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Is this a serious article?[edit]

Seriously though! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:29, 5 July 2004‎

It's the start of a translation of a French article. I must admit, I thought it was humor when I read it. Ambivalenthysteria 14:31, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

This article as it stands is clearly a candidate for speedy deletion. You have about fifteen minutes to add something useful to convince us that it should not be speedy deleted. (just because it was originally written in French doesn't mean its not nonsense). DJ Clayworth 14:32, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Or alternatively it may be copyvio: [1] DJ Clayworth 14:36, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

See http://www.google.com/search?q=pornocracy%20papacy. It appears to be a legit topic. I guess you learn something every day. Could be worth sending to Cleanup, even if anon doesn't fix it up. Is that phrase enough to earn it a copyvo listing?. Ambivalenthysteria 14:38, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
When I wrote that, 'that phrase' was the entire article. DJ Clayworth 15:56, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
User:VampWillow deleted it anyway, it seems. Ambivalenthysteria 14:41, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I restored it; I could verify it inside and outside wikipedia. [[User:Sverdrup|Sverdrup❞]] 14:46, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The List_of_forms_of_government page shows it. Would it really be worth having a separate page for each of these terms. A lot of them seem rather silly. (I admit I could just be being naive here). Dazzled — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:49, 5 July 2004‎

Rule of the Harlots[edit]

Accoring to the internet, "Rule of the Harlots" is an alternative name for the period. But what does it mean?

In modern use a harlot is a prostitute, referring to a woman. But in old usage a harlot referred to a "a man of no fixed occupation, vagabond, beggar", therefore referring to the popes, who seem to be a random, unprofessional bunch [2].

How old is the term "rule of the harlots", ie which meaning of harlot is intended? The dictionary says the change of meaning occurred in the 13-14th century, so if the term is from the time where the "Rule of the Harlots" happened it would mean "a man of no fixed occupation, vagabond, beggar".

Since both meanings seem to be possible, perhaps this is what caused the meaning of "harlot" to change, through misunderstanding?

Thue | talk 10:58, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

It's a great theory - I'll do some research and see if I can come up with anything. In the mean time, I've added some info on the unreliability of the main source and I'm still looking to add much more to the article (even if it's never AOTW, I personally would love to get this up to featured standard). -- ALargeElk | Talk 14:44, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Theodora Senatrix[edit]

What is the source you use for the last name? According to [3] "senatrix" is a title. Thue | talk 17:05, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

It's from [4] - and you're right that it's a title. Probably we should just call her Theodora (10th century) - we already have Theodora (6th century), Theodora (9th century) and Theodora (11th century). -- ALargeElk | Talk 12:09, 9 Jul 2004 (UTC)


How can a pope commit adultery when they are not supposed to be married? May be the text should say 'sex' instead of 'adultery' — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:33, 25 January 2005‎

They can commit adultery if the woman is married. If not, they're fornicating. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:19, 30 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

List of most sexually active popes[edit]

What's with this list? Where are the references for what's said, and what's it doing here anyway? It states as fact things which are only allegations, and only two of the popes listed are during the pornocracy anyway. --ALargeElk | Talk 12:36, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Ah, I see - it was merged from an article of the same name. I don't think it belongs here - if is should be anywhere, it needs its own article, and should then be cleaned up. I'll think about how to deal with this. --ALargeElk | Talk 12:45, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)
OK, I've unmerged it and added a bit of a header paragraph to the other article. --ALargeElk | Talk 14:55, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. -- 03:55, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)


"Much of the evidence for the time comes from the histories of Liutprand"

Did the original author mean to say testimony instead of evidence? -- 03:55, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

No Fench kings?[edit]

Shouldnt't this article be more about official mistresses of Frech kings? I guess there are many more similar historical situations. If it needs to focus on popes it should get more relevant name. Pavel Vozenilek 22:35, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Needs rewriting from scratch[edit]

The term 'pornocracy' is a neologism. As it stands, there's nothing here worth saving; the term 'pornocracy' doesn't appear in either reference, and doesn't deserve to be added to our dialect by this article. +sj + 04:52, 25 September 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Irrelevant. Wikipedia has hundreds of articles named after neologisms. What matters is which name is more common; can you provide evidence that "rule of the harlots" is the dominant term, considering that Google gives less than 500 hits for "rule of the harlots" and 11,300 hits for "pornocracy"? Additionally, the current name is unacceptable even if "rule of the harlots" is the more common term (and I see no reason to believe it is; even the two references we use which deal with the topic in general clearly favor the term "pornocracy", so are they wrong too?) because of the "the"—if you can show that "rule of the harlots" is for some reason (aside from aesthetic preference for one or the other) the dominant term, this article will have to be moved to Rule of the Harlots. -Silence 19:56, 5 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Requested move[edit]

