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|States of the Church|
Stato della ChiesaTimeline: Principia Moderni IV (Map Game)
OTL equivalent: Papal States
Noi Vogliam Dio, Vergine Maria
(and largest city)
|Official languages||Latin, Italian|
|Government||Theocratic Absolute Elective Monarchy|
|-||Treaty of Venice||1177|
The Papal States is a nation in Europe. It is considered the center of the Roman Catholic denomination of Christianity and as such is a major force in current European geopolitics. For much of Christianity's history the city has been considered the center of the faith and the Bishop of Rome, typically referred to as the Pope, as its leader. After the fall of Rome and the departure of Eastern Roman forces, the Pope managed to consolidate his power and began to exert his authority, first as an agent of the new Holy Roman Empire and eventually on its own.
For much of the Medieval Era the Papacy commanded considerable respect and influence, as faith was the guiding principle that united much of Europe at this time. The Pope regularly flexed its influence when able and willing, although the changing of keys did lead to considerable policy changes at times. Despite this, the Pope gradually won the battle for primacy against the Holy Roman Emperor, concluding that while the Emperor was the greater earthly authority, the Pope was the representative of God on Earth and therefore was the greater.
At other times, the Pope would listen to the appeal of other states and excommunicate those it felt had strayed from the divine path. Other times the Pope would declare a crusade against heretics and heathens who threatened the direct integrity of the faith or the safety of its holy places, most notably in the Holy Land of the Levant. These crusades, while successful in stirring the faith, starting new military organizations for the faithful and gaining control of the holy places for a period of time, ultimately failed in defeating the Muslim rulers of the Middle East in perpetually. However they did have more success against the Baltic pagans and Christian heretics.
At the beginning of the modern era the Papal States lay considerably divided by the Western Schism between Rome and Avignon. Thanks to the support of France, Milan, and Pope Boniface IX's skillful diplomacy, Papal authority was mostly restored and the Antipope and his supporters were put on the run and had lost most of their influence. This work was continued by his successor Pope Innocent VII, who succeeded in mending the Western Schism before his death.
The Papal Army is not truly an army in the traditional sense, but an amalgamation of forces raised by the Papal lords, mercenaries, and members of the Papacy's five knightly orders. Neither standing nor firmly united, the Papal Army is mostly raised in times of crisis and war and sees little attention otherwise.
The Papal Navy is small compared to most contemporary Mediterranean navies at only about twenty-five ships in total. Based at Ostia and Ancona, the Papal Navy usually only does its part to protect against pirates and Muslim incursions into the West.
The Papal Guards are the protectors of the Pontiff at all times. Formed in 1412 during the Council of Avignon, the Papal Guard is composed of veterans from the five knightly orders under Papal control. These are as follows:
- Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, nicknamed Canons. Colors are red, black, and white.
- Supreme Order of Christ, nicknamed Templars. Colors are white and red.
- Order of the Golden Spur, nicknamed Sperons. Colors are red and white.
- Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, nicknamed Hospitallers. Colors are black and white.
- Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, nicknamed Teutons. Colors are white and black.