|Papacy began||7 September 1159|
|Papacy ended||30 August 1181|
|Consecration||20 September 1159|
by Ubaldo Allucingoli (the future Pope Lucius III).
|Created cardinal||October 1150|
by Eugene III
|Birth name||Roland of Siena|
Siena, Papal States
|Died||30 August 1181|
Civita Castellana, Papal States
|Other popes named Alexander|
|Papal styles of|
Pope Alexander III
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
Pope Alexander III was born in Siena. From 14th century he is 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.
He 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, he was chosen as the successor to Pope Adrian IV, the only Englishman to ever hold the office. 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 of 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, Antipope Victor IV and his successors Antipope Paschal III and Antipope 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 Eskil, Archbishop 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.
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, he also 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.
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. This synod 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 3 August 1181.
|Catholic Church titles|
The papal election of 1159 (held 4–7 September) 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 schism was a result of the growing tensions inside the Sacred College of Cardinals concerning the foreign policy of the Holy See. The Papal States in the 12th century were a buffer between the Holy Roman Empire and the Norman Kingdom of Sicily. After the Concordat of Worms in 1122, the Papacy allied with the Empire rather than with the Normans, but during the pontificate of Adrian IV (1154–59) this alliance broke up because Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa did not fulfil the terms of the treaty of Constance (1153) that obliged him to help the Papacy to restore its authority in Rome and in other territories controlled by the king of Sicily. In these circumstances Adrian IV decided to break the alliance with the Emperor and to make peace with William I of Sicily by signing the Treaty of Benevento (1156). In the following years there were growing tensions between the papacy and Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa (e.g. a dispute at the diet of Besançon in 1157). Frederick tried – with significant success – to strengthen his influence on the Church in Germany. The change of direction of the papal foreign policy resulted in the division of the Sacred College into supporters and opponents of the new policy, who were unable to achieve a compromise after the death of Adrian IV.
The election of 1159 had also significant legal consequences. Up to that time, the election of the new Pope required unanimity among the electors, which led to the schism when the existence of factions in the Sacred College made the unanimity impossible. To avoid the schism in the future, the Third Lateran Council in 1179 promulgated the decree Licet de evitanda discordia, which established the rule that the Pope is elected with a majority of two thirds of the cardinals participating in the election.1181 papal election
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 the majority of two thirds votes.Alexander III
Alexander III may refer to:
Alexander III of Macedon (356 BC–323 BC), also known as Alexander the Great
Alexander (Byzantine emperor) (870–913), Byzantine Emperor (912–913)
Pope Alexander III (1100s–1181), pope from 1159 to 1181
Alexander III of Vladimir, Grand Duke of Vladimir (1328–1331), Prince of Suzdal
Alexander III of Scotland (1241–1286), king of Scotland
Alexander III of Imereti (1609–1660), king of Imereti
Alexander III of Russia (1845–1894), emperor of Russia
Pont Alexandre III, an arch bridge that spans the Seine
Russian battleship Imperator Aleksandr III, Russian warshipAntipope Paschal III
Antipope Paschal III (or Paschal III) was, from 1164 to 20 September 1168, the second of the antipopes to challenge the reign of Pope Alexander III.Canonization
Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares that a person who has died was a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the "canon", or list, of recognized saints. Originally, a person was recognized as a saint without any formal process. Later, different processes were developed, such as those used today in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion.Enguerrand (bishop of Glasgow)
Enguerrand (also Ingram, died 1174) was a twelfth-century bishop of Glasgow. He had previously been Archdeacon of Teviotdale, and had served king Máel Coluim IV as Chancellor of Scotland between 1161 and 1164. He was elected Bishop of Glasgow on Sunday, 20 September 1164, and consecrated on 28 October at the hands of Pope Alexander III himself in Sens, France, where the Pope was then resident. He did not return to the diocese until 2 June 1165. Although he resigned the position of Royal Chancellor upon election to the bishopric, there is charter evidence that he once again became Chancellor in the reign of King William the Lion, probably in the year 1171. Notable actions of his episcopate included, probably on the request of his friend (and successor) Jocelin, then Abbot of Melrose, the opening of the tomb of the emerging saint Walthoef. He died on 2 February 1174.Fulco
Fulco was the first known missionary Bishop of Estonia. He was appointed in 1165 by Eskil, the Danish Archbishop of Lund. Before his appointment, Fulco was a Benedictine monk in the abbey of Moutier-la-Celle, near Troyes in France. His nationality is not known.