I don't know why this was moved in the first place. "Pornocracy" predominates in the literature and "the" is inappropriate for a title anyway. Srnec 05:31, 18 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]


Add "* Support" or "* Oppose" or other opinion in the appropriate section followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion with ~~~~

PAGE MOVED, per request with no opposition. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:55, 24 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]


The link to the first source does not exist:

  • Church and Society in a Crisis Age: Tenth and Eleventh Century Europe by Harlie Kay Gallatin. Online

The second source does no more than confirm that liutibrand was unfair. It does not mention the "pornocracy".

  • The Catholic Encyclopedia entry on Liutprand of Cremona

This article is quite dubious, and without better sourcing should be deleted. Kjaer (talk) 06:25, 29 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I've re-added the Gallatin link, though someone more experienced with citation formats might want to check it. --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 14:18, 29 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for fixing the link. I note, however, that the source is a self-published one page essay that uses the term 'pornocracy' in scare quotes, and which provides no citations or quotations of other sources. Kjaer (talk) 17:04, 29 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]


This article has tags all over it an zero indication that Will Durant or any real historian ever used this term. It's controversial and needs specific citation. Better yet, it should be sent to AfD so there is a deadline for these improvements. --Boston (talk) 07:58, 29 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I only just added the tags yesterday, so perhaps we can give the authors of this article a little time. But as it stands, this article seems to be treating a minor partisan neologism as if it were a respectable historical term. We need some notable sources. The article, if not to be deleted, has to be rewritten from an NPOV standpoint. So far as I can tell, 'pornocracy' is a derogatory term used by a few modern Protestant opponents of the Papacy. Perhaps the article Feminazi would serve as a good template for a rewrite. Kjaer (talk) 17:04, 29 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I've no particular axe to grind over this, and I'm happy if someone can suggest a better term, but a quick search on Google Books shows "pornocracy" as a term to have been used for at least a couple of decades by a variety of writers up to and including well-known figures such as John Julius Norwich. --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 17:36, 29 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

There would seem to be two issues, the term and the thing to which it refers. The term 'pornocracy' itself looks like a derogatory neologism. The thing to which it refers is simply a period in the history of the papacy. If the word itself hadn't been coined, would this article even exist? I suspect it would be mered into History of the papacy. So, we need to explore the origin and usage of the term, and whether it merits a separate article, or merger into history of the Papacy. I am not a deletionist - but as it stands the article is very poorly sourced and it seems to be treating what looks like a very partisan word as if it is a standard historical term. We need some non-Protestant, non-Episcopal (i.e., not inherently anti-Papal) source - or we need to identify the term as a Protestant and Episcopal buzzword if that is all it is. Kjaer (talk) 17:56, 29 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Looking into this a little further, I think the best course for this article is merger into History of the papacy.

The French article indicates that the term comes from 18th century german historians who spoke of the "roemisches hurenregiment" (romish whore-regime). The French article provides no citations other than a comment by liutprand that John XII knew no Latin! The article reads as a translation of this one.

The german article under pornokratie also reads as a translation and offers no citations whatsoever. There is no german article for Römisches Hurenregiment. Kjaer 31 Jan

For Deletion?[edit]

At this point, if no one has any other suggestions, I'm going to look into merger/deletion. Kjaer (talk) 08:23, 1 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I know it goes against the Wikipedian ethos to say, "something needs doing" without offering to do it myself, but time pressures prevent me. I do think, though, that it's worth having a really good look at what a Google Books search for this term brings up. There are citations back to the nineteenth century, and at least one other encyclopedia includes the term, clearly not derived from Wikipedia. In the end, though, as I don't have the time to properly contribute, I'm not going to object to whatever decision you take over this. --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 11:37, 1 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Looking at google books I see that the term is used in A manual of Church History published by the American Baptist publication Society. It is also used in a discussion of the French Theater of the 1800's. I am no expert on Baptists, but my understanding is that they have a problem with the Papacy. The only referenced source we have for the term in the article itself is another publication by Southern baptist University - and that one uses scare quotes around the term. So, it ;looks like we could write an article about the word itself, and say that it is used to refer to various periods perceived as corrupt, and is used by certain Baptist authors to refer to a period of the Papacy. That separates out the term from the period, which, I believe, is the real meat of this article. And the period itself again belongs under History of the papacy.

