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Vatican & Papal States

Papal States Through HistoryCreated by: PICRYLDated: 2017
[View of Rome, including So. Carlo, Palace of the Vatican, Museum of the Capitol, College of Jesuits, etc.]
Vatican was an uninhabited part of Rome (the ager Vaticanus) and was considered sacred, or at least not available for habitation. A shrine dedicated to the Phrygian goddess Cybele and her consort Attis remained active long after the Constantinian Basilica of St. Peter was built nearby.
Catholics recognize the pope as the successor of Saint Peter, whom Jesus designated as the "rock" upon which the Church was to be built. Although Peter never was called a "pope" (Latin papa), Catholics recognize him as the first Pope and Bishop of Rome.
The bishops of Rome had not much power till the time of Emperor Constantine. After the fall of Rome in 476, the papacy was under the rule of sovereigns of the states surrounding Rome, but over the time, the popes consolidated a portion of the peninsula known as the Papal States.
From 1048 to 1257, the papacy experienced conflict with the Byzantine Empire ended up in the East–West Schism, dividing the Western Church and Eastern Church.
From 1257–1377, during conflicts with the Holy Roman Empire and France, the pope resided in Viterbo, Orvieto, and Perugia, and then Avignon, from 1309 to 1377.
The return of the popes to Rome after the Avignon was followed by the Western Schism: the division of the western Church between two and, sometimes, three competing popes. On return to Rome from Avignon, popes chose to live at the Vatican. They moved to the Quirinal Palace in 1583, after work on it was completed under Pope Paul V (1605–1621), and on the capture of Rome in 1870 moved to the Vatican again.
Popes ruled the Papal States, which covered a significant portion of the Italian peninsula, for more than a thousand years until the mid-19th century, when all their territories were seized by the newly created Kingdom of Italy. For most of this time, the popes did not live at the Vatican. The Lateran Palace, on the opposite side of Rome, was their residence for about a thousand years. In this palace, in 1929, the agreement was signed for King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy by Prime Minister Benito Mussolini and for Pope Pius XI by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri. The Lateran Treaty created the state of the Vatican City and guaranteed popes full and independent sovereignty. The pope was pledged to perpetual neutrality in international relations and to abstention from mediation in a controversy unless specifically requested by all parties.
Along with Vatican, certain papal properties that are located in Italian territory, most notably the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo and the major basilicas, enjoy extraterritorial status similar to that of foreign embassies. There are no passport controls for visitors entering Vatican City from the surrounding Italian territory.
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Pope Eleutherius from BL Eg 3028, f. 4

Pope Eleutherius from BL Eg 3028, f. 4

Drawing of Lucius's messenger received by Pope Eleutherius. Image taken from f. 4 of Roman de Brut, a verse epitome (begins imperfectly) with continuation to Edward III; Destruction de Rome; Fierabras. Written in French.

Charles of Anjou from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 429v

Charles of Anjou from BL Royal 16 G VI, f. 429v

Miniature of Charles of Anjou sailing for Rome and the Pope crowning him. Image taken from f. 429v of Chroniques de France ou de St Denis. Written in French.

Bulla (Papal bull) from BL Royal 6 E VI, f. 207

Bulla (Papal bull) from BL Royal 6 E VI, f. 207

Historiated initial 'B'(ulla) of a pope giving a sealed document to a cleric. Image taken from f. 207 of Omne Bonum (Absolucio-Circumcisio). Written in Latin.

Auctoritas (Papal authority) from BL Royal 6 E VI, f. 158v

Auctoritas (Papal authority) from BL Royal 6 E VI, f. 158v

Detail of a historiated initial 'A'(utoritas) of a pope with a sealed document and a man kneeling before him. Image taken from f. 158v of Omne Bonum (Circumcisio-Dona Spiritui Sancti). Written in Latin.

