Holy Roman Empire

ImperialHoly Roman EmperorGermany
The empire then became fatally divided along religious lines, with the north, the east, and many of the major cities – Strasbourg, Frankfurt, and Nuremberg – becoming Protestant while the southern and western regions largely remained Catholic. Charles V continued to battle the French and the Protestant princes in Germany for much of his reign. After his son Philip married Queen Mary of England, it appeared that France would be completely surrounded by Habsburg domains, but this hope proved unfounded when the marriage produced no children. In 1555, Paul IV was elected pope and took the side of France, whereupon an exhausted Charles finally gave up his hopes of a world Christian empire.

Christian denomination

denominationdenominationsChristian denominations
The Protestant Reformation began with the posting of Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses in Saxony on October 31, 1517, written as a set of grievances to reform the pre-Reformation Western Church. Luther's writings, combined with the work of Swiss theologian Huldrych Zwingli and French theologian and politician John Calvin sought to reform existing problems in doctrine and practice. Due to the reactions of ecclesiastical office holders at the time of the reformers, these reformers separated from the Catholic Church, instigating a rift in Western Christianity.

Papal conclave

conclaveconclavespapal election
Since the end of the Western Schism in 1417, however, elections have always taken place in Rome (except in 1799–1800, when French troops occupying Rome forced the election to be held in Venice), and normally in what, since the Lateran Treaties of 1929, has become the independent Vatican City State. Since 1846, when the Quirinal Palace was used, the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican has served as the location of the election.


Milan, ItalyMilanoMilano, Italy
Milan's population, like that of Italy as a whole, is mostly Catholic. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milan. The city is also home to sizeable Orthodox, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant communities. Milan has its own historic Catholic rite known as the Ambrosian Rite (Italian: Rito ambrosiano).

Canon law of the Catholic Church

canon lawcanonicalCatholic canon law
The canon law of the Catholic Church (jus canonicum) is the system of laws and legal principles made and enforced by the hierarchical authorities of the Catholic Church to regulate its external organization and government and to order and direct the activities of Catholics toward the mission of the Church. It was the first modern Western legal system and is the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the West, while the unique traditions of Oriental canon law govern the 23 Eastern Catholic particular churches sui iuris.


Republic of AlbaniaAlbanianALB
The Roman Empire was split in 395 upon the death of Theodosius I into an Eastern and Western Roman Empire in part due to the weakening and increasing pressure from threats during the Barbarian Invasions. From the 6th century ongoing into the 7th century, the Slavs crossed the Danube and largely absorbed the indigenous Ancient Greeks, Illyrians and Thracians in the Balkans thus, the Illyrians were mentioned for the last time in historical records in the 7th century. In the 11th century, the Great Schism formalised the break of communion between the Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic Church that is reflected in Albania through the emergence of a Catholic north and Orthodox south.


The Western Roman Empire began falling apart after the great invasion of Vandals, Alans, and Sueves across the Rhine on the last day of 406. Eventually the Vandals, after roaming about western and southern Spain for 20 years moved to North Africa in 429. They occupied Carthage in 439 (The Franks moved south from Belgium. The Visigoths moved west and were eventually settled in Aquitaine in 418; the Burgundians were settled in Savoy in 443). This put them in a position to threaten Sicily only 100 miles away. After taking Carthage the Vandals personally led by King Gaiseric laid siege to Palermo in 440 as the opening act in an attempt to wrest the island from Roman rule personally.

European Union

The most religious countries were Malta (95%, predominantly Roman Catholic) as well as Cyprus and Romania (both predominantly Orthodox) each with about 90% of citizens professing a belief in their respective god. Across the EU, belief was higher among women, older people, those with religious upbringing, those who left school at 15 or 16, and those "positioning themselves on the right of the political scale". Through successive enlargements, the European Union has grown from the six founding states (Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) to the current.

Portuguese people

PortuguesePortuguese diasporaPortuguese parents
The Portuguese language itself is a local later evolution of the Roman language, Latin after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th and 6th centuries. Viriathus is the first ‘national hero’ for the Portuguese as Vercingetorix is for the French or Boudicca for the English. Modern Portuguese are an Iberian ethnic group and share a similar makeup to that of fellow Southern Europeans. The Western Coast of Iberia, which composes the land of Galicia and Portugal, was a converging point of migratory movements in the past and during the Portuguese Discoveries. As a result, the Portuguese were introduced to new cultures and ethnicities.

