Pope Gregory VIII

Pope Gregory VIII (Latin: Gregorius VIII; c. 1100/1105 – 17 December 1187), born Alberto di Morra, reigned from 21 October to his death in 1187.


Gregory VIII
B Gregor VIII
Papacy began21 October 1187
Papacy ended17 December 1187
PredecessorUrban III
SuccessorClement III
Created cardinal1156
by Adrian IV
Personal details
Birth nameAlberto di Morra
Bornc. 1100/1105
Benevento, Papal States
Died17 December 1187
Pisa, Republic of Pisa
Other popes named Gregory

Early life

Alberto di Morra was born about 1105 in Benevento, Italy. His father was the nobleman Sartorius di Morra. He became a monk early in life, either as a Cistercian in Laon, or a Benedictine at Monte Cassino. Alberto later joined a new religious order, the Premonstratensian or Norbertine order, probably between the ages of 20-30. He was a canon at St. Martin's Abbey in Laon.[1] He later became a professor of canon law in Bologna. Before the first Crusade, he believed that disobeying the Pope was to disobey God. With good reason, this attitude alienated many emperors and Byzantines.


In 1156, Pope Adrian IV made him cardinal-deacon of Sant'Adriano, and on 14 March 1158 he became cardinal-priest of San Lorenzo in Lucina. As a papal legate of Pope Alexander III, he was sent to teach canon law throughout Europe in the 1160s, and was sent to Portugal to crown Afonso II. He also brought an offer of reconciliation in 1163 to Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, whom Pope Alexander III had excommunicated in 1160. Alexander also sent him to England to investigate the murder of Thomas Becket, and he absolved King Henry II of England of the murder during the Council of Avranches. From 1177-1179, Alberto also served as a legate in Italy and in February 1178 was named Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church. As Chancellor he generally pursued a conciliatory line toward the Emperor; in the controversy over the disputed succession of the Archbishop of Trier he argued strongly in favor of setting aside both the pro-papal candidate Folmar of Karden and the pro-imperial Rudolf of Wied, and allowing the canons of Trier to hold a new election, but was overruled by Pope Urban III.[2] It was in this position that di Morra "...compiled a Forma Dicendi, a collection of official papal acts, and also completed a codification of the cursus, a compilation of the very stringent rules governing the euphonious arrangements of sentence endings and phrasing in papal acts. In his honor, the cursus was called stylus gregorianus."[3] These two documents were very influential in shaping the rhetoric used in papal documents. Shortly before his election to the papacy, Alberto founded a monastery in his hometown of Benevento.


On 21 October 1187, the day after the death of Pope Urban III, Alberto di Morra was elected pope and took the name Gregory VIII in honor of Pope Gregory VII. He was consecrated on 25 October. His previous dealings with Frederick Barbarossa put the church back in a friendly relationship with the Holy Roman Emperor. In response to the defeat of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem at the Battle of Hattin, Gregory issued the papal bull Audita tremendi calling for the Third Crusade.[4] Gregory travelled to Pisa in order to end Pisan hostilities with Genoa so that both seaports and naval fleets could join together for the crusade. On the way to Pisa, he stopped at Lucca and ordered Antipope Victor IV's body to be removed from his tomb and his remains thrown out of the church.


Gregory died in Pisa on 17 December 1187 of a fever after holding the papacy for only 57 days. He was buried in the Duomo in Pisa. He was succeeded by Pope Clement III. According to Joseph S. Brusher, "His pontificate though brief was glorious."[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Gregory, the eighth of that name...they declare from records of St. Martin of Laon to have once been a canon of that church..." Basil R. Reuss, "A Norbertine Pope?," rev. of Catholic University of America Press, The Catholic Historical Review July 1933: 200-03 <https://www.jstor.org/stable/25013158>.
  2. ^ Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit, Vol. VI, p. 130.
  3. ^ Philippe Levillain, ed. The Papacy: An Encyclopedia, New York: Routledge, 2002, 653.
  4. ^ J. N. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, New York: Oxfordefoeh[oiegw[oirjiprwqi[orw[oirw[oiroqerwhurwhhgj[hoi[iojr[oiurwhjio[grj[iogrij[ogri[jorwj[iogrj[ior]pgr UP, 1986, 183.
  5. ^ Joseph S. Brusher, Popes through the Ages, 342.


