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torstai 25. toukokuuta 2017

Vatican City, Cool Facts #183

<= 182. San Marino                                                                                                   184. Andorra => 

1. Circus of Nero (or Caligula) 

Agrippina's garden 
Under the Roman Empire in the early 1st century Agrippina the Elder drained the marshy area called "Vatican" and laid out her gardens.

Emperor Caligula 
In the year 40 Agrippina's son Emperor Caligula built a circus for charioteers in the gardens of Agrippina. Caligula also brought the obelisk of Vatican from Egypt to the center of the Circus of Nero. The obelisk was moved to its current location to the St. Peter's Square in 1586.

Emperor Nero 
Emperor Nero completed Caligula's circus and it was called then the Circus Gaii et Neronis, or simply Circus of Nero.

The Circus of Nero is located mostly in the present-day Vatican City. The circus was the location of first organized, state-sponsored martyrdoms of Christians in 65. The traditional location of Saint Peter's tomb is in this area. The Old St. Peter's Basilica was erected over the site, using some of the existing structure of the Circus of Nero. The circus was abandoned by the middle of the second century, but some ruins seem to have survived until 1450, when they were finally destroyed by the construction of the new St. Peter's Basilica.

Circus of Nero drawing (Pietro Santi Bartoli 1699)

2. Papal States 754-1870

- Papal States is a predecessor of Vatican City
- Established in 754 as a theocracy
- The Catholic Church got the right to own land starting from 321
- The land areas of the Catholic Church grew fast through donations and inheritance
- The Church preferred to be under Byzantine protection instead of the Lombards, who ruled northern Itlay
- The Byzantine Exarchate was defeated by the Lombards in 751, which threatened Rome
- The Church allied with Pepin the Short King of Franks, who sent troops to Italy in 754 and 756
- Pepin the Short's troops conquered back the lost areas and donated them to Pope Stephen III 
- In 781 Charlemagne named the areas ruled by the pope
- The Frankish Kingdom ensured the pope's safety until the dissolution of their kingdom in 843
- The Papal State expanded greatly during the renaissance
- In 1305-1378 the popes lived in Avignon, France, under the protection of the French King
- The Papal State ceased to exist in 1434, during Napoleonic Wars and 1848, but it was revived every time
- In 1860 the Papal State lost Umbria and Marche
- In 1870 the Papal State, which consisted of only Latium, ceased to exist
- Pope Pius IX didn't approve the offer of the King of Italy for the compensation of lost lands
- Pope Pius IX refused to leave the Vatican City and so did the following popes between 1870-1929
- The "Roman Question" was solved in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty
- Vatican City was recognized as an independent state by the Kingdom of Italy in the Lateran Treaty
- Prime Minister Benito Mussolini agreed also giving financial refund to the church

Papal States in 1700

3. Avignon Papacy  

- The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1377, when seven popes resided in Avignon
- At the time Avignon was part of the Kingdom of Arles (now France)
- The situation arose from the dispute between Pope Boniface VIII and Philip IV of France
- Pope Boniface VIII's successor Benedict XI died after only eight months in office
- Finally the deadlocked conclave elected French Clement V as Pope in 1305
- Clement V declined to move to Rome, so he remained in France and moved his court to Avignon in 1309
-  The Papacy then remained in Avignon for the next 67 years
- Seven French popes reigned at Avignon and they increasingly fell under the influence of the French Crown
- In 1376 Gregory XI, the most recent French pope abandoned Avignon and moved his court to Rome, where he arrived on January 17, 1377
- Avignon remained under Papal control until 1791, when it became part of France during the French Revolution

Papal Palace in Avignon, France

4. Roman Catholic Popes 

The pope is the Bishop of Rome and the era of the pope is called pontificate.
During the pontificate of a pope, the chosen pope can practice any kind of policies that he decided and he can't be fired.
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See.

Recent popes
In 1978 Polish Karol Wojtyla or John Paul II became the first non-Italian pope since Dutch pope Adrian VI 1522-1523.
In 2013 John Paul's successor Benedict XVI was the first pope to resign since 1415.
Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio succeeded him as pope Francis.

Popes by nationality 
Italy 217
France 16
Greece 15 (3 born in Greece)
Germany 8
Syria 6
Africa 3 (Roman Africa)
Iudaea 3 (Israel)
Portugal 2
Spain 2
England 1
Netherlands 1
Poland 1
Argentina 1

Longest-reigning popes
c. 34-37 years - Peter (c. 30-64/67)
31 years - Pius IX (1846-1878)
26 years - St. John Paul II (1978-2005)

Shortest-reigning popes
13 days - Urban VIII (15-27 September 1590), died before coronation
16 days - Boniface VI (April 896)
17 days - Celestine IV (25 October-10 November 1241)

79 years 290 days - Clement X (1670)
79 years 177 days - Alexander VIII (1689)
78 years 330 days - Paul IV (1555)

Oldest popes at death or resignation (post-1295) 
93 years 140 days - Leo XIII (1903)
87 years 305 days - Clement XII (1740)
86 years 9 days - Clement X (1676)

Pope in front of the crowd

5. Pontifical Swiss Guards 

- In 1970 Pope Paul VI disbanded the Pontical Military Corps, except for the Swiss Guard 
- The Pontical Swiss Guard was established in 1506 by Pope Julius II 
- The Pontical Swiss Guard is among the oldest military units in continuous operation 
- The size of the Pontical Swiss Guard is 100 men 
- They are responsible for the safety of the Pope and the Apostolic Palace 
- The guards must be unmarried Swiss Catholic men between 19-30 years of age, who have completed training with the Swiss Armed Forces 
- Since the assassination attempt on John Paul II in 1980, there has been a stronger emphasis on the combat training of the guards 

Swiss Guards in an oath ceremony


40 Emperor Caligula built in the garden's of Agrippina the Elder a circus for charioteers that was later completed by Nero
40 The obelisk of Vatican was brought from Egypt by Caligula
64 The circus of Caligula became a site of martyrdom of many Christians after the Great Fire of Rome
326 The Constantinian basilica was built over what was thought to be the tomb of Saint Peter
754 The Papal States were established with pope as the ruler
1796 French revolutionaries conquered Italy and Rome was declared republic
1815 Pope's power was restored in the Papal States after the Congress of Vienna
1861 The 30 million strong population voted to join the Kingdom of Italy in a referendum
1870 Capture of Rome, Papal States became part of the unified Italy
1871 The Quirinal Palace was confiscated by the king of Italy and became the royal palace
1929 The dispute of Vatican City was resolved and its independence was recognized by Italy in the Lateran Treaty 
1970 The Pontical Military Corps, except for the Swiss Guard, were disbanded by will of Paul VI 
1978 Karol Wojtyla was elected as the first non-Italian Pope since Dutch Pope Adrian VI 1522-1523
2005 German Benedict XVI became the Pope after the death of John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) 
2013 Benedict XVI was the first pope to resign since 1415 and the Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio succeeded him as Pope Francis 

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