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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

slothinator

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Welcome one and all to Annuntio Vobis: A Papal History of Italy!
This is my second AAR and once again I am returning to Victoria 2. However, unlike last time, I will be using the historybook approach only as a framing device for a series of diary entries by cardinals and popes. I hope you will enjoy this change of pace and will be on the edge of your seats at each conclave, rooting for your candidate.
The AAR is going to be relatively light on images especially at the beginning but do not fear, maps will be present!
In practical details, I played with AHD enabled and a lightly modded version of HFM for a more interesting Risorgimento and tried my best to roleplay the priorities and interests of different popes over optimal strategies.
Finally a disclaimer, I will be writing as several figures from a bygone age and the views expressed below are not my own but those of the characters. And, as we all know, Victorian attitudes towards most things are the real villain of the story.
Without further ado, please enjoy!

Pope Gregory XVI: born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari in 1765, created cardinal in 1826, elected pope in 1831 Chapter I
Pope Urban IX: born Vincenzo Macchi in 1770, created cardinal in 1826, elected pope in 1846 Chapter II, Chapter VIII
Pope Innocent XIV: born Giovanni Maria Mastai Ferretti in 1792, created cardinal in 1840, elected pope in 1851 Chapter III, Chapter XI, Chapter XIII
Cardinal Luigi Lambruschini: born 1776, created cardinal 1831 Chapter IV, Chapter VII
Pope Callixtus IV: born Libero Cappellini in 1800, created cardinal 1841, elected pope in 1861 Chapter V, Chapter X, Chapter XVII, Chapter XXV, Chapter XXX
Cardinal Amato Aloisi: born 1777, created cardinal 1847 Chapter IX, Chapter XVI
Cardinal Annibale Lisi: born 1804, created cardinal 1852 Chapter XIV, Chapter XXII, Chapter XXVIII, Chapter XXXVI
Cardinal Diomede Cangiano: born 1789, created cardinal 1852 Chapter XV, Chapter XX, Chapter XXIV
Cardinal Giulio Felicetti: born 1818, created cardinal 1861 Chapter XIX, Chapter XXVI
Cardinal Patrizio Formica: born 1802, created cardinal 1861 Chapter XXI, Chapter XXIII, Chapter XXXIII
Pope Innocent XV: born Luca Andreano in 1820, created cardinal 1870, elected pope in 1875 Chapter XXIX, Chapter XXXII
Cardinal Alberto Pala: born 1821, created cardinal 1876 Chapter XXXV
 
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Prologue

slothinator

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Since Pope Urban X allowed unprecedented access to the Vatican Diaries, rumors of which had begun to circulate in previous years, the academic community has had access to a treasure trove of historical documentation from the very figures that determined the course of the modern Papacy.

The following work will provide an overview of the events during a formative period for the spiritual and temporal figure of the Pope. It is unique, however, in being the first to show these events through the eyes of the actors themselves. Additional context will be given to ensure clarity or fill in gaps in the diaries but, for the most part, this book will consist of a curated series of diary entries by popes and prominent cardinals of the age.

The reader should be forewarned about the character and sentiments of the individuals whose thoughts shall be laid bare. Many were well-meaning and admirable even by the standards of the current day but a number of others have placed a still present black mark on the late modern history of Italy.

A brief introduction to the history of the institution is in order. Though the idea may seem strange today, the popes in Rome had no temporal power for the first few centuries of the Church’s existence. Their influence began to take hold with the adoption of Christianity by the Roman Empire though Imperial dominion would see the pontiffs subject to the pressures of the state much like the patriarchs in Constantinople.

Papal independence from the Byzantines was first secured when the Exarchate of Ravenna fell to the Lombards in 751 and forced Pope Zachary to seek aid from the Frankish Kingdom and recognize Pepin as King in place of the decrepit Merovingians. This recognition proved fruitful as, in 756, King Pepin officially donated the Papal States to Pope Stephen II and his successors in perpetuity.

The rest of the Middle Ages saw the papacy in frequent conflict with the leaders and churches of the Holy Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire which resulted in the East-West schism and the Western Schism, though the latter would manage to be reconciled.

In the following centuries, the papacy became well-known for its patronage of architecture and the arts, a consolidation of its power after the Western Schism, the causation and reaction to the Protestant Schism. A low point was reached during the French Revolution when the state itself ceased to exist and was replaced by satellite states loyal to the new regime.

