States of the Church

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  • Christianity
  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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Those parts of Italy and the territory of Avignon and Venaissin in France which at one time acknowledged the temporal sovereignty of the Papacy. Some of these lands were also known as the ‘Patrimony of St Peter’ (q.v.).

In 1791 the Papal territories in France were lost to the new republic, and by 1861 the Papacy was left with Rome alone, the rest having been absorbed into the kingdom of Italy. In 1870 Rome itself was lost and the Pope withdrew into the Vatican. By the Law of Guarantees (1871) Italy allotted to the Pope a pension and declared the basilicas and palaces of the Vatican and the Lateran and the Papal villa at Castel Gandolfo to be extraterritorial. The Lateran Treaty in 1929 contained an agreement on much the same lines and constituted the ‘Vatican City’ a separate State.

Subjects: Christianity — Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

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