Election by the College of Cardinals, 1059–1274
By 1059 the papacy had become a powerful institution controlling not only the religious life of Western Europeans but also extensive revenues and a large state in central Italy. Naturally, the question of who would control that much power and wealth was a major concern for many, not least the Holy Roman Emperor. By then, however, the Catholic clergy had developed a sense of being a separate class with its own interests and goals. The issue of who would choose the pope became a point of great contention between emperor and churchmen, and thereby between laity and clergy. There was much at stake, and the issue’s resolution went a long way toward determining the nature of medieval society.
KeywordsRoman Commune Imperial Court Catholic Clergy Secular Ruler Holy Roman Emperor
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- 1.English translation in E. Henderson, trans., Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages (London, 1892), pp. 361–65.Google Scholar
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