The Relations between the Papacy, the Western Roman Empire and the emergent Kingdom of Sicily and South Italy

( 1050 - 1156 )



The relationship between the Papacy, the Western Empire and the emergent De Hauteville dominion over the south Italian mainland and the island of Sicily, was in the nature of things one of very great intricacy. Indeed it has been, perhaps, the most confusing of the many vexed issues distorting the main outline of our knowledge of the Papacy and the Western Empire towards one another, during the century running from c. 1050 to 1156. In order to understand the tangle, it is advisable to start from the end of the story, because in the main the distortion has been caused by a lack of attention, on the part of historians, to the territorial clauses of the Treaty of Benevento, as agreed in 1156, between Pope Adrian IV and William I, Rex Sicilie ducatus Apulie et Principatus Capue.

Yet despite the disregard shown for these territorial clauses they are of the utmost importance, for they mark a crucial turning point in the policy of the Roman Curia towards the emergent southern kingdom, since for the first time an arrangement was reached on the vital question of the new kingdom's frontier line on the mainland, its only land boundary. Consequently, as a direct result of the Treaty, territorial frictions between the two powers were largely eliminated, so that an alliance between them endowed with strength and endurance became a possibility. This alliance, as soon as it was in existence, did become a threat to good relations between the Papacy and the Western Emperors of the Romans, but historians have tended to read this factor into the history of the period preceding the Treaty of Benevento, thereby introducing a marked element of error. The result has been a considerable degree of unbalance in the view taken of the three-cornered relations between the Roman Empire of the West, the Papacy and the Norman counts, dukes, princes and kings of South Italy, which can now be adjusted. It is, however, necessary to bear in mind while doing so the policies of a fourth power, to whose influence all three were subject, namely the Eastern Empire of the Romans, Byzantium.

A first move in the process of dispelling the present confusion is to determine its origin and this can be done with reassuring certainty, in as much as it can be traced to the fact that the treaty was not very precisely drafted. Presumably this was because the men who negotiated it were working under conditions of considerable tension and they therefore tolerated a noticeable ambiguity of wording, in order to avoid re-opening discussion on points where agreement had been achieved only with difficulty. As a result, when dealing with the territorial settlement the text of the treaty merely stated briefly, that the Pope was ceding to King William further territories, described as : Marsiam et alia que ultra Marsiam debemus habere; and in return the King had promised to pay an annual census of 400 schifati, but no boundaries were given for the area in question.

Since the word Marsia, used in a regional sense, did not bring to mind any very definite sector of Italy, the term did not attract the historical attention it deserved. Nor did its elucidation become a matter for discussion, because a definition of it was rapidly found in the Liber Censuum, where it was described as the territory occupied by King Roger II during the Pontificate of Innocent II. Once again no boundaries were cited, but an indication of the extent of the area was provided by a list of the episcopal sees of Marsia, recorded as : Forcone, Marsia itself, Valva, Chieti, Penne, Aprutium, Gaeta and Fondi. These dioceses, together with the fragments of territory described as ultra Marsiam, when placed on a map showed Marsia's northern boundary as the familiar frontier between the Papal States and the Norman Kingdom, known from the Catalogus Baronum and in force until 1860.

It is, therefore, only when attention is switched from Marsia's northern boundary to its probable southern frontier line, provided by the boundaries of these dioceses, that the arrangement becomes arresting. It is then immediately apparent, that the Papacy had accepted a serious modification of the line marked on historical atlases as the boundary of Charlemagne's direct rule over the Lombard Kingdom of Italy after 802. This frontier began on the west coast, south of the R. Garigliano, to make its way via the R. Sangro to the east coast, joining it at a point north of the R. Trigno. From the Catalogus Baronum its administrative survival, at least in fossil form, can be proved for the mid-twelth century. Despite this fact some doubt would surround its survival as a political concept live in the minds of the inhabitants of the kingdom, at the time of the drafting of the treaty of Benevento, if the travel notes of an Anglo-Norman crusader had not survived to establish the point.

