| Share


Canossa (känôsˈsä) [key], village, in Emilia-Romagna, N central Italy, in the Apennines. There are ruins of the 10th-century castle of the powerful feudal family that took its name from the place. In the 10th and 11th cent. they ruled over much of Tuscany and Emilia. Matilda, countess of Tuscany, was the last of the family. In Jan., 1077, the castle was the scene of penance done by Emperor Henry IV to obtain from Pope Gregory VII the withdrawal of the excommunication against him. The pope was Matilda's guest at the castle, and Henry is said to have stood three days barefoot in the snow before being admitted to the pope's presence. Henry was absolved, but the peace between him and the pope was short-lived. The political implications of this episode inspired Bismarck to coin the phrase "to go to Canossa" (i.e., to submit to the demands of the Roman Catholic Church) in the Kulturkampf.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Canossa from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Italian Political Geography

Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring