, and Moslem worlds lay close to Rome itself, and the popes were conscious of the Christian churches which were subject to Moslem rule in Sicily, Spain, and north Africa. The arrival at Rome of the reforming party, with its policy based on a new ideology and implemented by northerners who were unfamiliar with the attitudes of the south, would in any event have led to changes. The desire for a new policy is illustrated by Leo IX's appointment of Humbert as archbishop of Sicily in 1050. Perhaps he was chosen because he knew some Greek, but it was a paper appointment, significant only as a declaration of intent. As it happened, the new approach by Rome coincided with a new chapter in the centuries-old conflict of Islam and Christianity.

The most obvious feature in the new political situation was the expansion of the Byzantine empire under the Macedonian dynasty, a process which continued until the death of Basil II in 1025. Its frontiers were extended far into Syria, to the Danube, and into southern Italy, so that in 1050 they were wider than at any time since the rise of Islam. False modesty was never a Byzantine defect, and the consequence of this brilliant story of success was to confirm the impression that Constantinople was the centre of the civilized world. The contrast between the great eastern Christian empire and the Roman Church of the early part of the century, with its limited

Raoul Glaber, Historiae, ii. 5 (PL 142.626C).


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Papal Monarchy: The Western Church from 1050 to 1250


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 673

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?