This scar would not soon heal in the Roman psyche even after the Congress of Vienna returned the Papal States to their lawful ruler. The post-revolutionary pontiffs harbored a significant reactionary impulse by maintaining the desire, shared by most other European powers, to erase the humiliation that the French Revolution had brought and ensure that such a deluge never happen again. This manifested itself as the suppression of free speech and the rejection of the social, political, and economic innovations that had begun sweeping across Europe.

Our focus period starts in the year 1836 under the pontificate of Gregory XVI, born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari. He was the latest in the line of the reactionary popes and strongly opposed to any political reform and the advance of industrialization. In the early years of his papacy, he became infamous both among Italian nationalists and liberals for the request of Austrian military aid in suppressing the republican rebellion of the United Italian Provinces.

In 1836 he remains at the head of a stable state in decline and has the unenviable task of guarding the thousand-year inheritance that he was called to preserve.

His testimony will begin our story.
 
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Chapter I: A Geographical Expression

slothinator

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JjoeAnl.png
From the personal diaries of Pope Gregory XVI

Thursday 3rd of March 1836

Ever since I rose to the throne of Saint Peter, I have attempted to ensure the security of the Papal States in the face of revolutionary extremism. I followed Macchi's suggestion to expand the army but who knows what those future soldiers hold in their hearts. Might we be supplying weapons to those who would dethrone us? There is fresh news of the resurgence of the pan-Italian movements that plagued our country at the beginning of my Papacy. Back then, the masses were whipped into a frenzy by a couple of Bonaparte's relatives who hungered for a return to power. Though I managed to drive those traitors from Rome, the Austrians did not manage to eliminate those roots of rebellion.

This time, the spark is simply something in the air. No rebellions have yet taken flame but Mazzini and his ilk call for a united Italy and, blasphemy of blasphemies, one free of kings and popes. More moderate members, like the King of the Two Sicilies, want some sort of federation of Italian nations with the Pope as their arbiter. No doubt this league is an obscure ploy to dress their future crimes in an air of sanctity.

No, each of these possibilities would doom us to play the revolutionaries' game. What we must do is hold fast to the lands that have been the purview of the Papal States for centuries and make sure that they remain as prosperous and impressive as they have ever been. Benedetta rightly suggested that I would do well to sponsor a number of artists and philosophers to increase our standing in the world both for the present and for posterity.

Her solutions always soothe me so, I am lucky to have such an able confidante. Just last night we had a fruitful discussion about cardinal Macchi's plan and the ambitions he's shown for the addition more land to our domain. We agreed for the most part that this is unnecessary, especially with the circulation of allusions to Italian unity, but she made some good points I had to accept. While we are now protected under the French aegis, if we wish to stay relevant in our own right, we need to find allies in those who would aid us without the desire to hold influence over us. We both feel that Sardinia-Piedmont is a bit too tied to the French to be safe, which leaves only Austria and the Two-Sicilies. Benedetta talked me out of the Austrian camp, after all, she reminded me, Metternich had campaigned for Macchi's election in my stead up to the last round of ballots. Rather, the Two Sicilies are the only direction available. We are left with the decision of who to entrust this embassy to. We need is a skilled diplomat to ensure they don't ensnare us in a larger project but keep themselves to a defensive alliance.

These are strange times we live in. I hope my service will make them even a little less strange.



Wednesday 11th of January 1837

They've finally taken him out. Mazzini's arrest by the Piedmontese authorities is all anyone is talking about. From my understanding, he was on his way to London where he could continue to organize his seditious groups when the Swiss government offered to hand him over to Sardinia-Piedmont. There are conflicting reports upon his eventual fate with the gallows touted as a possibility. Benedetta and I had that very same discussion and debated what I would have done had the Swiss transferred that criminal to my custody. We agreed that it would be unseemly for a Pope to order an execution of this caliber so confinement would be the preferred option. However, I expressed my hope that the Piedmontese not be so lenient and provide a secure outcome for Italy. Benedetta did not appreciate that comment and lectured me on the risks that the martyrdom of that man would entail. I am still not convinced that that would be the correct course of action for this specific individual but I must admit that the general principle is sound. In any case, the matter is out of my hands and we are allowed to simply celebrate the removal of the most serious public enemy.



Friday 11th of December 1840

I've finished reading "The Betrothed" and I can't see what people find in it. The book is merely a mediocre adventure story with a collection of theological ideas that aren't heretical just because they are not spelled out. Manzoni's so-called "Providence" is a thin disguise for the protestant heresy of predestination, a complete negation the central role that free will has in our lives. Despite these glaring flaws, Italian nationalists have latched onto the thinly veiled anti-Austrian propaganda present and have gone back to their cries for national unity. These seditious works can be censored here at home but the only way to win the hearts and minds of the people in the rest of Italy is with the production of proper Roman and Catholic art that may restore our glory and project our influence as we did in the Renaissance.

