Key Points

When the holy Roman Empire arisen as a force during the 10th century, it was the an initial real non-barbarian challenge to the government of the church.A dispute between the secular and also ecclesiastical powers well-known as the Investiture controversy emerged beginning in the mid-11th century.The Investiture debate was solved with the Concordat of Worms in 1122, which gave the church power over investiture, in addition to other reforms.By undercutting the royal power developed by vault emperors, the debate led to practically fifty year of civil war in Germany, and also the triumph the the great dukes and abbots.The papacy grew stronger in the power and authority from the controversy.

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Terms

simony

The sale of church workplaces to a successor.

investiture

The government to appoint local church public representative such together bishops the cities and also abbots that monasteries.

Concordat the Worms

An agreement between Pope Calixtus II and Holy roman inn Emperor Henry V ~ above September 23, 1122, that found a resolution to the Investiture Controversy.


Overview

The Investiture debate was the most far-ranging conflict between church and also state in medieval Europe, especially the divine Roman Empire.

In the 11th and also 12th centuries, a collection of popes tested the government of european monarchies. At problem was who, the pope or monarchs, had actually the government to choose (invest) local church public official such together bishops of cities and abbots the monasteries. The conflict ended in 1122, once Emperor Henry V and Pope Calixtus II i agree on the Concordat the Worms. It differentiated between the royal and also spiritual powers and also gave the queens a limited role in selecting bishops. The outcome seemed greatly a win for the pope and also his claim that he was God’s chef representative in the world. However, the emperor go retain considerable power end the church.

The Investiture Controversy began as a strength struggle between Pope Gregory VII (1072–1085) and also Holy roman inn Emperor Henry V (1056–1106). A brief but far-ranging struggle over investiture also occurred in between Henry ns of England and Pope Paschal II in the years 1103–1107, and also the issue likewise played a minor duty in the struggles between church and state in France.

By undercutting the royal power established by vault emperors, the debate led to nearly fifty years of civil battle in Germany, and also the triumph the the good dukes and abbots. Royal power was lastly re-established under the Hohenstaufen dynasty. Historian Norman Cantor writes of that is significance:


The age of the investiture dispute may rightly be pertained to as the turning-point in middle ages civilization. It was the fulfillment that the at an early stage Middle Ages since in the the accept of the Christian religious beliefs by the Germanic individuals reached its final and decisive stage…The greater part of the spiritual and political system of the high middle Ages emerged out that the events and ideas of the investiture controversy.
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Investiture. A woodcut by Philip van Ness (1905), A medieval king investing a bishop with the icons of office.


Origins

After the decrease of the roman Empire and prior to the Investiture Controversy, investiture, while about theory a job of the church, to be in practice performed by members the the spiritual nobility. Numerous bishops and also abbots to be themselves component of the ruling nobility. Due to the fact that an eldest son would inherit the title of the father, siblings often found careers in the church. This was an especially true where the family may have developed a proprietary church or abbey on your estate. Due to the fact that Otto i (936-972) the bishops had actually been princes that the empire, had actually secured plenty of privileges, and also had come to be to a great extent feudal lords over great districts that the imperial territory. The manage of these an excellent units the economic and military power was for the king a inquiry of primary importance, as it influenced the imperial authority. That was necessary for a ruler or nobleman to choose (or sell the office to) someone that would stay loyal.

Since a substantial amount that wealth and also land to be usually associated with the office that a bishop or abbot, the revenue of church offices (a practice recognized as simony) was an important source of revenue for leaders amongst the nobility, that themselves own the land and by charity enabled the building of churches.