Are there any other sources? This is the talk page, so you can simply cut and paste anything that you think is relevant.Kjaer (talk) 16:40, 1 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Caesar Baronius[edit]

Caesar Baronius and "Pornocracy"

Caesar baronius coined the term Saeculum Obscurum, literally "dark age" to refer to the period of the bad popes. The fact that he refered to this as an era does not mean that he coined the term Pornocracy that 18th century scholars later used to refer to that era. Please provide an exact quote of Chamberlin, and Chamberlin's refernce to the specific page where Baronius uses the word pornocracy. Baronius is available, but not searchable in google books. I have been unable to find any such source.

[Saeculum obscurum] aus Wikipedia, der freien Enzyklopädie

Saeculum obscurum (Latein: dunkles Jahrhundert) bezeichnet den Zeitraum der Papstgeschichte beginnend vom Mord an Papst Johannes VIII. 882 bis zur Absetzung dreier konkurrierender Päpste 1046. Der Begriff wurde von Cesare Baronio (1538-1607) geprägt.

In dieser Zeit durchlebte das Papsttum eine tiefe Krise. Am Ende des 9. Jahrhunderts verloren die Karolinger als Schutzmacht des Papstes an Einfluss und Rom wurde weitestgehend bedeutungslos, während sich das Heilige Römische Reich nun unter den Liudolfingern (Ottonen) Heinrich I. und Otto I., dem Großen, erst neu konsolidieren musste. Inzwischen rivalisierten Römische Adelsfamilien um den Stuhl Petri, weshalb von den 45 Päpsten in dieser Zeit ein Drittel ihres Amtes erhoben wurde, ein weiteres Drittel im Kerker oder im Exil endete oder durch Mörderhand starb. Die Päpste wurden jedoch nicht nur durch ihre Verwicklung in schwere Verbrechen dem moralischen Anspruch ihres Amtes nicht mehr gerecht, sondern erregten die Öffentlichkeit auch durch einen ausschweifenden Lebensstil, der dieser Epoche bisweilen auch Bezeichnungen wie "Weiber- und Hurenregiment" oder "Zeitalter der Pornokratie" einbrachte.


Saeculum obscurum (Latin: dark century) refers to the period of history starting from the Pope assassination of Pope John VIII 882 to deposing three rival popes 1046th The term was coined by Cesare Baronio (1538-1607) coined.

During this time the papacy lived through a deep crisis. At the end of the 9th Century, the Carolingians lost as a protective power of the pope in Rome and influence was largely irrelevant, while the Holy Roman Empire is now among the Liudolfingern (Ottonen) Henry I and Otto I., the Great, had been newly consolidate. Meanwhile rival Roman noble families to the Chair of Peter, which of the 45 popes in this period one third of their duties was collected, another third in prison or in exile ended, or by hand murderer died. The popes were not only due to their involvement in serious crimes, the moral right of their office is no longer equitable, but also aroused the public by an excessive lifestyle of this era, sometimes, names such as "wives and whores regiment" or "age of Pornokratie" revenue.


I found the quote in google books, he does claim Baronius coined the term. But no page reference is provided, and again, I have not been able to find the term in Baronius himself. Kjaer (talk) 22:07, 3 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I did a little searching in Google Books and found this source:

Baronius, C. Annales ecclesiastici, Vol. 15. Lucca, 1747. (covers A.D. 897-912.)

This is from Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia by Christopher Kleinhenz, John W. Barker, Gail Louise Geiger, Richard H. Lansing. I found it on page 926 under the Critical Studies section of the Pornocracy article. Here is the URL:[5]-Schnurrbart (talk) 02:12, 4 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Quote from The Bad Popes[edit]

Here is the relevant passage from Chamberlin's book (page 27):

Cardinal Baronius, struggling in the sixteenth century with the task of writing the first papal history, had no choice but to follow Liudprand and coined the vivid term "pornocracy" for that period of the Papacy which the two women dominated.

In the bibliography (page 291), Chamberlin gives this entry for Baronius:

Baronius, Caesar, Annales ecclesi-

astici: continued by Raynaldus.

Lucca, 1738-1756.