This worrying period has convinced me once again that we must protect our domain from such dangerous influences and I am glad that the plans set in motion are giving their results. Macchi has assured me that his promised army is almost ready and it is assumed to be comparable to that of Sardinia-Piedmont or the Two Sicilies. Speaking of which, Lambruschini has told me that he expects an alliance with our Southern neighbor sometime in the next months. Welcome news from an assignment I feared too arduous. All together, these tools should guarantee that the Papal States will not be harmed for the foreseeable future and will raise us up in the eyes of the world maybe even to the status of a Great Power in our right.

Many cardinals have asked me to reconsider my position on the importation of machines that so many other great nations use to fuel their empires but Benedetta and I agree that there is no sense in this. While it may be easy for Britain and Prussia to use their abundant coal and steel, we have no source of these materials and no native experts who may make use of the technology. The costs of this kind experiment would bankrupt us and have us grovel at the feet of the Great Powers in the hope of someday impressing them. No, I will remain firm in my line that the Papacy has always drawn strength from its prestige and moral authority. Let my successors deal with the infernal machines.
 
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stnylan

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Great to see your second effort :)

Seems like such a pleasant, easy-going fellow doesn't he? And certainly under his pontificate we have no need to worry about dangerous innovations. :)
 

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Pope fights!
 

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A combination of the Papal State and The Two Sicilies will no doubt make the world tremble! Sinners beware!

Pherhaps it's a little early to be picking favourites but I have to confess to liking the sound of this Cardinal Macci. I will be following his career and (who knows) possible promotion with interest, after all who said warrior Popes should just be confined to Crusader Kings?
 

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slothinator

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Nice to see you back in business, @slothinator! A great start too. :)

Thank you very much for joining me once again! I hope this new story will be to your liking

Great to see your second effort :)

Seems like such a pleasant, easy-going fellow doesn't he? And certainly under his pontificate we have no need to worry about dangerous innovations. :)

Thanks! I'm sure the 1800s won't have any innovations whatsoever, just need to make sure that the Throne of Saint Peter is kept warm ;)

Pope fights!

Alas, it's not the period for triple pope bonanzas but there's definitely gonna be a lot of popes and a lot of fights!

As for me I hope Mazzini gets mauled to death by a bear

I don't know why but that kept me laughing for a good long time.
I'm a bit rusty on my Savoyard law but I'm afraid that bear-mauling was taken off the books just in 1835, so we'll have to make do with badgers.

A combination of the Papal State and The Two Sicilies will no doubt make the world tremble! Sinners beware!

Pherhaps it's a little early to be picking favourites but I have to confess to liking the sound of this Cardinal Macci. I will be following his career and (who knows) possible promotion with interest, after all who said warrior Popes should just be confined to Crusader Kings?

Macchi is certainly the bellicose type but you'll get to hear from him in person in the next chapter! As for promotion...the conclave is a many-faceted place and anything can happen...
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Pope fights! The best thing about the papal states is there is no such thing as neutral for outside Christian powers. They either have to support the papacy to the hilt or fight against them with all they have.
 

The Number 9

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Subbed !
 

volksmarschall

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Papal states are always an interesting choice, often overlooked by their northern and southern cousins in the Italian quest!

Cheers!
 
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Chapter II: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

slothinator

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nyVCvcJm.jpg

From the personal diaries of Cardinal Vincenzo Macchi

Tuesday 23rd of February 1836

Today I finally managed to talk to Gregory about my ideas on expanding the armed forces. It took some time for me to grind him down into acceptance of my plan but it has happened at last. He did not like my first angle with the aim of expansion serving to keep the Papal States powerful against foreign intrusion so I had to change my strategy. I decided to go with the idea that, if we will not expand, it is essential that we do not appear as an easy target for the rest of the world. Certainly, this could be achieved with alliances, where the Two Sicilies appears to be a promising target, but politics can change on the whim of a new head of state while arms remain constant. I also pointed out that it is absurd that we do not have a navy. Outfitting such a force may be an expensive prospect but, with the large coastline that we are blessed with, it is another important link for our national security. Gregory grumbled a little bit but conceded that Roman political influence abroad would also benefit from such an expansion and would attract more important partners than those that have approached us so far.

And finally, after five years of lobbying, I have broken him! I have been allowed to recruit three thousand dragoons and equip six warships and five naval transports.

