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Author Topic: The Republic Reborn II: Reborn Again [Orders Due Jan 31]  (Read 36562 times)
The Holiest of Carp
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« on: October 08, 2014, 05:54:05 PM »

On Consideration

Show me a man in the whole city of Rome who welcomed you as Pope without having his price, or hoping to get it. Even when they profess to be your very humble servants, they aim at being your masters. They pledge their fidelity only that they may more conveniently injure the confiding. Hence it is that there can be no deliberation from which they think they ought to be excluded; there will be no secret into which they do not worm their way.  If the doorkeeper keeps one of them waiting a minute or two, I should not like to be in his shoes.

- Saint Bernard of Clairvoux, written to Pope Eugenius III in 1152

The Republic Reborn is a cooperative political roleplaying game.  Players take on the personas of the leading senators of the Commune of Rome, a medieval government formed historically in 1144 to secure the liberty of the Roman people against the abuses of the Papal government and the Latin nobility.  In the age of the Crusades, open war between Empire and Papacy, and the growing power of the Italian city-states, the once-mighty city of Rome struggles to maintain its independence and regain its ancient glory.

RR is also an alternate history game.  While many historical people and events appear in the game, not everything that happens is strictly accurate, and historical characters may make different decisions than they did in real life.  The players themselves, through their actions, can change (and have changed) the course of the game from more-or-less “historical” outcomes to something else entirely.

If you’d like to join please send me a PM or find me on the CBG’s IRC channel if I happen to be on.  While the game has been going on since 2012 and a lot has happened since then, you don’t need to be familiar with the old thread or past updates to play this game.

Update Library
Chapter I (Old Thread)

Chapter II (New Thread)

« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 03:01:09 AM by Polycarp » Logged

The Clockwork Jungle (wiki | thread)
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The Holiest of Carp
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 05:54:28 PM »

The City and the World - This post contains frequently-updated material for RR – maps, player characters, and units, as well as any important laws, treaties, or agreements enacted by the Senate.


Player Characters

The Senate of Rome is led by these men, our esteemed senatores consiliarii:


Military units are divided into several categories.  “Roman Units” are those that can be raised from Rome and its contado (countryside).  The “Unit Library” lists all other units which have been encountered but Rome does not possess, though some have fought as allies or mercenaries of Rome.  “Naval Units” lists all naval craft (and marine units) available to Rome and other Italian states.

These unit icons are modified versions of graphics created by Fairline, Tanelorn, Catfish, Curt Sibling, and other artists of the Civ2 Scenario League.

Treaties and Laws

« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 04:37:07 AM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 05:54:41 PM »

History - This post contains everything you’d care to know about the RR “campaign setting,” including an introduction to the city and the region, prominent noble families of Latium, prominent NPCs (both alive and dead), and a brief history of Rome leading up to the game’s start in 1152 and the city’s history thereafter.

The City and its Environs

Rome in the 12th century is a faint shadow of its former imperial self.  Once the most populous and magnificent city in the world, it has declined to a scarce thirty thousand people huddling in the ruins of their forefathers.  The modern Rome is a physically smaller city as well – most Romans live in the abitato, the “inhabited” part of the city, concentrated in the lowlands of the Campus Martius (Field of Mars).  The rest of the city is given over to ruins and shepherds – the once majestic forum was turned into a cattle pasture.  All the aqueducts are broken, save one, and the city walls – now far too large for the greatly shrunken settlement – have suffered from centuries of neglect.

Rome is no longer the capital of an empire, but it has remained the capital of Latin Christianity and the nominal seat of His Holiness, the Pope.  Its economy is based largely on its spiritual importance – every spring, pilgrims from as far away as Iceland come to Rome to see the great basilicas, the tombs of the saints, and the relics of the martyrs.  As the Pope is both a spiritual leader and a secular ruler, the city is also the center of administration for the Patrimonium Sancti Petri, otherwise known as the Papal States, which run from Tarracina to the Adige River.  

The southern part of the patrimonium is known as Latium, a stretch of land running between the Tyrrhenian coastline and the Appenine mountains that form the spine of Italy.  Latium itself is sandwiched between Tuscany and Spoleto, loosely-held regions of the Holy Roman Empire, and the Norman Kingdom of Sicily to the south.  The northern patrimonium is itself divided into two regions, the Marche in the south and Romagna in the north.  Romagna and the Marche are quite autonomous from Papal control compared to Latium, though some Popes have made efforts to strengthen their rulership there.  These northern lands are connected to Latium by the “Greek Corridor,” a strip of land running along the ancient Via Flaminia that was the artery of communication between Rome and Ravenna when these two cities were the last major strongholds of Greek power in Italy.

The patrimonium exists precariously between two greater powers, the Empire to the north and the Kingdom to the south, both of whom have quarreled and at times fought with the Pope (and one another) over control.  It is the dream of the Holy Roman Emperors to bring Sicily within their empire, and the aim of the Norman kings to thwart them.  To the East, the “Roman Empire” – whom the Latins refer to as the Empire of the Greeks – watches Italy with interest, still remembering the times of Justinian when the whole peninsula paid them homage.

Between them all stand the people of Rome, unimpressive in their wealth or power, but possessed of a glorious past and the conviction that their city will once again rule as the Queen of Cities and the center of the world.

Roman Society

"Citizenship" in the 12th century is a different concept than national citizenship today. The first chartered communes arose in the Middle Ages essentially as communal defense societies - while any one merchant or tradesman was at the mercy of the local lords and could be taxed, mistreated, or even robbed with impunity, a group of merchants that pooled their resources could achieve strength.  Even if they couldn't protect their members at all times, they could promise vengeance against any baron that abused them.  A "citizen" is not merely anyone who happens to live in a city - a citizen is a free man who is capable of and sworn to stand in that city's defense.  Citizenship is afforded only to those with the means to keep their own weaponry (for the average Roman citizen, this is a spear, shield, iron helmet, and some kind of sidearm) and the willingness to report for muster when called upon.  In return, citizens gain judicial and political rights.