-Schnurrbart (talk) 01:42, 4 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks. I did find the quote of Chamberlin's text that you gave above on google books. The problem I have is that I don't think Chamberlin gives a reference to say on what page of Annales Ecclesiasticae he read the actual word "pornocracy". Every source I have read says that pornocracy was coined by german scholars of the 19th century to refer to a time which Baronius identified. And the term attributed to Baronius is "Saeculum Obscurum" not "Pornocratia". So, while the Chamberlin text does say what you say it says, I think Chamberlin, unless it cites a quote of Baronius, or a specifc page of the annals, is questionable. I get the impression his is a popular, and not a footnoted scholarly work. The way to solve it would be to look in the annals. They are available on google books as well, but I don't know if the text is searchable. And in any case, I have not been able to find any hits for "pornocratia caesar baronius" or any variations thereof. I'll keep looking. Kjaer (talk) 02:24, 4 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

google scholar[edit]

Searching for "Caesar Baronius pornocracy" on google scholar, I return one hit - Chamberlin's book, already quoted. Searching under "caesar baronius pornokratie" I find one book in german.

There are no hits under pornocratia at all, which I think demonstrates that nowhere is Baronius quoted as saying that word.

But searching under "Saeculum Obscurum" I found the following, with translations afterwards, and my bold:


B Barbiche - routledge-ny.com ... the legitimacy of the pope chosen in 752 (Pan- vinio, Baronius). ... names of legendary or historical predecessors from before the saeculum obscurum (10th century ... Related articles - View as HTML - Web Search - All 3 versions

  • Peace Laws and Institutions of Mediaeval France

MJ Aloysius - Catholic Historical Review, 1926 - jstor.org ... The tenth century was pre-eminently the "dark age." It was what Baronius calls it "saeculum obscurum, a time when Christ was asleep in the ship." Web Search

  • [BOOK] Lateinische Dichtungen des X. Und XI. Jahrhunderts: Festgabe für Walther Bulst zum 80. Geburtstag

W Bulst, W Berschin, R Düchting - 1981 - Schneider Web Search

  • [BOOK] Die Päpste als Gestalter Europas? Eine Studie zu den frühmittelalterlichen Papsturkunden

M Klüners - 2007 - GRIN Verlag OHG ... geklärt werden. 2.2 Am Vorabend des saeculum obscurum: Der formosianische Streit ... 23 Das nach Baronius als „eisernes Zeitalter" 24 bezeichne- ... Web Search

  • [HTML] ►Die eschatologische Ideengruppe: Antichrist, Weltsabbat, Weltende und Weltgericht, in den …

E Wadstein - 1896 - books.google.com ... Christi: Rieger, alt- und angels. Lesebuch. Giessen 1861. S. 181 ff. 4 ) Baronius, Annal. eccles. Antverp. 1603. X. p. 647: „novum ... Cited by 3 - Related articles - Web Search - Library Search

  • [BOOK] Recht und Gericht in Kirche und Welt um 900

W Hartmann… - 2007 - books.google.com ... zu diesen Einschätzungen seit Baronius zum Beispiel: Harald Zimmermann, Das ... Löscher, das dunkle Mittelalter und sein „saeculum obscurum", in: Gesellschaft ... Related articles - Web Search - Library Search

  • [HTML] ►Bernard of Clairvaux

RS Storrs - 1892 - books.google.com Page 1. Page 2. c,\TY Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. *oL BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX Page 6. Page 7. BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX THE TIMES, THE MAN, AND HIS ... Cited by 6 - Related articles - Web Search - All 2 versions

  • [BOOK] Die Formierung Europas 840-1046

J Fried - books.google.com ... Bereits der Erfinder des saeculum obscurum, der Kardinal und Geschichtsschreiber C. Baronius, konstatierte in seinen „Annales ecclesias- tici" (1603) zum ... Cited by 12 - Web Search

  • [BOOK] Early Music History: Studies in Medieval and Early Modern Music

I Fenlon - 2001 - books.google.com Page 1. I EARLY MUSIC HISTORY Studies in medieval and early modern music Edited by lain Fenlon Page 2. EARLY MUSIC HISTORY 18 STUDIES IN MEDIEVAL AND ... Cited by 1 - Related articles - Web Search - Library Search - All 2 versions

  • [BOOK] Jahrbuch der historischen Forschung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Berichtsjahr 2005

HM Hinz, H Zedelmaier - 2006 - books.google.com Page 1. Jahrbuch der historischen Page 2. Jahrbuch der historischen Forschung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Thl s O ne 285J-KTO-XZ80 Page 3. ... Web Search


  • [BOOK] Latin seals of X. And XI. Century: Festgabe for Walther Bulst the 80th Birthday

Bulst W, W Berschin, R Düchting - 1981 - Schneider Web Search

  • [BOOK] The popes of Europe as a designer? A study of the early deeds Pope

M Klüners - 2007 - GRIN Verlag OHG ... clarified. 2.2 On the eve of the saeculum obscurum: The formosianische dispute ... 23 The after Baronius as the "iron age" 24 designated ... Web Search

  • [HTML] ► The eschatological idea Group: Anti-Christian, World Sabbath, and the end of World World Court in the ...

