Papal States

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The Nuttall Encyclopedia [1]

A territory in the N. of Italy extending irregularly from Naples to the Po, at one time subject to the temporal sovereignty of the Pope, originating in a gift to his Holiness of Pepin the Short, and taking shape as such about the 11th century, till in the 16th and 17th centuries the papal power began to assert itself in the general politics of Europe, and after being suppressed for a time by Napoleon it was formally abolished by annexation of the territory to the crown of Sardinia in 1870.