The notes in question are known to us as the Gesta Ricardi and their writer has been identified by Lady Stenton as Roger, parson of Howden, whose presence she has been able to trace at the siege of Acre in 1191. Fortunately political geography had a particular interest for Roger; therefore when he described King Richard of England's journey in 1190 along the west coast of Italy to rejoin his fleet at Messina, he noted that the king passed through Terracina, crossed the Garigliano and arrived at a castellum, quod dicitur Cap de Lespurun. Haec est, Roger wrote, divisio terrae Romanorum et terrae regis Siciliae, quae dicitur terra Principatus Capuae.

It follows that the old frontier line survived to the extent of catching the attention of a traveller, even 30 odd years after the making of the treaty of Benevento. It was, moreover, presumably recognised as an imperial frontier line, since there is a case for thinking, that in the original MS the author either wrote, or meant to write, terrae imperatoris Romanorum. Otherwise it is difficult to see to whom Romanorum refers, because there are no neighbouring references to the Romans and in the case of the Papal lands the wording Roger used was terra Domini Pape.

Furthermore when Roger of Howden recorded his return journey of the following year in the train of the King of France, he again referred to this section of the old frontier line by noting, that Monte-Cassino est in terra imperatoris Romanorum and that ad Sanctum Germanum qui est ad pedem mentis Cassinae, deficit Terra Laboris et incipit Campania. Therefore for a second time the old boundary had attracted his notice and he also provided evidence of its survival on the east coast, in his account of King Philip's landing there, which took place at Otranto and provided occasion for a short excursus on the Italian ports of the Adriatic. They were carefully listed beginning at Otranto and when Roger reached Termoli he wrote est ultimus portus de Apulia. Deinde est Ortona, quae est primus portus de terra Venetiae. Since the river Trigno reaches the sea between Termoli and Ortona, he was therefore again recording the old imperial frontier. But it is not equally evident why Venetia should begin near the Trigno, or why Venice should be regarded as a mainland power? A likely explanation is, however, available in the MS Stubbs used when editing the Gesta Ricardi, British Museum, Cotton MS Vitellius E XVII, where the expressions terra imperatoris Rome and terra v imperatoris are used. Therefore if in the paragraph on the ports of the east coast, which opened with a reference to the Adriatic Sea under the name of Gulfus de Venetia and ended with Venice itself, described quite simply as civitas nobilis et portus bonus, the correct reading had been terra v imperatoris Rome, with imperatoris Rome as well as vero drastically shortened. A copyist ignorant of the subject matter might well have failed to notice the abbreviations and in consequence could have written, because of the v Venetie instead of the words vero imperatoris Rome or more correctly Romanorum. In any case it is noticeable that even if Roger's travel notes were left unemended, they would still establish the fact, that during the second half of the twelth century the old frontier was a live issue for an ordinary traveller.

The full appreciation of this fact therefore brings the knowledge that in 1156 Pope Adrian and his curia had not only accepted the De Hauteville king as there vassal, but they had in addition ceded to him territories, which had been traditionally regarded as an integral part of the German Roman empire of the West (Holy Roman Empire?). The point was emphasized in the outburst of imperial wrath which greeted the announcement of the treaty and the Emperor Frederick I continued to regard Marsia as an area directly under his control; a fact not always fully recognized.

Even less consideration has been given to the bitterness of the pill from the Papal point of view, yet Marsia's northern frontier left Rome bracketed by De Hauteville power to the south and the north-east, while no less than four Roman roads, built to facilitate fast military movement, converged from the area on the Holy City. It is of course true that in the case of the Via Appia and the Via Latina the distance between the kingdom and Rome had merely been shortened, but the Via Claudia Valeria from Pescara and the Via Salaria were on the contrary only in the King's control if he held Marsia and under the treaty his rights there were to be permanent. Secondly, the bishops of Marsia were Rome's own suffragans and with their clergy they were placed by the treaty permanently under the rule of men, who had been described by Pope Leo IX as "indisciplinatam et alienam gentem." Thirdly, two further dioceses of the provinces of Rome, Rieti and Ascoli Piceno were obliged to surrender actual territory and the curia had to stomach the loss of claims to rights and revenues from the Gaeta and Fondi areas.