E Wadstein - 1896 - books.google.com ... Christ: Rieger, old and angels. Reader. Pour the 1861st P. 181 ff 4) Baronius, Annals. Eccl. Antverp. 1603. X. p. 647: "novum ... Cited by 3 - Related articles - Web Search - Library Search

  • [BOOK] Law and court in the Church and the world by 900

Hartmann W ... - 2007 - books.google.com ... since these estimates to Baronius, for example: Harald Zimmermann, The ... Quencher, the dark Middle Ages, and his "saeculum obscurum" in society ... Related articles - Web Search - Library Search

  • [BOOK] The formation of Europe 840-1046

J Fried - books.google.com ... Even the inventor of the saeculum obscurum, the cardinal and historian C. Baronius, stated in his "Annales ecclesias-tici" (1603) to ... Cited by 12 - Web

  • [BOOK] Year book of historical research in the Federal Republic of Germany. Report Year 2005

HM Hinz, H Zedelmaier - 2006 - books.google.com Page 1 Yearbook of the historic Page 2 Yearbook of historical research in the Federal Republic of Germany THL s O ne-285J-KTO XZ80 Page 3rd ... Web Search

Given that we have multiple references to Baronius as the inventer of the "saeculum obscurum", as well as the direct if translated quote of him alluding to the saeculum obscurum as Christ asleep in the ship, but not one single quote of Baronius' very own words using "pornocratia" I think we can assume that Baronius identified the period, used the term saeculum obscurum for it, and it was later renamed the pornokratie by German scholars as the French article asserts.

At this point, we need a direct quote of Baronius saying pornocratia, if such exists. Kjaer (talk) 03:08, 4 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

More from Google Scholar, comments, anyone?[edit]

Searching google scholar for "pornocracy rome" I found 58 hits. "pornocracy pope" I found 50 hits. Yet "pornocracy France" I found 96 hits. It would seem this term has more uses than just to refer to the saeculum obscurum of Baronius. It is also used to refer to the period of the Paris commune and in regard to the French theater.

Given those results and the prior ones on baronius and saeculum obscurum above I think that if this article is to be about the period in papal history it needs renaming, or if about the term pornocracy, a total rewrite. Any suggestions? I'd prefer some sort of consensus before I step on anyone's toes. Kjaer (talk) 00:13, 5 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I noticed the French references earlier as well. "Pornocracy" was probably used several times to refer to several different things. I think that this article should eventually be renamed as "Pornocracy (Catholic Church)" or something similar and the other uses of the term given appropriate names (once there is sufficient information on them to start articles). They can be linked together with a disambiguation page. Right now I am trying to find more information on the Annales ecclesiastici but that may take a little time.-Schnurrbart (talk) 00:34, 5 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks. I take it by Pornocracy (Catholic Church) you mean the article should be about the period as opposed to just the word pornocracy. If that is the case, then I would name the article Saeculum Obscurum, (there is already such an article in German,) note the period, that Baronius was the first historian to identify it as a period, that his source was liutiprand, and that in later times german protestants referred to it as the hurenregiment (reign of the harlots) and the pornokratie. The only issue I have is whether there is enough about the era itself then to justify a separate article, or just merge it into History of the papacy. I would object to Pornocracy (Catholic Church) itself because what is it being disambiguated from? We could start an article on the Paris Commune/French Theater use of the word, but that seems a bit much.

Oh, and a simple search on "Saeculum Obscurum" at scholar gives some 329 results, all of which seem to refer to church history, while there are only 121 results for pornocracy, and a minority of those seem to refer to the period.

