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12

The Wikipedia article on food tasters explains that human food tasters had multiple functions: The safety of the food may be determined by observing whether or not the food taster subsequently becomes ill. However, food tasting is not effective against slow-acting poisons that take a long time to produce visible symptoms. The food taster may also prepare ...


12

No, he is absolutely not the first to resign. There has been several resignations in Papal history, not all of which are undisputed or voluntary, though admittedly none in recent centuries. Some examples include: Benedict IX, resigned in 1045. Gregory VI, resigned in 1046. Celestine V, resigned in 1294. Celestine V in particular laid down the canon law ...


11

I found many citations (e.g., here) for this quote to Réforme, which is a French, Protestant weekly, not a Spanish newspaper. Being Protestant, it's hardly a credible source for the extraordinary claim that Hitler is a "son of the Catholic Church" who "died while defending Christianity." The quote is obviously spurious.


11

The coronation of Charlemagne was important, but Charlemagne had the upper hand in his relationship with Leo III. Eastern Roman emperors were crowned by the Patriarch of Constantinople. No one imagined the Patriarch was superior to the emperor. Nor should you imagine that the powerful Charlemagne considered himself anything but superior to the (quite ...


10

Yes. This is why St. Catherine of Siena urged Pope Gregory XI to return to Rome; a pope is supposed to be bishop of Rome, in Rome. One of her 1376 letters to then-Avignon-abiding Pope Gregory XI (from Saint Catherine of Siena as Seen in Her Letters; Italian original): Come [back to Rome] in security: trust you in Christ sweet Jesus: for, doing what you ...


8

Christendom had got too many bad news for centuries. Muslim conquest, dhimmitude, lost territories, persecuted churches. Arabia Petra, Levant, Jerusalem, Syria, North Africa, Sicily, Crete, Spain, all lost, eastern, western and heretics alike. Rampant piracy and slave taking raids. A Muslim base in south France for 80 years (Fraxinetum). Muslim raid of Rome ...


8

According to this article, Pope Sylvester II (Gerbert d'Aurillac, c943-1003), is credited with re-introducing the abacus into Europe without an explicit use of the number zero. This was because it had not been introduced in the European mathematical vocabulary (Fibonacci did this around 1202, and it took centuries for it to become established), rather than ...


8

The following quote from Historia de la literatura fascista española by Julio Rodríguez-Puértolas (Vol II, p974) implies that the origin of the "son of the Catholic Church" quote was an article in the Spanish daily Informaciones, written by the Francoist writer Víctor de la Serna, rather than Franco himself: El dos de mayo de 1945, conocido ya el suicidio ...


6

The Catholic Church was a powerful organisation. But it wasn't a secular superpower. That is quite evident when we look at the precarious situation pope Leo found himself in, when previous to the coronation he had to flee his home turf in Rome to Charlemagne. Leo just survived an assassination attempt and made a deal with Charles, the secular power of the ...


6

It is unevident that he was. There were multiple instances when popes were desposed by various rulers. For instance, Charles V took Rome and installed his own pope. Since the position of a pope was electable, it was usually the most powerful state or alliance that influenced the decision on who shall be the pope. The pope controlled the extensive church ...


6

Most nobles of the Middle Ages felt that they owed allegiance to TWO kings: 1) the king of their country, and 2) God, their heavenly king, for whom the Pope was the "viceroy" (vice-king) for Christians. If anything, the Pope, as God's "representative" held greater sway over the nobles than the national king, because the Pope could quite literally tell the ...


5

We will not know it for sure until the KGB archives are open (and that will never happen). However, the Soviets were indiscriminately opportunistic in their ideological warfare (the motto being "We do not penny-pinch on ideology" - "На идеологии мы не экономим"), and it is hard to imagine that they would have passed an opportunity to discredit an adversary, ...


5

I found a few articles, here and here. The historical inaccuracies are quite extensive, ranging from anachronisms like tomatoes, to conspiracy theories regarding the knights templar.


5

I think there is a good reason we can't find Pope Innocent III's response...it appears there was none and it's questionable if he had the opportunity to make one. From all accounts I can find, the generally accepted number for the First Childrens crusade is in the range of 30'000 (Low end about 15k, one Christian site has 300k on it). The timeline on this ...


4

This is attributed to another of those present at the Council of Clermont, Fulcher of Chartres: "Let those who have formerly been accustomed to contend wickedly in private warfare against the faithful fight against the infidel, and bring to a victorious end the war which ought already to have been begun. Let those who have hitherto been robbers ...


4

I can but skim the surface of the question but let's have a go at it. The Popes were at first the Bishops of Rome and as such did not wield any political power, even after the Roman Empire became Christian. Moreover, the Roman see was not even considered the highest-ranking one within the Church. However, with the fall of the Western Roman Empire a ...


4

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 ...


4

This question is difficult because it is not clear what monarchy is absolute and whether such elected office should be called monarchy rather than something else (i.e., dictatorship). One of the basic features of monarchy is inheritance of the office. As such, all elected monarchs are quite borderline cases. That said, I can name the following cases upon ...


3

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 ...


3

For Charlemagne's feelings about being crowned emperor, I quote from The Civilization of the Middle Ages by Norman F Cantor, chapter six "The Making of Carolingian Kingship": On Christmas day, 800, as Charlemagne rose from prayer before the tomb of St. Peter, Pope Leo suddenly placed the crown on the king's head, and the well-rehearsed Roman clergy ...


2

See this as an addendum/answer to @LangLangC (I ran out of characters, otherwise i'd post it as a comment). Well I don't think it's that clear cut. First of all, the papal state itself was quite the power in Italy, which at the time was a very important region. Italy in the age of communes was among the wealthiest regions and one of the first to recover ...


2

No, the Catholic Church did not have a Police force around 500 AD to arrest a British King. Some of the reasons why this was not so: Police, as it is known today, started to form during the 17th Century in the Roman Empire the army was commonly used where needed The Catholic Church, as a state authority, did not yet exist Kingdoms had envolved from ...


2

Was there the idea of "peaceful Crusades", which had symbolic meanings for pilgrims, or was it just the political invasion of Palestine territory, initiated by religious people (Pope Sylvester II and then Pope Urban II)? No, no and no. Peaceful crusades is a concept that is quite modern, kind of flower power 'let's all be friends' concept. The Crusades ...


2

In 1936, In military equipment, The Republicans were at advantage (the majority of the factories were in Republican-held lands) but they did not have numerical superiority in men power. The Republicans enjoyed a lot of support in the Navy, possessed 91% of the Spanish made tanks, not to mention the support of nearly all of the Spanish aircrafts. The ...


2

Around the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries, Popes such as Alexander VI and Julius II greatly expanded the territory, and resulting secular power of the Papal States.(The territory controlled by the Popes then encompassed most of north-central Italy except for Tuscany.) Coincidentally or otherwise, this coincided with the decline of Popes' temporal power. ...


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