The War Of The Bucket – OverSimplified

– [Narrator] Hey, you! Yeah, you! New merch available now, including a supremely uncool T-shirt and a glorious new character pin. Link in the description down below. (angelic harp music) “All right, folks, gather round. I’ve got some good news
and some bad news.” “Did you say good news and glad news?” “No. I said good news and
bad news, very bad news. Word on the street is there’s
gonna be a horrible plague coming in from Central Asia
in the next couple decades that’ll wipe out half of Europe.” “What’s the good news?
Do you have a cure?” “Please say you have a cure.” “No. Even better. The good news is we’ve got a
new bucket for the city well.” (crickets chirping) (crowd cheering)
(joyful music) (loud boom) To understand the War of the Bucket, we first need to talk about this guy. He’s the man with the plan,
the host with the most. He’s holy, lowly, he eats ravioli with the white cassock,
matching pellegrina, and the most tasteful of fringed fascias. Come on. Y’all know who I’m talking about. It’s the Pope, the head of the largest religious organization in the world. But what if I told you he wasn’t always the big, bad boy powerhouse
he’s often thought as today? That’s right. Throughout history, the papacy
often found itself forced to wrestle against
adversity and opposition to retain its authority. The earliest popes, for example, suffered under the brutal
persecution of the Roman Empire, and many ended up martyred,
such as Pope Clement I, who was ostensibly thrown into the sea with an anchor around his neck. On the bright side, however, he’s now the patron saint of fishermen. After persecution finally ended, the Pope still found himself
being heavily controlled by secular kings and nobility. For over two centuries
the Byzantine Emperor basically decided who could become Pope. Then came a real low point, during what has been cold in the Dark Age, a period where noblewomen
controlled the Pope through… How should I put this? Feminine charm. (whistles) It was around here that one infamous Pope, John XIII, took office. This bad boy would hold… How should I put this? Naughty no-clothes parties
in the Lateran Palace. And, apparently, this would even happen: “C’mon Zeus! Give me a six! (dice rattling)
(gasps) Uh, did I say Zeus? I meant Thor. (gasps) Ra, the Egyptian sun god? (gasps) Dang it! Who is it we worship?” “Perhaps you should read
this, Your Holiness.” “In the beginning, God created
the heavens and the earth? Wow! This is wild!” Pope John XII eventually
died exactly how he lived: (door bangs) caught in the act by an irate husband who picked the pope up and
took him out the window. (explosion) The point I’m trying to make here is that often the Pope was a very weak and corruptible figure and was regularly used and
controlled by secular leaders as a tool to increase their
own power and influence. And there was certainly an
element of that in the year 800, when the Pope and the Kingdom
of the Franks were good BFFs. And king of the Franks,
Charlemagne, was like, “Hey, man, being King of
the Franks is nice and all, but I want more legitimacy and also to become the
continuation of the Roman Empire. So what say in return for my protection you crown me emperor so
everyone will respect me more.” “Sure thing pal. We’ll
hold the ceremony tomorrow. Charlemagne, King of the Franks, I hereby crown you Emperor of the West.” “Oh! Oh my goodness! I was not expecting this
at all. What a surprise! I simply cannot accept.” “Oh. Okay then. I guess I’ll just put
this back over here.” “Give me that crown!” Charlemagne’s crowning as Emperor was certainly an historic moment, but it also created a bit
of an interesting problem: It set the precedent
that, from here on out, only the Pope could crown an emperor. But the Pope was also very
much under the influence and control of Charlemagne. So who really held the power
here? The Pope or the Emperor? I’m sure that this conflict
won’t cause anyone… to die!
(dramatic music) “Bishop of Freising, we want to thank you once again for visiting our wonderful city. It’s been an honor.” “The pleasure is all mine. And what a wonderful tour it’s been. I’ve seen the city walls.
