This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in Galician. (June 2020)Click [show] for important translation instructions.
This article needs additional citations for verification .(October 2017)
The Donation of Sutri was an agreement reached at Sutri by Liutprand, King of the Lombards and Pope Gregory II in 728. At Sutri, the two reached an agreement by which the city and some hill towns in Latium (like Vetralla) were given to the Papacy, "as a gift to the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul" according to the Liber Pontificalis . The pact formed the first extension of papal territory beyond the confines of the Duchy of Rome and was the first of two land transfers from Liutprand to the Church of Rome.
The Lombard peoples had long been adherents to the Christian sect of Arianism, but they had converted to Catholicism over time. After his election as King of the Lombards in 712, Liutprand faced a series of challenges from the strength of aristocratic families and the threat of secession from the grand duchies in his domain. The duchies of Spoleto and Benevento in Langobardia Minor were particularly autonomous from Liutprand's central power and were separated from the rest of the kingdom by the informal division of the Byzantine Corridor that ran through the center of Italy, from Rome to north of Ravenna.
Liutprand began to centralize the power of his kingdom. Meanwhile, he found support from Rome and the Papal State once disputes over iconoclasm turned them against the Byzantine Empire, which had attempted to conquer the territory that divided it into two parts.  Liutprand seized the moment when the Italian territories governed by the Byzantines rejected the emperor Leo III the Isaurian's support of iconoclasm. Liutprand's military campaign began with his goal to take the territory that divided Langobardia in two—the duchy of Rome and the Byzantine Corridor.
When the Pope understood Liutprand's intentions—that he would probably decide to conquer Rome—he felt endangered. For many years, the Byzantine Empire had ceased to intervene militarily for Rome, using its energies only for the defense of Ravenna. The course of Liutprand's campaign changed, however, when in 728, the Lombards conquered the fortress of Narni, the strategic center of the Via Flaminia . Having lost the Roman road, the Byzantines concentrated their defenses upon the Via Amerina, the only Roman road that left Rome and crossed Umbria and Picenum.
Controlling the Via Amerina were the fortresses of Todi, Amelia, and Orte. Further south, the castra of Bomarzo, Sutri, and Blera safeguarded the Via Cassia .  In 728, Liutprand took the castle of Sutri, which held strategic importance in the duchy of Rome and dominated the highway at Nepi on the roads to Perugia and Tuscany.
Pope Gregory II asked Liutprand directly to renounce the territories he had just conquered and to return them to the control of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna. By that time, Liutprand had already quelled the rebelling duchies of Spoleto and Benevento. Softened by the entreaties of Pope Gregory II, he restored Sutri "as a gift to the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul" directly to the Papal State. According to Gustav Schnürer,
This expression of the "Liber pontificalis" was erroneously interpreted to mean that in this gift the beginning of the States of the Church was to be recognized. This is incorrect inasmuch as the popes continued to acknowledge the imperial Government, and Greek officials appear in Rome for some time longer. True it is, however, that here for the first time we meet the association of ideas on which the States of the Church were to be constructed. The pope asked the Lombards for the return of Sutri for the sake of the Princes of the Apostles and threatened punishment by these sainted protectors. The pious Liutprand was undoubtedly susceptible to such pleas, but never to any consideration for the Greeks. For this reason he gave Sutri to Peter and Paul, that he might not expose himself to their punishment. What the pope then did with it would be immaterial to him. 
The pact was the first extension of Papal territory beyond the confines of the Duchy of Rome.
At the end of the 7th century, under Pope Gregory I, the Catholic church had been forced to replace the Byzantine administration in providing for the population of Rome and the surrounding countryside. The population had suffered under several famines and plagues during that time.  With the assent to the Papacy's intervention by the Byzantine Empire and the Exarchate of Ravenna, the Pope placed the duchy of Rome's civil and military administration under his control. Often, to defend the territory and in the name of the Emperor, the same Pope Gregory had to exercise the duchy's imperium (the command of the military garrison) over the Byzantine troops stationed in Rome.
In this period, the duchy's de facto acquisition by the Pope lead to a new political role for the Papacy in the territory and its surroundings. This was not by virtue of a formal territorial sovereignty, but by the recognition of the states surrounding it and the peoples living within it. The heightened political clout of the Church, that also had religious authority, also lead to a restructuring of the Papal household to address its increased secular responsibilities.
The Lombardic donations of the first castles in the 8th century, including Sutri, formally intended "for the Apostles Peter and Paul", took place in recognition of the consolidated political role of the Church, which the Lombard kings saw as a power in the political equilibrium of the Italian peninsula. That belief was strengthened by the traditions of Papal primacy and Apostolic succession—the Papacy's moral authority had come to be recognized even by the Germanic peoples: the Franks, the Visigoths of Spain, the Burgundians, the Anglo-Saxons of England, and the Lombards themselves.
On the other hand, the Papacy was already the owner of numerous territories, the Patrimonia  These had been received by the end of the 4th century, as testified by the Edict of Milan through which Constantine and Licinius ordered that previously confiscated goods be returned to the Church and as described in the Liber Pontificalis . In the years just before the Donation of Sutri, other restitutions of land had come to the Catholic Church from the Lombards, like lands in Alpi Cozie  and the city of Cumae., documented churches and monasteries given to the Pope.
