Papal States PPS 00
Province: Papal States
Owners Title: Pope
% of Worldwide 3.2% Starting Population 1,000
Population % of Worldwide 4.2% Starting Income 27,270
Income % of Worldwide GDP 2.6% Starting GDP 160,626 % of Worldwide 0.8% Starting Surplus 270
Starting Owner: Pontifex Maximus (Pope)(22)
Starting Overlord : Pontifex Maximus (Pope)(22)
Regional Location: Far South Italy
Comments: The Papal States or, more correctly, the States of the Church, occupy the central part of Italy, in a broad belt from the east to the west coast, centered on Rome. In ancient times, of course, this was the heart of the Roman Empire. The Church contends that these lands were granted to the papacy by Constantine the Great, although some voices have been raised in objection.
During the Ostrogothic period the lands were certainly not ruled by the popes, nor during the protracted Byzantine interlude following the conquests of Belisarius in the early sixth century. But the imposition of Frankish rule in the late seventh century led to Pepin the Short conceding papal primacy to Pope Stephen II in 756. Despite the efforts of several popes to impose central authority over their lands, the region is a cosmos of petty feudatories and communes, most paying no more than lip service to Papal suzerainty.
Rome itself has proven so unruly that several Popes have been murdered or driven from the See of Peter by the Roman mob. The Popes have found it safer to live in Avignon since 1307. There are universities at Bologna, Arezzo, Perugia, and Rome itself. The numerous pilgrims who visit Rome and nearby sacred sites constitute an important source of income. In addition, the land is reasonably fertile, producing grains, grapes, and olives in some abundance.