I’ve seen the towers. Nothing could top that.” “Oh couldn’t it? Because
we’ve saved the best for last! Tada!” “Oh. Yes, that’s… very interesting.” “Isn’t it the greatest
thing you’ve ever seen?” “Well, I mean, it is just a bucket.” “Get… him… outta here!” (crowd jeering) (vegetables splatting) Over time, Charlemagne’s
position as emperor and the Kingdom of the
Franks gradually evolved into the Holy Roman Empire. And by now, the Pope and the Emperor weren’t such good friends anymore, since neither could agree
on who was the boss of who. To make matters worse,
the Emperor had taken to investing his own bishops and abbots. What does that mean? Well, allow me to explain. The problem for the Holy Roman Emperor was his empire wasn’t really an empire, so much as a nightmarish federation made up of hundreds of counties, duchies, bishoprics and more. The princes in charge
of these local regions often didn’t give the
Emperor their loyalty. The German nobility
spent a lot of their time rebelling against the Emperor, and the Emperor spent a lot of his time trying to put down those rebellions. “Can we get rid of them?” “Who?” “All the nobility. Get rid of them in pick new
ones who are loyal to me.” “You can’t just remove noble
families from their territory.” “Pwease.” “Aw! Okay. How about this? Some of those territories are
ruled by bishops and abbots and as Holy Roman Emperor, considered by many to be the
deputy of Jesus Christ himself, perhaps you can choose who gets
to become bishop and abbot.” “Yay!” “Now it’s time to turn out
the lights and go to sleep.” “Okay. I love you.” “Um… okay. Goodnight.” “Say it back!” And so it was the Emperor
invested his own family and loyal followers into
powerful church positions and thereby was able to increase his own power and authority. Not only that, but the
Emperor and other nobility were also engaging in
something called simony. That’s when someone
would come along and say, “Hey, I want to become a bishop and get all the personal riches
that come with the position. Perhaps we could come to some kind of… (slam) arrangement.” That’s right. Church positions were actually being sold to the highest bidder. And let me tell you, they
probably didn’t come cheap. “It’s gonna cost you
a lot more than this.” “I don’t think so. I’ve got a promo code!” And speaking of promo codes,
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joinhoney.com/oversimplified. That’s joinhoney.com/oversimplified. And as always, by using my links, you’ll be supporting my channel. So thank you. Now where were we? Oh yeah. Investing bishops and abbots,
selling Church positions, authority and power. “Wait a minute! This is depravity! The purpose of the church isn’t for him to increase his own authority in power. It’s for me to increase my
own authority and power!” “What about Jesus, Your Holiness?” “What?” “I thought the purpose of the church was to spread the good
message of Jesus Christ.” “How drunk are you?” “Very!”
(cheering) “All right, the results for the election of chief magistrate are in. Giovanni Kablami, 1%. Spaghetti Jeff, 2%. And the bucket, one trillion percent!” (cheering)
(joyful music) Around the tear 1050, a series
reformist popes came along and they said enough was enough. They wanted to stop the
emperor from abusing the church and investing his own church officials. “How are you gonna stop me so long as I have control
over who becomes pope? Remember the circular power division? If you try to stop me,
I’ll just depose you and pick someone else. Oh no! I’ve contracted tuberculosis!” (body thuds) And just like, the Emperor was dead. His six-year-old son, Henry IV, took over. And as we all know, child
emperors equal opportunity. The church had an opening to take back control of the papacy. “Hey man, I hope you don’t mind but we’re changing the rules so that only the church of
cardinals can elect the pope and you no longer have
any say in the matter. Ya know, if that’s cool with you.” “I peed my pants.” “Okay! Great talk!” Then, with the position of
the pope a little more secure, he held a big meeting
where he drew up a big list of all the reforms and new
powers he was giving himself, and it included some pretty gnarly stuff. “Okay, first, I have the
power to depose emperors. Everyone cool with that? Yeah? Um, let’s see. Only I can depose or reinstate bishops. Yeah? All right. No one can judge me. Uh, all princes shall only kiss my feet. Only my name shall be
spoken in the churches. My name is the only name in the world!” “Okay. I think you’re done.” These were all some pretty radical powers the Pope was giving himself. And with these reforms, the pope was basically telling the Emperor you no longer have the right to choose your own bishops and abbots. Only I can do that. When the emperor, now a full-grown man, heard the news, he was furious. “What? This is madness! Who does this guy think he is? I’m the emperor for goodness sake! He can’t tell me what to do! I’ll invest my own bishops
and abbots if I want to, and this rapscallion can go right to heck! I peed my pants again!” The whole conflict escalated