After his appointment, Fulco appears in sources only once. In 1171, Pope Alexander III asked the Archbishop of Trondheim to assign an Estonian monk Nicolaus living in Stavanger to go to Fulco's assistance. No further information survives about Fulco's work in Estonia, or whether he ever even got there.Galdino della Sala
Saint Galdino della Sala (native Galdìn) (c. 1096 – 18 April 1176), or Saint Galdinus (or 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.
He is remembered also for his charity in Milan to the poor and to those imprisoned for debt. Alexander III canonized him as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, and he is a patron of both Lombardy and his old archdiocese.Guarinus of Palestrina
Saint Guarino Foscari (c. 1080 - 6 February 1158) was an Italian Roman Catholic Augustinian canon regular and also the Cardinal-Bishop of Palestrina from December 1144 after his relative Pope Lucius II elevated him into the cardinalate. He is better known as "Guarinus of Palestrina" and is noted for his charitable compassion for the poor of Palestrina.
Pope Alexander III canonized him as a saint of the Roman Catholic of Church in 1159.Hugh the Chaplain
Hugh the Chaplain (or Hugo Capellanus) was the royal Chaplain of King William I of Scotland before becoming Bishop of Cell Rígmonaid (St Andrews), the highest ranking Scottish see of the period. After the death of Bishop Richard, King William selected Hugh to succeed to the bishopric in 1178. However, unbeknown to the king, the chapter elected their archdeacon, John l'Escot, as bishop. The king saw to Hugh's election and consecration in the same year. There followed a five-year struggle for the bishopric. John travelled to appeal to Pope Alexander III, who quashed the case of Hugh and sent to Scotland a man name Alexius as legate. Alexius obtained entrance to William's kingdom, and consecrated John at Holyrood Abbey in the presence of four other Scottish bishops, in the year 1180. Nevertheless, the struggle continued, and in 1183, both John and Hugh resigned their rights. Despite the fact that Hugh received the bishopric and John took the Bishopric of Dunkeld in compensation, dispute over revenues continued. When Hugh refused to answer his summons to Rome in 1186, he was suspended and excommunicated, with the diocese being put under interdict. Hugh travelled to Rome and obtained absolution, but he died of the pestilence in that city a few days later.John of Oxford
John of Oxford (died 2 June 1200) was a medieval Bishop of Norwich.
John's father was Henry of Oxford, sheriff of Oxford. He was a royal clerk and represented King Henry II at a diet held in May 1165 at Würzburg that dealt with the issue of the Antipope Paschal III. Some reports held that John supported the antipope on behalf of Henry II, but John denied this charge. Bishop Josceline de Bohon of Salisbury appointed John Dean of Salisbury, but the appointment was overruled by Pope Alexander III on 8 June 1166 because of John's dealings with the antipope and because some of the cathedral chapter were absent from the election. Archbishop Thomas Becket then excommunicated John on 12 June 1166, and both the chapter and the king appealed to the pope, the king sending John to Rome. John then surrendered the office to the pope and was reappointed by the pope before December 1166.John was elected to the see of Norwich on 26 November 1175 and was consecrated on 14 December 1175. He died on 2 June 1200.Manifestis Probatum
Manifestis Probatum is a papal bull dated 23 May 1179, in which Pope Alexander III officially recognised the ruler and self-proclaimed king Afonso Henriques as the first sovereign King of Portugal.