Based on that, I intend to rename the article Saeculum Obscurum if there are no objections. Kjaer (talk) 01:12, 5 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with Kjaer. Rename the article. I think the article is worth keeping. Historian Durant refers to roughly this period as the nadir of the papacy. It's not the most important page around, but it seems to be worthy of separate treatment. Leadwind (talk) 01:29, 5 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Definitely no objections from me - seems like the right solution. Note that Swedish and Italian also have articles. Based on your sources (and the WP articles in other languages), this should be lower case "obscurum". --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 13:01, 5 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Move Issues[edit]

Okay, so I have rewritten the lead a bit and moved the article. I also removed the general dispute tag. I think we could use some help either providing references or tagging anything that still needs to be referenced. Since the term pornocracy referes more often to the french theater and the Paris commune, I think pornocracy should not simply redirect here, but either be deleted or turned into a disambiguation page.Kjaer (talk) 17:08, 5 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

also tbd, rename links Kjaer (talk) 17:11, 5 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Do we know exactly what period Baronius was referring to when he used this term? At the moment we are defining it much more narrowly than, for example, the German wikipedia.
(Schnurrbart said he's looking in to it. I don't have access to a hard copy or searchable version of Baronius' text. Kjaer (talk) 18:18, 5 February 2009 (UTC))[reply]
Yes, it looks like it could cover from 882-1046 which corresponds to Durant. Since Durant is well sourced I will do a rewrite based on that for now.Kjaer (talk) 23:19, 5 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
All articles within Wikipedia which mention "pornocracy" are referring to the papal period, so for the present I think it's appropriate to still have that redirecting here. --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 18:08, 5 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The problem with having it redirected here without comment is that it makes it look like that term and saeculum obscurum are identical, when in fact, it seems that the term is more often used to refer to matters in 1800's France. I will look into how to make it go to a disambiguation.Kjaer (talk) 23:02, 5 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Saeculum obscurum translated[edit]

I have added a translation of the term "saeculum obscurum", as the meaning is obscure to anyone who does not know Latin. Dark age seems better than dark time, as it implies an extended period, but I'm open to discussion.

The term "pornocracy" seems to have more to do with sexism than history. "Rule by prostitutes" implies a pretty sad view of women. That is not the objective view of history which should be reflected here. One has to wonder if it reflects the point of view of a certain kind of celibate male.

However, the suspicion is that it reflects the prejudices and propaganda of Liutprand. It's like relying on a Nazi for a history of Jews.

It makes more sense to use the term "saeculum obscurum", which is a little more NPOV. Michael of Lucan (talk) 13:15, 19 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

""Rule by prostitutes" implies a pretty sad view of women"....really? A sad view of women in general? From reading the article it's fairly clear that they felt that these women, in particular, were prostituting themselves for power. Also note that you do not need to be female to be a prostitute. However, as far as it reflecting prejudices from others, that I will not argue against. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:57, 23 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Obviously the church wanted to play down the events afterwards, and tried to edit it out of history. Liutprand wasn't anti-Christian, but was against the way the church was being run. It's also POV to describe the Counts of Tusculum as "corrupt" - they were just feathering their nest just like any other self-respecting European count did at that time. (talk) 08:09, 25 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Prostitute is a bad translation of harlot, and a harlot could be a man in those days, so it's not sexist - see section 2 above. (talk) 18:43, 1 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

great schism[edit]

It is interesting that the schism occurred just after this period, but we cannot of our own say that there is a connection or imply it. Maybe we could add this as a see also link. I'll look for a source that would allow us to say this

The East–West Schism was in 1054 and was mainly over doctrinal differences. Both churches excommunicated each other, so it wasn't a matter of the Greeks leaving in disgust. The Orthodox church disliked the subsequent reforms of Gregory in the 1080s, such as clerical celibacy. More than anyone, Gregory tried to clean up the church and reassert authority. (talk) 22:32, 15 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Tusculan Papacy[edit]

I've added these Theophylacti for continuity's sake. You couldn't blame the Greeks for the East–West Schism of 1054, could you? They must have been fed up paying their dues and watching the carry-on in Rome. (talk) 18:41, 1 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

PS also it ties in with Will Durant's timescale. Nobody can accuse him of Liutprand's prejudices. (talk) 18:47, 1 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]


Is the time-span listed for this correct? If you go to the article for the last Pope to have served during this period according to this entry, and then proceed to look at his successors, you will notice for at least the next two or three Popes they're all listed as having served during this period as well. So which is it? Are the dates in this article correct and all of the other entries wrong? Or are the dates here false, and all the other articles are correct? Sabre ball t c 19:08, 15 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah, I echo the question. Noticed the same thing, just don't know the answer. Evensteven (talk) 01:07, 7 February 2014 (UTC)[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Opening sentence[edit]

The opening sentence only says that it's a historical period and when it happened, but it doesn't say what it was. Articles should be opened with definition-like descriptions and this page should explain what is specific about this period that it can be recognized as something distinct and that has its own name. (talk) 11:16, 20 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]