when Henry IV went to the pope and said, “Hey, guess what, sucker. You’re deposed.” “Aw. Wait a minute! I’m the Pope! You can’t depose me! You’re deposed!” “Aw. Wait a minute! I’m the Emperor! You can’t depose me! You’re deposed!” “Aw. Wait a minute!” Eventually, the German
princes took advantage of the situation, and they
all turned against Henry. Henry was forced to apologize to the pope, and the whole thing ended there. Except it didn’t. The whole conflict, known today as the
Investiture Controversy, would continue on for centuries as popes and emperors
engaged in a power struggle over the emperor choosing
his own church officials. The overall result of this
conflict is very intricate and full of complexities. But in general, the pope was
able to increase his authority. “Great news, Your Holiness. Your influence is on the rise
throughout civilized Europe. Except for this one
city in northern Italy.” “Really? What’s going on there?” (men chanting) As for the Emperor, he found his realm thrown into further chaos and civil war, as the local princes continued
to increase their own power and independence. This was most notably the
case in northern Italy, separated from the rest
of the Holy Roman Empire by the Alps. The Emperor’s influence
and control over Italy had often been questionable. In the current chaos,
these Italian city-states began operating almost
entirely independently. Their practical independence
was further solidified when Emperor Frederick
Barbarossa came down in 1176 to try to reassert his control. The cities formed an alliance and with the pope’s support, they kicked the emperor
right back to Germany. “Hooray,” said the Italian
city-states. “We did it! We’re the best of friends!” And then they immediately
began attacking each other. (swords clanging) Why? Well, this whole
pope-versus-emperor thing, in Italy at least, had infiltrated society to it’s very core. Across Italy, families
and cities were torn between two opposing sides; on one side, the Guelphs, who
supported the pope’s cause; on the other, the Ghibellines,
who supported the emperor. These two sides struggled for control as Guelph cities battled
against Ghibelline ones. As usual, personal interest
played a pretty big role as pro-pope Guelph cities tended
to be rich mercantile ones who didn’t like the emperor’s taxes. Emperor-supporting
Ghibellines, on the other hand, were often agricultural, where the expanding papal
states were a larger threat. These cities would
sometimes even switch sides, depending who was in charge and their ever-changing
personal interests. In some cities, brutal fighting
broke out in the streets as opposing families fought for control. At times, the conflict became so tribal that the differences between the two sides were just downright silly. “My love, I can’t bear
it. We must be together. But how can we? My Ghibelline family wears feathers on the left side of their caps, and your Guelph family
wears them on the right. My Ghibelline family
cuts fruit straight down, and your Guelph family
cuts fruit crosswise.” “These are arbitrary differences. We shouldn’t let them tear us apart. We can be together no matter
what our families think.” “Wonderful news! Let’s
make a toast to our love. I’ll drink from my
Ghibelline smooth goblet.” “And I shall drink from
my Guelph chased goblet.” (music cuts off) “Get out of my sight you
dirty Pope-loving wench.” Two city-states in particular that got caught a long-standing rivalry was the emperor-supporting Modena and the pope-supporting,
bucket-loving Bologna. These two cities had
bad blood between them, as they had already
fought against each other on a number of occasions. In 1249, the two sides took
part in the Battle of Fossalta, after which the victorious Bolognese launched a live donkey into
Modena to humiliate them. For decades after that, the two sides would occasionally
take little day trips into each other’s territory
and mess things about a bit. In the fateful year of 1325, the Bolognese went on one such trip and laid waste to some farmlands. The ruler of Modena,
Passerino dei Bonacolsi, was having none of it. The Bolognese had two major forts protecting their city in the southwest, so Passerino, in retaliation, decided to take an army down
and lay siege to one of them. “Hey, you dirty Bolognese jerks! You think you can raid our farmlands? Come out here and face me like a man!” “Hey man, what’s up? I’ve just come out to let you know that there’s no need to siege us because- (smack) Whoa! Hey man! Chill out! I’m trying to tell you- (smack) Whoa! Stop doing that! I’m trying to tell you I’m
actually secretly sympathetic to the imperial cause, and I want to willingly
hand the fort over to you.” “Oh. Cool. Okay.”
(smack) “Dude! What was that for?” “For betraying your people. And this… is for joining mine. Mwah.” The Bolognese were pretty unhappy to lose one of their main defensive forts. But to make matters
worse, then this happened. “Hey, wait a minute. Where’s the bucket?” “Oh no! It’s gone!” “Those Modenese must have taken it!” “We’ll make them pay!
