Canossa

From Academic Kids

Canossa is a former castle of Matilda, Countess of Tuscany, situated in the foothills of the Apennines, in the province of Reggio Emilia and about eighteen miles from Parma.

Going to Canossa is a term coined in European history as where a King must go in order to win favor back with the Pope after being excommunicated from the church. It was an act that illustrated the church's monopoly on legitimacy and the power of the Pope.

One of the most dramatic moments in the history of the western church came when Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV knelt in the snow at Canossa in 1077 and begged Pope Gregory VII to lift the ban of excommunication. The pope had prohibited lay control over the placing of clergy in the church (particularly the investiture of bishops) and, by securing the forgiveness of Pope Gregory VII, the emperor was also securing the imperial power that had been jeopardized by his excommunication.

The end of the need for rulers in Europe of going to Canossa is best displayed by Napoleon who crowned himself to show he did not need the church's authority to rule.


Canossa should not be confused with Canosa in Apulia in the south of Italy.he: הליכה לקנוסה de:Canossa it:Canossa ja:カノッサ pl:Canossa

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