The Concordat of Worms

15 Dec, 2011 940 History of Europe

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Concordat of Worms. This treaty between the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire, signed in 1122, put an end, at least for a time, to years of power struggle and bloodshed. The wrangling between the German kings and the Church over who had the ultimate authority to elect bishops, use the ceremonial symbols of office in his coronation and even choose the pope himself, was responsible for centuries of discord. The hatred between the two parties reached such a pinnacle that it resulted in the virtual destruction of Rome at the hands of the Normans in 1084.Nearly forty years later Emperor Henry V and Pope Calixtus II came to a compromise; their agreement became known as the Concordat of Worms, named after the town where they met and signed the treaty. The Concordat created a historic distinction between secular power and spiritual authority, and more clearly defined the respective powers of monarchs and the Church. Although in the short term the Concordat failed to prevent further conflict, some historians believe that it paved the way for the modern nation-state.

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  • Henrietta Leyser 5 episodes
    Emeritus Fellow of St Peter's College, University of Oxford
  • Kate Cushing No other episodes
    Reader in Medieval History at Keele University
  • John Gillingham 2 episodes
    Emeritus Professor of History at the London School of Economics and Political Science

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Auto-category: 940.1 (Europe–History–Medieval, 476-1500)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello on to 23rd of September 1122 in a town on the west bank of the River Rhine known as Worms an agreement was signed between Pope Calixtus II and the German Emperor Henry V. This treaty, the Concordat of Worms, hoped to mark the end of a long-running bitter and bloody dispute between church and state over who had the right to appoint bishops and even the pope himself.