|Papacy began||7 September 1159|
|Papacy ended||30 August 1181|
|Consecration||20 September 1159|
by Ubaldo Allucingoli
|Created cardinal||October 1150|
by Eugene III
Siena, Papal States
|Died||30 August 1181|
Civita Castellana, Papal States
|Other popes named Alexander|
Pope Alexander III (c. 1100/1105 – 30 August 1181), born Roland (Italian : Rolando), was the head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 7 September 1159 until his death. A native of Bologna, Alexander became pope after a contested election, but had to spend much of his pontificate outside Rome while several rivals, supported by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, claimed the papacy. Alexander rejected Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos' offer to end the East–West Schism, sanctioned the Northern Crusades, and held the Third Council of the Lateran.
Rolando was born in Siena. From the 14th century, he was referred to as a member of the aristocratic family of Bandinelli, although this has not been proven.He was long thought to be the 12th-century canon lawyer and theologian Master Roland of Bologna, who composed the "Stroma" or "Summa Rolandi"—one of the earliest commentaries on the Decretum of Gratian—and the "Sententiae Rolandi", a sentence collection displaying the influence of Pierre Abélard, but John T. Noonan and Rudolf Weigand have shown this to be another Rolandus.
Alexander probably studied at Bologna, where Robert of Torigni notes that he taught theology.In October 1150, Pope Eugene III created him Cardinal-Deacon of Santi Cosma e Damiano. Later he became Cardinal-Priest of St Mark. In 1153, he became papal chancellor and was the leader of the cardinals opposed to German Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. He negotiated the Treaty of Benevento, which restored peaceful relations between Rome and the Kingdom of Sicily.
On 7 September 1159, Alexander III was chosen to succeed Adrian IV as pope. A minority of the cardinals, however, elected the cardinal priest Octavian, who assumed the name of Victor IV and became the German Emperor's antipope. The situation was critical for Alexander III, because according to many chronicles of the time (perhaps exaggerating), Barbarossa's antipope received the approval of most of the kingdoms of Europe, with the exception of the kingdoms of Portugal, Sicily and Spain. However, in 1161, King Géza II of Hungary signed an agreement and recognised Alexander III as the rightful pope and declared that the supreme spiritual leader was the only one who could exercise the rite of investiture.This meant that Alexander's legitimacy was gaining strength, as soon proved by the fact that other monarchs, such as the king of France and King Henry II of England, recognized his authority. Because of imperial strength in Italy, Alexander was forced to reside outside Rome for a large part of his pontificate. When news reached him of the death of Victor in 1164, he openly wept, and scolded the cardinals in his company for rejoicing at the end of the rival antipope.
However, the dispute between Alexander III, Victor IV and his successors Paschal III and Calixtus III (who had the German imperial support) continued until Frederick Barbarossa's defeat at the Legnano in 1176, after which Barbarossa finally (in the Peace of Venice of 1177) recognized Alexander III as pope.On 12 March 1178, Alexander III returned to Rome, which he had been compelled to leave twice: the first time between 1162 and 23 November 1165. When Alexander was arrested by supporters of the imperialist Antipope Victor IV, Oddone Frangipane freed him and sent to safety in Campania. Alexander again left Rome in 1167. At first he went to Benevento, later moving to various strongholds such as of Anagni, Palestrina, Ferentino, Tusculum, and Veroli.
Alexander III was the first pope known to have paid direct attention to missionary activities east of the Baltic Sea. He had created the Archbishopric of Uppsala in Sweden in 1164,probably at the suggestion of his close friend Archbishop Eskil of Lund – exiled in Clairvaux, France, due to a conflict with the Danish king. The latter appointed a Benedictine monk Fulco as a bishop in Estonia. In 1171, Alexander became the first pope to address the situation of the Church in Finland, with Finns allegedly harassing priests and only relying on God in time of war. In the bull Non parum animus noster , in 1171 or 1172, he gave papal sanction to ongoing crusades against pagans in northern Europe, promising remission of sin for those who fought there. In doing so, he legitimized the widespread use of forced conversion as a tactic by those fighting in the Baltic.
