Pope Alexander IV

Pope Alexander IV (1199 or c. 1185 – 25 May 1261) was Pope from 12 December 1254 to his death in 1261.


Alexander IV
B Alexander IV
Papacy began12 December 1254
Papacy ended25 May 1261
PredecessorInnocent IV
SuccessorUrban IV
ConsecrationMarch 1235
Created cardinal18 September 1227
by Gregory IX
Personal details
Birth nameRinaldo di Jenne
Born1199 or c. 1185
Jenne, Papal States
Died25 May 1261
Viterbo, Papal States
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Coat of armsAlexander IV's coat of arms
Other popes named Alexander


Born as Rinaldo di Jenne in Jenne[1] (now in the Province of Rome), he was, on his mother's side, a member of the family de' Conti di Segni, the counts of Segni, like Pope Innocent III and Pope Gregory IX. His uncle Gregory IX made him cardinal deacon and Protector of the Order of Franciscans in 1227, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church from 1227 until 1231 and Bishop of Ostia in 1231 (or 1232). He became Dean of the College of Cardinals in 1244 (or 1240). On the death of Pope Innocent IV in 1254 he was elected pope at Naples on 12 December 1254.

Alexander IV succeeded Innocent IV as guardian of Conradin, the last of the Hohenstaufens, promising him protection; but in less than three weeks he conspired against him and bitterly opposed Conradin's uncle Manfred.[2] Alexander IV threatened excommunication and interdict against the party of Manfred without effect. Nor could he enlist the kings of England and Norway in a crusade against the Hohenstaufens. Rome itself became too Ghibelline for the Pope, who withdrew to Viterbo, where he died in 1261. He was buried in Viterbo Cathedral, but his tomb was destroyed during sixteenth-century renovations.

Alexander's pontificate was signaled by efforts to reunite the Eastern Orthodox churches with the Catholic Church, by the establishment of the Inquisition in France, by favours shown to the mendicant orders, and by an attempt to organize a crusade against the Tatars after the second raid against Poland in 1259.

On 26 September 1255, Alexander IV canonized Saint Clare of Assisi (Santa Chiara in Italian), founder of the religious order for women called the Poor Clares.[3] On 29 October 1255, in the papal bull Benigna Operatio, Alexander declared "his own knowledge" of the stigmata attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi.[4][5]

The pontiff also, on 27 September 1258, declared in the bull Quod super nonnullis that "divination or sorcery" was not to be investigated by Inquisitors of the Church, who were tasked with investigating heresy. Crimes involving magic should be left to local authorities unless they had "knowledge of manifest heresy to be involved", wherein "manifest heresy" included "praying at the altars of idols, to offer sacrifices, to consult demons, [or] to elicit responses from them". At this period in Church history, the use of magic was not seen as inherently heretical, but rather rooted in superstition or erroneous beliefs. [6][7][8]

On 14 May 1254,[9] shortly before his death, Innocent IV had granted Sicily, a papal fiefdom, to Edmund, second son of King Henry III of England. Alexander confirmed the grant on 9 April 1255,[10] in return for 2000 ounces of gold per annum, the service of 300 knights for three months when required, and 135,541 marks to reimburse the pope for the money he had expended attempting to oust Manfred from Sicily.[11] Henry's unsuccessful attempts to persuade his subjects to pay the taxes required to meet Alexander's demands were one of the factors in the conflict between the king and parliament which culminated in the Second Barons' War.[12] On 12 April 1261, shortly before his death, Alexander issued a papal bull for King Henry that absolved him and the magnates of his realm from the oaths taken in the Provisions of Oxford, which was instrumental in the War.[13]