  • Brusher, Joseph S. Popes through the Ages.
  • Delaney, John J., and James E. Tobin. Dictionary of Catholic Biography. New York, NY: Doubleday, 1961.
  • Giesebrecht, Wilhelm von & Simson, Bernhard von (1895), Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit, VI, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, available at the Internet Archive here: Volume VI. (in German)
  • Kelly, J. N. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. New York: Oxford UP, 1986.
  • Levillain, Philippe, ed. The Papacy: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge, 2002.
  • Loughlin, James. "Pope Gregory VIII." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 7 December 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06795a.htm>.
  • "Premonstratenisans/Norbertines A Look at out Way of Life." The International Website for the Order of Premontre. The Order of Premontre. 7 December 2008 <https://web.archive.org/web/20090106042233/http://www.premontre.org/Publica/Apostolates%20Page/Apost-Life.htm>.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Urban III
Succeeded by
Clement III

The 1180s was a decade of the Julian Calendar which began on January 1, 1180, and ended on December 31, 1189.

1185 papal election

The papal election of 1185 (held November 25) was a convoked after the death of Pope Lucius III. It resulted in the election of Cardinal Uberto Crivelli of Milan, who took the name of Urban III.


Year 1187 (MCLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


173rd or 173d may refer to:

173d Air Refueling Squadron, unit of the Nebraska Air National Guard 155th Air Refueling Wing

173D Special Troops Battalion, combat engineer battalion of the United States Army headquartered in Italy

173rd (3/1st London) Brigade, formation of the British Army's Territorial Force that was raised in 1915

173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, airborne infantry brigade combat team of the United States Army based in Italy

173rd Aviation Squadron (Australia), Australian Army helicopter squadron providing support to the Special Operations Command

173rd Battalion (Canadian Highlanders), CEF, unit in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War

173rd Division (People's Republic of China) (Chinese: 第173师), created in February 1949

173rd Fighter Wing, unit of the Oregon Air National Guard, stationed at Kingsley Field Air National Guard Base

173rd meridian east, from the North Pole across the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole

173rd meridian west, from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole

173rd New York State Legislature met from January 4, 1961, to March 31, 1962

173rd New York Volunteer Infantry, infantry regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War

173rd Ohio Infantry, infantry regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War

173rd pope, Pope Gregory VIII (1100–1187), reigned from 21 October to his death

173rd Rifle Division, infantry division of the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II

173rd Support Battalion (United States), Combat Support Battalion of the United States Army based in Italy

173rd Tunnelling Company, in the Royal Engineers, created by the British Army during World War I

Pennsylvania's 173rd Representative District, located in Philadelphia County

Alberto Mora

Alberto Mora is the name of:

Alberto J. Mora (born 1951), retired General Counsel of the U.S. Navy

Alberto di Morra (c. 1105 – 1187), aka Pope Gregory VIII (21 October – 17 December 1187 (his death))

Audita tremendi

Audita tremendi was a papal bull issued by Pope Gregory VIII on October 29, 1187, calling for the Third Crusade.

It was issued just days after Gregory had succeeded Urban III as pope, in response to the defeat of the Kingdom of Jerusalem at the Battle of Hattin on July 4 of 1187. Jerusalem itself had fallen to Saladin on October 2 (see Siege of Jerusalem), but news of that had not yet reached Europe by the time the bull was issued at the end of the month.

As with other papal bulls, Audita tremendi takes its common title from the first few words of text, which do not necessarily make any grammatical sense on their own. The first line of the bull reads "Audita tremendi severitate judicii, quod super terram Jerusalem divina manus exercuit...", in English "On hearing with what severe and terrible judgement the land of Jerusalem has been smitten by the divine hand..." (the phrase "audita severitate" is a Latin grammatical construction known as ablative absolute).

