War was thus declared between the two chiefs of western Christendom, that war of investitures which out-lasted the lives of both Gregory and Henry, and was not terminated till the year 1122.
The final gainers, however, by the war of investitures were the Italians.
As the bishops had helped to free them from subservience to their feudal masters, so the war of investitures relieved them of dependence on their bishops.
In the republics, as we begin to know them after the war of investitures, government was carried on by officers called consuls, varying in number according to custom and according to the division of the town into districts.
Though the communes gained so much by the war of investitures, the division of the country between the popes and emperors parties was no small price to pay for inde- Munlelpendence.