Non-citizens compose most of the population of Rome and other communes - laborers, lower-class artisans, field workers, fishermen, shepherds, and anyone else who doesn't have the wealth to afford the basic militia kit.  While they aren't obligated to join militia service, they also don't enjoy the same rights as citizens - they can be expelled from the city or their property seized by the Senate without legal recourse (though they have little property to seize in the first place).  They are Romans, but Romans who don't contribute to the defense of the city are not considered deserving of the protection of its law.

The new senate, inspired by the past glory of Rome, has reinstated the ordo equestris, or “Equestrian Order,” the ancient knighthood of Rome.  This is a sort of "citizenship plus" - to be counted as an eques, a citizen must own a horse, lance, shield, sword, iron helmet, and mail shirt, and to either serve as a cavalryman himself or provide someone who can.  This expensive kit is available only to the richest citizens, who are typically either wealthy merchants or minor noblemen who have sworn their loyalty to the senate.  Many other Italian cities have similar "milites pro commune" (Knights of the Commune), though only Rome calls theirs "equites."  All PCs, by virtue of their own personal wealth, are considered to be equites.

Rome also has a community of several hundred Jews ("Ebreo").  The position of Jews in Rome in this time was better than most other places in Latin Europe - while Jews in Germany, for instance, suffered terribly during the Crusades, Jews in Rome were generally protected by the 12th century Papacy.  Pope Callixtus II promulgated a Papal Bull around 1120 that forbade the forced conversion of Jews and prohibited Christians from assaulting them, seizing their property, interfering with their customs, or disturbing their cemeteries, and subsequent popes have generally maintained these protections.  That said, however, Jews also cannot be citizens, do not enjoy the judicial rights of citizenship, and are prohibited from bearing arms.  For the most part, their community stays out of Roman politics to avoid trouble, but sometimes their dominance of certain trades (particularly cloth dyeing) and their tradition of moneylending (as Christians are forbidden to charge interest) create hostility and resentment towards them.

Landed Titles

Signore: A lord; a noble land-holder.  The term comes from the Frankish seigneurr (from the Latin seniorr, "elder") which was introduced to Italy by the Normans.  This is the lowest and most widespread title of nobility in Italy and the Papal States.  Minor signori of the countryside are sometimes called cattani (from capitanei, “captains”).  Signori may also be referred to as "barons;" in Italy, the titles are generally interchangeable.
Count: A feudal lord ranking above a common signore.  The title is a very old one, originating from the Latin comes ("companion").  Some counts are basically signori with an honorary title, while some are powerful landowners who rule whole provinces.
Margrave: From the German markgraf, meaning "March-count."  Marches are usually territories presently or formerly on the borders of the Empire.
Duke: A high title of nobility.  The only current Duke in Italy is the Duke of Spoleto.  The term comes from the Latin dux, meaning "leader."  The title "Doge" (of Venice) comes from the same root.
Vicarius: A layman who administers a church-owned estate.  Though vicarius is not a title of nobility, some vicarii are quite independent and have managed to have their office made hereditary within their family; in this case, the vicarius is a signore in all but name.  The term means "deputy" in Latin and is the origin of the word “vicar” as well as “vice” (as in “vice president”).
Rector: A rector is a governor of a province or city within the Papal States.  Rectors are usually ecclesiastics like bishops or cardinals (the Rector of Rieti is an exception).

Notable People

Great Noble Families of Latium


What follows is a brief history of Rome in the early middle ages and a recounting of events since the start of our game in 1152.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 04:24:45 AM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2014, 05:55:08 PM »

Roman Law - The rules of the game and guides for playing it are found here, including how to post, how the Senate works, how to make money, and a few words about the philosophy of a cooperative game.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 12:34:06 AM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2014, 07:10:02 PM »

Autumn has passed into winter…
Winter seldom brings snow to Rome, but the cold winter winds are accompanied by sudden storms.  Floods are still a danger, and only the most reckless mariners try their luck at sea this time of year.  In the countryside, vines are pruned and firewood is gathered, while craftsmen huddle indoors making and maintaining tools and equipment for the coming year.  The people fast through Advent before feasting at Christmas, upon a pig slaughtered in late autumn if they can afford it, and on wild game if not.  Epiphany is celebrated in January, and the date of Easter is announced to the people.

Our Consuls: Roberto Basile and Barzolomeus de Morrocho
Our Pope(s): Alexander III (“Sicilian”) and Victor IV (“Imperial”)
Our Prefect: None
Our Rage: Apoplectic! [7]

This Season’s Top 5 Popular Issues

1. “We demand bread!”
2. “Down with Octavian, that pompous Teutonic bootlick!”
3. “Down with Rolando, that corrupt Sicilian toad!”
4. “Famine, war, and fire – what use is the Senate?”
5. “We fear for our safety in these times…”

News from Abroad

King Henry II of England launched a major military campaign in late summer against the Count of Toulouse, Raymond V.  The County of Toulouse, though de facto independent for years, was historically associated with the Duchy of Aquitaine.  That title is held by Eleanor d’Aquitaine, the former wife of King Louis VII of France and the current wife of King Henry.  Claiming suzerainty over the whole region de jure uxoris (by right of his wife), Henry gathered a great army at Poitiers – some say the largest army Henry had yet assembled, which must be considerable given his ownership of England and most of France.  He was supported by his ally Ramon Berenguer IV, the Count of Barcelona, who sent his own contingent of forces into Toulouse, and accompanied by King Malcolm IV of Scotland.  Henry demanded Raymond’s fealty, and when Raymond refused, Henry and his army marched on his capitol with the intent to depose him.

Yet Toulouse did not fall, not because of its soldiers but because of the timely arrival of King Louis, who rode into Toulouse right as Henry’s army was taking its positions near the city.  Though Louis had woefully few soldiers with him, he rode around the streets attempting to raise the spirits of the people in an obvious display of support for Raymond.  Technically, while King Henry is complete sovereign of England, he owes Louis homage for his lands in France, despite the fact that Henry is vastly more powerful.  Unwilling to besiege the city where his own suzerain was currently staying as a guest, Henry withdrew from Toulouse without a battle, though he did put his army to work plundering the countryside, burning villages, and capturing the city of Cahors to the north.  As winter approaches, Louis may congratulate himself on holding back Henry’s seemingly inexorable expansion of his realm – at least for one more year.

