Patriarchate of Aquileia

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Detail of the mosaic floor of the Basilica of the Patriarchate of Aquileia

The Patriarchate of Aquileia , also known as the Ecclesiastical Province of Aquileia or the Patriarchate of Friuli , was an ecclesiastical state and an archdiocese of the Catholic Church , which was mainly in the area of ​​what is now the Italian region of Friuli .


The Christianity came relatively early to Aquileia . According to legend, the evangelist Mark is said to have proclaimed the new faith here on behalf of Peter . This is important insofar as patriarchal seats always refer to the founding of apostles. It is also said that it was Markus who installed Hermagoras as the first bishop . Hermagoras, on the other hand, is said to have suffered martyrdom in Nero's persecution of Christians . The first actually documented bishop of Aquileia is Hilary of Aquileia , who died a martyr in 285.

Fragments of a late antique mosaic on the floor of the baptismal bath in the Basilica of Aquileia

The missionary work of Noricum , to which most of today's Austria belonged, took place from Aquileia . At the synod of Serdica in 343 the bishops of Aguntum (near Lienz ), Lauriacum ( Lorch ), Teurnia (near Spittal an der Drau ) and Virunum (near Klagenfurt ), probably all suffragans of Aquileia, took part. On September 3, 381, 32 bishops of the Roman Empire met for a synod under Valerian's leadership . In the turmoil of the Great Migration, Aquileia received metropolitan rights over the bishops of Veneto, Istria, western Illyria, both Noricum and the Raetia secunda . In the course of the so-called three - chapter dispute in 567, the bishops of Aquileia accepted the title of patriarch and separated from Rome.

When the Lombards came to Friuli in 568, Patriarch Paul fled to Grado . In 606 or 607 Patriarch Candidianus , who resided in Grado, sought communion with Rome again. His cathedral chapter, which remained in Aquileia, did not join this project and chose John as patriarch. At the Council of Pavia in 698 the three-chapter dispute was finally settled and Aquileia also returned to communion with Rome. Nevertheless, two patriarchates remained, one in Grado ( Aquileia nova ), which was responsible for the lagoon and was moved to Venice in 1445 , and one in (old) Aquileia. In fact, the Patriarchs of Aquileia rarely resided there. At first they resided in Cormons . In 737 Patriarch Callixtus moved to Cividale del Friuli and from 1238 to 1751 Udine was the residence.

The mission areas in the Alpine region were also lost due to the migration of peoples . The re- Christianization of Carantania at the turn of the 8th to 9th century led to a conflict with Salzburg , as Aquileia insisted on his older rights. Charlemagne decided this dispute in 811 by defining the Drava as the border between the two archbishoprics. This lasted until the dissolution of the patriarchate in 1751.

In 1077 Patriarch Sieghard received count rights in Friuli; the patriarchs became imperial princes and sovereigns. However, the patriarchal state was not as extensive as the archdiocese. It reached roughly from the Tagliamento to today's Italian-Slovenian border area or from the Adriatic to the Alps.

In 1156 the Patriarch of Grado moved to Venice, and in 1451 the Patriarchate of Grado ended. The Bishop of Venice became the patriarch instead. In 1420 Venice conquered Friuli, a trial against Venice before the Council of Basel was unsuccessful. This ended the independence of the Patriarchate of Aquileia. It was stripped of its secular sovereignty in the 15th century, the patriarch was no longer one of the imperial princes, the archbishop's chair became a benefice of the patricians of Venice .

