The Woman who Ruled the Papacy

The Woman who Ruled the Papacy

By the end of the ninth century the once powerful Carolingian Empire had splintered into smaller, unstable kingdoms, and was facing aggressive attacks from the north by the Vikings, from the east by the Magyars, and from the south by Muslim pirates. Whereas  a hundred years earlier much of Europe was under the rule of Charlemagne, now it being led by weak men who were usually having to fight off rivals. As one historian put it “Europe was in pieces.”

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