Not all was good news for King Louis, however – only days after his return from Toulouse to Paris, his queen Constance of Castile died in childbirth.  Louis married Constance, his second wife, after his marriage to Duchess Eleanor d’Aquitaine (now the Queen of England) was annulled in 1152.  He managed to obtain two daughters by each of them, but at the age of 40 still has no sons.  No doubt desperate to produce a male heir, it has been recently heard that Louis remarried scarcely a month later, taking Adela de Champagne as his third wife.

A fleet under Kaid Petrus, a converted Moor, eunuch, and admiral of the Sicilian kingdom, has failed to relieve Mahdia, the last Sicilian outpost in Africa, from the besieging Almohads led personally by Caliph Abd al-Mu’min.  The fleet successfully raided the Saracen-held Balearic Isles, but when Petrus attacked the Almohads off the African coast, the Sicilian fleet was soon dispersed by a gale and limped back to Palermo.  As the coming winter makes another expedition this year unlikely, the situation looks dire for the last sliver of the Sicilian “Kingdom of Africa.”

Merchant ships returning from the east report that Egypt has been thrown into crisis.  Although that land is renowned for its agricultural productivity, its crops depend on the seasonal flooding of the Nile river.  The Nile’s waters rose lower this year than any other year in this century, and the result is that large areas of previously productive farmland now lay fallow and useless.  Food shortages led to rioting and brutal street-fighting in Alexandria, the country’s primary port, causing many foreign merchant enclaves to close down.

News of Italy

The Imperial siege of Crema, personally led by the Emperor and a number of prominent princes of the empire, continued throughout the season.  From their positions in wooden castles and earthworks totally surrounding the city, the besiegers bombarded the defenders with artillery while building yet greater machines to assault the walls.  The greatest of the besiegers’ engines were constructed by the men of Cremona, Crema’s bitter rival – three massive armored roofs on wheels and an enormous siege tower.  A sally by the defenders targeting this tower as it neared completion was defeated by Rhenish troops under the emperor’s half-brother, Count-Palatine Konrad von Hohenstaufen.

The Cremonesi tower is said to be more than a hundred feet in height, with its top six stories rising higher than Crema’s own walls.  These upper stories, each smaller than the last like a stepped pyramid, allowed archers and crossbowmen to shoot down on the heads of the defenders.  It is reported that 500 men were required to move the tower into place, and it is generally agreed to be the largest such tower ever constructed in Italy.  Initially clearing a path for it proved difficult; using the armored roofs for cover, the besiegers were able to approach Crema’s moat and fill it with debris, but by late September they had actually run out of material to fill it with.  Only after the imperial-allied city of Lodi came to their assistance with two thousand carts of earth and wood was the moat finally bridged.

The first major imperial assault was made in early October against the southwestern walls by the Cremonesi tower and one of the armored roofs.  Though covered in fresh hides to ward off fire, the tower was subject to heavy bombardment by Cremasci defensive artillery.  It has been reported that to dissuade this, the emperor suspended Cremasci and Milanese captives – alive – from the tower’s walls, but the defenders of Crema continued their bombardment anyway, and several days of battering the tower was forced to withdraw for repair.  Meanwhile, men operating under the armored roof had succeeded in breaching the wall, but when the imperial engines were forced back the defenders were able to build a wood and earthen rampart to cover the breach.

A second attack made with the tower in late October, now more heavily armored with hides and sacks of wool, was also repulsed thanks to the stone-throwers of the Cremasci.  Yet though they have been successful in thwarting each imperial assault, Crema is still surrounded with little hope of reinforcement, and they have failed to destroy the tower or any of the largest of the imperial engines despite attempts to burn them with flaming pitch and undermine them with tunnels.  For now, the great siege continues with neither side possessing a decisive advantage.

Military activity in the rest of Lombardy this season amounted to little, but it was reported that Konrad von Wittelsbach, Duke of Merania and cousin of the imperial marshal Otto von Wittelsbach, was killed in a skirmish near the city of Bergamo.

News of Latium

Following the disputed papal election in Rome, Pope Alexander III – the favored candidate of the “Sicilian” faction of the college of cardinals – escaped from the Leonine City to Castrum Monticellorum, the Frangipani estate northeast of Rome.  Soon after, Alexander and his cardinals – without Signore Oddone Frangipani, but with many of his knights – crossed the Aniene near Tivoli and proceeded south.  Observers claim that Alexander and his clerics traveled with no pomp or finery, but were dressed all in black.  By the 12th of September, Alexander’s party had reached the city of Ninfa, a city subject to the Frangipani.

On the 18th of September, in the presence of the greater body of the college of cardinals, local bishops, and the clergy of Ninfa, Pope Alexander III was consecrated and crowned.  Little more than a week later, Alexander’s first official act was disseminated throughout the land, informing all of the excommunication of his rival.  Pope Victor IV subsequently traveled to the Abbey of Farfa where, receiving the obedience of abbot Rusticus, he held his own somewhat less well attended coronation.  Immediately thereafter, he promulgated his own act of excommunication against Alexander.  Only 21 years after the end of the last schism that divided Christendom, there were once again two rival pontiffs.

Through various contacts in the clergy, it emerged in November that the emperor has contacted both of the would-be Popes.  Claiming that the dispute must be decided by the bishops of the Church, and citing the precedent of ancient emperors calling clerical councils, the emperor has summoned both to a council to be held in Pavia on the Octave of the Epiphany (January 13th).  As the siege of Crema continues to drag on, however, it is uncertain if the emperor will in fact be available to hold this council at the prescribed time.

Gerardo Calafatus, the son of Fortis Calafatus, was appointed by Consul Roberto Basile to act as the Senate’s representative to Rieti in an effort to mediate the dispute there between the bishop and the consuls.  He returned before the end of the season and provided a report to the consiliarii.

The conflict in the north between Acquapendente and Orvieto over Bagnarea’s declaration of independence from the Monaldesci has progressed little.  This may be in part because of the recent schism – with the possibility of a larger conflict in Latium between pro-Victor and pro-Alexander factions which have yet to fully coalesce, the various belligerents seem to be holding back until the strategic situation is clearer.  Some raiding was conducted by the two cities and some of their local allies, but the “war” has not yet seen any significant battles.