The crisis started when a team within the church, members that the Gregorian Reform, determined to rebel against the dominion of simony by forcefully taking the power of investiture indigenous the ruling secular power, i.e., the holy Roman Emperor, and placing that strength wholly within regulate of the church. The Gregorian reversal knew this would certainly not be possible so lengthy as the emperor kept the ability to choose the pope, therefore their very first step to be to forcibly acquire the papacy from the manage of the emperor. An possibility came in 1056 once six-year-old Henry IV became the German king; the reformers took advantage of his young age and also inability to react by seizing the papacy by force. In 1059 a church council in Rome declared, through In Nomine Domini, that leaders of the nobility would have no component in the an option of popes, and also created the university of Cardinals together a human body of electors consisted of entirely of church officials. Once Rome regained manage of the choice of the pope, that was all set to strike the exercise of investiture and also simony on a wide front.

In 1075, Pope Gregory VII written the Dictatus Papae. One i asserted that the deposal of one emperor was under the single power of the pope. It asserted that the roman church was founded by God alone—that the papal strength was the sole universal power. Through this time, Henry IV to be no much longer a child, and also he continued to choose his own bishops. He reaction to this declaration by sending Gregory VII a letter in i beg your pardon he withdrew his royal support the Gregory together pope in no uncertain terms.

The situation was made even an ext dire once Henry IV set up his chaplain, Tedald, a Milanese priest, as Bishop that Milan when one more priest that Milan, Atto, had currently been favored by the pope because that candidacy. In 1076 the pope comment by excommunicating Henry and deposing him together German king, releasing every Christians from your oath the allegiance come him.

Enforcing these declarations was a different matter, yet the benefit gradually came to the next of the pope. German princes and also the aristocracy to be happy to hear that the king’s deposition. Castle used religious reasons to continue the rebellion began at the first Battle the Langensalza in 1075, and also to seize imperial holdings. Aristocrats asserted local lordships over peasants and also property, constructed forts, which had actually previously to be outlawed, and built up localized fiefdoms to secure your autonomy from the empire.

The Investiture Controversy ongoing for several decades as each succeeding pope tried come diminish imperial power by stirring up revolt in Germany. This revolts were gradually successful. Henry IV was succeeded upon his death in 1106 by his kid Henry V, who had actually rebelled against his father in donate of the papacy, and who had actually made his dad renounce the legality that his antipopes prior to he died. Nevertheless, Henry V decided one more antipope, Gregory VIII. Later, he renounced few of the legal rights of investiture v the Concordat of Worms, abandoned Gregory, and also was received earlier into communion and also recognized as legitimate emperor together a result.


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Henry IV. This illustration reflects Henry IV requesting mediation native Matilda of Tuscany and abbot Hugh the Cluny.


The Concordat the Worms and Its Significance

After fifty year of fighting, the Concordat the Worms provided a lasting compromise as soon as it was signed on September 23, 1122. It removed lay investiture if leaving secular leaders part room because that unofficial but far-ranging influence in the appointment process. The emperor renounced the best to invest ecclesiastics with ring and also crosier, the signs of their spiritual power, and also guaranteed choice by the canons of cathedral or abbey and totally free consecration.

The Concordat of Worms carried an end to the an initial phase of the power struggle in between the papacy and the holy Roman emperors, and also has been construed as containing in ~ itself the germ of nation-based sovereignty that would at some point be shown in the contract of Westphalia (1648). In component this to be an unforeseen result of strategic maneuvering in between the church and also the european sovereigns end political manage within their domains.

While the monarchy was embroiled in the conflict with the church, it declined in power and broke apart. Localized civil liberties of lordship end peasants grew. This led to multiple effects:

Increased serfdom that decreased human civil liberties for the majority;Increased taxes and also levies that royal coffers declined;Localized civil liberties of justice wherein courts go not have to answer to royal authority.

In the long term, the decrease of royal power would certainly divide Germany until the 19th century. Similarly, in Italy, the Investiture controversy weakened the emperor’s authority and strengthened local separatist forces. However, the papacy prospered stronger native the controversy. Assembling because that public opinion engaged lay people in religious affairs that raised lay piety, setting the phase for the Crusades and the good religious vitality of the 12th century.

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The conflict did not end with the Concordat the Worms. Future disputes between popes and Holy roman inn emperors continued until north Italy was shed to the realm entirely. The church would crusade versus the holy Roman realm under Frederick II.