THE GOTHIC PERIOD.
IN the thirteenth century a long-standing contention between the popes and the Germanic emperors ended in the complete downfall, for many centuries, of imperial territorial power, and the consequence was that even as German kings the emperors also lost their power. The contention between the emperors and popes was one regarding episcopal appointments, which the emperors wished to control on account of the enormous dimensions of the spiritual territories which they themselves had created in order indirectly to keep the territorial power in their own hands. This was constantly tending to slip from their grasp, owing to the hereditary power of the feudal sovereignties.* The popes naturally preferred to have the appointment of bishops made for ecclesiastical and not for territorial and political reasons, and to retain the privilege of confirming or rejecting the appointment, which practically gave them a share in making it.
As one result of the success of the popes in this contest, aside from the great increase in their own political significance, we may mention the complete independence of the Italian civic states from the Germanic emperor. Another result was the reduction of the titular king of Germany and____________________