News of Rome

Since the chaos of the election-day, new details have emerged of the origins of this schism.  A detailed account of the conclave and its aftermath, as best can be determined from sources in the clergy, follows.

While both sides make arguments claiming to be in the right, appearances matter, and Octavian’s rather scandalous actions at the basilica – ripping the mantle from Bonecase’s hands and putting in on himself backwards – have been the source of much jest among the common people of Rome.  When Pope Victor attempted a procession through the streets with his loyal clergy and supporters, he was jeered at and heckled to such an extent that the procession was stopped short.  As they withdrew, the crowd grew more hostile, with some throwing stones and shouting “Maledicte!” (“accursed one”).  Pope Victor was unharmed and local militia were soon on the scene to break up the crowd, but the Roman Pope may not have felt he was entirely safe in the city – mocking and threatening pamphlets had also begun appearing in Rome, the most popular of them written by some wag calling himself “Britto,” whose rhymes were repeated by many even among the non-literate masses.  Before the end of September he departed for Farfa, ostensibly to gain the support of its abbot, and held his coronation ceremony there.

Yet what was foremost on the mind of the common Roman this season was not the drama of the two popes, but the continuing food shortage.  Bread prices rose steadily in September.  Consul Basile and Senator de Vinti were the most prominent in attempting to address this crisis – the Consul through public purchases of grain and the Senator by rather dramatically stripping the gilding from his estate to give food and money to the poor – but availability continued to be a problem.  Signore Niccolo Capocci was the source of much of the grain bought by the Consul, but the limits of his ability were clearly reached by October.  The city’s diaconiae were already nearly empty from last year’s hunger, and with the schism and the death of the Prefect, the administration of Church charity in Rome has essentially collapsed.

Senatorial efforts to hold down prices and provide supplies began to sputter out by late October, and soon riots were flaring up all over the Campus Martius.  Shops were looted in Pontis et Scorteclariorum and several wealthy families fled from Pinee et S. Marci when rioters attacked there.  The Forum and the Capitoline were too strongly held by the Senate for rioters to penetrate there, but measures to arrest the rioting within the Campus Martius themselves largely failed.  Many citizens of means have moved their valuables and their families to the houses of friends in the eastern portion of the abitato or elsewhere in Latium, or have begun hastily trying to fortify their own estates.

A fire, which may or may not have been related to the riots, erupted in Parionis et S. Laurentii in Damaso on November 5th; in the context of a hot, dry summer and an autumn with little rain thus far, it quickly burned out of control.  Spreading eastward, the fire moved into the slums of S. Eustachii et Vinea Teudemarii, destroying more houses and damaging the Basilica of Saint Eustace, an important diaconia for which the region is named.  The fire was only stopped in Pinee et S. Marci by local people and militia pulling down houses to create a break.  Clergy and laymen at Santa Maria della Rotunda (the Pantheon) filled buckets from the terminus of the rebuilt aqueduct as the fire came within a hundred yards of that building.

Late November brought some badly needed rain; though the farmers are still worried about next year’s harvest, at least the autumn did not turn out as dry as summer.  Nevertheless, Rome finds itself in a difficult situation.  Bread is still scarce and a good part of the central city is in ruins.  As most of the burned area was densely populated slum, the number of the poor and homeless has grown dramatically.  The faith of the people in their leadership has been badly shaken, and many poor families now wonder how they will survive the winter.  The death toll from the fire is unknown, but certainly in the hundreds.

The imperial legates Reichsmarschall Otto von Wittelsbach and Heribert, Provost of Acqui, departed from Rome this past season to come to the emperor’s aid at Crema and relay to him the pressing news from the split conclave.  Consul Basile reportedly gave the imperial oath to the marshal before his departure, and in return the marshal made official the grant of the village of Gregoriopolis to the Senate of Rome.  This grant is as yet unrecognized by either pope.

After some negotiations with the Senate, it was agreed to hand over the body of the former prefect Antonio Demetri della Suburra at Rome’s easternmost gate.  Armsmen of his family received the body and departed without incident.

The Senate’s monetarius Romolo Vanetti began casting silver Senatorial denarii for the first time, and the [3WP] spent by the consul on food supplies consisted almost entirely of silver coin with the city’s arms upon it.  As the mint is currently only recasting Papal deniers, this production does not yield any profit, but there is something to be said for the legitimacy bestowed by making one’s own coins, a privilege that is rarely exercised by anyone other than kings, popes, and the very wealthiest of communes.

The Schism

This new section will keep track of which rulers, cities, families, organizations, and other entities have declared for one pope or the other.  The lists may eventually be moved to the front page.

As expected, the Frangipani and Demetri families were quick to acknowledge Pope Alexander.  Ruggero Pierleoni was present at Victor’s coronation in Farfa to give the allegiance of his clan, and the Crescenzi – Victor’s own family – also recognized him in short order.  None of the other major families of Rome, however, have firmly committed to a faction, and following the news of the planned council at Pavia it is likely they are waiting for the matter to be decided there.

Victor’s three brothers were granted control of Terni in the last months of Hadrian’s reign, and have offered the allegiance of that city, though how enthusiastically Terni’s own consuls support Victor is unclear.  Abbot Rusticus of Farfa, an imperial appointee, also gave his allegiance to Victor upon the pope’s arrival there, and Victor’s coronation was held at the abbey.


Owing to the death of Hadrian and the Papal schism, the Papal stipend was not received this season, and may have to be re-negotiated with the Pope(s).

Treasury: 8 WP

Income: 1 WP
  • Duty, Cencio Pierleone: 1 WP
  • Rent, Colosseum: 2 WP (Spring Only)[/i]
Expenditures: 1 WP
  • Upkeep, Senatorial Palatini (50): 1 WP
  • Mint Fee: 1 WP (Spring Only)

State Projects:

State Properties:
Theater of Marcellus
Tabularium (Treasury)
Curia Julia (Senate House)

Senatorial Inquests

Senators that requested information or launched endeavors have the results of their efforts listed here.  This information is private, but you may certainly choose to share it with the Senate.


