A part of central Italy held between 756 and 1870 by the Catholic Church, corresponding to the modern regions of Emilia-Romagna, Marche, Umbria, and Latium. Taken from the Lombards by the Frankish king Pepin III, the states were given to the papacy as a strategy to undermine Lombard expansionism. Greatly extended by Pope Innocent III in the early 13th century and by Pope Julius II in the 16th century, they were incorporated into the newly unified Italy in 1860 and 1870. Their annexation to Italy deprived the papacy of its temporal powers until the Lateran Treaty of 1929 recognized the sovereignty of the Vatican City.
Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).