Crescentii

The Crescentii clan (in modern Italian Crescenzi) — if they were an extended family — essentially ruled Rome and controlled the Papacy from 965[1] until the nearly simultaneous deaths of their puppet pope Sergius IV and the patricius of the clan in 1012.

Wapen van Crescenzi
Coat of arms of Crescenzi family.

History

Castel santangelo Tevere
Castel Sant'Angelo was known in the 10th and 11th centuries as the Roman stronghold of the Crescentii (domum Crescentii).

Several individuals named Crescentius who appear in the very scanty documentation of the period have been grouped together by historians as the "Crescentii." Some do seem to bear family relationships, falling into two main branches, the Ottaviani and the Stefaniani, and their policies were consistent enough, especially as regards confronting the rival gang of aristocratic thugs, the Tusculani, who were descended from the influential curial official Theophylact, Count of Tusculum, ruler of Rome at the beginning of the 10th century. Their territorial strongholds were situated mainly in the Sabine Hills.

The Crescentii had another formidable enemy, whose power did not always extend to Rome, in the German kings and emperors of the Ottonian Saxon dynasty, notably Otto the Great and Henry II. Emperor Otto's intervention in Italian affairs in 961 was not in Crescentii interests. In February 962, the pope and the emperor ratified the Diploma Ottonianum, in which the emperor became the guarantor of the independence of the papal states. It was the Crescentii who most threatened papal independence.

The clan's triumph was in the later 10th century. They produced one pope from among their number — John XIII — and controlled most of the others, whom the leaders of the Crescentii installed as puppet popes. They held the secular offices such as praefectus by which Rome was technically still governed, and exacted large contributions and donations from the Papal treasury, in a thinly disguised extortion. From this power base within the city, they were able to influence even those popes who had not been their direct candidates.

In the countryside, Crescentii castles concentrated a cluster of population that depended on them for their defense and were dependable armed members of the Crescentii clientage.

After Sergius IV's death (1012), the Crescentii simply installed their candidate, Gregory, in the Lateran, without the assent of the cardinals. A struggle flared between the Crescentii and the rival Tusculani. The failure of their bold attempt and the pontificate of the Tusculan pope Benedict VIII, whose powerful protector was the King of the Germans, Henry II, whom he crowned Emperor in Rome in 1014, forced the Crescentii out of Rome, retreating to the fortified strongholds. In the 1020s, the abbot Hugh of Farfa was able to play one branch of Crescentii against another, and Crescentii support of two unsuccessful antipopes in mid-century, Sylvester III (Pope in 1045) and Benedict X in 1058 were symptoms of the clan's loss of unity and political prestige. As landowners, they settled into more local forms of patronage, as the Crescenzi.

Notes

  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope John XIII" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

References

  • Luscombe, David and Riley-Smith, Jonathan. 2004. New Cambridge Medieval History: C.1024-c.1198, Volume 4.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Crescentius" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

External links

Gregory I, Count of Tusculum

Gregory I was the Count of Tusculum sometime between 954 and 1012. Consul et dux 961, vir illustrissimus 980, praefectus navalis 999. He was the son of Alberic II (son of Alberic I of Spoleto and Marozia), and Alda of Vienne (daughter of Hugh, King of Italy and his second wife, Alda (or Hilda)). His half-brother was Pope John XII.

He held the cities of Galeria, Arce, and Preneste and the title count palatine, the palace referred to being that of the Lateran. He was the first to carry the title "Count of Tusculum" and he passed it to all his descendants. They also received the titles of excellentissimus vir' (most excellent man) and apostolic rector of Sant'Andrea, which Gregory received in 980. In 981, Gregory bore the title Romanorum consul, dux et senator: "Consul, duke, and senator of the Romans."

As well as being an intimate and ally of the popes, especially Sylvester II, Gregory also served as praefectus navalis of Holy Roman Emperors Otto I and Otto II. However, on 6 February 1001, he was named "Head of the Republic" by the Romans for leading the revolt against Otto III and expelling the Crescentii. In 1002, the latter returned to power and he had to renounce his title.

His death is attested before the 11 June 1012, when his successor, Theophylact, was elected Pope.