The ecclesiastical power of the Patriarch of Aquileia extended into Austria, which also made Aquileia one of its subject cities in 1544, since some of the associated bishoprics were on Austrian territory. The Austrian rulers forced the patriarch to move his seat to the Venetian town of Udine , but could not prevent him from making visitations in the Austrian dioceses and from holding synods in Gorizia, Austria . In 1575 Austria put through an archdeacon for Gorizia and in 1628 Emperor Ferdinand II forbade recognition of the patriarch. The Roman Curia followed suit half-heartedly by providing the Archdiaconate of Gorizia with extensive autonomy. The Patriarch of Aquileia was still there, at least in Udine. After heavy pressure from Emperor Karl VI. and his daughter Maria Theresa , through the mediation of Savoy, with the bull Incuncta nobis of June 6, 1751 , Pope Benedict XIV repealed the name, pen, seat and authority of the Patriarch of Aquileia. Austria got Gorizia completely under its control, the Venetian part of the patriarchate became the Archdiocese of Udine . The Patriarchate was the only one to remain in Venice. The last Patriarch of Aquileia, Cardinal Daniele Dolfin (a Venetian Nobile ), was demoted to Archbishop of Udine, but was allowed to use the title of Patriarch until the end of his life.

Suffragan dioceses

Before the division in the 7th century, the Patriarchate of Aquileia had the following suffragan dioceses :

See also



  • Maurizio Buora: Aquileia. Il patriarcato, guida storica ; Udine 1992 (easy to read introduction)
  • Aquileia e il suo patriarcato. Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studio (Udine, 21-23 October 1999) ; Pubblicazioni della Deputazione di Storia Patria per il Friuli 29; Udine 2000
  • Giorgio Fedalto : Aquileia. Una chiesa, due patriarcati ; Scrittori della chiesa di Aquileia 1; Roma & Gorizia 1999
  • Mario Mirabella Roberti (Ed.): Storia e arte del patriarcato di Aquileia. Atti della XXII Settimana di Studi Aquileiesi, April 27 - May 2, 1991 ; Antichità altoadriatiche 38; Udine 1992
  • Gerhard Ernst (ed.): The Patriarchate Aquileia - Intersection of Cultures ; Series of publications by the Regensburg Eastern European Institute 10; Regensburg 1983

Individual periods

  • Giuseppe Cuscito: Fede e politica ad Aquileia. Dibattito teologico e centri di potere (secoli IV-VI) ; Udine 1987
  • Klaus Gamber : The Aquileja Patriarchate and the Bavarian Church ; Studia patristica et liturgica 17; Regensburg 1987 (5th to 8th centuries)
  • Wilhelm Meyer : The split of the Patriarchate Aquileja ; Berlin 1898; Reprinted 1970 in: Abhandlungen der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Phil.-Hist. Class, NF 2.6 ; (7th century)
  • Reinhard Härtel (Ed.): I patti con il patriarcato di Aquileia. 880-1255 ; Pacta veneta 12; Rome 2005
  • Mario Mirabella Roberti (Ed.): Aquileia e le Venezie nell'alto Medioevo ; Antichità altoadriatiche 32; Udine 1988 (9th - 15th centuries)
  • Heinrich Schmidinger : Patriarch and sovereign. The secular rule of the Patriarchs of Aquileia to the end of the Hohenstaufen ; Graz & Cologne 1954 (11th - 13th centuries)
  • Walter Göbel: Origin, development and legal status of spiritual territories in the German-Italian border area, illustrated using the example of Trients and Aquileias ; Diss. Würzburg 1976 (11th to 14th centuries)
  • Giuseppe Marchetti-Longhi: Gregorio de Monte Longo. Primo patriarcha italiano di Aquileja (1251-1269) ; Roma 1965 (13th century)
  • Marija Wakounig: Dalmatia and Friuli. The dispute between Sigismund of Luxembourg and the Republic of Venice for supremacy in the Adriatic region ; Dissertations from the University of Vienna 212; Vienna 1990 (14th century.)
  • Joseph von Zahn (Ed.): Austro-Friulana. Collection of files on the history of the conflict between Duke Rudolf IV of Austria and the Patriarchate of Aquileja. 1358-1365 ; Fontes rerum Austriacarum, Section 2: Diplomataria et acta, Vol. 40; Vienna 1877 (14th century)

Web links

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