This is the fifth of the medieval history lectures – it’s long enough to need two parts. In the run-through of politics, I cover major political and power questions from the end of Rome to the end of the fifteenth century. This lecture begins the epic narrative of a several hundred year battle between popes in Rome and various kings and emperors over who ultimately controls the reigns of power. The controversy begins over a specific question of who can appoint and “invest” bishops with their office. As members of the church hierarchy, the Pope felt it was obviously them, but kings had long had a hand in choosing bishops in their realm. Furthermore, each bishop controlled a fair amount of territory that came with the office to ensure them an income, so kings had an obvious political interest in being able to influence who the major landholders in their kingdoms would be.
Poster Image Credit – Calixtus II crowning Henry V