The Roman curia therefore, as well as the Empire, had been despoiled to make the new kingdom and it is difficult to see why Adrian and his advisers were prepared to accept such stringent territorial changes, until it is remembered that Adrian was the third Pope to become the prisoner of a De Hauteville. Furthermore the disaster, in his case as well as those of his two predecessors Leo IX and Innocent II was due in general, to the failure of the Emperor of the Romans to maintain law and order in the south of Italy and in particular, to the sudden withdrawal of imperial forces from a Papal campaign intended to remedy this state of affairs. Pope Adrian for example, had been deserted by the Emperor Frederick and his forces outside a rebellious Rome at the start of a campaign, which the Pope had planned with the Emperor, for the express purpose of driving the Normans out of the south of Italy. In consequence Adrian had advanced without German support, relying instead on help from the Eastern Empire. King William, however, after defeating the Byzantine armies had contained Pope Adrian's remaining forces in Benevento and he had therefore been able to negotiate from a position of strength.

It was in the light of these circumstances that the treaty of Benevento had been made and the bitter threefold experience had brought to the Pope and his advisers a sense of realism. Consequently when King William proved himself to be agreeable to the payment of a handsome yearly census for Marsia, the Pope and the curia began a new era in their relations with the western Empire and the Norman Kingdom by accepting the de facto mainland frontier, which had been established by De Hauteville military pressure.


So much for the end of the story, but turning to the beginning, namely the first meeting in the mid-eleventh century between the Papacy and the developing Norman power in the south of Italy. Can it then have been the deliberate policy of the curia to dissociate itself from the Empire of the Romans in order to be robbed of actual rights and territory, in exchange for an empty title of suzerainty?

Such a possibility has been put forward and it has been suggested, that from the first years of his Pontificate Pope Leo IX saw in the new Norman power in the south ha means of escape for the Papacy from the tutelage of the Empire - a tutelage which in 1049 had been in existence for three years only and had rescued the Holy See from degrading subjection to the Roman aristocracy. In this perspective it has been considered, that Leo IX's Italian policy was guided by the intention of depriving the Empire of its rights over the principality of Benevento, so that the city might be a base on which to build Papal secular power, specifically for use against the Empire. it has also been maintained, that the pope in 1054, at the end of his Pontificate, accepted for the same reason King William's predecessors, the Norman counts of Aversa and Apulia as his vassals. The details of the evidence, however, cut sharply against this view.

In the case, for instance, of Benevento it appears, that when Leo first came to Italy he found the city in open rebellion against imperial authority. The revolt had been started by the ill-treatment meted out to the Emperor Henry III's mother-in-law, Agnes, duchess of Aquitaine, while she was on pilgrimage to Monte Gargano. Prince Pandolf's government, acutely aware of the offence, had consequently in 1047 refused to Henry himself entry into their city. Pope Clement II, who was at the time with the Emperor, therefore placed Benevento under a sentence of excommunication. The emperor himself had retaliated, after burning the suburbs of the town, by handing over his quarrel to his new Norman vassals, who zealously pressed on with the attack.

The Beneventan question was, therefore, a problem Leo had to face from the first and on behalf of the Empire. Nor was his procedure in dealing with it anti-imperial, for he did not lift Clement's sentence of excommunication at all rapidly, indeed he renewed it. Finally he came to terms with the city only after Prince Pandolf's government had been driven out and he then assumed authority over Benevento by stepping into the shoes of the princely government and not into those of the Emperor. According to Amato the Pope's next move was an attempt to call off the Norman attack authorized by Henry, because it was no longer necessary. His orders, however, were not obeyed, for as Amato explained << li Normant non se porent; si de legier comment li autre gent restreinde. >> Therefore after trying persuasion Leo resorted to force and found that his Italian levies were unwilling to fight against Norman forces. But the Normans were, again according to Amato, living ruthlessly on the land and this not only in the Beneventan area. For this reason the Pope concluded, that the only possible course of action, if law and order were to be restored, was to drive them out of the south of Italy. He therefore turned for the necessary military assistance to the emperor Henry, the King of France and probably, for here the French translation of Amato's text is corrupt, to the new marquis of Tuscany.