See also


  1. ^ A. Coulon (ed.), Les Registres d' Alexandre IV Tome 3, fascicle 7 (Paris 1953), p. 137, no. 3246 (9 September 1260). Division of the castle of Jenna between two of Alexander's nephews.
  2. ^ P. Touron, "Alexandre IV contre Manfred," Le Moyen Âge 69 (1963), pp. 391–99.
  3. ^ A. Tomassetti (ed.), Bullarum, Diplomatum et Privilegiorum Sanctorum Romanorum Pontificum Taurensis editio (Turin 1858), pp. 620–624, no. XX.
  4. ^ A. Tomassetti (ed.), Bullarum, Diplomatum et Privilegiorum Sanctorum Romanorum Pontificum Taurensis editio (Turin 1858), pp. 626–627, no. XXII.
  5. ^ KNOX., LITTLE, W. J. (2016). ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI : his times, life and work. FORGOTTEN Books. p. 317. ISBN 978-1331689393. OCLC 978482977.
  6. ^ 1969-, Davies, Owen (2009). Grimoires : a history of magic books. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 43. ISBN 9780199204519. OCLC 244766270.
  7. ^ A. Tomassetti (ed.), Bullarum, Diplomatum et Privilegiorum Sanctorum Romanorum Pontificum Taurensis editio (Turin 1858), pp. 663–666, no. XLVI.
  8. ^ Bailey, Michael D. (2010). Battling demons : witchcraft, heresy, and reform in the late Middle Ages. Pennsylvania State University Press. p. 35. ISBN 9780271022260. OCLC 652466611.
  9. ^ August Potthast, Regesta pontificum Romanorum II (Berlin 1875), no. 15364. Thomas Rymer, Foedera, Conventiones, Literae et cujuscunque generis Acta Publica inter Reges Angliae et alios... I. 1, edition tertia (Hagae Comitis: apud Joannem Neaulme 1745), p. 181.
  10. ^ Potthast, ii. nos. 15784-5. Rymer I .1, p. 196.
  11. ^ Rymer,Foedera, I.i. 316-18, Simon Lloyd, Edmund Crouchback, Oxford Online Dictionary of National Biography, 2004. Rymer I. 2, pp. 12–13: a letter of King Henry to Cardinal Riccardo Annibaldi de Molaria, Cardinal Deacon of Sant' Angelo.
  12. ^ J. R. Maddicott, The Origins of the English Parliament, 924–1327, Oxford University press, 2010, p. 235
  13. ^ Thomas Rymer, Foedera, Conventiones, Literae et cujuscunque generis Acta Publica inter Reges Angliae et alios... I. 2, edition tertia (Hagae Comitis: apud Joannem Neaulme 1745), pp. 62–63. Harding, Alan. England in the Thirteenth Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 290.


  • Nicolaus de Curbio, OFM, "Vita Innocentii Papae IV," Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Tomus Tertius (Mediolani 1723) pp. 592–592e.
  • Bernardus Guidonis, "Vita Alexandri Papae IV," Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Tomus Tertius (Mediolani 1723) p. 592ζ-593.
  • Alexis François Artaud de Montor, Histoire des souverains Pontifes Romains Tome III (Paris 1851), pp. 1–11.
  • Augustinus Theiner (Editor), Caesaris S. R. E. Cardinalis Baronii, Od. Raynaldi et Jac. Laderchii Annales Ecclesiastici Tomus Vigesimus Primus 1229-1256 (Barri-Ducis: Ludovicus Guerin 1870).
  • August Karst, Geschichte Manfreds vom Tode Friedrichs II. bis zu seiner Krönung (1250-1258) (Berlin: E. Ebering 1897) [Historische Studien, Heft VI.].
  • C. Bourel de la Roncière (editor) Les Registres d' Alexandre IV Tome premier (Paris: Thorin-Albert Fontemoing 1902) [BEFAR].
  • F. Gregorovius, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume V.2 second edition, revised (London: George Bell, 1906) Book X, Chapter 1, pp. 335–358.
  • F. Tenckhoff, Papst Alexander IV. (Paderborn 1907).
  • S. Andreotta, "La famiglia di Alessandro IV e l'abbazia di Subiaco," Atti e Memorie della Società Tiburtina di Storia ed Arte 35 (1962) 63-126; 36 (1963) 5-87.
  • I. Rodríguez de Lama, La documentación pontificia de Alejandro IV (1254-1261) (Roma 1976).
  • Raoul Manselli, "Alessandro IV," Dizionario dei Papi (2000).
  • Richard, Jean (1999). The Crusades: c. 1071 – c. 1291. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-62566-1.
  • Harding, Alan. England in the Thirteenth Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 290.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Alexander IV" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.


