The Rise of the Papacy Essay

1637 Words7 Pages
CHHI-301-D10 LUO FALL2013

The Rise of the Papacy

In the void left by the collapse of the Roman Empire, the bishop of Rome grew even more in both power and prestige beginning in the sixth century and continuing to the reformation in the ninth century. It is the aim of this paper to explain how and why the papacy in Rome became the center of power of the medieval world, the factors contributing to this dominance over Western Europe, and the positive and negative ramifications of the position becoming so powerful. Through this paper you will discover how papacy was able to fill the vacuum of power left by the fall of an empire.

THE HOW AND WHY When the Roman Empire fell services that it previously
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The first factor that led to the papacy’s increase in authority is the spread of Christianity throughout the region. Coinciding with the collapse of the Roman Empire, missionaries were reaching areas of Europe not under the empire’s control. Missionaries such as Saint Patrick, Saint Columba, and Saint Columbanus spread Christianity throughout the celtic regions of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Meanwhile other missionaries including Wilfrid, Willibrord, Lullus, and Boniface concentrated their efforts in the Germania, bringing an increase to the population of Christian Saxons. In what is now France, king Clovis I converted to the faith in the late 5th century. On his insistence many of his court and peers followed suit. This strengthened the church by uniting multiple kingdoms under its control. These examples of Christianity spreading throughout Europe demonstrate the growth in power of the church. As new regions became more and more predominately Christian the number of people professing allegiance to the church also increased. The papacy had no shortage of subjects to rule over and an increasing amount of resources at its disposal. This increase in subjects and research, and the land under control of the office increasing led to a dominance over Western Europe. The second factor that

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