Italy Federiciana Part 2

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According to Allcountrylist, the idea of ​​a necessary Christian struggle against Islam gave during the ninth century. a new impulse to the attempts to regain unitary control over Italy, in the framework of the renewed imperial authority of the West. However, a gap began, destined to reappear in ever new forms until the age of Frederick II, between the strong idea of ​​a high and general imperial sovereignty and the real government over men. More and more the emperor appeared not as an effective lord of armies and an effective central authority for the administration of justice, but as a high guarantor of possible and difficult balances between substantially autonomous territorial formations of power, and imbued with endemic drives of internal disintegration. In Italy in particular, Salerno, from the Benevento principality, and with the affirmation of Naples, Capua and other important cities.

The formations of cities and regional spaces with strong political autonomy also affected northern and central Italy, and became more complicated everywhere, from the last decades of the 9th century. to the whole century. XI, with phenomena of shattering and capillarization of military, judicial, administrative and fiscal prerogatives. The armed service to the sovereign, in particular, was ensured less and less by warriors under the direct control of kings, emperors and their officials, and was normally carried out by milites in the service of a citizen notable or elites. aristocrats and ecclesiastics (marquesses and counts, bishops and abbots), who often remunerated warriors with land and income concessions in the precarious form of feudal benefit: the control of military force by kings and emperors therefore came to depend on their control on those intermediate nuclei of power, which from the end of the IX century. they grew both in their autonomy and in their number. This was a largely spontaneous growth, but also largely fueled by the sovereigns themselves, who, in order to obtain the loyalty of nobles and churches, granted ample public prerogatives, in particular jurisdictional competences and fiscal assets, sometimes in fiefdom but more ordinarily with pure and simple perpetual alienations.

When, in the central decades of the 9th century, the crown of Italy and the imperial crown of the West were assumed by German dynasties and the personal coincidence between the ownership of the Kingdom of Germany and the ownership of the Kingdom of Italy was sanctioned, the Theotonic rulers initiated new ways to restore effective power over Italy. They relied heavily on their own armed force, tried to restrict the mediations of power to a limited number of large aristocratic families, to major episcopal see and a small number of royal monasteries, established ever greater solidarity with the papacy, and finally, with Conrad II (1037), they defined a discipline of feudal relations that guaranteed all the milites, major and minor, in possession of the feudal benefit in exchange for an orderly hierarchical arrangement within the royal and imperial authority.

But in the same years in which these roads of restoration were followed, the phenomena of diffusion of powers over men were deepening, now exercised in fact either by custom or by royal concession by a plurality of marquises and counts, simple lords of the castle, from churches and monasteries, from cities in which, alongside the authority of the bishop and the count, the claims of autonomy of urban lay communities arose. Moreover, in the central decades of the eleventh century. two unforeseen events again compromised the imperial hold on Italy. Groups of Norman warriors, small and disunited from each other, began the conquest of different segments of the South and inflicted military defeats on both imperial armies, the German and the Greek, who wanted to reject their affirmation of territorial sovereignty in Campania, Puglia, Calabria; soon the Normans also directed a military effort on Sicily which was finally successful. The other decisive fact was the cracking, and in rapid sequence the decisive breaking, of the German-Roman solidarity. The outcome of the so-called investiture struggle was the assertion of Roman autonomy in the election of the pope and the clericalization of the constituencies of the bishops of Italy, including the bishop of Rome, with the removal of episcopal appointments from both the emperor and to the laity of the cities. The Roman primacy was also exalted and a privileged relationship of fidelity was established between the Church of Rome and the Normans, former enemies and now allies in an anti-imperial function.

As the Norman power in Southern Italy took shape as strong and capable of unifying the continental areas and Sicily, and while political and religious movements were becoming more and more choral and intense, with the start of the Crusades and the vitality of the city and castle communities, the weaving of a relationship of solidarity between the papacy and the Western Empire was also resumed. On 23 September 1122 the emperor Henry V and the pope Callisto II they exchanged mutual promises of peace and help, and defined the procedures for the appointment of bishops in a way that reconciled two requirements: respect for canonical norms, which excluded the intervention of political authorities, and the need for the public powers of bishops were nevertheless recognized as a concession by the emperor. A new phase was opening, where at times tensions between emperors and popes would re-emerge due to the appointment of some strategic episcopates, but above all new complexities would appear in the construction of political powers and in relations between lay people and churches. Not only princes and great nobles now contributed to the management of public wealth and political powers, but a myriad of castle lords, knights and city communities. These components, often organized in the form of the municipality, they were on a collision course both with the highest secular authorities and with the local powers of the Churches, and above all of the bishops. The aspirations for a separation of ecclesiastical and religious roles from the exercise of political authority and the use of public wealth were sometimes acknowledged: in Rome a movement of citizens, led by a religious of great culture, Arnaldo da Brescia, exhibited a program of restitution to the imperial authority of its full prerogatives, removing them from the ambitions and prevarications of the great noble families and the popes who supported them. In the meantime, the Norman triumph and the unification of the South into a kingdom, called the Kingdom of Sicily, had taken place in full. After a long period of hostility and uncertainty.

Italy Federiciana 2

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