John Crescentius

John Crescentius (Italian: Giovanni Crescenzio) also John II Crescentius or Crescentius III (d. 1012) was the son of Crescentius the Younger (Crescentius II). He succeeded to his father's title of consul and patrician of Rome in 1002 and held it to his death.

Early in 1001, a revolt broke out in Rome against the Emperor Otto III, who now permanently resided in Rome. The Emperor and Pope Sylvester II, the first pope of French nationality, were compelled to flee; it is quite likely that John Crescentius was the prime mover of the rebellion.At any rate, after this he assumed supreme authority in Rome, and after the death of the Emperor Otto III on 24 January 1002 took the title of Patricius Romanorum. Sylvester was permitted to return to Rome, but had little to do with the temporal government. The same is true of his three immediate successors: John XVII (1003), John XVIII (1003–09), and Sergius IV (1009–12), all of whom were appointed through the influence of John Crescentius. There had not been any further coronations of Emperor during the rest of his life. John Crescentius died in May 1012, and with him the Crescentii disappeared from the history of Rome.

Lake Crescent cutthroat trout

The Crescenti cutthroat trout or the Lake Crescent cutthroat trout is a North American freshwater fish, a local form (f. loc.) of the coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii) isolated in Lake Crescent in Washington. While previously attributed to a distinct subspecies Oncorhynchus clarkii crescenti, it is not currently recognized at the subspecies rank. However the cutthroat trout of Lake Crescent do remain distinct. They have the highest known gill raker and vertebrae counts of any coastal cutthroat population. The cutthroat are believed to have been isolated in Lake Crescent after a landslide blocked the eastern outflow of the lake.

Before the introduction of non-native trout to the lake, these fish co-existed with the lake's population of coastal rainbow trout known as Beardslee trout. The cutthroat mostly used the lake's inlet stream Barnes Creek for spawning, while the rainbow trout used the Lyre River for spawning. However, in the early 1980s a small cutthroat population was found in the Lyre River that spawns further downstream than the native rainbow trout. Today the cutthroat of Barnes Creek have been hybridized with introduced rainbow into cutbows, but Crescenti cutthroat trout persist in the Lyre River as a genetically pure population (Behnke 1992). A Crescenti cutthroat caught in 1961 set the state record for cutthroats at 32 inches (81 cm) and 12 pounds (5.4 kg).

Leo II of Gaeta

Leo II was the Duke of Gaeta briefly in early 1042. He was the last duke of the native Docibilan family. His father was the magnificus Docibilis, a grandson of Duke Gregory. His brother, Hugh, was the count of Suio.Gaeta had been under the control of the Lombard Principality of Capua since 1032, and in 1040 it recognized the suzerainty of Prince Guaimar IV of Salerno. Leo probably owed his rise to a native reaction to Lombard rule, perhaps an outright revolt. In one of his official acts as duke, he granted a public mill to members of the powerful Kampuli family "in return for their services". Their services were probably instrumental in Leo's rise. Only one other act of Leo II's is known to survive. By late 1042, Guaimar had succeeded in imposing his own candidate for duke, the Norman adventurer Rainulf, on the Gaetan throne.Leo was married to a senatrix named Theodora. The name and title strongly suggest that she was Roman, perhaps of the Crescentii family. She had a son named Peter. Leo had at least three sons: Raynerius, who succeeded his uncle as count of Suio; Docibilis; and Leo, who was elected bishop of Gaeta in 1049/50.

List of popes (graphical)

This is a graphical list of the popes of the Roman Catholic Church.

While the term pope (Latin: Papa, 'Father') is used in several churches to denote their high spiritual leaders, in English usage, this title generally refers to the supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church and of the Holy See. The title itself has been used officially by the head of the Church since the tenure of Pope Siricius.

There have been 266 popes, as listed by the Annuario Pontificio (Pontifical Yearbook) under the heading 'I Sommi Pontefici Romani' (The Supreme Pontiffs of Rome). Some sources quote a number of 267, with the inclusion of Stephen II, who died four days after his election but before his episcopal consecration. However, only 264 (or 265) men have occupied the chair of Saint Peter, as Benedict IX held the office thrice on separate occasions in the mid–11th century.