This is unacceptable! They may take our lives,
they may take our fort, but they will never take our bucket! Oh wait, here it is. I found it guys. It’s right here. Phew. Could you imagine if we
started a war over that? That would have been really stupid, and there’d probably be
a billion videos about it on YouTube one day. Thank goodness it never
actually happened.” That’s right. The famous story you may know
about the War of the Bucket, that the war started because
Modena stole Bologna’s bucket, doesn’t actually seem to be quite right. I was surprised to find that the bucket was likely not actually stolen
at the start of the war. And at this point, I want to
thank and give a big shout out to fellow history YouTuber M Laser. He’s the one guy I found
who actually translated a fantastic original Italian source and then kindly allowed me to use his work in my own research. He does really well-researched
and in-depth videos and definitely deserves
way more subscribers. So please head on over and check him out. The real reason Bologna seems
to have declared war on Modena is simply that they both hated each other, supported opposing factions, the Pope had called on Guelph
cities to attack Passerino, and Bologna wanted its fort back. And they were gonna get it back. Bologna had a large force, much larger than what
Modena could muster up, so they felt pretty confident. They sent half they’re force to lay siege and take back the fort, and the other half took
defensive positions to prevent the Modenese
from crossing the river. The smaller Modenese force were struggling to find a place to cross, so one night they were
like, “Hey guys, look out. We’re attacking way up here in the north. Better move your troops. Oh, would you look at.
That that was easy.” And just like that, the
Modenese were across the river. The Bolognese were probably
expecting the Modenese to come and break their siege. But instead, the Modenese
went for the second fort at Zappolino. Bologna couldn’t afford to lose
both of its defensive forts, so the entire Bolognese force moved to take defensive
positions at Zappolino. When the Modenese arrived, it
was already late in the day, and there were about two
hours of sunlight left. In most medieval battles, at this point both sides would set up a
camp, rest for the night, and prepare for battle the next day. But the outnumbered Modenese decided the only way to win was to
deal a quick decisive blow while the Bolognese were still
unorganized and unprepared. And that’s exactly what they did. They charged at the Bolognese line, and the two sides
engaged in fierce combat. (swords clanging) Then the sneaky Modenese pulled what must be the most predictable yet somehow consistently surprising move in medieval warfare. They sent the cavalry around the side and hit ’em from behind. Bing, bang, bong. The
Bolognese went on the run. With casualties in the thousands, Modena had won. (army cheering) And the Modenese cavalry
chased the Bolognese cavalry all the way back to the city. After Modena’s victory,
they went on a tour of the Bolognese countryside, burning some stuff down along the way. When they reached the city itself, instead of laying siege,
they set up a camp and basically held a massive
party for three days. The defeated Bolognese could
only sit back and watch as the Modenese force began packing up and getting ready to leave. They noticed something. “Oh my gosh. Hey! Check this out!” “No way! Are you kidding me? “They’re still using traditional wells!” “Hey you dumb Bolognese, ever
heard of an artesian well? You can’t even get water out of the ground without using a stupid bucket.” “It’s not a stupid bucket.
It’s a wonderful bucket!” “Yeah, whatever bucket boy. We’re taking this with us.” (man screaming) So Modena stole Bologna’s bucket and put it up on display
in their cathedral, eventually moving it to the city hall, where it remains on display to this day. The two cities came to a peace settlement a few months later. Bologna would have to pay
heavy war reparations, and in exchange, Modena would return all conquered territories. Modena kept the bucket. Despite being one of the bloodiest battles in medieval Italian history, it didn’t really change anything, except now Modena had Bologna’s bucket. As for the larger power struggle between the Pope and
the Holy Roman Emperor, that would continue on for some time and played a part in many major
events of medieval history, such as the Crusades, the
Protestant Reformation, eventually leading to
the general separation of church and state we
see in Europe today. So there you have it. We learnt about the Pope
and the Holy Roman Emperor, the Investiture Controversy, and finally the War of the Bucket. It’s been a long day, and it’s
time to turn out the lights, and go to sleep. “Okay. I love you.” “Um, okay. Goodnight.” “Say it back!” (upbeat R&B music)
Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cln0J87vulU

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