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© Copyright 2018

Gianluca Pica
 


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BLOG OF A TOUR GUIDE IN ROME

18/08/2019, 14:16

#unaguidaturisticaroma, #atourguiderome, #romeisus, #rome, #roma, #torre, #medioevo, #middleages, #tower, #pope, #papa



THE-TOWER-OF-THE-"PAPITTO":-THE-HISTORY-OF-AN-"ANTIPAPA"


 A medieval tower is a symbol of the Middle Ages in Rome, when the city was strictly divided between official Popes and "antipapi", men who were elected by not recognized conclave in order to...



In the sacred Area of Largo Argentina in Rome, next to the remains of four ancient Roman temples, built between the III and the I century BC, there is a small fortified tower from the medieval age: the "Tower of the Papitto". It was erected at the XII century AD and it is related to a man, Pietro Pierleoni, who will be famous with the name of Anacleto II. It was the name choosen by Pietro when he became..."antipapa"! What does it mean "antipapa"? It is a way to indicate all the Popes who are not officialy recognized by the Holy Church, men who were elected by a part of the clergy, due to conspiracy or political troubles. The "Tower of the Papitto" is symbolizing the tangled and confused period that Rome lived during the Middle Ages, mainly between the IX and the XIII century AD, when in Rome there were several noble families that fought each other, trying to influence Popes, cardinals and the ordinary people, in order to gain more power. Imagine "Romeo and Juliet" by Shakespeare, and imagine the two families, Montecchi and Capuleti. In Rome the situation was excatly the same: the Eternal City was not a safety place, because the members of the different families (and here there were more than just two clans), used to fight each other, creating scuffles or building fortified towers and homes. Understanding how the poor Romans used to live at that time, it’s time to think about this small tower, an evidence of the hard times lived by Rome at the Middle Ages. The nickname "Papitto" came from Anacleto II: it seems that Pietro Pierleoni was a little man, so much that he was called "Papetto". He was a member of the Pierleoni family, one of the most powerful in Rome at that time. And this tower was one of the private properties owned by the clan. But if there is an "antipapa" there is also a real Pope. In this case the main enemy for Anacleto II was the Pontiff Innocenzo II, who tried several times to expel Pietro Pierleoni. Imagine how at the 1130 the Pope Onorio II was close to die. At that time two families were fighting to take the power: the Frangipane, supporters of Onorio II, and the Pierleoni. In order to avoid that the powerful cardinal Pietro Pierleoni could become a Pope, during the night between the 13th and 14th Febraury of the 1130 a secret Conclave, joioned by the cardinals close to Onorio II, elected the next Pope of the Holy Church: Gregogio Papareschi, who will become Pope with the name of Innocenzo II. But this election was not recognized and officialized by the Pierleoni family and the cardinals who supported it. So another Conclave was opened, and an "antipapa" was elected: Pietro Pierleoni, with the name of Anacleto II! It is incredible to understand how the clergy and the people were striclty divided. Rome supported both, so much that Innocenzo II escaped by Rome, in order to enjoy a sort of tour in Europe, finding new allies, loans and new friends. At the 1132 another conclave took place in Piacenza, with important members of the kingdoms of England, Aragona and Castiglia: here it was announced how the election of the Pope Innocenzo II was the official one and the only one that could be recognized. So at first Anacleto II found a refuge at the St Angel Castle, but then he escaped...following the same example of Innocenzo II. He tried to find new important and powerful friends, but at the end he died at the 1138. So the "Tower of the Papitto" is again a symbol of the hard times lived by the ordinary people of Rome, at the medieval times. Rome was just a politcal battlefield used by the noble families in order to take more power, using the political power of the Popes to rule Rome, to inaugurate relationships with kings or emperors, and to use the treasures and money took by the Holy Church, as an institution. Just a small building that is able to tell us many things about Rome. #unaguidaturisticaroma #atourguiderome #romeisus #rome #roma #archeologia #archeology  #tower #torre #medioevo #middleages #pope #papa




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