St. Paschal I, Pope 817-824

Muntoni 1; Berman 17, Very Fine

Rome, with Louis the Pious. + · SCS PETRVS ·, PS/CAL in two lines. Reverse: + LVDOVVICVS IMP, monogram of ROMA.

Pope Paschal I increased the prestige and influence of the Papacy by anointing and crowning Lothair I, the son of the Holy Roman Emperor Louis the Pious, as King of Italy. By so doing he established the right of popes to crown kings and therefore also the right to influence the political landscape of Europe. Pope Paschal I also contributed to division between the Eastern and Western Chuch by providing sanctuary to Byzantine monks and clerics fleeing persecution under the iconoclastic regime of Emperor Michael II. The final insult to Byzantine authority came when Pope Paschal II invited out-of-work mosaic artists to come and decorate the churches of Rome. Michael II wrote to Louis the Pious in an attempt to rein in the Pope, but nothing was done to stop him.