In 1166, Alexander received an embassy from the Byzantine emperor Manuel I. The Byzantine ambassador, the sebastos Iordanos,relayed that Manuel would end the Great Schism of the eastern and western churches if Alexander would recognize him as emperor. As emperor, Manuel would supply the pope with men and money to restore his authority in Italy. Alexander gave an evasive answer, but in 1168 he rejected outright the same proposal from a second Byzantine embassy. His stated reason amounted to it being too difficult. He appears to have feared Byzantine domination of Italy if the pope owed his position to its support.
Besides checkmating Barbarossa, Alexander humbled King Henry II of England for the murder of Thomas Becket in 1170, to whom he was unusually close, later canonizing Becket in 1173.This was the second English saint canonized by Alexander, the first being Edward the Confessor in 1161. Nonetheless, he confirmed the position of Henry as Lord of Ireland in 1172.
Through the papal bull Manifestis Probatum , issued on 23 May 1179, Alexander recognized the right of Afonso I to proclaim himself King of Portugal – an important step in the process of Portugal becoming a recognized independent kingdom. Afonso had been using the title of king since 1139.
Even as a fugitive, Alexander enjoyed the favour and protection of Louis VII of France.[ citation needed ]
In 1163 Alexander summoned clergy and prelates from England, France, Italy, and Spain to the Council of Tours to address, among other things, the unlawful division of ecclesiastical benefices, clerical usury, and lay possession of tithes.
In March 1179, Alexander III held the Third Council of the Lateran, one of the most important mediaeval church councils, reckoned by the Catholic Church as the eleventh ecumenical council. Its acts embodied several of the Pope's proposals for the betterment of the condition of the Church, among them the law requiring that no one could be elected pope without the votes of two-thirds of the cardinals.The rule was altered slightly in 1996, but was restored in 2007. The period from 1177, which saw the submission of both emperor Frederick and anti-pope Calixtus III, and this synod/council marked the summit of Alexander III's power.
Nevertheless, soon after the close of the synod, the Roman Republic forced Alexander III to leave the city, which he never re-entered, and on 29 September 1179, some nobles set up the Antipope Innocent III. By the judicious use of money, however, Alexander III got him into his power, so that he was deposed in January 1180. In 1181, Alexander III excommunicated King William I of Scotland and put the kingdom under an interdict.
He died at Civita Castellana on 30 August 1181.
An antipope is a person who, in opposition to the lawful pope, makes a significant attempt to occupy the position of Bishop of Rome and leader of the Catholic Church. At times between the 3rd and mid-15th centuries, antipopes were supported by important factions within the Church itself and by secular rulers.
Pope Adrian IV, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 4 December 1154 to his death in 1159. Born in Hertfordshire, England, his father may have been a clerk and a monk called Robert, but his mother is unknown, and he may have been illegitimate. Although he does not appear to have received a great degree of schooling, while still a youth he travelled to France where he was schooled in Arles, studying law. He then travelled to Avignon, in the south, where he joined the abbey of St Ruf. There he became a canon regular and was eventually appointed abbot. He travelled to Rome several times, where he appears to have caught the attention of Pope Eugenius III. Eugenius sent him on a mission to Catalonia, where the Reconquista was attempting to reclaim land from the Muslim Al-Andalus. Around this time his abbey complained to Eugenius that Breakspear was too heavy a disciplinarian, and in order to make use of him as a papal legate as well as to pacify his monks, the Pope appointed Breakspear Bishop of Albano some time around 1149.
Pope Martin V, born OttoColonna, was the head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 11 November 1417 to his death. His election effectively ended the Western Schism (1378–1417).
Gregory VIII, born Alberto di Morra, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States for two months in 1187.
The Third Council of the Lateran met in March 1179 as the eleventh ecumenical council. Pope Alexander III presided and 302 bishops attended.
Pope Lucius III, born Ubaldo Allucingoli, reigned from 1 September 1181 to his death.
