This chapter discusses the continuities that encompass the two and a half centuries on which this book has focused. Kingship was the primary institutional focus of political thinking in the mid-eleventh century, and this continued until the early fourteenth century. Despite being beleaguered at the theoretical level, at the popular level the hallowed conviction that there was something sacred about even the temporal monarchs of Europe continued to betray a remarkable resilience. However, an enormous theoretical chasm had also opened between the theopolitical commonsense of the mid-eleventh century when the German king Henry III, acting as sacred emperor-pontiff and imperial vicar of Christ, could make and unmake popes, and that of the early fourteenth century, when papal ideologists such as Aegidius Romanus and James of Viterbo could portray kings and emperors as essentially secular figures.
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