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The Bishopric of Mainz is a Bishopric of the Roman Catholic church, based in Mainz in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. The Bishopric was established by legend in c. 80 by Crescens (who is also credited with the founding of the Bishopric of Vienne), was raised to an Archbishopric in 780 or 782, became a Principality with secular territory, and was eventually secularised and dissolved in 1803. It was reestablished by the French as a bishopric in 1802 without secular territory. The Archbishops of Mainz were among the seven original Electors of the Holy Roman Empire and the head of the electors, and were the Arch-Chancellor of Germany. The see of Mainz is the only ecclesiastical office apart from the Papacy to be called the "Holy See".
The Bishopric of MainzEdit
Crescens is traditionally and fradulently claimed to have founded the Bishopric of Mainz in c. AD80. The legend of him being the founder origintes from the desire to attribute apostolic origins to the see. The true details of the founding of the see are unknown. St Irenæus states (and has received archæological confirmation in the early 20th Century) the existance of a Christian community in Mainz as early as the 2nd Century. The first historically confirmed bishop is Martin II mentioned in 343. Other historically mentioned bishops are not mentioned on the traditional list: Bothardus (who constructed a basilica in honour of St Nicomedes), Riuthardus (who was imprisoned when the Alemannian prince Rando sacked Mainz in 368), and Aureus (who was executed by the Alemannian king Crocus in 406).
It was not until Mainz was taken over by the Franks during the Great Migrations that Mainz began to recover. Bishop Sidonius II (reigned until 589) rebuilt all of the old churches in the region and constructed new ones. The Frankish king Dagobert II established Mainz as his capital and constructed fortifications around the city, and during his reign the Altmünsterkloster was built by St Bithildis. Bishop Gerold fell in battle against the Saxons in 743 and was succeeded by his son Gewielieb. After the death of Gewielieb, St Boniface became the archbishop of Mainz.
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