This is all a good start but evidently not enough. If we are to be strong enough to stand our ground, we should at least double the number of soldiers that we can field so as to become an important player in the Italian theater. This will require further persuasion but I already have a few contacts in mind who seem pliable and are held in high esteem by His Holiness. They will serve as the amplifier I need to have my ideas heard.



Wednesday 22nd of November 1837

We discussed the details for a long time but today Gregory gave me the go-ahead. I've been given the reins of the Pontifical forces and can shape them how I like.

I've looked at the situation we have with the treasury and it seems that I have a bit of a dilemma on my hands. Right now, the Papal fleet is large enough to transport our soldiers and that is a condition that I would like to maintain in the future. Unfortunately, the funds I have received are barely sufficient to outfit a new port for further ships and would leave nothing left for the army. It is clear to anyone that influence in the Mediterranean must be exerted with a formidable navy but there are hungry powers right on our borders who are waiting for a sign of weakness. A land force is the more prudent course of action to dissuade these attackers. If I were the Pope, I would say that the navy will end up paying for itself but that is beyond even my power. The Pope wants defense and I couldn't justify this choice in that light. So, army it is.

The first order of business is to find men to put in uniform. I've heard that, with advances in industry abroad, the artisan class has suffered quite greatly. I believe that a widespread increase in pay for soldiers will do wonders for the recruitment of the recently unemployed. Besides that, a good dose of propaganda about the honor of defending Christendom will be a powerful motivator for the idealists among them.

It is a terrible shame that all this work will go to waste while we continue to rest on our laurels. If we can recruit a strong and motivated legion, it would be convenient to wield our power against those that would oppress us. A quick look around the Mediterranean shows only Great Powers or dependents of those Great Powers. We must wait patiently for the optimal time to strike...



Tuesday 25th of May 1841

It has taken many years and copious amounts of hard work but the Papal army is now ready. It has more than doubled in its number to reach thirty-six thousand men ready to fight for their Church and Pope. Ours might not be the largest force in the peninsula but we are clear contenders with Piedmont-Sardinia and the Two Sicilies, though Austria is still a formidable giant. I've recommended to Gregory that we entice one of the other Italian powers to join us in a defensive league to resist foreign interests at the very least. One hopes that this future alliance will lead to a consolidation of Italy around these two poles with the Papacy in a suitably central role.

Though the Pope might delight in the influence that France has over our State, I am concerned that we might be dragged into wars in which we have absolutely no interest but that may cost us dearly. They already reacted with irritation to our absence in their Algerian adventure, who knows how they will react when a more serious war arises.

In any case, I need not worry about such a prospect yet. With the stability that currently reigns in Europe, my job as Minister of War is reduced to the maintenance of our new army and the search for enough funds to organize a larger navy. The fleet will probably be a longer affair due to the artisans having barely any income but I will keep an eye out for any spare scudi that fall out of the Pope's purse. Besides that, all I have to do is cozy up to the most important cardinals since a pliant curia is a fruitful curia.
 
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stnylan

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Trying to make one has difficult as possible to claim is a useful first step.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Cromwell

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I'm certain these new soldiers, sailors, sailors and ships will be put to good use. It's good too see Cardinal Macchi looking for allieas in his quest for the Papal States to take a more... active role in temporal affairs.
 

slothinator

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Thanks! I hope you'll enjoy the ride!

Papal states are always an interesting choice, often overlooked by their northern and southern cousins in the Italian quest!

Cheers!

Yeah, that's why I had to gently mod HFM since the Papal States don't get any of the fun unification events that Piedmont or Two Sicilies have.

Trying to make one has difficult as possible to claim is a useful first step.

Yes, we certainly don't want any red-shirted ruffians pillaging the countryside.

What service will the righteous army be put into, I wonder?
The usual. Killing Christians.

Of course, but only the wrong kind of Christians. Like the ones with funny hats... or the drabness fetishizers... or really anyone that does not accept the Pope's Constantine-given right to the Western Roman Empire.

I'm certain these new soldiers, sailors, sailors and ships will be put to good use. It's good too see Cardinal Macchi looking for allieas in his quest for the Papal States to take a more... active role in temporal affairs.

Gregory is a big old softy for now but it's good to have plans in place for when he gets called to the head office.
There will be more about allies in a couple of chapters so stay tuned!
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Of course, but only the wrong kind of Christians. Like the ones with funny hats... or the drabness fetishizers... or really anyone that does not accept the Pope's Constantine-given right to the Western Roman Empire.

"Is the puppy robotic in any way?"
"No. It is the bad kind of puppy."

Christianity in a nutshell.