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Popes, Kings, Crusaders: The rise of Papal power in Christendom, c.1075-1250

The rise of papal power in Christendom is one of the most important phenomena of the medieval world, which shaped the course of political, religious and social development throughout the Central Middle Ages and beyond. In the mid-eleventh century, papal power was diffuse, and the influence of the pope on the international stage was uncertain, yet, beginning with Gregory VII (1073–85), a series of ambitious pontiffs began to claw back power from secular rulers until, on the death of the papal enemy, Emperor Frederick II, in 1250, the pope could claim to be one of the most powerful political figures in Christendom. Yet while this advance is often interpreted as a linear progression, this course traces rather a more faltering development of papal power: from the fledgling exposition of papal authority in Gregory VII's ground-breaking Dictatus papae ("Dictates of the pope") of circa 1075, through the crippling struggles against the antipopes of the twelfth century, to the zenith of papal influence in the thirteenth century under Innocent III and his successors.

How to apply

The closing date for online and postal applications is Friday 16th September. You may register and pay by credit/Visa debit card online at after 16th August or you can download an application form and send it with a cheque/money order made payable to Trinity College Dublin number 1 account to: Dr Patricia Stapleton, Evening and Short Courses administrator, School of Histories and Humanities, Room 3141, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2. Applications may be made in person in Room 3141, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin between 16th and 27th August from 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. or by appointment.


€150 for the course/Concession €75 for the course. The concession rate is available to second and third level students and people whose primary source of income is social welfare, health board or a government-sponsored employment scheme.

Time and place

This is a daytime course. Please check our website after 16th August for update or text INFO followed by your name and address to 087 257 2016.


This lecture-only module comprises two lectures per week over one twelve-week term commencing in the week beginning Monday 26 September 2016. There is a one week break (7 - 11 November 2016) when no lectures will take place.