A Short History of the Papacy in the Middle Ages

By Walter Ullmann | Go to book overview

8

Tensions and Conflicts

IN THE TWELFTH century the papacy had to face two fronts. Each was intimately connected with the development of the papacy itself. The domestic or curial tension leading to bitter animosity within the close circle of the Roman Church and finally to schism, was conditioned by the re-emergence of the rivalry of Roman aristocratic families. The consequent tension manifested itself within the College of Cardinals, since it was this body which elected the pope and was also his senate; it formed the platform where conflicting interests were bound to clash. Moreover, it was not a simple resuscitation of the old family feuds now merely transferred to the College of Cardinals. A new kind of aristocracy had emerged, the rich, moneyed cliques, whose assets were wide, and who had varied economic interests including the loan of money to clients on an international scale. The family which by the twenties of the twelfth century had come to the foreground was that of the Pierleoni, whose strength lay almost wholly in ready money which was loaned to the papacy, from Urban II's pontificate onwards.

The other source of tension was Germany, and frequently enough the domestic and the 'foreign' tensions combined and intertwined. For as a result of the Investiture Contest German rulership had been greatly weakened. The historically evolved bases of German kingship had been neutralized by the consistent application of Roman papal ideology. But-and this was the crucial point-now that kingship could no longer rely on its Germanic bases, the potentialities of Roman emperorship began to be grasped with all the greater clarity and alacrity. Not only was the whole body of Roman law readily at hand, but also the professional and highly skilled expositors of this legal system-they were trained at the universities, notably at Bologna. Yet this imperially conceived and legally supported Rulership raised

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A Short History of the Papacy in the Middle Ages
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface to the Reprint vi
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction x
  • 1 - The Papacy in the Late Roman Empire 4
  • 2 - The Papal Conflict with the Imperial Government 28
  • 3 - The Papacy and the Conversion of England 51
  • 4 - The Western Orientation of the Papacy 71
  • 5 - The Papacy and Latin Europe 91
  • 6 - The German Monarchy and the Papacy 116
  • 7 - The Gregorian Age 142
  • 8 - Tensions and Conflicts 173
  • 9 - The Zenith of the Medieval Papacy 201
  • 10 - Central Government and the Papal Curia 227
  • 11 - Gradual Decline of Papal Authority 251
  • 12 - Avignon, Rome and Constance 279
  • 13 - The Last Phase of the Medieval Papacy 306
  • Abbreviations 333
  • Bibliographical Notes 337
  • Appendix 367
  • List of Medieval Popes 372
  • Index 377
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