Welcome to Chapter 2!  This thread is now open for business.  As usual, please let me know if there are any issues or mistakes.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 09:23:10 PM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2014, 07:24:09 PM »

New maps are up.  The blackened area on the Rome map is the area affected by the recent fire.  The shields on the Latium map indicate the known position of our two popes – Victor IV has the Crescenzi arms (three gold crescents on a red field) and Alexander III has the ever-impressive Bandinelli arms (gold, just gold).

Senatorial Stats

The events of this season have shaken the faith of many Romans in their leadership.  Popularity for nearly every senator has declined, save Hugo de Vinti, whose show of humility by prying the very gold off his estate has been much talked about.

Vittorio Manzinni: Popularity -1.
Roberto Basile: Popularity -1.
Hugo de Vinti: Orthodoxy +1.
Arrigus Sismondii: Popularity -1.
Barzalomeus Borsarius: Popularity -1.

A Papal Bull

For attempting by force to usurp the Chair of Saint Peter, for illegally and arrogantly crowning himself Pope in opposition to the college of cardinals and canon law, and for causing schism within the Holy Church, we separate OCTAVIANUS, Priest of Santa Cecilia, together with the clergy who give him obedience and all his accomplices and abettors, from the precious body and blood of the Lord and from the society of all Christians; we exclude him from our Holy Mother, the Church in Heaven, and on earth; we declare him excommunicate and anathema; we judge him damned, with the Devil and his angels and all the reprobate, to eternal fire until he shall recover himself from the toils of the devil and return to amendment and to penitence.

ALEXANDER, Episcopus, Servus Servorium Dei

A Papal Bull

For engaging in conspiracy and simony in vain pursuit of the Chair of Saint Peter, for contempt of the rules and strictures of the conclave, for crowning himself Pope whilst neither bestowed with the mantle nor insignia of Saint Peter, and for causing schism within the Holy Church, we separate ROLANDUS, Priest of San Marco, together with the clergy who give him obedience and all his accomplices and abettors, from the precious body and blood of the Lord and from the society of all Christians; we exclude him from our Holy Mother, the Church in Heaven, and on earth; we declare him excommunicate and anathema; we judge him damned, with the Devil and his angels and all the reprobate, to eternal fire until he shall recover himself from the toils of the devil and return to amendment and to penitence.

VICTOR, Episcopus, Servus Servorium Dei

Spoken before the Lesser Council

Distinguished Senators,

His Holiness Victor IV has asked me to express his regret to the Romans that he was unable to remain longer in Rome.  His Holiness has a deep appreciation for the Romans and their Senate and praises their bravery and resolute faithfulness against the excommunicate Rolando Bandinelli.  Nevertheless, the Holy Father has been forced to concur with his advisors that Rome’s position is at the moment too exposed to be able to ensure the safety of the Curia.  The city is menaced on multiple sides by Frangipani holdings, and is alarmingly close at hand to certain other powerful lords whose true allegiance is not yet known.  His Holiness has deemed it most prudent to direct his efforts to mend this abominable schism from Farfa for the time being.

Having heard of the recent hardships which have beset the city and mindful of his own position as Bishop of Rome, His Holiness has authorized me to give [6 WP] to the Senate for whatever needs the Senate finds greatest.  Regretfully the present condition prevents His Holiness from contributing more at this time, but he is committed to the prosperity and restoration of Rome and the city is in his thoughts and prayers.

Giovanni Morrone, Cardinal-Priest of SS. Silvestro e Martino, Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church

[6 WP] in silver has been contributed to the Senate’s coffers.

Niccolo Capocci addresses the Senate

Senators, I am grateful to once again be able to set foot in Rome, something denied to me by the late Prefect.  I do not celebrate his death, but I will say that when I see God’s will at work in securing the liberty of Romans and the ruin of their enemies, well – I do not question it!

It is of Rome’s enemies that I am here to speak to you today.  With the aid of this august Senate I have rebuilt the fortresses that guard Rome’s roads and secure its connection to its allies.  But one vulnerability yet remains near at hand – the tower of Poteranum.  This castle, mine by right, was also mine in fact several years ago, but it was seized from me by the actions of Hadrian, who forced the Emperor into acting against me as the price for his crown.

Poteranum sits directly on the Via Nomentum between my castle and Rome.  It is also, like Nomentum itself, only a bowshot from the territory of the Frangipani to the east.  If the Frangipani or the Tiburtini were to hold it, they could easily use it as a launching point for an attack on Rome or the plundering of its countryside.  It guards the flank of the Via Tiburtina.  With it, any attack from the east can be harried and delayed; without it, it will act as a shield the passage of our enemies.  Those are the stakes, senators – we speak of the security of the road by which an attack from Monticellorum or Tivoli is most likely to come.

Now, senators, is the time to act.  The castle is held by a garrison belonging to the Basilica of San Lorenzo, which owes its obedience to Cardinal Giovanni Conti, one of the cardinals now in Rolando’s camp – or should I say Oddone Frangipani’s camp!  In the disorder and uncertainty of these past few months, no effort has been made to bolster its defenses, but it will not be long before our enemies realize the importance of this fortress in keeping Rome subjugated.

Your options, as I see them, are these: to wait, allowing our foes to entrench themselves more deeply and delivering a potent weapon into their hands – or to act, and aid me in taking this fortress.  When last I marched upon Poteranum, the garrison surrendered without a fight, and the garrison that holds it now is scarcely stronger.  With my armsmen and Rome’s might, we may take this castle, and under my protection it will be a shield to your citizens and a blow to your enemies.

Report to the Lesser Council


My presence in Rieti, as requested of me by Consul Basile, was not sufficient to effect a reconciliation.  While there may be room for compromise in theory, there is no trust between the two parties.  The consuls insist that any Rector or other episcopal representative will act in bad faith and attempt to subvert their independence, while Bishop Dodone makes clear that, being “thieves,” the consuls will not respect any agreement to accept some modicum of oversight by the diocese.  While I was treated well by both parties, it proved difficult to even get their representatives to be in the same room together.