The text follows the same format as Quantum praedecessores, the bull calling for the Second Crusade in 1145. It focuses specifically on the defeat at Hattin on 4 July 1187 and subsequent devastation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem by Saladin. It points to the sins of the Latin States as the reason for this great loss. As a result, the people of Latin Christendom must repent for their sins. The bull offered a plenary indulgence, and offered church protection for the property of those who undertook the journey; thus through this logic the bull draws the conclusion that, due to the sins of the west, Saladin was able to achieve victory in Hattin and its aftermath, and now the people of the west must repent by going on a crusade to recapture the kingdom. The Bull itself is ambiguous on any stated objective, and this is open to continued debate and interpretation.

Cardinals created by Adrian IV

Pope Adrian IV (r. 1154-59) created 23 cardinals in three consistories held during his pontificate. This included his future successor Pope Gregory VIII in 1155.

December 1187 papal election

The papal election of December 1187 (held December 19) was convoked after the death of Pope Gregory VIII. It resulted in the election of Cardinal Paolo Scolari, who took the name of Clement III.

Diet of Mainz

The Diet of Mainz (German: Reichstag zu Mainz) (older: Diet of Mayence) was a meeting of the Estates General of the Holy Roman Empire held in Mainz in 1188. It led to the Third Crusade.

Saladin had captured Jerusalem from the Christians in the autumn of 1187. At the instigation of Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, who was now 68 years old but was an ardent Christian, the "Court Day of Jesus Christ" (German: Hofstag Jesu Christi) took place on the 27th of March, at Easter, 1188. The purpose of the gathering was to organize a Third Crusade.

List of state leaders in 1187

This is a list of heads of state, heads of governments, and other rulers in the year 1187.

October 1187 papal election

The papal election of October 1187 (held October 21) was convoked after the death of Pope Urban III. It resulted in the election of Cardinal Alberto Sartori di Morra, who took the name of Gregory VIII.

Orio Mastropiero

Orio Mastropiero (died 13 June 1192), forename sometimes rendered as Aurio and surname as Malipiero, was a Venetian statesman who served as Doge of Venice from 1178 to 1192.

He was elected by the Council of Forty in 1178 following the retirement of Sebastiano Ziani. Prior to this he had been an ambassador to Sicily in 1175, tasked with drawing up a treaty with King William II. He had also been the electors' first choice for Doge following the death of Vitale II Michiel in 1172, but stepped aside in favour of Sebastiano Ziani, an older and wealthier man.His time in office was mostly unremarkable, apart from a revolt against Venetian rule in Zara, supported by King Béla III of Hungary. For a long while Venice remained passive, being in financial difficulty; but took action at last in 1187 or 1188 when, having secured loans from the Venetian nobility, Mastropiero launched a siege against the Zaratines. This was short-lived, however, owing to an order from Pope Gregory VIII that their warring cease immediately: the Third Crusade was about to begin and Christian soldiers would be required in plenty.In May 1192, having taken ill, he abdicated as Doge and retired to the monastery of San Croce. He died there on 13 June 1192.

Pandolfo da Lucca

Pandolfo da Lucca (1140/45–1210/11), erroneously Pandolfo Masca, was an Italian cardinal of the late 12th century. His name is sometimes given in the anglicised form Pandulf or Pandulph.

Pandolfo was born in Lucca in the early 1140s. He was the son of a certain Pietro di Roberto. In the 16th century, the Spanish historian Alfonso Chacón mistakenly assigned him to the noble Masca family from the Pisan commune, an error finally caught in 1844 by Domenico Barsocchini, who found a document from 1208 naming Pandolfo's father.Pandolfo commissioned several paintings from Tuscany on the orders of Callixtus II, for which he was made sub-deacon of the apostolic seat. He was created a cardinal by Pope Lucius III in December 1182 with the title (titulus) of Santi XII Apostoli. He held this title at the time of the five papal elections at which he was present - Pope Urban III on November 25, 1185; Pope Gregory VIII on October 21, 1187; Pope Clement III on December 17–19, 1187; Pope Celestine III on March 25 (?) - 30, 1191; and Pope Innocent III on January 8, 1198. He subscribed the papal bulls between January 4, 1183 and November 11, 1200.

