It appears to me that, for the Roman Empire in the form of the 400 AD Roman Catholic Church and Papacy, to continue to hold power in Rome and central Italy and beyond into the former Roman Empire, the Church needed a "strong man". The 'strong man' of the Roman Empire had formerly been its military. All of this infrastructure had long gone... the slave-soldiers had fled and returned to their homelands and loved ones. It appears that the "Holy Roman Church" chose as its strongman one of the most formidable opponents of the former Roman Empire: Germania.
Very soon after the complete demise of the Roman Empire in 475 AD, the Papal Father travelled into old Germania to strike up a deal with the "barbarians". Would the Frank, Pepin subdue the feisty Lombards of Northern Italy and declare by force of arms, that the Pope be ruler of all Church property holdings in Italy? If Pepin would agree to this, he would be awarded the title "Roman Emperor" by the Pope. All of the territories that Pepin and successive "Emperors" had dominion over would also honourifically be called "The Holy Roman Empire". The agreement was thus struck.
At the dizzying heights of this arrangement from 1200's-1500's onward, the Holy Roman Empire included Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and parts of Poland, The Czech Republic, Spain, the Spanish-speaking Americas, Bohemia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Naples, Sicily... not necessarily at the same time, as the various Emperors ascended and were deposed by others among their German tribesmen. It appears that whoever held the most power amongst the German tribes would also be crowned "Roman Emperor". Very tellingly, the Roman Emperor would never hold dominion in Central Italy, ie: of Rome nor of her surrounding regions. It also explains to me why there is a Swiss Guard at the Vatican. I now see how this arrangement possibly was arrived at.
The Germans were set in place purely to do the bidding of the Popes... To hold control in Europe while the Roman Catholic Church continued to count the gold coins that ignorant and frightened people tithed in the churches, in the hopes of forstalling a painful end in hell.
This was a brilliant plan on the part of the Church of Rome... one that would see this organisation enjoy 1,000 years of coin-counting until 1555 when The Reformation offered Northern Europe Lutheranism as an alternative to Papism. No wonder there has been such ferocious opposition to Papal interests and supporters in the past. Dipping into the article below gives a glimpse into why such anger festered against the Church of Rome amongst thinking people, all across Europe. The arrangement finally mumbled its way into oblivion with the ascendance of Napoleon (a Frenchman !!! ) on the European stage.
I wonder what would have happened to the "Holy Roman Catholic Church" if Pipin had not accepted Pope Stephen II's first offer and request for protection. What would have happened to the Roman Church if the unruly Lombardies had stormed what remained of Rome... and to quite possibly destroy the last vestiges of corruption in Italy at that time. How differently history would have written itself... :-/
Here's the full history below, for your reading pleasure... written by Nobility Association. com ... I think authored by Crown Prince Leka II of Albania. Thanks Prince for your insightful article of how your ancestors (by marriage if none other) sucked up and screwed us all. Cheers.
THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE
A political entity in Western Europe from 800 to 1806. The Empire was in theory a revival of the Western Roman Empire—the political counterpart of the Roman Catholic Church. It was initially known as the Empire in the West. Before 1815, there was no state called Germany, in the sense we now use. There was the Holy Roman Empire, with a ruler called (officially in Latin) the Roman Emperor and which claimed to be in principle the continuation of the Roman Empire which ruled basically all of what is now Germany, as well as pieces of Italy, Austria, the Low Countries [nowadays Belgium and the Netherlands] and a few more. In the 11th century it was called the Roman Empire and the title Holy Roman Empire was adopted in the 12th century. Although the borders of the empire shifted greatly throughout its history, its principal area was always that of the German states. From the 10th century its rulers were elected German kings, who usually sought, but did not always receive, imperial coronation by the popes in Rome.
Holy Roman Empire. This map shows the Holy Roman empire at its height. During the 1000's, the Holy Roman Empire extended from the North Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.
The emperor generally dominated the various states and principalities that made up the German nation (which included present-day Austria, the Czech Republic, part of Poland, Luxembourg, and other bordering areas) as well as northern Italy. The emperor was chosen by electors representing certain states and dioceses, but the position tended to become hereditary, as the electors usually selected the ruler's natural heir. He customarily was crowned emperor by the pope in Rome.
Holy Roman Empire flag. The Holy Roman Empire flag flew in what is now Germany from the 1200's until 1806. It features a large eagle on a yellow background.
The emperor's power depended largely on his personal and family inheritances, and on alliances. Charles V, for example, when elected emperor in 1519, was also king of Spain and his domain included the Netherlands, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, and Spanish America. His son, Philip, was the husband of the ruling queen of England (Mary I). Charles gave Austria to his brother Ferdinand, who was also king of Bohemia and of Hungary and succeeded him as emperor. Spain, however, went to his son, who became Philip II of Spain.
The Holy Roman Empire was an attempt to revive the Western Roman Empire, whose legal and political structure deteriorated during the 5th and 6th centuries, to be replaced by independent kingdoms ruled by Germanic nobles. The Roman imperial office was vacant after the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476. During the turbulent early Middle Ages the traditional concept of a temporal realm coextensive with the spiritual realm of the church had been kept alive by the popes in Rome. The Byzantine Empire, which controlled the provinces of the Eastern Roman Empire from its capital, Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey), retained nominal sovereignty over the territories formerly controlled by the Western Empire, and many of the Germanic tribes that had seized these territories formally, recognized the Byzantine emperor as overlord. Partly because of this and also for other reasons, including dependence on Byzantine protection against the Lombards, the popes also recognized the sovereignty of the Eastern Empire for an extended period after the enforced abdication of Romulus Augustulus.
Romulus Augustus (fl. 461/463 – after 476, before 488), was the last Western Roman Emperor, reigning from 31 October 475 until 4 September 476. His deposition by Odoacer (Flavius Odoacer 433–493, also known as Flavius Odovacer, was the 5th-century King of Italy, whose reign is commonly seen as marking the end of the classical Roman Empire. He is considered the first non-Roman to ever have ruled all of Italy), traditionally marks the end of the Western Roman Empire, the fall of ancient Rome, and the beginning of the Middle Ages in Western Europe.
He is also known by his nickname "Romulus Augustulus", though he ruled officially as Romulus Augustus. The Latin suffix -ulus is a diminutive; hence, Augustulus effectively means "Little Augustus". Some Greek writers even went so far as to corrupt his name sarcastically into "Momylos", or "little disgrace".
The historical record contains few details of Romulus' life. He was installed as emperor by his father Orestes (died 28 August AD 476, was a Roman general and politician, who was briefly in control of the Western Roman Empire in 475–6), the Magister militum (master of soldiers) of the Roman army after deposing the previous emperor Julius Nepos (c.430 – 480 was Western Roman Emperor de facto from 474 to 475 and de jure until 480). Romulus, little more than a child, acted as a figurehead for his father's rule. Reigning for only ten months, Romulus was then deposed by the Germanic chieftain Odoacer (433–493, also known as Flavius Odovacer, was the 5th-century King of Italy), and sent to live in the Castellum Lucullanum (Castel dell`Ovo) in Campania, a southern region of Italy; afterwards he disappears from the historical record.