See also

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Ugolino di Conti
Cardinal-bishop of Ostia
Succeeded by
Hugh of Saint-Cher
Preceded by
Innocent IV
Succeeded by
Urban IV
1254 papal election

The papal election of 1254 (11–12 December), took place following the death of Pope Innocent IV and ended with the choice of Raynaldus de' Conti, who took the name Pope Alexander IV. The Election was held in Naples, in the former palazzo of Pietro della Vigna, and required only one day.


Year 1261 (MCCLXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

1261 papal election

The papal election of 1261 (26 May – 29 August) took place after the death of Pope Alexander IV on 25 May and chose Pope Urban IV as his successor. Since Pope Alexander had been resident in Viterbo since the first week of May 1261, the meeting of the cardinals to elect his successor took place in the Episcopal Palace at Viterbo, which was next to the Cathedral of S. Lorenzo. The actual date of the beginning of the Electoral Meeting (there were, as yet, no Conclaves) is unknown. If the canon of Pope Boniface III (A.D. 607) were still in effect (and there is no reason to think that it was not), then the Election could not begin until the third day after the Pope's burial.

Andrea dei Mozzi

Andrea dei Mozzi (died 1296) was an Italian bishop, from the Mozzi family of bankers. He was a papal chaplain, for Pope Alexander IV and Pope Gregory IX. He was then appointed as Archbishop of Florence in 1287. He was transferred by Pope Boniface VIII to Vicenza, in 1295, in a scandal that made him a character in Dante's The Inferno.He had a nephew of the same name.

Andrew of London

Andrew of London was a medieval Bishop of Winchester elect. He should not be mistaken for his namesake who participated in the Siege of Lisbon in 1147.

Andrew was elected bishop in a disputed election held on 3 February 1261, when Andrew won a minority of the votes of the cathedral chapter, and William de Taunton won the majority. Andrew held the office of Prior of Winchester at the time of the disputed election. He probably was forced into the office of prior by the previous bishop of Winchester, Aymer de Valence about 1255. He received a dispensation for his illegitimacy on 10 December 1258 from Pope Alexander IV and became a papal chaplain in 1259. The election to bishop of both men was quashed by the pope before 22 June 1262, and Andrew attempted to recover the office of prior, but was unsuccessful. He died sometime after 8 April 1278 when he was once more unsuccessful in regaining the priorate.

Archibald (bishop of Moray)

Archibald (died 1298) was a 13th-century Scottish prelate best known for involvement in a dispute with the Pope.

His Flemish name could indicate a connection with the de Douglas or de Moravia families either by kinship or geography, but there is no other direct evidence of this. His origins are not known, but he was almost certainly the Archibald who was Dean of Moray in the years before 1253.In that year he was consecrated as the successor of Simon de Gunby and Radulf of Lincoln as Bishop of Moray. Through what appears to have been a misunderstanding, Bishop Archibald confirmed the election of one Andrew de Dunn as Dean of Moray. However, the Pope had earlier or simultaneously appointed his own candidate, Nicholas de Hedon, based on an earlier reservation of the position. There was litigation at the Papal see, through which Hedon emerged victorious. Bishop Archibald, apparently concerned he had been placed in a state of excommunication, petitioned Pope Alexander IV and was absolved on 22 December 1255.Bishop Archibald, like all Scottish bishops, was summoned to the Second Council of Lyon. A provincial council at Perth in 1273, however, exempted the Bishop of Moray as well as the Bishop of Dunkeld. Bishop Archibald was present at the Convention of Birgham in 1290.At some point during his episcopate, Uilleam, Mormaer of Ross, committed an outrage to the church or lands of Petty, a church belonging to a canon of Archibald's cathedral. In compensation, Uilleam granted the bishop some lands in Cadboll and elsewhere in Ross. The bishop was also involved in a dispute with Uilleam, Mormaer of Mar, which in 1268 resulted in the latter's excommunication.Bishop Archibald built an episcopal residence at Kinneddar, where he resided for much of his episcopate. His episcopate lasted over 45 years, making it one of the longest in medieval Scotland. He died on 9 December 1298.

Bernard of Botone

Bernard of Botone (date of birth unknown; d. 1263, or, according to Hurter, 24 March 1266) was a noted Italian canonist of the thirteenth century. He is generally called Bern(h)ardus Parmensis or Bernard of Parma, from his birthplace Parma.

