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Reading Between the Lines

Inquisition Texts and Catholic Conquests
  • Ariella Lang
Chapter
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Part of the Studies in European Culture and History book series (SECH)

Abstract

In the memoirs that Bartolommeo Cardinal Pacca penned in 1828, the former Vatican secretary of state recorded the story of a pontificate that survived a turbulent time of transition. At the beginning of Pope Pius VII’s twenty-three-year pontificate, which began in 1800 and encompassed Pacca’s tenure, the pope had been interested in stabilizing the turbulent relationship between the Papal States and Napoleonic France. The emperor appeared, at least initially, equally eager to maintain a close relationship with the pope. The pope was angered, however, by Napoleon’s intimation that the security of the Papal States depended upon the Vatican’s accommodation of Napoleon’s demands regarding religious matters; he stated in no uncertain terms that he would not conflate temporal and spiritual issues. Napoleon’s failed efforts to make the pope accede to his wishes and his general belief that the Vatican greatly limited his powers led the French emperor to make good on his threats. In 1809 he invaded the Papal States. Pius VII immediately responded by excommunicating Napoleon, but this move did nothing to thwart the emperor, who annexed the Papal States to his empire and ordered a general in his army to take the pope prisoner. The Pope was supposedly carried out of Rome with no more than a papetto, equivalent to a ten-cent coin, in his purse.1

Keywords

Jewish Community Corporal Punishment Papal State Jewish Woman French Revolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Anne Fremantle, ed., The Papal Encyclicals in their Historical Context (New York: New American Library, 1956), 120.Google Scholar
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    Bartolommeo Cardinal Pacca, Memorie storiche del ministero dedue viaggi in Francia e della prigionia nel Forte di S. Carlo (Rome: F. Bourlie, 1830), 252–53. Unless otherwise indicated, all translations are mine.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    It is difficult to say for certain how many Jews lived in the Papal States in this period. In 1842, the number hovers at about 12,700 Jews in the entire Papal States out of a general population of about 2,900,000, making Jews a mere 0.4 percent of the population. For Jewish population statistics, see Ermmano Loevinson, “Gli israeliti della Stato Pontificio e la loro evoluzione politico sociale nd periodo del Risorgimento Italiano fino al 1849,” Rassegna Storica del Risorgimento 4(1929): 768–803; for general population statistics, see B. R. Mitchell, ed., The International Historical Statistics Europe, 1750–1993, 4th ed. (New York: Stockton, 1998).Google Scholar
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  26. 39.
    David Kertzer, The Pope against the Jews (Knopf: New York, 2001), 54.Google Scholar
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    Ratto della Signora Anna del Monte trattenuta a Catecumeni tredicigiorni dalli 6 fino alli 19 maggio anno 1749, ed. Giuseppe Sermonta (Rome: Carucci editore, 1989).Google Scholar
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    Robin West, Narrative, Authority, and the Law, 1–2. See also John Brannigan, New Historicism and Cultural Materialism (New York: St. Martin’s, 1998).Google Scholar
  32. 56.
    Richard Delgado, “Storytelling for Oppositionists and Others: A Plea for Narrative,” Michigan Law Review 87 (August, 1989): 2313.Google Scholar

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© Ariella Lang 2008

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