Pope and clerics from BL YT 28, f. 69

Pope and clerics from BL YT 28, f. 69

Miniature of a Pope with two clerics, and two monks holding a processional cross. Image taken from f. 69 of Secreta secretorum (ff. 1-43); Il Tesoro (translation of Li Livres dou Tresor) (ff. 43v-130); miscella... more

Pope Urban II urging kings and knights to join a Crusade, Nov. 1095

Pope Urban II urging kings and knights to join a Crusade, Nov. 1095

Illus. in: Robertus Remensis, Historia itineris contra Turcos (Dutch), Gouda, ca. 1486. Referece copy may be in LOT 7012. This record contains unverified, old data from caption card. Caption card tracings: Incu... more

Allegory of a Cardinal

Allegory of a Cardinal

Matthaeus Greuter (German, Strassburg ca. 1566–1638 Rome)

Francis appearing to the pope from BL Harley 3229, f. 91

Francis appearing to the pope from BL Harley 3229, f. 91

Detail of an historiated initial 'A'(dom) of Francis appearing to the Pope in a dream. Image taken from f. 91 of Legend and Life of Francis of Assisi (with Miracles). Written in Latin.

Design for the Right-hand Section of the Tomb of Cardinal Francesco Armellini

Design for the Right-hand Section of the Tomb of Cardinal Francesco Ar...

Baldassare Tommaso Peruzzi (Italian, Ancaiano 1481–1536 Rome) or workshop

Portrait of Pope Paulus IV

Portrait of Pope Paulus IV

Nicolas Beatrizet (French, Lunéville 1515–ca. 1566 Rome (?))

Alexander VI., papa

Alexander VI., papa

Stecher: Galle, Philips

Eugen IV., papa

Eugen IV., papa

Stecher: Galle, Philips

Julius II., papa

Julius II., papa

Stecher: Galle, Philips

Sixtus IV., papa

Sixtus IV., papa

Stecher: Galle, Philips

Martin V., papa

Martin V., papa

Stecher: Galle, Philips

[Overhead view showing path of obelisk during move from the Circus Nero to its new location at the Piazza of Saint Peter in Rome]

[Overhead view showing path of obelisk during move from the Circus Ner...

Title devised by Library staff. Illus. in: Della trasportatione dell'obelisco vaticano et delle fabriche di Nostro Signore papa Sisto v fatte dal cavallier Domenico Fontana. Roma : D. Basa, 1590. Published in: ... more

[Obelisk, wrapped in a protective casing, on its side on rollers, moving along scaffolding from the Circus Nero to its new location at the Piazza of Saint Peter in Rome]

[Obelisk, wrapped in a protective casing, on its side on rollers, movi...

Title devised by Library staff. Illus. in: Della trasportatione dell'obelisco vaticano et delle fabriche di Nostro Signore papa Sisto v fatte dal cavallier Domenico Fontana. Roma : D. Basa, 1590. Published in: ... more

[Scaffolding used for support when lowering obelisk at the Circus Nero prior to its relocation to the Piazza of Saint Peter in Rome]

[Scaffolding used for support when lowering obelisk at the Circus Nero...

Title devised by Library staff. Illus. in: Della trasportatione dell'obelisco vaticano et delle fabriche di Nostro Signore papa Sisto v fatte dal cavallier Domenico Fontana. Roma : D. Basa, 1590. Published in: ... more

[Obelisk erected at the Piazza of Saint Peter in Rome following its relocation from the Circus Nero]

[Obelisk erected at the Piazza of Saint Peter in Rome following its re...

Title devised by Library staff. Illus. in: Della trasportatione dell'obelisco vaticano et delle fabriche di Nostro Signore papa Sisto v fatte dal cavallier Domenico Fontana. Roma : D. Basa, 1590. Published in: ... more

[Obelisk at the Circus Nero prior to its relocation to the Piazza of Saint Peter in Rome]

[Obelisk at the Circus Nero prior to its relocation to the Piazza of S...

