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date: 21 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the changing nature of papal authority in the middle ages chiefly by focussing on its limitations, its indirect manifestations and the extent to which popes needed to be negotiators, communicators and indeed intercessors between the centre and the periph-eries. Whilst, as will be seen, the papacy developed a range of mechanisms by which it could extend its jurisdiction into the localities especially from the eleventh century onwards, the papacy would often find it difficult to control its representatives in the world beyond Rome. Maintaining a balance between their own political survival and their response to the pastoral needs of the wider familia of the societas christiana was a challenge that, as will be seen, few popes were able completely to meet.

Keywords: canon law, bishops, investiture contest, Rome, Holy Roman Emperor

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