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The real key to the Pope becoming a temporal lord was not the Fall of the Western Empire, but later. When Odoacer became King in Italy after 476, and Theodoric the Ostrogoth after him, the Popes were normal (if influential) clerics and with land in and around Italy and Sicily. These rulers were Aryan Heretics, so the Orthodox Popes were restive but still not ...


As you rightly say, the history of the pope's temporal power is sure to be complicated, but I would think the following points should be noteworthy as an overview. To begin with, it is probably reasonable to assume that the Pope held non-trivial worldly authority ever since the Emperor Theodosius made the Christian church the state religion of the Roman ...

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