The Donation of Sutri, which occurred during the revolt against the Byzantine iconoclast decrees, placed the Roman population on the side of the Pope, against the representatives of the Byzantine Empire. The Donation was one of the few times the Papal State aligned itself against the legitimate rulers of territory surrounding Rome.  The recognition of the Papal State's authority, even if it was de facto and not de jure, by the Lombards would be accentuated in the following years by the successors of Gregory II (Popes Gregory III and Zachary), thanks to the growing disinterest and distance of the Byzantine Emperors.
In 739, Pope Gregory III addressed a letter to Charles Martel, master of the Frankish kings' royal palace in which appeared, for the first time, the phrase "populus peculiaris beati Petri". The Pope was referring to the population of the duchies of Rome, Ravenna, and the Pentapolis as living together in a republic, of which Saint Peter was the protector and eponymous hero.
Between 739 and 741, the following were added to the land ceded with Sutri: Gallese, Amelia, Orte, Blera, and Bomarzo. And again in 743, Liutprand titled to Pope Zachary four cities that he had occupied—Vetralla, Palestrina, Ninfa, and Norma—as well as restoring to the Pope part of the Sabina that had been taken by the dukes of Spoleto thirty years before. Liutprand, having temporarily eased the tensions between the Lombardic dukes of Spoleto and Benevento, avoided a civil war.
The Donation of Sutri was followed in 754 by the Donation of Pepin, affirmed in Pavia by the Frankish king Pepin the Short.
Through the close pacts with the Frankish sovereigns from the second half of the 9th century, the Papal State was no longer solely the patrimony of the archbishop of Rome, but as a body with recognized jurisdiction to which Pepin the Short guaranteed military protection in 754 against potential aggression by the Lombardic kings. The following restitutions of the Lombardic kings to the Papacy in 774, including Ravenna and the Pentapoli—induced by pacts with the Franks—spoke directly of a return to the "republic of Romans' of which the bishop of Rome was recognized as leader. 
Another consequence of the Donation of Sutri was the drafting of the false document, the Donation of Constantine . According to the document, retrodated to 321, the Roman Emperor Constantine had ceded to the Catholic Church of Pope Sylvester I the civil jurisdiction of the city of Rome, Italy, and the entire Western Roman Empire.  The authenticity of the Donation of Constantine was greatly debated among the Catholic canon law synods after the year 1000 and was questioned by the Germanic and Frankish chanceries. While they couldn't place the document itself in doubt, they had evidence that the plan was inconsistent with the claimed prerogatives of the Church. 
Given the uncertain secular power of the Church when the Donation of Constantine was forged (the 9th and 10th centuries), the document reflects the new role occupied by the Papal State and the jurisdictional status it intended to retain, especially regarding Rome. This was a claim particularly useful for the new representatives of the Holy Roman Empire, that was born in the year 800 thanks to the support of the Papal State. 
Pope Stephen II was born a Roman aristocrat and member of the Orsini family. Stephen was the bishop of Rome from 26 March 752 to his death. Stephen II marks the historical delineation between the Byzantine Papacy and the Frankish Papacy. During Stephen's pontificate, Rome was facing invasion by the Lombards when Stephen II went to Paris to seek assistance from Pepin the Short. Pepin defeated the Lombards and made a gift of land to the pope, eventually leading to the establishment of the Papal States.
Pope Gregory II was the bishop of Rome from 19 May 715 to his death. His defiance of Emperor Leo III the Isaurian as a result of the iconoclastic controversy in the Eastern Empire prepared the way for a long series of revolts, schisms and civil wars that eventually led to the establishment of the temporal power of the popes.
Pope Gregory III was the bishop of Rome from 11 February 731 to his death. His pontificate, like that of his predecessor, was disturbed by Byzantine iconoclasm and the advance of the Lombards, in which he invoked the intervention of Charles Martel, although ultimately in vain. He was the last pope to seek the consent of the Byzantine exarch of Ravenna for his election, and the last non-European pope until the election of Pope Francis on 13 March 2013.
Pope Zachary was the bishop of Rome from December 741 to his death. He was the last pope of the Byzantine Papacy. Zachary built the original church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, forbade the traffic of slaves in Rome, negotiated peace with the Lombards, and sanctioned Pepin the Short's usurpation of the Frankish throne from Childeric III. Zachary is regarded as a capable administrator and a skillful and subtle diplomat in a dangerous time.
Year 728 (DCCXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 728 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
The Papal States, officially the State of the Church, were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign rule of the pope from 756 until 1870. They were among the major states of Italy from the 8th century until the unification of Italy, between 1859 and 1870.
Eutychius was the last Exarch of Ravenna, heading the Exarchate from 726 or 727 until 751.
Aistulf was the Duke of Friuli from 744, King of the Lombards from 749, and Duke of Spoleto from 751. His reign was characterized by ruthless and ambitious efforts to conquer Roman territory to the extent that in the Liber Pontificalis, he is described as a "shameless" Lombard given to "pernicious savagery" and cruelty.
