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Why does Rome employ the swiss guard?

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  • Sir J
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Not many of the visitors to Rome, who pose for a photograph in front of the Swiss soldiers on guard at the gates of Vatican City, are familiar with the history of these troops who take an oath of loyalty to the Pope. To know more we must go back to the period of the Renaissance and discover the motives that in 1506 caused Pope Julius II to invite to Rome the Helvetian soldiers, renowned for their courage, noble sentiments and loyalty. Many centuries earlier the great Latin historian, Tacitus, had said: "The Helvetians are a people of warriors, famous for the valour of their soldiers." This is why the Swiss Cantons, as allies first with one side and then with another, played such an important role in the history of European politics. In fact as allies of Pope Julius II in 1512 they helped to shape Italy's destiny and were granted by the Pope the title of "Defenders of the Church's freedom". In those times, when to be a mercenary soldier was a commonplace occupation, there lived a people of warriors in the very heart of the Alps. The first Swiss Cantons had about 500,000 inhabitants and formed an overpopulated country, where, because of the precarious economic conditions of the times, there was much poverty. There was no choice but to emigrate and one of the most profitable jobs was that of a mercenary soldier abroad.

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  • Jim T
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Rome doesn't employ the Swiss Guard, the Vatican City does. These are men in the Swiss Armed forces who volunteer for duty as guardian to the Pope and to Vatican City. No longer considered mercenary, most people who see them put them on equal footing with the US Army Old Guard in Washington DC or with the Queen's Own Guards in London.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Like byderule said:

    Swizerland has a long tradition of being a neutral country and as such, fighting men find a more fulfilling life as "mercenaries" (troops for hire).

    The Swiss Guard is a squad of mercenary pikemen that has been employed by Popes for centuries.

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  • 3 years ago

    history exhibits the Pope and the Vatican being attacked by invaders. There are some people who hate the Pope and wish no longer something extra to work out an unprotected Pope. John Paul II traveled much less secure and then became shot. After that they created the bullet data motor vehicle he traveled around in. I have been given to work out it up close in international youngsters Day in Denver, 1993. Jesus' dominion extends over the earth for the period of the preaching and sacramental ministry of the Church (Mt 28:18-20). i think of it became substantial that the Vatican state be sovereign so as to no longer be below the impression of any usa or secular state.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the swiss are traditionally mercenary soldiers,always have been

    and they were soldiers for the pope ,the tradition got stuck

    they are still there

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  • 1 decade ago

    They guard the Vatican City.

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