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Catholic Dictionary




The civil territory subject to the popes as temporal rulers from 754 and 756 by Pepin, King of the Franks, to Pope Stephen II, of the Duchy of Rome, the Exarchate of Ravenna, and the Marches of Ancona. This land was enlarged by later additions, e.g., from Charlemagne in 787 and from the Countess of Matilda of Tuscany in 1115. Until the French Revolution the Papal States remained substantially what they were in the time of Charlemagne. In the nineteenth century the nationalist movement to unite the principalities of Italy into one country was successful. On September 20, 1870, Rome was taken by Italian troops. However, the legal possession of the Papal States was not recognized by the Pope until the Lateran Treaty in 1929.