The military situation does not greatly worry me.  The bishop currently resides at the Rocca di Sopra in the foothills northeast of Rieti; it is one of a number of such towers, rather modest but decently constructed, which the bishop holds in the contado.  The bishop’s forces are not strong.  While Dodone is owed fealty by a number of local barons, many of those barons were subjugated under his joint rule with Rector Damianus, compelled to do homage to the diocese and maintain a residence in the city where they could be more easily controlled.  With the city and the diocese now at odds, a fair number of them have conveniently forgotten their oaths or made varying excuses to stand aloof, no doubt enjoying the bishop and the consuls being at one another’s throats.

The position of the consuls is little better.  Their militia, which was trained by my father, is adequate for their defense, but the consuls are men of trade and have no military experience.  Rather timid men, they fret that sending the militia forth from the city would risk too much at one stroke.  I believe that the fact that there has been no fighting so far is less because of restraint or morality than because both sides are too weak to take the offensive.  Of course, while this weakness seems to guarantee peace, it also guarantees that Rieti – both the diocese and the city – will be useless allies to Rome as long as this conflict lasts.

I had wondered when I first arrived how it was that Rieti was supplying itself with food, as many of its surrounding fields are largely in the hands of the diocese.  I assumed that they were importing it from elsewhere in Latium.  This proved to be true, but I had not expected the source – in fact the city is receiving most of its grain supplies from the castellan at Rocca Sinibalda, who is loyal to the Abbey of Farfa.

It is possible that Farfa is in some substantial way involved in this matter.  Their dispute was always with the diocese, not the city of Rieti as such.  As long as Damianus and Dodone worked together, the interests of the city and the diocese were one, but with the city and the diocese now at odds, the city of Rieti is unlikely to take such an active interest in championing the bishop’s claims against Farfa.  With the city in rebellion and his nobles largely ignoring his summons, Dodone, once Farfa’s mortal enemy, has now been effectively neutralized.  I cannot prove their involvement other than the fact that the consuls have been buying reasonably priced grain from one of their vassals, but I certainly would not rule it out.

I should also mention that I heard multiple rumors alleging that the rector’s riding accident was a product of foul play, but I found no man able to produce any evidence to support them.  I suspect these are the usual rumors that circulate when an important man comes to an unexpected end.

Signore Gerardo Calafatus

Letter to the Senate of Rome

Out of respect for my uncle’s agreements with the Senate and with the understanding that these are chaotic times in which many important matters weigh upon the Senate, I have gladly paid the duty this season which my uncle the Patrician agreed to remit to the Senate in exchange for his titles and privileges.  I believe I am within my rights, however, to ask that the Senate ratify these same titles and privileges for myself if they wish this payment to continue, or otherwise that the Senate should propose alternative terms and submit to negotiations if they are not satisfied with such a grant.

Cencio Pierleoni

A rhyming pamphlet distributed in Rome

Octavian, by what aberration
Do you seek to bring Rome to damnation?
How were you ever enticed
So to sunder the tunic of Christ?
You too will be dust by and by;
As you lived, so tomorrow you’ll die.

- Britto

Arnold addresses the crowd

Brothers, sisters, I have been asked by earnest Christians who it is that rightfully holds Saint Peter’s chair and ring.  Surely there is, and must be, a rightful pontiff; every good Christian must surely know that the Church ought to have a Pope, and that his chair bestows upon him the right to our respect and reverence.  As Christ said to Peter, ‘on this rock I will build my church,’ and to the Word of God we remain ever faithful.

Yet I will tell you this – while we must revere our Holy Father, we must also know in our hearts and minds that the church which Christ built is in mortal peril.  We acknowledge the supreme and peerless power of the Holy Father, the Pope, and we know that this is not a worldly power, not a temporal power, not a power of gold and silver, but a power over yet greater things.  Why is it a Pope, given the keys to the gates of heaven, should concern himself more with the keys to his coffers?  Oh, how far so many of our priests have fallen from the true goal of salvation into the fires of iniquity and greed, all because of a vain pursuit for things of this world, and not of the world to come!

Remember always that no matter how lofty the honor or exalted the title, those clergymen who soil themselves with property and regalia are ever in danger of damnation, and the church that is built upon such a crumbling foundation is ever in danger of ruin.  Whoever is the rightful Pope, we shall ask of him no less than we have asked of his predecessors – that he must, for the sake of all Christendom and the salvation of many, abandon his property and all these worldly goods which corrupt the Holy Church, and thus regain God’s grace and the promise of salvation.

As always, the crowd roars its approval, but there are murmurs as well… more than a few yearn for Arnold to simply tell them the name of the true Pope.

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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2014, 09:34:55 PM »

Letter to Consul Basile

Your efforts to relieve the popolo of the burden of starvation did not go unnoticed, and while their patience currently hangs by a thread, as can be expected of any man whose belly speaks louder than his voice, they will come to realize the magnitude of your charity. I, personally, thank you for your noble action.

Since we both love our City, and both wish for the rule of law to prevail, know that I have sent for Orléans and Genoa, that we might have suitable dictatores in Rome to teach men who are not of the cloth. Then, our courts shan’t be biased; a necessary step, no doubt.

Senator Hugo De Vinti

Letter to Vittorio Manzinni

You brought forth a motion, last year, that would see the power of the Schola of Roman Weavers curbed and our coffers funded by the various mercantile enterprises that take place in Rome. At the time, I was seriously devoted to just such an enterprise and neglected a proper review of your proposition. I was at fault. Would you care to illuminate me as to the economic, as well as political, benefits and fallouts of your motion so that I may make a more sensible appraisal of the situation?

Also, in the interest of keeping you apprised of the situation concerning the university, whether or not you are consul, know that I have sent for Genoa, that we might obtain the services of a suitable dictatores and thus eventually provide Rogerius with students that have no allegiance to the Church.

Senator Hugo De Vinti
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2014, 09:55:59 PM »

Whoops, forgot this one.

A Letter to the Roman Senate

His Imperial Majesty and Sole Augustus of the World, the Emperor FREDERICUS, sends his greetings to the Roman Senate.

Noting the precedent set by his predecessor Constantine the Great, who held indisputably the authority as Roman Emperor to summon episcopal councils of the Church, His Imperial Majesty has ordered that a council be convened on the Octave of the Epiphany [January 13th], its chief business being to determine the genuineness of the claims of the two men who have each claimed the Throne of Saint Peter as rightfully their own.  Both claimants to this most holy office have been summoned and prelates from both their parties shall be received and allowed to present their evidence.