He studied in Bologna, under Tancred, where later he accepted the chair of canon law. Here Durantis was his disciple. According to the inscription on his tombstone he was Chancellor of the University of Bologna. Bernard obtained a canonry in the Cathedral of Bologna, and was also named chaplain to Pope Innocent IV and Pope Alexander IV, by whom he was employed in solving questions of weight.

Cardinals created by Alexander IV

Pope Alexander IV (r. 1254-61) created two cardinals in two consistories during his pontificate.

Fulk Basset

Fulk Basset (died 4 May 1271) was archbishop of Dublin. He was the elder brother of John de Sandford, who was also Archbishop of Dublin from 1284 to 1290.

He was called Fulk de Sandford and also Fulk Basset, owing to his relationship to the prominent landowning Basset family of Devon and Cornwall. Having been Archdeacon of Middlesex and treasurer and chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, London, he was appointed archbishop of Dublin by Pope Alexander IV in 1256. He took some slight part in the government of Ireland under Henry III and died at Finglas on 4 May 1271. He was buried in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin: his brother John was buried in the same tomb in 1294.

His death led to a long struggle between rival candidates for the See, Fromund Le Brun and William de la Corner, which was not resolved until 1279, when they were both passed over in favour of John de Derlington.

Gamelin (bishop)

Gamelin (died 1271) was a 13th-century Bishop of St Andrews. He had previously been the chancellor to King Alexander III of Scotland, as well as Papal chaplain. He was postulated to the see in Lent, 1255, and confirmed by Pope Alexander IV on 1 July 1255, who also agreed to overlook his apparent "defect of birth". Gamelin was a Comyn supporter, and was banished from the kingdom sometime in 1256, a year after the Comyns' rival Alan Durward had seized power. After the Durwards were overthrown, he was able to return, and was certainly back in Scotland by 1270. He died the following year at "Inchmurdauch" (Innse Muiredaich).

Godfrey Ludham

Godfrey Ludham (died 1265) was Archbishop of York from 1258 to 1265.

Hermits of Saint William

The Hermits of Saint William was a monastic order founded by Albert, companion and biographer of William of Maleval, and Renaldus, a physician who had settled at Maleval shortly before the saint's death. It followed the practice of that saint, and quickly spread over Italy, Germany, France, Flanders and Hungary.

The great austerity of the rule was mitigated by Gregory IX in 1229; at the same time many of the monasteries adopted the Benedictine Rule and others that of St. Augustine.

When, in 1256, Pope Alexander IV founded the Hermits of St. Augustine, many of the Williamites refused to enter the union and were permitted to exist as a separate body under the Benedictine Rule. In 1435 the order, which about this time numbered 54 monasteries in three provinces of Tuscany, Germany and France, received from the Council of Basle the confirmation of its privileges.

The Italian monasteries suffered during the wars in Italy. The last two (French and Flemish) houses at Cambrai and Ypres were suppressed by the Congregation of Regulars, while in Germany the greater number came to an end at the Revolution. The chief house at Grevenbroich (founded in 1281) was united to the Cistercians in 1628; the last German house ceased to exist in 1785. The habit was similar to that of the Cistercians.

Jenne, Lazio

Jenne is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Rome in the Italian region Lazio, located about 60 kilometres (37 mi) east of Rome.

Jenne borders the following municipalities: Arcinazzo Romano, Subiaco, Trevi nel Lazio, Vallepietra.

In the late 12th century, it was the birthplace of Pope Alexander IV.

John de Cheam

John de Cheam [Cheyam] was a 13th-century English cleric who became Bishop of Glasgow. Before attaining Glasgow, he had previously been the archdeacon of Bath and a papal chaplain. In the summer of 1259, after the quashing of the election of Nicholas de Moffat, Pope Adrian IV provided John to the see, and he was consecrated soon after at the Roman court without any consultation with the Glasgow canons. His election was opposed by King Alexander III of Scotland, who sent a protest to Pope Alexander IV. The pope refused to revoke the decision, but promised to make John render fealty to the king. Bishop John arrived in Scotland in the year 1260. When the mother of the king, Marie de Coucy, fled from her second husband John de Brienne (a.k.a. Jean d'Acre), the Grand Butler of the King of France and the son of John de Brienne, King of Jerusalem, Bishop John was used by King Alexander to reconcile them. Bishop John was one of the witnesses to the Treaty of Perth on 2 July 1266. However, his good relations with the king did not make up for the resentment felt by the Glasgow canons at an outside appointee, and John eventually resigned his see in 1267, and went to France. He died at Meaux the following year, and was buried there.