At the end of 1052, with the matter still heavily on his mind, Leo found himself in Germany assisting the emperor Henry III to negotiate a peace with Andrew, king of Hungary. He naturally took the opportunity to explain the crisis in the south of Italy to the Emperor, and he asked for men and money with which to meet it. As Borgia has explained both Leo Marsicanus and Hermann of Reichenau also recorded, that the Papal financial requirements were met by the exchange of papal rights over Fulda and Bamberg for imperial rights over Benevento. Unfortunately the details of the arrangement are mentioned only by Marsicanus and only for Bamberg. His statement is, that when Emperor Henry II gave the church of Bamberg to St. Peter, he arranged for an annual census to be paid to Rome, consisting of a white horse with its harness and 100 marks of silver. During Christmas of 1052 Henry III and Leo IX agreed that the white horse, presumably symbolising nominal over-lordship, should be sent as before, but the 100 marks of silver and the administration (dicio) of the bishopric of Bamberg were to go to the Emperor. The obvious deduction to be made from this information is that Leo obtained in return imperial administrative rights and dues from Benevento. The heavy work of establishing order in the south of Italy therefore remained with the Pope. Indeed, Leo seems to have had a hard deal, for the imperial troops originally assigned to him were withdrawn on the grounds of urgent need of them north of the Alps.

At this juncture the military situation facing Leo in Italy becomes very pertinent to the argument, for if it had been his policy to make himself independent of the Western Emperor a very obvious course of action would have been an alliance with the Eastern Emperor, whose theme of Italy was based on Bari. The strategic advantages of such a move are so evident as to have led historians to think that negotiations for a combined use of Papal and Byzantine troops must have begun in 1051 at the latest, when the Dux et Magister Argiros was sent to Bari to revive the Byzantine attempt to master the Normans of Apulia. Von Heinemann explained this point carefully and then noted with regret that he could find no evidence to support it. Chalandon, on the other hand, found the probability so convincing, that he persuaded himself that the evidence for it was adequate. But when all is said and done, the only solid piece of information available is Leo IX's letter to the Emperor Constantine Monomachus and it contains a strong implication that there had been no alliance, because Leo wrote of the campaign which followed his return from Germany:

Suffultus ergo comitatu, qualem temporis brevitas et imminens necessitas permisit, gloriosi ducis et magistri Argyroi fidelissimi tui colloquium et consilium expetendum censui, non ut cujusquam Nortmannorum, seu aliquorum hominum interitum optarem, aut mortem tractarem, sed ut saltem humano terrore resipiscerent, qui divina judicia minime formidan.

On this showing therefore, in the thick of the war and as late as the summer of 1053, Leo was seeking Argyros for colloquium et consilium and not as part of a pre-arranged plan made during a previous alliance between them.

Consequently the real problem is why the Pope had not adopted sooner the obvious policy of forming an alliance with Argyros against their common enemy? The answer to this question, however, can easily be found, if the style of Dux Italie given to Argyros by a Barese source is recalled, because Leo as head of the Church of Rome and as a subject of the Western Empire must in the nature of things have been unwilling to accord any semblance of acknowledgement to the claims of the Eastern Empire over Italy.

Nevertheless even when the Pope's loyalty towards the Empire during the earlier part of his Pontificate has been established, there remains the possibility that his attitude changed after what would nowadays be termed the traumatic effect of his defeat by the Normans at Civitate, while he was trying to join forces with Argyros. Indeed, De Meo, reading the Sicilian chronicler Malaterra, thought that this had happened and that Leo formally invested the two Norman leaders with the lands they had already conquered and with future conquests in Calabria and Sicily to be held from himself a subsequently at Melfi in 1059. Nevertheless, both these historians felt that some concessions must have been forced from the Pope before in March of 1054 << O la favor de li Normant torna a Rome >>, which was all that Amato said on the subject, while William of Apulia and the Monk of Benevento made no comment at all.