The Papacy did not at first recognize the legitimacy of Afonso's adoption of the royal title in 1139, instead continuing to regard him as a vassal of the kingdom of León. The switch in papal policy in 1179 was justified by Afonso's conquest of lands to the south of the Iberian Peninsula to which no other Christian monarch had claim.Quia propter
Quia propter (Latin: "Wherefore by…") was a document issued by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 on the subject of papal elections. It recognized three processes for unanimous agreement: "acclamation", "scrutiny" (balloting), and "compromissum" (compromise committee).Acclamation was rare, and often driven more by crown dynamics than discussion among the electors. Compromise committees were also rare, as they required unanimous agreement to be initiated (although, once formed, only two-thirds of the commission would be required). The requisite majority by balloting was considered a process for determining divine unanimity, that is, sanior et maior pars (Latin: sounder and greater part). The requirement of a two-thirds supermajority had been in place since the Third Lateran Council (1179), which followed the disputed election of Pope Alexander III.Reginald Fitz Jocelin
Reginald fitz Jocelin (died 26 December 1191) was a medieval Bishop of Bath and an Archbishop of Canterbury-elect in England. A member of an Anglo-Norman noble family, he was the son of a bishop, and was educated in Italy. He was a household clerk for Thomas Becket, but by 1167 he was serving King Henry II of England. He was also a favourite of King Louis VII of France, who had him appointed abbot of the Abbey of Corbeil. After Reginald angered Becket while attempting to help negotiate a settlement between Becket and the king, Becket called him "that offspring of fornication, that enemy to the peace of the Church, that traitor." When he was elected as a bishop, the election was challenged by King Henry's eldest son, Henry the Young King, and Reginald was forced to go to Rome to be confirmed by Pope Alexander III. He attended the Third Lateran Council in 1179, and spent much of his time administering his diocese. He was elected Archbishop of Canterbury in 1191, but died before he could be installed.Richard of Dover
Richard (died 1184) was a medieval Benedictine monk and Archbishop of Canterbury. Employed by Thomas Becket immediately before Becket's death, Richard arranged for Becket to be buried in Canterbury Cathedral and eventually succeeded Becket at Canterbury in a contentious election. Much of Richard's time as archbishop was spent in a dispute with Roger de Pont L'Evêque, the Archbishop of York over the primacy of England, and with St Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury over the archbishop's jurisdiction over the abbey. Richard had better relations with King Henry II of England than Becket had, and was employed by the king on diplomatic affairs. Richard also had the trust of the papacy, and served as a judge for the papacy. Several of his questions to Pope Alexander III were collected into the Decretals, a collection of ecclesiastical laws, and his patronage of canon lawyers did much to advance the study of canon law in England.Sala Regia (Vatican)
The Sala Regia (Regal Room) is a state hall in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City.
Although not intended as such, this broad room is really an antechamber to the Sistine Chapel. It also connects to the Pauline Chapel and is reached by the long staircase known as the Scala Regia. To the left of the entrance formerly stood the papal throne, which is now at the opposite side before the door leading to the Pauline Chapel.
The hall was begun under Pope Paul III by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and was completed in 1573. The elegant barrel vault is graced by the very impressive plaster decorations of Perino del Vaga. The stucco ornaments over the doors are by Daniele da Volterra. By 2019, the room and staircase were open to tourists who visit the Apostolic Palace.The walls were decorated by Livio Agresti, Giorgio Vasari and Taddeo Zuccari. The frescoes depict momentous turning-points in the history of the Church, including the return of Pope Gregory XI from Avignon to Rome, the Battle of Lepanto, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, the raising of the ban from Henry IV, the reconciliation of Pope Alexander III with Frederick Barbarossa and Peter II of Aragon offering the Kingdom to Pope Innocent III.
The hall was originally used for the reception of princes and royal ambassadors, hence its name. Consistories were held in it, but were later transferred to the Saint Peter's Basilica on November 19, 2016, and the area has also provided an occasional musical recital in the presence of the pope; during a conclave it was used as a promenade for the cardinals.Sebastiano Ziani
Sebastiano Ziani was Doge of Venice from 1172 to 1178. He was one of the greatest planners of Venice.During his short term as Doge, Ziani divided the city-state into many districts. He realised that the government headquarters were too close to the shipyard. As such, they were affected by the noise from the shipyard. Ziani resolved this problem by donating a piece of land to the city-state and relocating the shipyard in it.
He also hosted Pope Alexander III, the Emperor Frederick I, and the delegation of William II of Sicily for the signing of the Treaty of Venice in July 1177. He was married to a woman named Cecilia.Stefan (Archbishop of Uppsala)
Stefan (before 1143 – 18 July 1185) was created the first Archbishop of Uppsala in Sweden in the year 1164, a post he held until his death.
Stefan was a Cistercian monk from Alvastra monastery (of which he was one of the founders in 1143). His origin is not known, but it is believed that he was originally from England or Germany because many monks from the monastery were from those countries and because his name was rather uncommon in Sweden at that time.
