Episode 45 – Triple Division

This week we take a little detour to catch up with our friends in Rome, the popes. Do not worry, the popes are no longer all goody two shoes, we are back to the usual shenanigans of murder, backstabbing, betrayal and the Normans.

The church is divided three ways, between the two rival Roman clans of the Frangipani and the Pierleoni, between the old school Gregorian reformers and their more radical successors, led by Bernard of Clairvaux and between mystics and scholastics.

Everyone has to take sides as papal candidates are cut down, get tortured and flee the eternal city. But we are not back to the days before the council of Sutri. No longer can the ruling families put thugs or debauched adolescents on the throne of St. Peter. Popes need to be respected to keep the Roman economy going.

But the real head of the church is an abbot from Burgundy, Bernard of Clairvaux who is longing for an ecstatic union with the heavenly bridegroom – hence the picture (Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the Ecstasy of Santa Teresa, 1647-1654)

The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau. (used under  Common Creative Licence 3.0). https://imslp.org/wiki/Flute_Sonata_in_E-flat_major%2C_H.545_%28Bach%2C_Carl_Philipp_Emanuel%29

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