The Re-emergence of the Papacy

  • Marshall W. Baldwin
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


Although the popes seemed somewhat overshadowed during the reign of Charlemagne, such was not the case in the mid-ninth century. This is especially well illustrated by the career of Nicholas I (858–67). For, as the following excerpts from two of Nicholas’s letters show, he insisted on the primacy of jurisdiction of the Roman see over any metropolitan or bishop, East or West. It is true that a century after Nicholas I papal authority had seriously deteriorated. Nevertheless, Nicholas’s pontificate is important in the history of the Roman see. His letters were cited in the papal reform of the eleventh century, and thus contributed to the growth of canon law. Extended sections of the first letter cited here, for example, were included by Gratian in the twelfth century in his compilation, the Decretum.1


Twelfth Century Eleventh Century Extended Section Papal Reform Catholic Faith 
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© Marshall W. Baldwin 1970

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  • Marshall W. Baldwin

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