Crisis of Kingdom of Italy and Strengthening of Local Life Part 4
King Ugo lasted longer in northern Italy. But even here, at a certain point, the ground began to collapse under him. The support of the greats was failing. One of them, Berengario d’Ivrea, nephew of the first Berengar, fled to Otto king of Germany, established relations with the lords of the kingdom, always well disposed to changes, went down to Italy for the Adige valley in 945, made a wide distribution of lands, offices, privileges to vassals of Hugh and Lothair and for some years he had de facto government especially in the north-east region, where Verona was almost his capital, while Ugo turned his care especially to the north-west, to ward off any threat of the Saracens of Frassineto. After Ugo and Lotario died, Berengario had himself crowned with his son Adalberto in Pavia (950). He represented the extension also to the north, after that in Rome, of a current that we could call national. But his power was more appearance than substance. Part of the kingdom escaped Berengar. In Rome, Alberic always mastered, also arbiter of the imperial crown: and Rome conditioned the possession of all central Italy. The imperial vacancy gave foreign kings an opportunity or pretext for intervention. In short, Rome was, if not sufficient, certainly necessary fulfillment and support of the royal dignity; it was somewhat the key to the vault of the Italian political edifice. The bishops took advantage of this situation of things, more and more powerful from the end of the century. IX.
According to COLLEGETOPPICKS, the transition from simple negative immunities to positive ones had begun then or had become almost normal, that is, first to patrimonial jurisdictions and then to public jurisdictions, initially limited to the city, but soon expanded to embrace, for some bishops, the whole countryside. This transformation began in 840, or a few decades later: of course, with Carlomanno, Carlo il Grosso, Berengario I, etc .; with diplomas from the churches of Piacenza, Ravenna, Reggio, Verona, Cremona, Arezzo, etc., we are in full innovation. The more the forces of the state – kingdom and empire – dwindled, the more others grew, bishops and great seculars, the bishops, as a whole, more than the great ones, sometimes in place of comital families that were dying out. Bishops often come out of the same stocks from which the accounts came: and yet, a certain antagonism between the two aristocracies, gravitating towards different centers, different as a patrimonial organization, different in moral position in relations with citizens. A lot of solidarity, almost always, between them and the bishops, in this first phase. Citizens, abandoned to themselves, not well disposed towards the Carolingian counts and even in need of protection, tied for a hundred bonds to the urban church, gather around their ecclesiastical pastor and with him solicit from Guido and Lamberto, from Ludovico and Rodolfo, the right to remove walls and towers, to dig ditches. In the life of many Italian cities, between the century. IX and X, only bishops and citizens appear: those, intercessors and concessionaires, for the benefit of all. And so, after the moral pre-eminence, after the patrimonial and feudal strength, also a high political position and public law that makes the bishops the decisive element in the diets of the kingdom and the empire. On the other hand, the accounts are increasingly discredited, especially in the cities. Even the new comital families, born between the century. IX and X, from leaders of Provence and Burgundy, from Italian knights risen to fortune, from ancient royal and ducal gastaldi of Tuscany and Spoleto, only partially took over from the ancient ones. Some, yes, are destined to rise very high: Aleramici, Anscarici, Arduinici, Obertenghi, Canossa, who in the century. X have extensive brands. But they do not occupy the place of the old accounts in all committees; and, where they occupy it, only in the territory, since many bishops had meanwhile taken over in the cities. Tuscany should be excluded,
This ascension of bishops, which in the Rhenish and Danubian regions was largely the work of kings, was carried out in Italy more freely and much earlier, that is, during the 9th and 10th centuries, in the cities of Lombard Italy, after earlier performed in cities subject to the Greek Empire. The history of our country is, especially in the centuries ranging from the eighth to the century. XV, the story of the spontaneous development of the peasant forces. In no other country as here, fact precedes law. And yet even in Italy a policy of kings, increasingly defined by the century. IX onwards, to enhance for their own purposes these bishops who cover the cities with their shadow and almost represent their new life, to replace or contrast them with the accounts where the accounts fail or are fomented by rebellion and disorder, to find in them that basis that the lay gentlemen no longer provide and no other class yet provides. Great and twofold the importance of the bishops in this era: in the internal relations of the cities and in the relations of the state, as exponents of still immature peasant forces, as a means of directing politics against the secular lords.