A Pope Captured, A Church Triumphant
This epilogue explains the connection between Pope Leo IX's last days and the history of ecclesiastical revival. Leo was captured by the Normans of southern Italy in the Battle of Civitate that took place on June 18, 1053. He was freed in March 1054 and died a month later. According to the traditional narrative, Leo was a transitional figure, ruling at the end of imperial reform and at the beginning of the real Gregorian Reform that would free the Latin Church from its feudal ties and pave the way for the canon-law-centered, Rome-centered Church of the High Middle Ages. This chapter uses Leo's captivity as a vantage point to trace the progress that the Latin Church had made since the chaotic decades of the late ninth and early tenth centuries. It argues that, long before the high drama of papal and imperial conflict over investitures, a renewed, powerful, and self-confident Latin Church was already occupying center stage.
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