The papacy was forced to move to France by the French king and it began a period of corruption and division within the church. As the papacy grew wealthy, it became corrupt and removed from ordinary religious concerns, made more painful by the outbreak of the Black Death. The culture of the palace became important as the popes created a library and invited writers to visit. Art, music, and architecture became fundamental to popes, encouraging a reaction from those who resented the new ways.

Charlie Steen’s classes place historical events in context with art, architecture, religion, and other cultural aspects of a period. He teaches western civilization at UNM. He is the author of several books, including his recently published A Cultural History of Early Modern Europe. A graduate of UNM, he also holds a PhD in early modern European history from UCLA.