Sutri is an Ancient town, modern comune and former bishopric in the province of Viterbo, about 50 kilometres (31 mi) from Rome and about 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Viterbo. It is picturesquely situated on a narrow tuff hill, surrounded by ravines, a narrow neck on the west alone connecting it with the surrounding country.
The Donation of Pepin in 756 provided a legal basis for the creation of the Papal States, thus extending the temporal rule of the Popes beyond the duchy of Rome.
The Duchy of Spoleto was a Lombard territory founded about 570 in central Italy by the Lombard dux Faroald. Its capital was the city of Spoleto.
Liutprand was the king of the Lombards from 712 to 744 and is chiefly remembered for his multiple phases of law-giving, in fifteen separate sessions from 713 to 735 inclusive, and his long reign, which brought him into a series of conflicts, mostly successful, with most of Italy. He is often regarded as the most successful Lombard monarch, notable for the Donation of Sutri in 728, which was the first accolade of sovereign territory to the Papacy.
The history of the papacy, the office held by the pope as head of the Catholic Church, according to Catholic doctrine, spans from the time of Peter to the present day. Moreover, many of the bishops of Rome in the first three centuries of the Christian era are obscure figures. Most of Peter's successors in the first three centuries following his life suffered martyrdom along with members of their flock in periods of persecution, and they had supreme hierarchy to be passed on within the church.
The Patrimony of Saint Peter originally designated the landed possessions and revenues of various kinds that belonged to the apostolic Holy See i.e. the "Church of Saint Peter" in Rome, by virtue of the apostolic see status as founded by Saint Peter, according to Catholic tradition. Until the middle of the 8th century this consisted wholly of private property, but the term was later applied to the States of the Church, and more particularly to the Duchy of Rome.
The Duchy of Rome was a state within the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna. Like other Byzantine states in Italy, it was ruled by an imperial functionary with the title dux. The duchy often came into conflict with the Papacy over supremacy within Rome. After the founding of the Papal States in 756, the Duchy of Rome ceased being an administrative unit and 'dukes of Rome', appointed by the popes rather than emperors, are only rarely attested.
The Kingdom of the Lombards also known as the Lombard Kingdom; later the Kingdom of (all) Italy, was an early medieval state established by the Lombards, a Germanic people, on the Italian Peninsula in the latter part of the 6th century. The king was traditionally elected by the very highest-ranking aristocrats, the dukes, as several attempts to establish a hereditary dynasty failed. The kingdom was subdivided into a varying number of duchies, ruled by semi-autonomous dukes, which were in turn subdivided into gastaldates at the municipal level. The capital of the kingdom and the center of its political life was Pavia in the modern northern Italian region of Lombardy.
In the Byzantine Empire, the Duchy of the Pentapolis was a duchy, a territory ruled by a duke (dux) appointed by and under the Exarch of Ravenna. The Pentapolis consisted of the cities of Ancona, Fano, Pesaro, Rimini and Sinigaglia. It lay along the Adriatic coast between the rivers Marecchia and Misco immediately south of the core territory of the exarchate ruled directly by the exarch, east of the Duchy of Perugia, another Byzantine territory, and north of the Duchy of Spoleto, which was part of the Lombard Kingdom of Italy. The duchy probably extended inland as far as the Apennine Mountains, perhaps beyond, and its southernmost town was Humana (Numera) on the northern bank of the Misco. The capital of the Pentapolis was Rimini and the duke was both the civil and military authority in the duchy.
Toto was the self-styled duke of Nepi, the leading magnate of Etruria, who staged a coup d'état in Rome in 767. He became Duke of Rome for a year until his death. The principal sources documenting his takeover are the vita of Pope Stephen III in the Liber Pontificalis and a surviving deposition of the primicerius Christopher from 769, preserved in a ninth-century manuscript of Verona, the Depositio Christophori.
From 756 to 857, the papacy shifted from the orbit of the Byzantine Empire to that of the kings of the Franks. Pepin the Short, Charlemagne, and Louis the Pious had considerable influence in the selection and administration of popes. The "Donation of Pepin" (756) ratified a new period of papal rule in central Italy, which became known as the Papal States.
The Duchy of Perugia was a duchy in the Italian part of the Byzantine Empire. Its civil and military administration was overseen by a duke (dux) appointed by and under the authority originally of the Praetorian Prefect of Italy (554–584) and later of the Exarch of Ravenna (584–751). Its chief city and namesake was Perugia (Perusia), located at its centre. It was a band of territory connecting the Duchy of the Pentapolis to its northeast with the Duchy of Rome to its southwest, and separating the duchies of Tuscia and Spoleto, both parts of the Lombard Kingdom of Italy. It was of great strategic significance to the Byzantines since it provided communication between Rome, the city of the Popes, and Ravenna, the capital of the Exarchate. Since it cut off the Duke of Spoleto from his nominal overlord, the king ruling from Pavia, it also disturbed the Lombard kingdom, which was a constant thorn in the Byzantines' side. This strategic importance meant that many Lombard and Byzantine armies passed through it.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "States of the Church". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.