Papal State

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The Papal States are the personal lands of the pope, held by him in a feudal manner in the same way as any other crown, except that the pope is not a hereditary office, it is elected.

The area of the Papal States varied widely during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, however they usually included Rome, Viterbo, Urbino and occasionally lands as far north as Ferrara, Bologna, Parma and Modena.

To the south of the Papal States is the Kingdom of Naples.

While the Pope controlled the Papal States, he was a de facto Secular Italian prince. One of the points of the leaders of the Reformation, such as Martin Luther was that the Pope by controlling these lands had abjured his Spiritual responsibilities for Temporal gains.