At this point in the argument Chalandon, however, overlooked the fact that Pope Leo became seriously ill while he was confined in Benevento. Von Heinemann was well aware of it, but his view of the effect of this illness on affairs is questionable, because he felt that since the Pope was noticeably unwell from December of 1053, he must have yielded by March of the following year to the wishes of his oppressors. But if Leo knew himself to be a dying man it is at least as likely that he saw no reason at all for giving way to his enemies. Their leaders on the other hand, had to face the possibility of the indignation of Christendom and of their own people, if the death of a Pope widely revered for sanctity could be laid at their door. It is therefore likely that Count Humphrey was anxious to speed Leo's departure and did not wish it to be delayed by a need to come to terms. Consequently the contemporary German and south Italian mainland sources did not mention a settlement, because none was made.

It is, however, normal for the mere passage of time to keep the ball of circumstance rolling and therefore some development must have come from the rough contact between Pope Leo and the Norman leaders. In tracing this a starting point can be found in the fact that terms were offered immediately before the battle of Civitate by the Normans to the Pope, who turned them down. These conditions were nevertheless recorded by 4 original sources: the Anonymous Monk of Benevento, Amato and William of Apulia in the south of Italy and Hermann, Abbot of Reichenau, who observed the course of affairs from his vantage point in the Alps.

Unfortunately their explanations of the details of the terms have not been easy to interpret, consequently Von Heinemann saw in them a petition from the Normans to hold the lands already in their power as fiefs of the Papacy, while Chalandon eliminated this possibility in a careful translation of William of Apulia's verses on the subject. The lines in question were:

Legatos mittunt, qui pacis foedera pascant
Quique rogent papam, placidus famulamen eorum
Suscipiat: sese Papae parere paratos
Omnes testantur, non hunc offendere velle,
At quaesitorum cognoscere munus ab ipso
Si placet, hunc dominum poscunt sibi seque fideles

and his translation reads: << Ils envoyèrent des députés chargés de demander la paix; ces députés devaient, en outre, prier le Pape de recevoir, avec bienveillance, les homages des Normands. Tous, sans exception, se déclaraient prêts à lui obéir, leur intention n'étant pas de l'offenser; ils reconnaissaient du reste, ce qu'il avait de fondé dans ses plaintes; enfin, ils lui demandaient de vouloir bien être leur seigneur, et ils promettaient de lui être fidèles. >>

More recently William of Apulia's latest editor Mademoiselle Mathieu has followed Von Heinemann's line of thought and for her the sense runs << Ils envoyèrent au Pape des ambassadeurs qui demandèrent la paix, et le prièrent de recevoir avec bienveillance leur hommage. Ils se declaraient tous prêts à obéir au Pape: ils ne voulaient pas l'offenser, mais tenir de lui la propriété de leurs conquêtes. Ils lui demandaient de bien vouloir être leur seigneur, et d'accepter leur serment de fidélité. >>

The divergence of view, therefore, clearly turns on the meaning of famulamen and the line At quaesitorum cognoscere munus ab ipso, since for Chalandon famulamen means hommages in the sense of compliments, while for Mademoiselle Mathieu it signifies feudal service. As to the line beginning At quaesitorum, Chalandon sees in it a recognition of error on the part of the Normans, and Mademoiselle Mathieu a claim to the ownership of conquered territory. Thus the difficult words are quaesitorum and munus, which mean for Chalandon 'complaints' and 'validity' and for Mme Mathieu 'conquests' and 'ownership', apparently in the feudal sense of possession.

The obvious first move towards resolving these disparities is to turn to the account of the terms provided by the other two south Italian sources, the Anonymous Monk of Benevento and Amato. The monk, however, merely wrote: Illi autem respondentes dixerunt; se paratos esse in famulatum Pape quocunque illos ducere vellet, and his use of famulatus instead of famulamen is of little assistance. Also his statement that the Normans offered to follow the Pope wherever he might lead them is likely to be the result of wishful thinking, for a belief in the utter devotion of the Normans to the Papacy colours his whole account of the Civitate campaign; moreover their offer is not mentioned by the other sources.