Title devised by Library staff. Illus. in: Della trasportatione dell'obelisco vaticano et delle fabriche di Nostro Signore papa Sisto v fatte dal cavallier Domenico Fontana. Roma : D. Basa, 1590. Published in: ... more

Klemens VIII., papa

Klemens VIII., papa

Stecher: Sadeler, Raphael (1) Verleger: Sadeler, Raphael (1) Verlagsort: Venedig

Winged putto holding a cardinal's hat over a dragon head

Winged putto holding a cardinal's hat over a dragon head

After Cherubino Alberti (Zaccaria Mattia) (Italian, Borgo Sansepolcro 1553–1615 Rome)

Pope Alexander VII

Pope Alexander VII

Medalist: Gasparo Morone (Italian, born Milan (?), died Rome, 1669)

Paul V., papa

Paul V., papa

Verleger: Custos, Dominicus Stecher: Kilian, Wolfgang faktischer Entstehungsort: Venedig Verlagsort: Augsburg

Leo XI., papa

Leo XI., papa

Formschneider: Passe, Crispyn de (1)

Paul V., papa

Paul V., papa

Stecher: Homann, ?

Paul V., papa

Paul V., papa

Verleger: Custos, Dominicus Stecher: Kilian, Wolfgang faktischer Entstehungsort: Venedig Verlagsort: Augsburg

Portrait of Cardinal Christopher Clavius

Portrait of Cardinal Christopher Clavius

Francesco Villamena (Italian, Assisi ca. 1565–1624 Rome)

Title plate for the series 'The Labors of Hercules' with the arms of Cardinal Francesco Maria de Monte

Title plate for the series 'The Labors of Hercules' with the arms of C...

Antonio Tempesta (Italian, Florence 1555–1630 Rome)

Plate 3: Charles V Crowned Emperor entering Rome with the Pope, from the Triumphs of Charles V

Plate 3: Charles V Crowned Emperor entering Rome with the Pope, from t...

Cornelis Boel (Netherlandish, Antwerp ca. 1576–after 1621)

Plate 3: Charles V Crowned Emperor entering Rome with the Pope, from the Triumphs of Charles V

Plate 3: Charles V Crowned Emperor entering Rome with the Pope, from t...

Cornelis Boel (Netherlandish, Antwerp ca. 1576–after 1621)

Gregor XV., papa

Gregor XV., papa

Stecher: Isselburg, Peter Drucker: Isselburg, Peter

Pius II., papa

Pius II., papa

Stecher: Klüpfel, Johann Conrad

Urban VIII., papa

Urban VIII., papa

Verleger: Mechelen, Jan van

Urban VIII., papa

Urban VIII., papa

Stecher: Mellan, Claude faktischer Entstehungsort: Rom

Julius III., papa

Julius III., papa

Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van

Leo X., papa

Leo X., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Klemens VII., papa

Klemens VII., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Paul V., papa

Paul V., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Leo XI., papa

Leo XI., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Hadrian VI., papa

Hadrian VI., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Paul III., papa

Paul III., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Pius IV., papa

Pius IV., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Paul III., papa

Paul III., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Klemens VIII., papa

Klemens VIII., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Pius V., papa

Pius V., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Klemens VIII., papa

Klemens VIII., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Innozenz IX., papa

Innozenz IX., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Innozenz IX., papa

Innozenz IX., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Leo XI., papa

Leo XI., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Leo X., papa

Leo X., papa

Verleger: Heyden, Christoph van der Stecher: Hulsen, Friedrich van Verlagsort: Straßburg

Urban VIII (Pope, 1623–44)

Urban VIII (Pope, 1623–44)

Medalist: Gasparo Mola (Italian, Coldre ca. 1580–1640 Rome)

Urban VIII (Pope, 1623–44)

Urban VIII (Pope, 1623–44)

Medalist: Gasparo Mola (Italian, Coldre ca. 1580–1640 Rome)

Urban VIII., papa

Urban VIII., papa

Stecher: Mellan, Claude Zeichner: Bernini, Giovanni Lorenzo

Urban VIII., papa

Urban VIII., papa

Stecher: Mellan, Claude Zeichner: Bernini, Giovanni Lorenzo

Urban VIII (Pope 1623–44)

Urban VIII (Pope 1623–44)

Medalist: Gasparo Mola (Italian, Coldre ca. 1580–1640 Rome)