Karpasia (town)

Karpasia, Latinized as Carpasia, and also known as Karpasion (sometimes mistaken for Karpathos), was an ancient town in Cyprus, situated in the northern shore of the Karpas Peninsula, at a distance of 3 km from the modern town of Rizokarpaso. According to tradition, it was founded by the Phoenician King Pygmalion of Tyre. It had a harbour, whose moles remain visible to this day.According to archaeological evidence, the earliest possible date for the foundation of the town is the 7th century BC. It was first mentioned in literature in 399 BC. The town was mentioned by the writers of antiquity, including Strabo. In 306 BC, the town was the site of landing for Demetrius I of Macedon, whose forces stormed Carpasia and the neighbouring town of Urania, before proceeding to Salamis.The architectural style as well as the techniques used in building the stone houses of the town incorporated elements of Phoenician influence.Its first-known bishop, Philo, was ordained by Epiphanius of Salamis in the 4th century; he has left a commentary on the Canticle of Canticles, a letter, and some fragments. Another bishop of the see, Hermolaus, was present at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. The chroniclers mention the names of three other bishops, and a fourth occurs on a seal, all without dates. Another is quoted in the "Constitutio Cypria" of Pope Alexander IV (1260). No longer a residential bishopric, Carpasia is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.

Monastery of the Holy Saviour

The continuing Monastery of the Holy Saviour at Lecceto in Tuscany, was the principal House of the order of the Hermit Friars of Saint Augustine (not to be confused with the Augustinian Canons Regular) in 1256, when Pope Alexander IV constituted the Augustinian order internationally. It was dedicated to Saint Saviour.

Pietati proximum

Pietati proximum (3 August 1234), more commonly known as the Golden Bull of Rieti · was a papal bull by Pope Gregory IX which confirmed the Teutonic Order's domination of the Chelmno land east of the lower Vistula, and of any other lands conquered by Teutonic Order in Prussia ("to eternal and absolute ownership"). The German Orders should answer exclusively to the sovereignty of the Pope. The Bull of Rieti presented the written authorization of a previous verbal consent given in August and September 1230. The Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, Hermann von Salza, had stubbornly insisted on a written document.

The Bull of Rieti corresponds to the Golden Bull of Rimini of 1226, with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and the Treaty of Kruszwica of 1230 with the Polish Duke Conrad of Mazovia.

On 26 July 1257 this Bull was confirmed by Pope Alexander IV.

Third Swedish Crusade

The Third Swedish Crusade to Finland was a Swedish military expedition against the pagan Karelians in 1293. It followed the First Crusade and the Second Crusade to Finland. As the result of the attack, Viborg Castle was established and western Karelia remained under Swedish rule for over 400 years. The name of the expedition is largely anachronic, and it was a part of the Northern Crusades.

According to Eric Chronicles, the reason behind the expedition was pagan intrusions into Christian territories. Birger Magnusson's letter of 4 March 1295 states that the motive of the crusade was long-time banditry and looting in the Baltic Sea region by Karelians, and the fact that they had taken Swedes and other travellers as captives and then tortured them. Karelians had also been engaged in a destructive expedition to Sweden in 1257 which led Valdemar to request Pope Alexander IV to decleare a crusade against them, which he agreed.According to Eric Chronicles, Swedes conquered 14 hundreds from the Karelians.

University of Salamanca

The University of Salamanca (Spanish: Universidad de Salamanca) is a Spanish higher education institution, located in the city of Salamanca, west of Madrid, in the autonomous community of Castile and León. It was founded in 1134 and given the Royal charter of foundation by King Alfonso IX in 1218. It is the oldest university in the Hispanic world and the third oldest university in the entire world still in operation. The formal title of "University" was granted by King Alfonso X in 1254 and recognized by Pope Alexander IV in 1255.

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