Pope Celestine III, wanting peace between Genoa and Pisa, sent Masca to Tuscany but, as for Lerici, at 1196 peace negotiations it proved impossible to arrive at an understanding. Anti-imperialist sentiment was also growing in Tuscany and, following the example of the Lombard League, a new league was formed, the League of San Genesio or the Tuscan League. The Church favoured such moves, seeing the need to return power to the Communes. On arrival in Tuscany, Masca succeeded in uniting the towns under the flag of the anti-feudality and of keeping themselves distinct from imperial authority. However, on the succession of Innocent III, the new pope did not wish to become part of the anti-imperialist league but instead to take possession of the Tuscan towns himself. Innocent wrote immediately to Masca and another cardinal who accepted the League's agreements (Bernardo, canon of S. Frediano of Lucca), affirming that the alliance had his disapproval since signoria (overlordship) over the March of Tuscany formally belonged to the Church, and as such the Pope could not negotiate with those who were in fact his subjects. Though this weakened the League, the Tuscan towns opposed the Pope in this, forcing him soon to give up the idea of a temporal dominion over Tuscany and limit himself to obstructing the League.Owing to confusion with an earlier cardinal, Pandulf of Pisa, Pandolfo was thought to have been born in 1101 and thus died over the age of one hundred in or after 1201. In reality, Pandolfo seems to have gone into an informal retirement to his native Lucca after 1201. He never appears at the papal court after that date, but he was active in Lucca as late as 1210. He probably died late that year or early the next. He was certainly dead by 1213.

Pantheon (book)

The Liber universalis ("universal book") is a work of Gottfried von Viterbo (c. 1120 – c. 1196). In this work, completed in 1185, he chronicles world history from the creation of the world to the time of Heinrich VI (Henry VI). The liber was written around 1185 and is an extended version of the previous Memoria seculorum ("remembrance of the ages") by the same author which again builds on the Speculum regum ("mirror for kings/princes") dated to around 1185. It is subdivided into 20 „particulae” ("(small) parts"), the last of which is the so-called Gesta Friderici' ("Frederics achievements") first dedicated to Heinrich VI but ultimately to Pope Gregory VIII. The famous prosimetrum Pantheon builds upon the liber universalis and exists in 3 editions (1187,1188,1191). The Pantheon manuscript enjoyed a wide distribution in the late middle ages.

Pope Gregory

Gregory has been the name of sixteen Roman Catholic Popes and two Antipopes. The Latin name is Gregorius.

Pope Gregory I "the Great" (590–604), after whom the Gregorian chant is named

Pope Gregory II (715–731)

Pope Gregory III (731–741)

Pope Gregory IV (827–844)

Pope Gregory V (996–999)

Pope Gregory VI (1045–1046)

Antipope Gregory VI

Pope Gregory VII (1073–1085), after whom the Gregorian Reform is named

Pope Gregory VIII (1187)

Antipope Gregory VIII

Pope Gregory IX (1227–1241)

Pope Gregory X (1271–1276)

Pope Gregory XI (1370–1378)

Pope Gregory XII (1406–1415)

Pope Gregory XIII (1572–1585), after whom the Gregorian calendar is named

Pope Gregory XIV (1590–1591)

Pope Gregory XV (1621–1623)

Pope Gregory XVI (1831–1846)


Soffredo (died 14 December 1210, Pistoia) was an Italian cardinal. His name is also given as Soffredo Errico Gaetani, whilst his Christian name is also spelled Soffrido or Goffredo in some sources.

St Kentigern's Church, Lanark (Hyndford Road)

St Kentigern's Church is a ruined category B listed building in Lanark, South Lanarkshire. It was previously the parish church of the town.

It is believed that the church was founded by St Kentigern himself shortly before his death in 603 AD. There is documentary evidence of its existence, however, dating back to 1150 AD when King David I granted it to the monastery of Dryburgh. Pope Gregory VIII took the church into his own protection in 1228.The church, which was once attended by William Wallace, is now in a state of disrepair, despite having had repair work completed recently.

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is a public house in Nottingham which claims to have been established in 1189; however, there is no documentation to verify this date. The building rests against Castle Rock, upon which Nottingham Castle is built, and is attached to several caves, carved out of the soft sandstone. These were reputedly originally used as a brewhouse for the castle, dating from the medieval period.

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