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Pope Benedict IX

Pope Benedict IX from The Lives and Times of the Popes, Volume 3

Most of the more than 170 medieval popes were good men trying to serve their Church, their fellow Christians, and God. But there were a few exceptions. Benedict IX was one of those exceptions.

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Medieval History Spotlight10

A Little News

Thursday April 24, 2014

This week, just a few items about treasure, an archaeological find, and a modern look at a medieval king's skull.

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Burgundy and the Burgundians

Wednesday April 23, 2014

The region in France that's associated with a fine wine and a deep red color has a history going back far into the early Middle Ages. Learn about the Germanic people who gave their name to Burgundy, the early medieval kingdom that rose there, and the duchy it became in this introduction.

A New Religion

Wednesday April 16, 2014

As most Christians (and many non-Christians) know, the early followers of Jesus were persecuted by the authorities in the Roman Empire. Christians were blamed for the Great Fire in Rome and thrown to the lions; many zealous converts were ostracized, exiled and even executed for their faith. At one point, it even became illegal to be a Christian in Rome.

Yet in the Middle Ages, an overwhelming percentage of the population of western Europe was Christian, and the bishop of Rome -- the pope -- was such a powerful cleric that the few kings who dared to disobey his commands found themselves in some difficult situations. The Christian Church had become the most influential institution in the western world.

How did this change come about? How could what can only be described as a sect within Judaism become a full-fledged, independent religion? What events made Christianity change from an oppressed and illegal following to the triumphant and official creed of the Roman Empire? And how did the city of Rome become the center of Christianity in the west?

Get the answers in the very basic introduction, A New Religion.

News Bits

Wednesday April 9, 2014

This week, just a few stories about sunken ships, found communities, and the return of what was lost.

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