Amato's version of events is also characteristic. The Normans, he says << manderent message << à lo Pape, et cerchoient paiz et concorde, et prometoient chascun an de donner incense et tribut à la Saint Eclize, et celles terres qu'il ont veincues par armes voloient re(ce)voir les par la main de lo Vicaire de l'Eglise. Et monstrerent lo confanon coment lor estoit confermée. >> This lively account is nevertheless ambiguous, for it raises at least two questions, namely was Leo being invited to confirm a previous imperial grant or to make a new one, either in the emperor's name or in his own? Secondly, are the words voloient re(ce)voir les par la main de lo Vicaire de l'Eglise to be understood as a definite offer of homage?

In these circumstances it is indeed fortunate that the Abbot of Reichenau's description of the terms which the Norman leaders offered is more explicit. It has furthermore the merit of having been written within a year of the events and of providing an admirable gloss both for William's verses and Amato's ambiguities. It reads: Cumque illi pacem petentes subiectionem servitiumque ipsi promitterent, et quaeque prius iniuste sibi usurpantes invaserant eius beneficio gratiaque retinere velle se dicerent.

This means that famulamen can be equated with service and cannot be restricted to military service; moreover such a limited sense for the word would also be unusual both for the period and the area in question. As for munus, one of the key words in the difficult line beginning Et quesitorum, the abbot has used beneficio gratiaque, with the meaning grace and favour. His context therefore precludes a technical feudal sense for beneficium and it indicates that munus does not mean either 'validity' or 'property'. As to quaesitorum it corresponds to the abbot's quaeque prius iniuste sibi usurpantes invaserant, for which 'conquests' is clearly a more suitable rendering than 'complaints'. This terse phrase also elucidates Amato's << et celles terres qu'il ont veincues par armes voloient re(ce)voir les par la main de lo Vicaire de l'Eglise >>, by making it apparent that the Normans wanted the Pope to condone of his own grace and favour the usurpations of the lands of others, perpetrated after their second imperial investiture with territory in the south of Italy, made to them, according to Amato, by the emperor Henry III. From the Norman point of view such acquiescence in their ill-gotten gains was highly desirable, whether the Pope made it in his own name or as representing the Empire. But no discussion of the capacity in which he was to act or of any form of vassalage took place, because Leo responded by recommending restitution of the lands usurped and the Normans then began the fighting.

To sum up therefore, in 1053 the Norman leaders made a generic offer of service to Pope Leo, which he did not accept, either at the time or during the following year. In these years, however, the Papacy's only immediate requirement for an armed force was for use against the Normans themselves. But by 1059 the position had altered radically, because the death of Henry III and his son's minority had resulted in a weak imperial government north of the Alps. Meanwhile in Italy imperial authority was in the hands of the Marquis of Tuscany, Godfrey of Lorraine, who was personally indifferent to the movement for Papal reform, which the Emperor Henry III had supported. The reformed curia could, therefore, only procure his assistance against their enemies, through the lengthy process of obtaining specific instructions to this effect from Germany. The Marquis was then prepared to help them, but only for a minimal period and the Roman aristocracy had immediately taken advantage of this situation to put in their own Pope, Benedict X.

In order to contend with this sea of troubles the Papal reformers concluded that it had become necessary to transfer the right to elect the Bishop of Rome from the people and clergy of the city to the cardinals. The change was a radical one, more particularly because during Leo IX's Pontificate the cardinals had ceased to be necessarily chosen from the ranks of the clergy of Rome. It has often been said that this revision of the Papal election procedure originated from dislike of the Empire, but the decree of 1059 did in fact acknowledge the traditional right of the emperors to confirm the choice made by the electors. Thus the decree was intrinsically an attack on the Roman aristocracy, because it had previously been able to control the procedure of selection. This was so much the case that Pope Nicholas II and his cardinals thought it would be unwise to promulgate the new decree in Rome, until they had a military force at their disposal capable of withstanding the rage of the Romans. Since the probability of obtaining long-term assistance from the Marquis of Tuscany had to be discounted, the Curia was obliged to look for another local source of military power.