To that end His Imperial Majesty summons a delegation of the Roman Senate to appear before this council to give an account of the events transpiring in Rome during the recent conclave, so as to ensure that every fact of the matter is known to the bishops of the Church on whose shoulders this weighty decision rests.  The Senate may send a delegation of any size it sees fit, but His Imperial Majesty requires that those men sent be themselves witnesses of the events in question; or, if this is impossible, that they bear written statements, countersigned by trustworthy men, giving an account of the events in question.

Let all men know that any man who waylays or impedes this delegation, be he a nobleman or commoner, acts in contempt of the Emperor's Peace and shall suffer the Emperor's Ban.

Rainald von Dassel, Archbishop of Cologne, Archchancellor of Italy

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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2014, 08:08:57 PM »

Letter to Signore Luidolf

Signore Luidolf,
I understand your concern, but unfortunately there is little I can do to reassure you except inform you of my preference for Pope Victor. It is also the opinion of the Senate that it is Octavianni di Monticelli who is the rightful heir to Saint Peter’s throne. However, out of respect for our friendship, I will refrain from suggesting that you declare for this or that.

The following, I hope, will satisfy you greatly. According to the agreed terms of our contract, I am to supply you with a minimum of [1 WP] come next season, in addition to the rent of [1 WP]. It is my pleasure to inform you that, after careful reviews, and in the interest of equity, I shall increase the funding to [3 WP]. Furthermore, these funds may be released now, if you wish it so. All in all, I will have personally provided you with as nearly as much money as was provided to Signore Capocci by the Senate to rebuild his castles.

While the additional money is a gift, and as a person who gives a gift must not expect something in return, I do have a request. As stated in the contract, we agreed that I may request an expansion of the lands used for my enterprise. At this moment, I require one additional field, which isn’t much. Will you agree to let me put the vacant field beside my current lands to good use?

Senator Hugo De Vinti
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2014, 03:11:16 AM »

Due Date

The due date for orders is Sunday, November 26th.

On the Senate Floor

December finds the Senate in a state of near panic.  While many of the Roman elites had been most concerned about the recent Papal schism a few months ago, their very positions now seemed seriously endangered by the anger of the popolo minuto.  The Roman people can be quite politically astute, but when there is no bread on the table, their thoughts dwell on little else.  Attempts to purchase local grain over the autumn were woefully inadequate, and the Romans seem to increasingly blame the Senate for this crisis.  It was the Senate, they say, that precipitated the war with Tusculum; it was the Senate that, having gone to war, failed to protect Roman fields; and it was the Senate now that embroils itself in the politics of Popes and Princes but hardly exerts itself to feed its own citizens.  More than one senator has observed with trepidation that the people were far less irate than this in 1152, the last time the senate was overthrown and replaced in the coup that created the current body.

The situation is dire.  While Rome is not broke, its immediate neighbors simply do not have food to sell.  War is on the wind in Latium, and in such times cities are inclined to hoard their grain, not peddle it away.  The lords which are subject to Roman dominion have exhausted their supplies.  Little help can be expected from the Church – though many Romans malign the ecclesiastical bureaucracy that for centuries has taxed the people, the Curial magistrates do know how to organize, and have done rather well keeping the diaconiae full even in the worst years.  Now they are in complete disarray owing to the schism, the death of the Prefect, and Arnoldism, which holds the sympathies of many of Rome’s lesser clergy but has disrupted the relationships between Rome’s priests and its Curial government.

Some have suggested that Rome plunder its way to a full belly, but the season poses problems.  Winter is near at hand – the fields will be empty, meaning that no mere contado raiding will yield much food.  Seizing another city’s supplies might be possible, but because of the barren fields, the Roman army in the field would have nothing to eat during the siege, and as the Emperor has demonstrated at Crema a siege may drag on for many months even with the greatest of armies and engines.  Even if a quick capture were possible, Rome’s neighbors are far smaller than Rome itself – it is unlikely all the cellars of Tivoli, even if they are full to bursting, could see thirty thousand people through the winter and well into the following year.

Owing to the political situation, even importation abroad may be difficult to engineer.  Sicily is well known for its great production of grain, but King William is understood to be a strong supporter of Pope Alexander and his anti-imperial party; the Alexandrine faction of the College of Cardinals is often called “Sicilian” for a reason.  While nobody is sure, it seems unlikely that William would be in a great hurry to be the savior of a city that chased out his favored pope with fire and sword.

The maritime communes, particularly Pisa and Genoa, might be more amenable – they have not officially taken any side in the schism and did recently swear their fealty to the emperor.  These cities are not rich and powerful because of their charity, however, and it can be presumed that even if they are able to assist, the price they will demand for their services will be steep.

Other matters are of secondary concern, though they are not absent from the floor.  The Senate continues to be fairly strongly pro-Victor as a consequence of its pro-imperial stance, but it has become evident that the Roman people themselves are more divided.  Caring little about grand politics, many scoff at the idea that a Roman nobleman is “one of them” and sneer at Octavian’s buffoonery at the conclave; men throw their tunics over their heads, aping his backwards mantle, and shout “Behold the pope!” to raucous laughter.  That scorn is being stoked by anti-Victor rhymes and rhetoric, of which the anonymous “Britto” is the largest source.  If the peoples’ laughter has died down of late, it is only due to the looming famine.

To be fair, Alexander engenders no great love among the Roman people, who are at best ambivalent about a foreigner who until the conclave was the Chancellor of the Curia that the Romans have long resented, but at least he has not besmirched himself by such conduct as Victor.  For the moment, that makes him the clear (though far from absolute) favorite of the common people.

There are certainly those in the Senate who see wisdom in the words of Niccolo Capocci, who has counseled an attack on a nearby Papal fortress, but that issue is already all but tabled for another season when other demands are less pressing.

Letter to Hugo de Vinti


The fields which you mean can be productive grain fields, which I am sure you will agree Rome badly needs.  If I may humbly speak only of myself, however, from land of such size and fertility, planted with wheat, I expect to receive [2 WP] every year, both from my direct share and the rents of my mill thereby.  While I have never given unfair prices to Roman merchants, it is true that in these times when bread is very dear, my profit may occasionally exceed this. 

