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Papal States

From 756 to 1870, certain civil territories in Italy acknowledged the pope as their temporal ruler. Constantine* probably gave the Lateran Palace to the Church of Rome after 321, when it could legally own property. By 600, gifts of large estates formed the Patrimony of Peter,* around which grew the legend that Constantine had donated these lands to Pope Sylvester I. A forged document called “The [[Donation of Constantine]]”* buttressed these claims until proven a forgery in the fifteenth century. Laurentius Valla in particular exposed the use of oriental language such as “satraps” to describe fourth- century Rome.