The Norman strength in the south of Italy was capable of providing an answer to the difficulty and only five years before their leaders had offered their services to the Papacy. Moreover, since they were imperial vassals the Emperor was in no position to complain if they were invoked to discharge his obligation to protect the Holy See. Their two leaders therefore, Richard of Capua and Robert Guiscard, became the vassals of Pope Nicholas II as makeshift replacement for the Emperor and not because of Papal hostility towards the Empire. But since a bargain for military service at this period normally involved a grant of land, against homage and payment of a censusm in practice the arrangements of 1059 started a complex system of dual suzerainty by the Papacy and the Empire over the south of Italy and Sicily. Yet to judge by the texts of the oaths Robert Guiscard took to Pope Nicholas, the problem which the new relationship brought into being was shelved in 1059. The new duke it is true undertook nulli iurabo fidelitatem nisi salva fidelitate sancte Romane Ecclesie, but it is probable that the limitation was directed against a possible future alliance with the enemies of the curia among the Roman nobility. Certainly in 1073, when there was sharp friction between the Papacy and the Empire, Gregory VII did not feel that the phrase clearly excluded an oath to the Emperor. Therefore in Richard of Capua's oath of that year the clause was expanded in order to make certain of this point and its wording then was, Regi vero Heinrico, cum a te admonitus fuero vel a tuis successoribus, iurabo fidelitatem, salva tamen fidelitate sancte Romane ecclesie

On the question of the actual territory involved, the arrangements of 1059 were, according to the surviving documents, equally indefinite. Thus no attempt was made to define the boundaries of Apulia or Calabria, although the Duke did swear not to attack the Pricipality of Salerno adjoining them. As to the lands responsible for the payment of the census, they were referred to with even less precision, for the money was to come from estates described as being in Guiscard's actual possession. It is apparent therefore, that the developments of 1059 were not governed by the pressure of circumstance rather than by principles of policy.

This fact is not surprising for it is in full conformity with the nature of a rush of events initiating a wholly new trend of development. There are moreover two further pieces of evidence to confirm the opinion that Papal policy was not based, even in 1059, on a principle of enmity towards the Empire. The first of these is that in the oaths of fidelity, taken by the Prince of Capua and the Duke of Apulia to Pope Nicholas II, there was an additional obligation, not normally incumbent on a vassal. This clause, presumably, represented the essence of the Papal share in the bargain, because it consisted in a promise made by the new vassals of the Holy See that they would on behalf of the melioribus cardinalibus et clericis Romanis et laicis, carry out military policing duties during and immediately after a Papal election. Therefore the real motive driving the curia to action here becomes clearly discernible.

The second item of information is much less well known, for it consists in a sentence at the end of Book III of the French version of Amato's history of the Normans, which has been dismissed in the past as being a mere comment from the translator. But anyone, who reads Book III attentively, is likely to agree with Dr. Smidt's contention that the sentence is, on the contrary, an integral part of the text. This becomes apparent, because the author began the book with Henry III's reform of the Papacy as its theme, in the setting of contemporary Norman occupation of the southern mainland. He steadfastly followed this pattern until he reached the death of Pope Stephen IX, but he then thought it necessary to drop his account of the succession of Popes and therefore explained his change of plan by writing << Or non parlons plus de la fama et de la subcession de li Pontifice de Rome, quar l'onor defailli à Rome puiz que faillirent li Theodesque. Quar, se je voill dire la costume et lo election lor, me convient mentir, et, se je di la verité, aurai je l'yre de li Romain. >> Consequently there was no doubt either at Montecassino or in Rome, that the election decree was directed against the Romans and not against the German emperors. Moreover, feeling in Rome must have been running remarkably high, for Amato to have been alarmed, since to the best of our knowledge he was when he wrote in an unusually safe position, on the top of a mountain and behind the walls of a monastery well able to hold out against a siege.

Thus the events of 1053 did develop in 1059 into an alliance beween the Papacy and the Normans in which territorial relationships were not clearly worked out. The alliance, however, was not directed against the Empire and its lack of permanence illustrates admirably the near impossibility of a lasting peace between the two powers while their common frontier line remained in doubt. Moreover the salient points in the outline of their relationship after the treaty of 1059 make this fact even clearer. Richard of Capua, for example, assisted at the promugation of the election decree and he honoured his oath by coming to Rome for the election which followed on the death of Nicholas II. But as he returned on that occasion from Rome, he began to extend Capua's frontier northwards into the area described in 1156 as Marsia. By 1066 his armies were marching on Rome and he was demanding the office of patrician, which by tradition gave to its holder the casting vote in a Papal election of the old style. Pope Alexander II, indeed, had to appeal to the Empire in order to be rescued from this attack.

