THIS book is the outcome of a course of lectures given at Paris some twelve years ago. They made their first public appearance, collected and printed,
in a Review, and, afterwards, a fairly large selection of them was placed at the disposition of the public. As the first edition of the lectures is now exhausted, I am, in accordance with request, bringing out another. This, however, is rather out of deference to the advice of my publisher, than to any deep sense of the book s importance. So many people have written on the subject, and with so much erudition ! At least, I suppose so ; but not being
a person of unlimited leisure, I have, as a rule, confined myself to the study of original documents, without unduly troubling myself about the lucubrations to which they have given rise. Few foot-notes will be found in these pages, for I have been chary of references, even with regard to my own first hand investigations. Many details are explained in my notes on the Liber Pontificalis, to which the learned and conscientious reader is respectfully re
ferred. Small works of this kind are intended for the average reader. For the benefit of the latter, then, I have tried to explain the formation of the little pontifical state in the eighth century, and how the conditions under which it worked during the first three centuries of its existence are connected with the great religious conflicts in the time of Gregory VII. It is true that the subject may appear remote, but as long as it is a question of the Church and of Italy, its interest can never pall.