As for whether it is in the best interests of the city, I shall defer to eminent senators such as you; but while I am amenable to renting the land, I feel I would still have to be justly compensated for its loss.

I am appreciative of your gift, and I believe it and your efforts in Labarum will do much to helping to restore the prosperity of this land after the ravages of recent years.

Signore Luidolf

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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2014, 06:10:41 PM »

A Letter to Ansaldo Doria


It is my hope that this season finds you well, and so too the fortunes of your great city. Rome, alas, suffers still from the plunder of its contado, and further from the schism in our beloved Holy Church. The Romans and the Genoese have cause in common - both suffer from the avarice of the Pisans, and both serve the Empire with ardent loyalty. You and your Commune yet have my gratitude and the gratitude of Rome for assistance in seasons pass.

I regret now that I must ask more of Genoan generosity. I will not mince my words: Rome needs grain. Our fields are near exhausted, and our neighbours jealously horde what they have as the popolo are besieged by hunger. Rome will pay with price or promise for any grain Genoa might safely deliver, and with my authority as Consul I shall set aside [3 WP] to be held through the first half of this season in the hope that Genoan shipments might arrive.

Consul Roberto Basile
In Nomine Senatus Populusque Romanus

A Letter to Oddone Colonna


It shall be clear to you that I write this letter as a measure of late resort, for the Colonna family and the Roman Commune have not always stood beneath the same banner, and the current time is one of tumult and uncertain loyalties. However, I had great respect for your father and remember him with some fondness. And indeed, in my dealings with you I have seen you to be an honest and equitable man cast from that same mold. Even though in future we may yet again find ourselves on opposing sides, you shall always have my trust and my respect.

But who can say what the future might hold? Let us disregard Popes and Emperors for a moment. My own loyalty is first and foremost always to the people of Rome, and those people cry out in this their hour of need. As Consul I must do all that is within my power to deliver them. The Colonna estates have suffered no war or deprivation, and it is known that their yield is impressive. Rome needs your grain, Signore, and she is willing to pay your price. As a man of honour I know it is not your desire to see the Roman people suffer unduly, and so I know that the price you name shall be fair. I am prepared to authorize immediately the purchase of up to [4 WP] worth of grain, and shall hold further funds in reserve should more be necessary.

Consul Roberto Basile
In Nomine Senatus Populusque Romanus

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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2014, 03:38:51 AM »

Sorry I haven't been able to respond much. Unfortunately I'm not sure if I will be able to until next Monday. I will try to at least send a few letters before then but things are looking pretty iffy right now.

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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2014, 04:36:42 PM »

Letter to Roberto Basile

This message is relayed by one of Colonna's retainers, but not signed.

Popes and emperors demand their due, and cannot be disregarded - by the Romans least of all.  I would certainly not turn a deaf ear to the distress of the Roman people, but as you know, this is not merely an act of mercy but a political act owing to the position the Senate has put itself in.  The Prefect was an intemperate man, and it is impossible for me to imagine my father acting in such a rash way if he had lived to that day.  Nevertheless, he is now dead by the hand of the Romans, Oddone and Rolando are driven from the city by the Romans, and Octavian was sheltered by the Romans.  You can see the difficulty this presents.

I would not be surprised, however, if grain from my lands ended up as flour in Roman larders.  A representative is coming to you shortly whose master has asked to purchase a large sum of my grain, and I expect that he is interested in just such a circumstance.

A Messenger Arrives at the Senate

My good men,

I bring you the tidings of my lord and master, Signore Annibaldo of the Annibaldi, Lord of Molara.  Though my lord has unfortunately been unable to reside in Rome of late, no man may doubt his Roman heart, and he could not bear to see Rome suffer through a winter so bleak.  While the so-called bread-breakers* hold only scorn for Rome, the plight of the city's people has given my lord great dismay.  Charity and love, these most Christian virtues, have spurred him to action.

My lord feels strongly that he has been gone from the city for too long, and asks merely that if his benefice is to be welcomed in Rome that his person be so welcomed, and that he be permitted to rebuild his estate that fell in the regrettable turmoil of the previous decade.  If the Romans will receive him, then he will be most pleased to bestow his generosity to them.

*A reference to the Frangipani, whose name means "bread-breakers," and who supposedly got that name by feeding Rome in the midst of a famine many years ago.

The Same Messenger Appears Before the Lesser Council

My distinguished senators, I urge to you consider my lord's offer.  There are but a few matters that he wishes addressed before he can with confidence give Rome all that he would like.  The grain my lord possesses has not come cheaply, nevertheless he asks for not one silver coin from the Senate.  He is a nobleman, not a merchant, and his currency is his honor and duty.  He hopes, however, that he will be suitably recognized by your august institution for the considerable expense he is undergoing.

Firstly, my lord asks that upon his arrival with the promised supplies, you distinguished senators offer him the title of patricius, which has been borne by many Roman noblemen of esteem and most recently by the late Signore Pierleoni.

Secondly, my lord asks that the Roman militia be mustered upon his arrival to accompany him to the Campus Martius, the better to protect his generosity.

Thirdly, my lord asks this council for an oath that, should His Holiness seek to install a new praefectus urbi in Rome, the members of this council will petition His Holiness to appoint my lord to that position.

Fourthly, as has been stated before the Senate, my lord asks that he be permitted to rebuild his family's tower in Rome, which stood north of the Colosseum before his family left the city in 1144.

If this esteemed council will consent today, then tomorrow I shall be in my lord's presence to give him this good news.

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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2014, 05:25:00 PM »

Before the Lesser Council to the Messenger of Signore Annibaldo

And who is His Holiness that your Lord speaks of?
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2014, 03:50:17 PM »

Signore Annibaldo's Messenger to the Lesser Council

My lord does not presume to judge the rival claims of the clerics who now declare themselves pope.  He is confident that the ecclesiastical council at Pavia, called by the emperor to convene in January, will settle this matter, and my lord swears he will faithfully recognize whichever man is declared legitimate by that council.

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