Anacletus II, born Pietro Pierleoni, was an antipope who ruled in opposition to Pope Innocent II from 1130 until his death in 1138. After the death of Pope Honorius II, the college of cardinals was divided over his successor. A majority of cardinals elected Pietro, while a minority elected Papareschi. This led to a major schism in the Roman Catholic Church. Anacletus had the support of most Romans, and the Frangipani family, and forced Innocent to flee to France. North of the Alps, Innocent gained the crucial support of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Peter the Venerable, and Emperor Lothar III, leaving Anacletus with few patrons. Anacletus, with little remaining support, died in the middle of the crisis. In 1139 the second Lateran Council ended the schism, though opinion remained divided.
Victor IV was elected as a Ghibelline antipope in 1159, following the death of Pope Adrian IV and the election of Alexander III. His election was supported by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. He took the name Victor IV, not accounting for Antipope Victor IV of 1138, whose holding of the papal office was deemed illegitimate.
Saint Galdino della Sala, Saint Galdinus or Saint Galdimus, was a Roman Catholic saint from Milan in northern Italy. He was a cardinal elevated in 1165 and he also served as Archbishop of Milan from 1166 to his death in 1176. He was a staunch supporter both of Pope Alexander III, and of Milan and its neighbours in Lombardy, in their joint and parallel struggles against the Antipope Victor IV, supported by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa.
Antipope Paschal III was, from 1164 to 20 September 1168, the second of the antipopes to challenge the reign of Pope Alexander III.
Innocent III was an antipope from 29 September 1179 to January 1180. Innocent III was born in Sezze in the Papal States and died in La Cava, Apulia. He was the last of four antipopes during the pontificate of Alexander III.
Rainald of Dassel was Archbishop of Cologne and Archchancellor of Italy from 1159 until his death. A close advisor to the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick Barbarossa, he had an important influence on Imperial politics, mainly in the Italian conflict of Guelphs and Ghibellines.
Christian I, sometimes Christian von Buch, was a German prelate and nobleman. He was Archbishop of Mainz and Archchancellor of Germany from 1165 until his death 1183. He was originally elected archbishop in 1160 in a disputed election. He served the Emperor Frederick I as a diplomat in Italy on two occasions.
Conrad of Wittelsbach was the Archbishop of Mainz and Archchancellor of Germany from 20 June 1161 to 1165 and again from 1183 to his death. He was also a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.
There was no uniform procedure for papal selection before 1059. The bishops of Rome and supreme pontiffs (popes) of the Catholic Church were often appointed by their predecessors or by political rulers. While some kind of election often characterized the procedure, an election that included meaningful participation of the laity was rare, especially as the popes' claims to temporal power solidified into the Papal States. The practice of papal appointment during this period would later result in the jus exclusivae, i.e., a right to veto the selection that Catholic monarchs exercised into the twentieth century.
The papal election of 1159 followed the death of Pope Adrian IV. It resulted in a double papal election. A majority of the cardinals elected Cardinal Rolando of Siena as Pope Alexander III, but a minority refused to recognize him and elected their own candidate Ottaviano de Monticelli, who took the name Victor IV, creating a schism that lasted until 1178.
The papal election of 1181 followed the death of Pope Alexander III and resulted in the election of Pope Lucius III. This was the first papal election celebrated in accordance with the decree Licet de evitanda discordia, promulgated in the Third Lateran Council in 1179, which established that the pope is elected by a majority of two thirds votes.
An incomplete list of events in 1179 in Italy:
With a long history as a vantage point for anti-popes forces threatening Rome, Viterbo became a papal city in 1243. During the later thirteenth century, the ancient Italian city of Viterbo was the site of five papal elections and the residence of seven popes and their Curias, and it remains the location of four papal tombs. These popes resided in the Palazzo dei Papi di Viterbo alongside the Viterbo Cathedral intermittently for two decades, from 1257 to 1281; as a result, the papal palace in Viterbo, with that in Orvieto, are the most extensive thirteenth-century papal palaces to have survived.
Guala da Telgate was a bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Bergamo.
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