| Matt Facts: Matthew dislikes drinking cold drinks from coffee mugs. He also hates plastic forks. | | Did you Know? Toothpicks are overrated. | | Words of Inspiration: "You can tell a lot about a fellow by the way he eats Jelly Beans" – R.Regan | | Did you know? There are no Pez Facts. Pez is, in fact, not factual. | | Matt Facts: Matthew's fortune cookies always predict success. | | Words of Inspiration: When I'm sad I stop being sad and be awesome instead - Barney Stinson | | Did you know? "Buf­falo buf­falo Buf­falo buf­falo buf­falo buf­falo Buf­falo buf­falo” is a gram­mat­i­cally valid sentence. | | Matt Facts: Matthew is best served on the rocks with a slice of lemon. | | Words of Inspiration: "Life is futile." | | Did you Know? Dinosaurs and Dandelions is the name of a popular blog that has been around since the 15 April 2010 | | Matt Facts: Unlike some people, Matthew only celebrates his birthday once a year. | | Words of Inspiration: "I'll be back" - The Terminator. | | Did you Know? The two modern breeds of Cocker Spaniel, American and English, are thought to have been descended from only two dogs? | | Matt Facts: On the second to last full moon of the year, Matthew develops an itch on his right shoulder. | | Words of Inspiration: “You can do it!” - Rob Schneider, in every Adam Sandler movie ever | | Did you know? Lettuce is often eaten raw. | | Words of Inspiration: "Science is always at work and never sleeps – just like Rust" | | Did you Know? When you dream, every­thing you see in that dream, you’ve seen before in real life. | | Matt Facts: Matthew officially endorses the Cadbury's Moro bar as being delicious | | Did You Know? A tadpole is also called a 'pollywog'. | | Matt Facts: Matthew has his own Facebook fan page. Creepy. | | Did You Know? Cats sleep for 70% of their lives. | | Words of Inspiration: "End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it." - Gandalf. | | Did you Know? This is the end. The journey ends here. Then it starts all over again. |

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Empires of the World: The Papal States

Ah, welcome back to Empires of the World - a grand tour of all of the major civilizations of the world. In celebration of the Pope's resignation, today we look at the Papal States.

At its Peak

As their name suggests, the Papal states were the territory that was controlled directly by the Pope. Centered around Rome, the Papal states began in the sixth century when the Byzantines invaded Italy. As the Byzantine Empire weakened the Pope gradually took over control of their Italian territories.
The Papal States are in Red.

During the Renaissance the territories expanded, led by "Warrior Pope" Julius II. The Papal states became one of the largest territories in the Italian peninsula and the states stretched into four modern day countries; Italy, France, Vatican City and San Marino.


The French Revolution led to the invasion of Italy by Napoleon and the loss of the Papal States. They were restored in 1814 following the fall of Napoleon but this proved only temporary as nationalism had been stoked in the peninsular. The Papal States were invaded by Italy in 1870 and Rome was declared the capital of the new nation.


The Pope signed a treaty with Benito Mussolini in 1929, creating the Vatican City State. At only 44 hectares, Vatican City is the smallest nation in the world.