And henceforward the Popes being temporal Princes, left off in their Epistles and Bulls to note the years of the Greek Emperors, as they had hitherto done.

After this the Lombards invading the Pope’s countries, Pope Adrian sent to Charles the great, the son and successor of Pipin, to come to his assistance.

Accordingly Charles entered Italy with an army, invaded the Lombards, overthrew their kingdom, became master of their countries, and restored to the Pope, not only what they had taken from him, but also the rest of the Exarchate which they had promised Pipin to surrender to him, but had hitherto detained; and also gave him some cities of the Lombards, and was in return himself made Patricius by the Romans, and had the authority of confirming the elections of the Popes conferred upon him. These things were done in the years 773 and 774. This kingdom of the Lombards was the second kingdom which fell before the little horn. But Rome, which was to be the seat of his kingdom, was not yet his own.

In the year 796, Leo III being made Pope, notified his election to Charles the great by his Legates, sending to him for a present, the golden keys of the Confession of Peter, and the Banner of the City of Rome: the first as an acknowledgement of the Pope’s holding the cities of the Exarchate and Lombardy by the grant of Charles; the other as a signification that Charles should come and subdue the Senate and people of Rome, as he had done the Exarchate and the kingdom of the Lombards. For the Pope at the same time desired Charles to send some of his Princes to Rome, who might subject the Roman people to him, and bind them by oath in fide & subjectione, in fealty and subjection, as his words are recited by Sigonius. An anonymous Poet, published by Boeclerus at Strasburg, expresseth it thus: Admonuitque piis precibus, qui mittere vellet Ex propriis aliquos primoribus, ac sibi plebem Subdere Romanam, servandaque foedera cogens Hanc fidei sacramentis promittere magnis.