Italian unification

Risorgimentounification of ItalyKingdom of Italy
The term, which also designates the cultural, political and social movement that promoted unification, recalls the romantic, nationalist and patriotic ideals of an Italian renaissance through the conquest of a unified political identity that, by sinking its ancient roots during the Roman period, "suffered an abrupt halt [or loss] of its political unity in 476 AD after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire". However, some of the terre irredente did not join the Kingdom of Italy until 1918 after Italy defeated Austria–Hungary in World War I.


Northwest AfricaMaghribNorth Africa
There are communities of Christians mostly Catholics and Protestant in Algeria (100,000–380,000), Mauritania (6,500), Morocco (~380,000), Libya (170,000), and Tunisia (100,750). Most of the Roman Catholics in Greater Maghreb are of French, Spanish, and Italian descent who immigrated during the colonial era, while some are foreign missionaries or immigrant workers. There is also a Christian communities of Berber or Arab descent in Greater Maghreb, mostly converted during the modern era or under and after French colonialism.

Carolingian Empire

CarolingianCarolingian eraFrankish Empire
Considered a milestone in European history, the Oaths of Strasbourg symbolize the birth of both France and Germany. The partition of Carolingian Empire was finally settled in 843 by and between Louis the Pious' three sons in the Treaty of Verdun. Lothar received the Imperial title, the Kingship of Italy, and the territory between the Rhine and Rhone Rivers, collectively called the Central Frankish Realm. Louis was guaranteed the Kingship of all lands to the east of the Rhine and to the north and east of Italy, which was called the Eastern Frankish Realm which was the precursor to modern Germany. Charles received all lands west of the Rhone, which was called the Western Frankish Realm.

Latin alphabet

LatinRoman alphabetRoman
Western Latin character sets (computing). Transl. of, as revised by the author. Peter Lang. Peter Lang. Peter Lang. Lewis and Short Latin Dictionary on the letter G. Latin-Alphabet.

Adriatic Sea

AdriaticAdriatic coastThe Adriatic
During the 4th century AD the emperors of the Western Roman Empire had moved their official residence north from Rome to Mediolanum (now Milan) in order to be better able to control the military frontier with the Germanic tribes. In 402 AD, during a period of repeated Germanic invasions of Italy, the capital was shifted to Ravenna because nearby marshes made it more defensible, and the Adriatic provided an easy escape path by sea. When the Western Empire fell in 476 AD Ravenna became the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy. In the Early Middle Ages, after the Roman Empire's decline, the Adriatic's coasts were ruled by Ostrogoths, Lombards and the Byzantine Empire.

Enclave and exclave

Geneva Airport in Switzerland has a French Sector, which, while legally and geographically in Switzerland, is a de facto French domestic terminal used solely for flights to and from destinations in metropolitan France, and manned by French officials. Thus, prior to Switzerland's accession to the Schengen Area (which entered into force for air travel in March 2009), the French Sector saved the need for border controls for flights between France and Geneva Airport. The French Sector is only accessible by a road connecting it directly to France, which passes through Swiss territory but has no junctions or other physical access to Switzerland.

Pope Leo III

Leo IIIIIILeo III, Pope of Rome
. * List of Catholic saints. List of popes. Translation of Einhard's Life of Charlemagne (c. 817–830, translated in 1880).

West Francia

West Frankish KingdomWest FrankishWestern Francia
Louis III of France (879-882). Carloman II (882-884). Charles the Fat (885-888). Odo of France (888-898). Charles the Simple (898-922). Robert I of France (922-923). Rudolph of France (923-936). Louis IV of France (936-954). Lothair of France (954-986). Louis V of France (986-987). Hugh Capet (987-996). Jim Bradbury. The Capetians: Kings of France, 987–1328. London: Hambledon Continuum, 2007. Simon Coupland. "The Coinages of Pippin I and II of Aquitaine" Revue numismatique, 6th series, 31 (1989), 194–222. Geoffrey Koziol. "Charles the Simple, Robert of Neustria, and the vexilla of Saint-Denis". Early Medieval Europe 14:4 (2006), 355–90. Archibald R. Lewis.

