Nor must it be forgotten that this exile was due to the policy which induced the pontiffs, in their detestation of Ghibellinism, to rely successively upon the houses of Anjou and o Valois.
Notwithstanding the pontiffs bestowal of the apostolic benediction in articulo mortis upon Victor Emmanuel, the attitude of the Vatican had remained so inimical as to make it doubtful whether the conclave would be held in Rome.
The following year he and his disciple Gerson formed part of the great embassy sent by the princes to the two pontiffs, and while in Italy he was occupied in praiseworthy but vain efforts to induce the pope of Rome to remove himself to a town on the Italian coast, in the neighbourhood of his rival, where it was hoped that the double abdication would take place.
Shared in the devastation of Rome by the Goths under Vitiges in the 6th century and by the Lombards at a later period; and partly through the spoliation of these barbarian invaders, partly through the neglect of those who should have been their guardians, they sank into such a state of decay and pollution that, as the only means of preserving the holy remains they enshrined from further desecration, Pope Paul I., in the latter part of the 8th century, and Pope Paschal, at the beginning of the 9th, entered upon the work of the translation of the relics, which was vigorously carried on by successive pontiffs until the crypts were almost entirely despoiled of their dead.
This was the regular extinction of the line of pontiffs who, if the validity of the election of Urban VI.
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