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The Papal States ( PAY-pəl; Italian: Stato Pontificio; Latin: Dicio Pontificia), officially the State of the Church (Italian: Stato della Chiesa [ˈstaːto della ˈkjɛːza]; Latin: Status Ecclesiasticus), were a conglomeration of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign rule of the pope from 756 until 1870. They were among the major states of Italy from the 8th century until the unification of Italy, between 1859 and 1870. The state was legally established in the 8th century when Pepin III "the Short," King of the Franks, gifted Pope Stephen II, as a temporal sovereign, lands formerly held by Arian Lombards, adding them to lands and other real estate formerly acquired and held by the bishops of Rome, as landlords, from the time of Constantine onward. This donation came about as part of a process whereby the popes began to turn away from the Byzantine emperors as their foremost temporal guardians for reasons such as increased imperial taxes, disagreement with respect to iconoclasm, and failure of the emperors, or their exarchs in Italy, to protect the peninsula and Rome from barbarian invasion and pillage.During the Renaissance, the papal territory expanded greatly, and the pope became one of Italy's most important secular rulers as well as the head of Western Christianity. At their zenith, the Papal States covered most of the modern Italian regions of Lazio (which includes Rome), Marche, Umbria and Romagna, and portions of Emilia. These lands were held of the temporal power of the pope, as opposed to his ecclesiastical primacy. By 1861, much of the Papal States' territory had been conquered by the Kingdom of Italy. Only Lazio, including Rome, remained under the pope's temporal control. In 1870, the pope lost Lazio and Rome and had no physical territory at all, except the Leonine City within Rome, which the new Italian state refrained from occupying militarily, despite its annexation. In 1929, the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, the head of the Italian government, ended the "Prisoner in the Vatican" problem involving a unified Italy and the Holy See by negotiating the Lateran Treaty, signed by the two parties. This treaty recognized the sovereignty of the Holy See over a newly created international territorial entity, a city-state within Rome limited to a token territory which became the Vatican City. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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Subject - wd:Q170174

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