Guiscard on the other hand never gave his new lord the help promised in his oath and in the 1070's he supported his capable nephew Robert of Loritello in an advance into the eastern territories of the future Marsia, which caused Gregory VII to excommunicate both the Roberts. When in 1080 Guiscard was, because of the disastrous Papal quarrel with the emperor Henry IV, at length accepted as Gregory's vassal, during the actual investiture ceremony the Pope found it necessary to specify the lands he was not granting to his vassal. They were Salerno, Amalfi, and the territories above the Trigno on the east coast described by the Pope as pars marchie Firmane.

The advance up the mainland initiated by Guiscard, was checked five years later by the Duke's death, for his far less warlike son and grandson found it difficult even to hold their own at home and consequently their relations with the Papacy were most amicable. But when De Hauteville energy once again appeared on the mainland in 1128 with Roger II's landing at Salerno, his frequent offers of homage were by and large coldly received by the Papacy. Indeed in 1139 it was only at the sword point that he became Innocent II's vassal and within two years of this agreement, the king began the advance up the mainland referred to in the Liber Censuum as the origin of Marsia. Thereafter, Innocent II's successors steadily turned down the homage Roger offered to them. Thus the king even in 1150 was not accepted as a Papal vassal, although he had played a prominent part in helping Eugenius III to recover control of Rome and had announced his willingness to allow free canonical elections and legatine visits to his kingdom. Nor can any suggestion be found that Roger ever considered, far less suggested, a withdrawal from the newly occupied territories. Eugenius III, therefore, rejecting the royal requests for an alliance preferred to follow the policies of Leo IX and Innocent II by requiring the emperors Conrad III and Frederick I to expel the Norman usurpers from the south of Italy. This invitation led directly to the Papal defeat, which brought into being the treaty of Benevento and initiated a new phase, and one more familiar to historians, in the relations between the Papacy, the western Empire of the Romans and the Norman Kingdom of south Italy and Sicily.

It remains to be noted that it is not exceptional for the territorial sore points of international relations to provide the spark of war, instead of the wider issues being the immediate cause. This fact is hardly surprising in the light of the rapidly increasing mass of evidence concerning the fundamental instinctive reactions of birds and animals to trespass on their territories. At the same time it does suggest, that the Papal-Norman expedient of a financial settlement would be a procedure more suitable to a rational animal, particularly since it would provide a means whereby foresight could be used to reduce the future risk of fire.

330 AD: Constantine moves the capital and seat of the Roman government to Constantinople in the east. There had been various subdivisions of the Roman Empire under previous emperors, and also later ones, but Constantine ruled the whole Empire from Rome first, and later, Constantinople.
c. 395 AD: Division of the Roman Empire into east (Byzantium) and west.
476 AD: Fall of the western Roman Empire after the abdication of Emperor Romulus Augustulus. It was during the ensuing centuries that the Papacy came to fill the power vacuum vacated by the Roman emperors in the Latin west, first as temporal rulers in Rome, and gradually extending its temporal authority over the whole of what was to become W. Europe (often by using political and military alliances with kings and states to further its own power). The Eastern (Byzantine) Roman Empire continues until c. 1453 when Constantinople fell to the Ottomans.
c. 754 AD: The Papal States are established in the former Lombard kingdom/ territories in Italy after their defeat by Pepin.
800 AD - 1806: Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) which this historian seems to refer to as the Western Empire of the Romans or as the Germanic empire in the west.
1806: The French Revolution and subsequent Napoleonic Wars brought the HRE to an end. The HRE itself was a later, and quite separate and distinct power from the old western Roman Empire of late antiquity.
1870: The Papal States are absorbed into the new unified Kingdom of Italy. End of the Papal States.
1929: The Lateran Treaty with Mussolini established the current Vatican State in Rome as a sovereign state separate from Italy.

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