Wars of the Papal States and the Papacy

Wars of the Papal States and the Papacy


Wars of the Papacy and the Papal StatesFrom the Middle Ages to the birth of the modern Italian State in the 1870s, the men who served as the leaders of the Catholic Church held not only a spiritual and religious authority, but also a very real and temporal political and military power as the rulers and princes of a unique European state known as the Papal States. As rulers engaged in geopolitical and military disputes, coalitions, and negotiations, the Popes also waged war, signed treaties, and took part in all of the intrigue associated with European princes and kings of that time period.

Please note that the modern Catholic Church, as symbolized by the papacy of Pope John Paul II and now Pope Francis, denounces war at every turn, and promotes a respect and valuation of human life. The historical church and its some of its leaders in the distant past held a far different attitude toward these topics.

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Papal States

Papal States


Wars of the Papacy:

German Attack on Rome (1081-1082)


Part of the German Civil War of 1077-1106)


German Attack on Rome (1090-1092)


Part of the German Civil War of 1077-1106)


Norman-Papal War of 1053


Battle of Civitella-Pope Leo IX captured by the Normans, led by Humphrey Guiscard.


Holy Roman Empire-Papacy War (1081-1084)


Holy Roman Empire-Papacy War (1228-1241)


Holy Roman Empire-Papacy War (1243-1250)


The Ferrara War (1482-1484)


Venice and the Papal States vs. Ferrara, Genoa, Siena, Florence, Milan, and Naples


Florentine-Papal War (1485-1486)


Neopolitan War of 1494-1495


Franco-Aragonese War (1499-1504)


War of the League of Cambrai (1508-1509)


War of the Holy League (1510-1516)


Ferrara-Papal War of 1512 (part of the War of the Holy League)


Sack of Rome (1527)


Carafa War (1556-1557)


Naval Battle of Lepanto (as part of a coalition dealing with the Ottomans) (1571)


War over Parma (1641-1644)


Franco-Papal War (1660-1664)


Austro-Papal War (War of Spanish Succession) (1707-1709)


French occupation of Avignon and the Venaissin (1791)

First War of the Coalition, parts of Papal State occupied by the French Revolutionaries (1792-1797)

Revolution and French Occupation (1797-1798)

Invasion of the Papal State by Naples (1798)

Second War of the Coalition (Napoleonic Wars) (1799-1802)

Franco-Italian annexation of the Papal State (Napoleonic Wars) (1808-1809)

Liberal Revolution (Papal States aided by Austrian troops) (1831)

Austrian Occupation of Bologna, French Occupation of Ancona (1832-1839)

Rebellion of Savigno/Imola (1843)

Revolt of Rimini (1845)

Revolution (1848-1849)

Garibaldi’s Expedition against Sicily (1860-1861)

Invasion of Italian patriots (1867)


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See also: Habsburg-Valois Wars: French Wars In Italy


List of Popes

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