The pope bears the titles

Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the Servants of Godand is officially styled 'His Holiness'.

Since the Lateran Treaty of 1929, the pope's temporal title has been Sovereign of the Vatican City State.

Orvieto Papacy

Orvieto, Umbria, Italy, was the refuge of five popes during the 13th century: Urban IV (1261–1264), Gregory X (1271–1276), Martin IV (1281–1285), Nicholas IV (1288–1292) and Boniface VIII (1294–1303). During this time, the popes took up residence in the Papal Palace of Orvieto (also known as Palazzo Soliano), which was adjacent to the Orvieto Cathedral and expanded onto the bishop's residence. None of these popes died in Orvieto, and thus no papal elections took place in there, nor are there any papal tombs.

Political and strategic reasons motivated the frequent moves of the pope and Roman Curia during this period, and other destinations include Viterbo and Perugia. Urban IV and Martin IV resided in both Viterbo and Orvieto. During the period from the reign of Nicholas IV to Benedict XI (1303–1304), Orvieto hosted the pope more frequently than Rome.

Art historian Gary M. Radke notes that "the papal palaces in Viterbo and Orvieto are the most extensive thirteenth-century papal palaces to survive to our own day." He dates the frescoes in the palace to the 1290s, during the reign of Nicholas IV or Boniface VIII. They display naturalistic impulses in the Gothic style.

Papal appointment

Papal appointment was a medieval method of selecting a pope. Popes have always been selected by a council of Church fathers, however, Papal selection before 1059 was often characterized by confirmation or "nomination" by secular European rulers or by their predecessors. The later procedures of the papal conclave are in large part designed to constrain the interference of secular rulers which characterized the first millennium of the Roman Catholic Church, and persisted in practices such as the creation of crown-cardinals and the jus exclusivae. Appointment might have taken several forms, with a variety of roles for the laity and civic leaders, Byzantine and Germanic emperors, and noble Roman families. The role of the election vis-a-vis the general population and the clergy was prone to vary considerably, with a nomination carrying weight that ranged from near total to a mere suggestion or ratification of a prior election.

The institution has its origins in late antiquity, where on more than one occasion the emperor stepped in to resolve disputes over the legitimacy of papal contenders. An important precedent from this period is an edict of Emperor Honorius, issued after a synod he convoked to depose Antipope Eulalius. The power passed to (and grew with) the King of the Ostrogoths, then the Byzantine Emperor (or his delegate, the Exarch of Ravenna). After an interregnum, the Kings of the Franks and the Holy Roman Emperor (whose selection the pope also sometimes had a hand in), generally assumed the role of confirming the results of papal elections. For a period (today known as the "saeculum obscurum"), the power passed from the Emperor to powerful Roman nobles—the Crescentii and then the Counts of Tusculum.

In many cases, the papal coronation was delayed until the election had been confirmed. Some antipopes were similarly appointed. The practice ended with the conclusion of the Investiture Controversy (c.f. confirmation of bishops) due largely to the efforts of Cardinal Hildebrand (future Pope Gregory VII), who was a guiding force in the selection of his four predecessors, and the 1059 papal bull In Nomine Domini of Pope Nicholas II; some writers consider this practice to be an extreme form of "investiture" in and of itself.Although the practice was forbidden by the Council of Antioch (341) and the Council of Rome (465), the bishops of Rome, as with other bishops, often exercised a great deal of control over their successor, even after the sixth century. In addition, most popes from the fourth to twelfth century were appointed or confirmed by a secular power.

Papal selection before 1059

There was no fixed process for papal selection before 1059. Popes, the bishops of Rome and the leaders of the Catholic Church, were often appointed by their predecessors or secular rulers. While the process was often characterized by some capacity of election, an election with the meaningful participation of the laity was the exception to the rule, especially as the popes' claims to temporal power solidified into the Papal States. The practice of papal appointment during this period would later give rise to the jus exclusivae, a veto right exercised by Catholic monarchies into the twentieth century.

