Relations between secular rulers and the papacy were nowhere more acute and sensitive than in the Italianpeninsula. The papal states were invaded three times in the course of the century before the French Revolution by foreign armies in the Wars of the Spanish, Polish and Austrian Successions. Even in peace, the Holy See might have to cede ground. In 1731, papal suzerainty over Parma and Piacenza was renounced. A concordat of 1727 with the House of Savoy gave the new Kingdom of Sardinia only a share of the rights it asked for, but a second of 1741 obliged Benedict XIV to permit church appointments in that state to

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