Ozment, Steven E. The Age of Reform: 1250-1550 : An Intellectual and Religious History of Late Medieval and Reformation Europe. New Haven, Conn. ; London: Yale University Press, 1980. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 4, “The Ecclesiopolitical Traditions” pp. 135-181 Part 2, “The Pre-eminence of Peter” pp. 137-144
Ozment questions the rise of the papacy to political dominance. “Until the fourteenth century medieval Europe had been a peculiarly ‘Christian commonwealth’; where a genuine sense of transregional unity and cooperation existed, it resulted more from religious bonds than from any clear political or ‘national’ identity” (Ozment 1980, 138). He states that religion is just as important to politics as to other areas of history and culture. The papacy is portrayed as asserting its power. “No other medieval institution had richer intellectual resources for convincing an age open to religious argument of its authority” (Ibid., 138). Ozment adduces a letter from Pope Gelasius 1 (492-96) to Emperor Anastasius, asserting the eternal importance of the papacy over the temporal importance of the emperor (Ibid.). Leaders of the church had a history including excommunication of high public officials. The tradition of the Pope crowning emperors had its seeds in the coronation of Charlemagne and was a tradition from 962 until the 16th century (Ibid., 140). On the other side of this issue, Ozment observes that rulers would use their secular authority to require the church to provide goods and services (Ibid.). “In the eleventh century both kings and popes assumed the unity of Christendom, while at the same time recognizing distinctive spheres of secular and ecclesiastical life” (Ibid., 141). The two spheres each sought dominance. Eventually in the 11th and 12th centuries papal leverage prevented political figures from appointing bishops and won authority for the pope over emperors by 1202 (Ibid., 143).