In 1164 Stefan travelled to Sens in France to meet Pope Alexander III. The Pope was seeking refuge in Sens because of disputes in Rome. Present in Sens was another refugee: the archbishop of Lund (Denmark), Eskil, who had supported the wrong king in Denmark and thus been forced into exile.
The Pope agreed to grant Sweden an archbishop. This matter had already been discussed a decade earlier, but because of civil conflicts was never realized. A pallium had, however, been made in Lund for that occasion, and Eskil had brought it with him when he left Denmark. The pallium was now given to Stefan.
The archbishop of Lund was declared primate of Uppsala, and thereby given the right to ordain the archbishop of Uppsala. The primateship was upheld for a century until political conflicts between the two countries led to the independence of the Uppsala archbishopric, and thereafter the archbishop would travel to Rome to be ordained by the pope.
What is likely to be a protocol from the Sens meeting is still in existence at the Swedish Royal Library.Third Council of the Lateran
The Third Council of the Lateran met in March 1179 as the eleventh ecumenical council. Pope Alexander III presided and 302 bishops attended.
By agreement reached at the Peace of Venice in 1177 the bitter conflict between Alexander III and Emperor Frederick I was brought to an end. When Pope Adrian IV died in 1159, the divided cardinals elected two popes: Roland of Siena, who took the name of Alexander III, and Octavian of Rome who, though nominated by fewer cardinals, was supported by Frederick and assumed the name of Pope Victor IV. Frederick, wishing to remove all that stood in the way of his authority in Italy, declared war upon the Italian states and especially the Church which was enjoying great authority. A serious schism arose out of this conflict, and after Victor IV's death in 1164, two further antipopes were nominated in opposition to Alexander III: Paschal III (1164–1168) and Callistus III (1168–1178). Eventually, at the Peace of Venice, when Alexander gained victory, he promised Frederick that he would summon an ecumenical council.
Besides removing the remains of the recent schism, the Council condemned the Cathar heresies and pushed for the restoration of ecclesiastical discipline. It also became the first general Council of the Church to legislate against sodomy. Three sessions were held, on 5, 14, and 19 March, in which 27 canons were promulgated.
The most important of these were:
Canon 1. In order to prevent the possibility of future schisms, only cardinals were to possess the right to elect a pope. In addition a two-thirds majority was to be required in order for the election to be valid. If any candidate should declare himself pope without receiving the required majority, he and his supporters were to be excommunicated.
Canon 2 declared null and void those ordinations performed by the antipopes Octavian (Victor IV), Guy of Crema (Paschal III), and John de Struma (Antipope Callixtus III).
Canon 3 forbade the promotion of anyone to a parish before the age of 25 and to the episcopate before the age of 30.
Canon 5 forbade the ordination of clerics not provided with any means of proper support.
Canon 7 forbade the charging of money to conduct burials, bless a marriage or indeed the celebration of any of the sacraments.
Canon 11 forbade clerics to have women in their houses or to visit the monasteries of nuns without a good reason; declared that married clergy should lose their benefices; and decreed that priests who engaged in sodomy should be deposed from clerical office and required to do penance - while laymen should be excommunicated.
Canon 18 required every cathedral church to appoint a master to teach the clerics and the poor scholars of the church; this action helped launch the cathedral schools that later became universities.
Canon 19 declared excommunication for those who tried to tax churches and clergy without the consent of the bishop.
Canon 23 concerns the proper organisation of accommodation for lepers.
Canon 25 excommunicates those who engage in usury.
Canon 26 forbade Jews and Muslims from having Christian servants and states that the evidence of Christians is always to be accepted against Jews.
Canon 27 stressed the duty of princes to repress heresy and condemned "the Brabantians, Aragonese, Basques, Navarrese, and others who practice such cruelty toward Christians that they respect neither churches nor monasteries, spare neither widows nor orphans, neither age nor sex, but after the manner of pagans, destroy and lay waste everything" (De Brabantionibus et Aragonensibus, Navariis, Bascolis, Coterellis et Triaverdinis, qui tantam in Christianos immanitatem exercent, ut nec ecclesiis, nec monasteriis deferant, non viduis, et pupillis, non senibus, et pueris, nec cuilibet parcant aetati, aut sexui, sed more paganorum omnia perdant, et vastent).Among the many attendees at the Council was William of Tyre, the famous historian and, at the time, archbishop of Tyre. William was sent by Baldwin IV as the representative of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and wrote about the journey to the Council in his history.
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