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Medieval Popes

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 8 months ago

Week 11: Medieval Europe IDs


The medieval popes


Pope Urban II

Drawing of Pope Urban II


  • Pope Urban II was born Otho of Lagery
  • Pope from 1088 to July 29, 1099
  • Born into nobility in France at Lagery; church-educated
  • Was archdeacon of Reims but was influenced by his teacher (St. Bruno) to resign and enter the cloister at Cluny where he rose to be prior
  • Was summoned to Italy in 1078 by Pope Gregory VII, who made him cardinal-bishop of Ostia
  • One of the most prominent and active supporters of the Gregarian reforms
  • Odo was elected Pope Urban II by acclamation in 1088 at a small meeting of cardinals
  • Took up policies of Pope Gregory VII (Gregarian reforms), although he was more flexible and diplomatic
  • Strong supporter of church reforms
  • Issued decress against simony, clerical marriage, and many other transgressions
  • Opposed Henry IV and had a hard time with the German leader over the question of lay investiture
  • Established the modern day Roman Curia
  • Urban II had lots of correspondance with Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury




  • Pope Urban II is most known for starting the First Crusade (1095-99)
  • First took public shape at the Council of Piacenza (1095)
  • Urban II received an ambassador from the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus asking for help against the Muslims
  • A council met so large, the meeting had to be held outside in the open air of the city
  • In November of the same year, at the Council of Clermont, Urban II's sermon proved to be the most effective single speech in European history
    • Summoned the French people to take the Holy Land from the hands of the Selcuk Turks
    • "France was overcrowded and the Holy Lands of Canaan were overflowing with milk and honey"
    • The Frenchmen replied with ""Dieu le veut""! "God wills it!"

Drawing of the First Crusade

The Ending

  • Urban II died on July 29, 1099
    • This was fourteen days after Jerusalem was captured by the Christian armies but the news had not reached Rome yet for Urban II to hear of it before his death
  • Pope Paschal II was the successor of Pope Urban II

Map of Pope Urban II's Important Events




http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/urban2-5vers.html Versions of the speech given by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15210a.htm Further information on Pope Urban II







Sources: __World Civilizations: The Global Experience__, www.wikipedia.com






Pope Gregory VII

Pope Gregory VII

Cardinal Hildebrand, who was “dogmatic, inflexible and convinced of the truth of his own views”, was elected as Pope Gregory VII in 1073. He was a reform minded pope who tried to purify the church. Gregory believed that the pope was God’s Vicar on earth and therefore papal orders were the orders of God. Pope Gregory VII felt that the church was superior to the state and he wanted to free the church from interference by feudal lords and create a separation between church and state. He adamantly believed in the “freedom of the church” which would bring an end to lay investiture, or the appointment of church officials by secular authorities. In February 1075 Gregory held a council in Rome and published several decrees, one of which was against the practice of lay investiture. It stated that clergymen who accepted investiture from laymen were to be deposed, and laymen who invested in clergymen were to be excommunicated. Gregory’s largest reaction to this decree came from Henry IV, the King of Germany. Through a series of increasingly bitter letters, Gregory and Henry fought over Gregory’s decrees. In these letters Gregory accused Henry of having no respect for the papacy and in turn no respect for God. Henry’s response letter began with, “Henry King not by usurpation, but by the pious ordination of God, to Hildebrand, now not Pope, but false monk.” By January 1076, German bishops had withdrawn their allegiance to the pope. Gregory responded to this by excommunicating them and suspending Henry from kingship (in Germany the pope crowned the German emperor). In January of 1077, Henry crossed the Alps at Canossa in northern Italy and stood in the snow for three days seeking Gregory’s forgiveness. Gregory was obliged to grant forgiveness to Henry and re-instated him to power. Although Henry was forgiven and regained control over his territory this event did nothing to solve the problems between the king and the pope. In 1080, Gregory excommunicated Henry again and in response Henry invaded Italy and captured Rome which he controlled until Gregory’s death in 1085.

Henry IV and Gregory VII in Canossa

Gregory VII lecturing to Henry IV (kneeling) as Countess Matilda of Tuscany (who arranged the meeting between the king and pope at her castle at Canossa) tries to persuade them to listen to each other.


(Sources: World Civilizations: The Global Experience, A History of Western Society, Wikipedia, Answers.com, WF-F.org)

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