The lack of an institutionalized process for papal succession was prone to religious schism, and several papal claimants before 1059 are currently regarded by the Church as antipopes. Furthermore, the frequent requirement of secular approval of elected popes significantly lengthened periods of sede vacante and weakened the papacy. In 1059, Pope Nicholas II succeeded in limiting future papal electors to the cardinals with In nomine Domini, creating standardized papal elections that would eventually evolve into the papal conclave.

Pope-elect Stephen

Pope-elect Stephen (d. 26 March 752) was a Roman priest elected pope in March 752 to succeed Zachary; he died of a stroke a few days later, before being consecrated a bishop. Therefore, he is not listed as a pope in the Annuario Pontificio.

In 745, Pope Zachary had made him a cardinal-priest, with the titulus of San Crisogono, the same titulus later held by Cardinal Frederick of Lorraine, who became Pope Stephen IX.

Pope Benedict VI

Pope Benedict VI (Latin: Benedictus VI; d. June 974) was Pope from 19 January 973 to his death in 974. His brief pontificate occurred in the political context of the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire, during the transition between the reigns of German emperors Otto I and Otto II, incorporating the struggle for power of Roman aristocratic families such as the Crescentii and Tusculani.

Pope Benedict VIII

Pope Benedict VIII (Latin: Benedictus VIII; ca. 980 – 9 April 1024) reigned from 18 May 1012 to his death in 1024. He was born Theophylactus to the noble family of the counts of Tusculum (son of Gregory, Count of Tusculum, and brother of future Pope John XIX), descended from Theophylact, Count of Tusculum, like his predecessor Pope Benedict VII (973–974). Horace Mann considered him "...one of the few popes of the Middle Ages who was at once powerful at home and great abroad."

Pope Conon

Pope Conon (d. 21 September 687) was Pope from 21 October 686 to his death in 687. He had been put forward as a compromise candidate, there being a conflict between the two factions resident in Rome— the military and the clerical. On his death, Conon was buried in the Patriarchal Basilica of St. Peter. He consecrated the Irish missionary Kilian a bishop and commissioned him to preach in Franconia.

Pope John XIII

Pope John XIII can also refer to Pope John XIII of Alexandria.Pope John XIII (Latin: Ioannes XIII; d. 6 September 972) was Pope from 1 October 965 to his death in 972. His pontificate was caught up in the continuing conflict between the Emperor, Otto I, and the Roman nobility.

Pope John XVIII

Pope John XVIII (Latin: Ioannes XVIII; died June or July 1009) was Pope and ruler of the Papal states from January 1004 (25 December 1003 NS) to his abdication in June 1009. He was born Giovanni Fassano at Rome, the son of a Roman priest, either named Leo according to Johann Peter Kirsch, or named Ursus according to Horace K Mann.

Pope Pelagius II

Pope Pelagius II (d. 7 February 590) was Pope from 26 November 579 to his death in 590.

Pope Romanus

Pope Romanus (died November 897) was Pope from August to November 897.

Popes during the Age of Revolution

The modern history of the papacy is shaped by the two largest dispossessions of papal property in its history, stemming from the French and its spread to Europe, including Italy.

Saeculum obscurum

Saeculum obscurum (Latin: the Dark Age) is a name given to a period in the history of the Papacy during the first two-thirds of the 10th century, beginning with the installation of Pope Sergius III in 904 and lasting for sixty years until the death of Pope John XII in 964. During this period, the popes were influenced strongly by a powerful and corrupt aristocratic family, the Theophylacti, and their relatives.

Tusculan Papacy

The Tusculan Papacy was a period of papal history from 1012 to 1048 where three successive Counts of Tusculum installed themselves as pope.

1st–4th centuries
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
5th–8th centuries
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
Frankish Papacy (756–857)
9th–12th centuries
Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
Tusculan Papacy (1012–1044/1048)
Imperial Papacy (1048–1257)
13th–16th centuries
Viterbo (1257–1281)
Orvieto (1262–1297)
Perugia (1228–1304)
Avignon Papacy (1309–1378)
Western Schism (1378–1417)
Renaissance Papacy (1417–1534)
Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
Baroque Papacy (1585–1689)
17th–20th centuries
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
Revolutionary Papacy (1775–1848)
Roman Question (1870–1929)
Vatican City (1929–present)
21st century
History of the papacy

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