rome and the papal states report

Topics: Pope, Rome, Pope Alexander VI Pages: 6 (2378 words) Published: February 24, 2014
ROME AND THE PAPAL STATES Cola di Reinzo read many ancient Latin books and became very knowledgeable and wanted roman freedom and led a conspiracy to take over the city for the people The popes of the Renaissance had a dual position. On the one hand, they were, as rulers of the church, entrusted with the spiritual welfare of Christendom; on the other, they were the heads of an Italian city-state. Their failure to reconcile these two positions or rather, their devotion to the second at the expense of the first secularized the papacy and brought the loss of much of its moral and spiritual authority. With the awakening of the spirit of civic independence in medieval Italy, the people of Rome became subject to periodic fits of restlessness under papal rule. From time to time movements occurred in the city that repudiated the pope's authority and occasionally drove him out of the city. With the papacy at Avignon in the fourteenth century, the way was prepared for the career of Cola di Rienzo. During this period Rome was in decay and torn by rival factions. Cities in the Papal States were becoming independent, and the foreigners sent from France to rule in the pope's name were bitterly disliked. Cola di Rienzo was a young Roman of humble origins who read the ancient Roman classics and, because of his reading, had become intoxicated with ideals of Roman freedom. He became the head of a conspiracy to take over the city for the "people" and dispossess the great noble families that had been in control. He even secured papal approval, and in 1347 his plot succeeded. He became head of the city government, assuming the title of "tribune." Petrarch for a while regarded him with hope, for Petrarch too dreamed of restoring the greatness of Rome. Cola began to plan for some sort of Italian federation with Rome as the recognized head; he even seems to have entertained some idea of having Rome recognized as head of the entire world. Unfortunately, power went to his head, and his arrogance, together with the latent hostility of those whom he had deprived of power, brought his overthrow and expulsion from the city in 1348. He then wandered about for a while, eventually presenting himself at the court of Emperor Charles IV at Prague, possibly to urge the emperor to assert his rights in Italy. Charles imprisoned him for a time, and then sent him to the pope at Avignon. One of the popes tried to make use of him by sending him back to Rome in 1354 as his own representative. Again the position of authority was too much for Rienzo to handle, and this time the uprising against him resulted in his murder. The episode of his career, brief as it was, illustrates the power of the classics to affect even political life and the restlessness of the Romans under papal rule or misrule. Despite efforts by the popes to restore their authority in Rome, this goal eluded them even after the end of the Great Schism in 1417 with the election of Martin V at the Council of Constance. Because of the involvement of the popes in Italian political struggles, enemies of the papacy managed to keep Martin from entering Rome until 1420. Because of the ruined condition of Rome and its scanty resources, Martin was compelled to devote himself to rebuilding the city, restoring order, and developing the temporal power of the papacy. Thus it was that the popes of the period embarked on their policy of looking first of all after the interests of their state in Italy rather than of the church as a whole. Martin's successor, Eugenius IV, was driven from Rome in 1434 by a republican revolt, spent many years in exile, and had to reconquer the city by force. From this time on for almost a century, the popes tended to be secular, but secular in different ways. Nicholas V (1447 55) was the first humanist pope and the real founder of the Vatican Library. He brought distinguished scholars and artists to Rome, which he wanted to make into the cultural center of the day. He also had great...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Report Essay
  • 1776: Vatican City, Papal States Research Paper
  • lab report Essay
  • Rome Essay
  • Essay on Rome
  • rome Essay
  • Constitution of Rome and the United States Essay
  • Papal Visit Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free