The Republic of St. Peter seeks to reclaim for central
Italy an important part of its own history. Noble's thesis is at
once original and controversial: that the Republic, an independent
political entity, was in existence by the 730s and was not a
creation of the Franks in the 750s.
Noble examines the political, economic, and religious problems that
impelled the central Italians-and a succession of resolute popes-to
seek emancipation from the Byzantine Empire. He delineates the
social structures and historical traditions that produced a
distinctive political society, describes the complete governmental
apparatus of the Republic, and provides a comprehensive assessment
of the Franco-papal alliance.
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