East Francia

East FrankishEast Frankish KingdomEastern Francia
Kingdoms and Communities in Western Europe, 900–1300. Oxford: Clarendon, 1997. Len Scales. The Shaping of German Identity: Authority and Crisis, 1245–1414. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Walter Ullmann. The Carolingian Renaissance and the Idea of Kingship. London: Methuen, 1969. Karl Ferdinand Werner. "Les nations et le sentiment national dans l'Europe médiévale". Revue Historique, 244:2 (1970), 285–304.

Common law

common-lawcourts of common lawcommon
The canon law of the Catholic Church influenced the common law during the medieval period through its preservation of Roman law doctrine such as the presumption of innocence. The common law constitutes the basis of the legal systems of: and many other generally English-speaking countries or Commonwealth countries (except the UK's Scotland, which is bijuridicial, and Malta).


The crusades were a series of religious wars in western Asia and Europe initiated, supported and sometimes directed by the Roman Catholic Church between the 11th and the 17thcentury. The crusades differed from other religious conflicts. They were a Penance by the participants and brought forgiveness for confessed sin. The definition of the term is debatable, some historians restrict it to armed pilgrimages to Jerusalem, others expand it to all Catholic military campaigns with a promise of spiritual benefits, all Catholic "holy wars" or those with the main characteristic of religious fervour.

Estates of the realm

EstatesThird Estateestate
(French: Qu'est-ce que le tiers-état?) It was written by Abbé Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès in January 1789, shortly before the start of the French Revolution. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, numerous geographic and ethnic kingdoms developed among the endemic peoples of Europe, affecting their day-to-day secular lives; along with those, the growing influence of the Catholic Church and its Papacy affected the ethical, moral and religious lives and decisions of all.

Carolingian dynasty

CarolingianCarolingiansCarolingian period
Rather, the coronation of 751 is seen typically as a product of the aspirations of one man, Pepin, whose father, dynastic founder Charles Martel, had been a Frankish high court official military commander, and of the Roman Catholic Church, which was always looking for powerful secular protectors and for the extension of its spiritual and temporal influence. The greatest Carolingian monarch was Charlemagne, Pepin's son. Charlemagne was crowned Emperor by Pope Leo III at Rome in 800. His empire, ostensibly a continuation of the Western Roman Empire, is referred to historiographically as the Carolingian Empire.


KölnCologne, GermanyKöln, Germany
As of 2015, 35.5% of the population belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, the largest religious body, and 15.5% to the Evangelical Church. Irenaeus of Lyons claimed that Christianity was brought to Cologne by Roman soldiers and traders at an unknown early date. Though it is known that in the early second century it was a bishop's seat. The first historical Bishop of Cologne was Saint Maternus. Thomas Aquinas studied in Cologne in 1244 under Albertus Magnus. Cologne is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne.


NormanNorman timesAnglo-Norman
Having obtained the consent of Pope Gregory VII and acting as his vassal, Robert continued his campaign conquering the Balkan peninsula as a foothold for western feudal lords and the Catholic Church. After allying himself with Croatia and the Catholic cities of Dalmatia, in 1081 he led an army of 30,000 men in 300 ships landing on the southern shores of Albania, capturing Valona, Kanina, Jericho (Orikumi), and reaching Butrint after numerous pillages. They joined the fleet that had previously conquered Corfu and attacked Dyrrachium from land and sea, devastating everything along the way.


episcopateepiscopal consecrationbishops
And today, the principality of Andorra is headed by two co-princes, one of whom is a Catholic bishop (and the other, the President of France). In France before the French Revolution, representatives of the clergy — in practice, bishops and abbots of the largest monasteries — comprised the First Estate of the Estates-General, until their role was abolished during the French Revolution. In the 21st century, the more senior bishops of the Church of England continue to sit in the House of Lords of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, as representatives of the established church, and are known as Lords Spiritual.