Medieval Europe 814-1450: Religion - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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Growing Church Power and Secular Tensions

A Period of Papal Weakness.

In the tenth century, as the Carolingian Empire started to break apart and the Germanic Empire rise, increasing tension developed between bishops, the pope, and secular rulers. Strong local nobility had begun to emerge during the age of the Viking invasions in Italy, France, Germany, and England, while the Roman bishops themselves were hardly in a position to wield significant political power at all. The last of the noteworthy early medieval popes was Nicholas I (858–867), after whom there would not be meaningful individual ecclesiastical authority directed from Rome until the eleventh century. In fact, the majority of the popes in the early Middle Ages functioned primarily as liturgical leaders and guardians of tradition (not political figures). While holy and accomplished Roman bishops such as Hadrian I, Nicholas I and John VIII did much to...

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This section contains 2,196 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Medieval Europe 814-1450: Religion Encyclopedia Article
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