Alexander VII., papa

Alexander VII., papa

Stecher: Blomaert, Frans

Alexander VII., papa

Alexander VII., papa

Stecher: Blomaert, Frans

Innozenz X., papa

Innozenz X., papa

Verleger: Merian, Matthäus (der Ältere) Verlagsort: Frankfurt (Main)

Innozenz X., papa

Innozenz X., papa

Stecher: Matham, Adriaen

Innozenz X., papa

Innozenz X., papa

Stecher: Matham, Adriaen

Innozenz X., papa

Innozenz X., papa

Stecher: Matham, Adriaen

Urban VIII., papa

Urban VIII., papa

Verleger: Merian, Matthäus (der Ältere) Verlagsort: Frankfurt (Main)

Alexander VII., papa

Alexander VII., papa

Stecher: Bignon, François Zeichner: Heince, Zacharie

Alexander VII., papa

Alexander VII., papa

Stecher: Pontius, Paulus

Alexander VII., papa

Alexander VII., papa

Stecher: Pontius, Paulus

Klemens IX., papa

Klemens IX., papa

Stecher: Clouwet, Albertus Verleger: Rossi, Giovanni Giacomo de Zeichner: Gaulli, Giovanni Battista Maler: Gaulli, Giovanni Battista

Pius II., papa

Pius II., papa

Stecher: Bry, Theodor de Stecher: Boissard, Robert Herausgeber: Boissard, Jean-Jacques Druckort: Frankfurt (Main)

Klemens VIII., papa

Klemens VIII., papa

Stecher: Waumans, Coenrad Verleger: Jode, Pieter de (2) Verlagsort: Antwerpen

Alexander VII., papa

Alexander VII., papa

Verlag: Merian, Matthäus d. Ä. (Erben) Verlagsort: Frankfurt (Main)

Pope Alexander VII (Fabio Chigi), (b. 1599, Pope 1655–67)

Pope Alexander VII (Fabio Chigi), (b. 1599, Pope 1655–67)

Medalist: Gasparo Morone (Italian, born Milan (?), died Rome, 1669)

Alexander VII (Pope, 1655–67)

Alexander VII (Pope, 1655–67)

Medalist: Gasparo Morone (Italian, born Milan (?), died Rome, 1669)

Alexander VII., papa

Alexander VII., papa

unbekannter Künstler Verleger: Boissevin, Louis Verlagsort: Paris

Letter of admonition sent to the Monks and Monastery of Saint Elizabeth in the city of Barcelona on their obligation to comply with the Decree of Pope Alexander VII of March 3, 1663. The letter is dated in Rome: May 11, 1663

Letter of admonition sent to the Monks and Monastery of Saint Elizabet...

Title devised, in English, by Library staff. Jurisdiction covered: Spain. Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site. Also available on microfilm (Law Library Microfilm 84/10004). Docume... more

Alexander VII (Pope, 1655–67)

Alexander VII (Pope, 1655–67)

Medalist: Gasparo Morone (Italian, born Milan (?), died Rome, 1669)

Pope Alexander VII (Fabio Chigi), (b. 1599, Pope 1655–67)

Pope Alexander VII (Fabio Chigi), (b. 1599, Pope 1655–67)

Medalist: Gasparo Morone (Italian, born Milan (?), died Rome, 1669)

Decoration ordered by Cardinal de Retz in the Church of San Luigi, Rome, for the Saint's Feast Day

Decoration ordered by Cardinal de Retz in the Church of San Luigi, Rom...

Dominique Barrière (French, Marseille 1610–1678)

Klemens IX., papa

Klemens IX., papa

Stecher: Bonnart, Nicolas (1637)

Alexander VII (Pope, 1655–67)

Alexander VII (Pope, 1655–67)

Medalist: Gasparo Morone (Italian, born Milan (?), died Rome, 1669)

Klemens X., papa

Klemens X., papa

Stecher: Bailliu, Barend de Verleger: Rossi, Giovanni Giacomo de Drucker: Rossi, Giovanni Giacomo de Verlagsort: Rom