- Pope Alexander III
Alexander III Papacy began September 7, 1159 Papacy ended August 30, 1181 Predecessor Adrian IV Successor Lucius III Personal details Birth name Rolando or Orlando Born c. 1100/1105
Siena, Italy, Holy Roman Empire
Died August 30, 1181(aged 76–81)
Civita Castellana, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
Other Popes named Alexander
Pope Alexander III (c. 1100/1105 – August 30, 1181), born Rolando (or Orlando) of Siena, was Pope from 1159 to 1181. He is noted in history for laying the foundation stone for the Notre Dame de Paris.
He was born in Siena. From 14th century he is referred to as a member of the aristocratic family of Bandinelli but this is not proven. For a long time, scholars believed him to be identical with the twelfth-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.
In October 1150, Pope Eugene III (1145–1153) created him cardinal deacon of the Title of Santi Cosma e Damiano; later he became cardinal priest of the Title of St Mark. In 1153, he became papal chancellor, and was the leader of the cardinals opposed to Frederick I Barbarossa (1152–1190). He negotiated the Treaty of Benevento, restoring peaceful relations between Rome and the Kingdom of Sicily.
On September 7, 1159, he was chosen the successor of Pope Adrian IV (1154–1159), a minority of the cardinals, however, elected the cardinal priest Octavian, who assumed the name of Victor IV (1159–1164) and became the German emperor's antipope. The situation was critical for Alexander III, because as many chronicles of the time (maybe exaggerations) Barbarossa's antipope counted with the approval of most kingdoms of Europe, except the Kingdom of Portugal, Sicily and Spain. However, in 1161 the 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 excersice the Rights of Investiture. This meant that Alexander's legitimation was gaining strength, as soon it proved the fact that other monarchs as the King of France and the king Henry II of England recognized his authority.
However, this antipope dispute between Alexander III and Victor IV, and the successors of the second: antipope Paschal III (1164–68) and antipope Calixtus III (1168–1178), (who had the imperial support) continued until the defeat of Legnano (1176), when Barbarossa finally (in the Peace of Venice 1177) recognized Alexander III as pope. On March 12, 1178, Alexander III returned to Rome, which he had been compelled to leave twice: the first time from 1162, when he was sent into a Campanian exile by Oddone Frangipane following his brief arrest and detainment, until November 23, 1165; and again in 1167. The first period he spent in France, the latter chiefly in Gaeta, Benevento, Anagni, and Venice.
Alexander III was the first pope known to have paid direct attention to missionary activities east of the Baltic Sea. In 1165, his close friend, Eskil, the Archbishop of Lund, appointed a Benedictine monk Fulco as a bishop in Estonia. In 1171, he became the first pope to address the situation of the Church in Finland, with Finns allegedly harassing the priests and relying only on God in time of war.
In March 1179, Alexander III held the Third Council of the Lateran, one of the most important mediaeval church councils, reckoned by the Roman 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, in 2007, returned to the 1179 rule. This synod marked the summit of Alexander III's power.
Besides checkmating Barbarossa, he had humbled Henry II of England for the murder of Thomas Becket in 1170, to whom he was unusually close. In 1172 he confirmed the position of Henry as Lord of Ireland. He had confirmed the right of Afonso I of Portugal to the crown, and even as a fugitive had enjoyed the favour and protection of Louis VII of France. 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 September 29, 1179, some nobles set up the antipope Innocent III (1179–1180). 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 William I of Scotland and put the kingdom under an interdict.
He died at Civita Castellana on August 30, 1181.
In popular culture
Alexander III is mentioned in Umberto Eco's book Baudolino.
- ^ Maleczek, W. (1984). Papst und Kardinalskolleg von 1191 bis 1216. Wien. p. 233 note 168. ISBN 3700106602.
- ^ See Noonan, John T. (1977). "Who was Rolandus?". In Pennington, Kenneth; Somerville, Robert. Law, Church, and Society: Essays in Honor of Stephan Kuttner. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 21–48. ISBN 0812277260. Weigand, Rudolph (1980). "Magister Rolandus und Papst Alexander III". Archiv für katholisches Kirchenrecht 149: 3–44. Reprinted in idem, Glossatoren des Dekrets Gratians [Goldbach: Keip, 1997], pp. 73* –114* , ISBN 3805102720.
- ^ Bodri Ferenc: Lukács érsek és kora. Kossuth, 2003
- ^ Letter by Pope Alexander III to the Archbishop of Uppsala. In Latin. Hosted by the National Archive of Finland. See  and Diplomatarium Fennicum from the menu.
- "Pope Alexander III" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Myriam Soria Audebert, "Pontifical Propaganda during the Schisms: Alexander III to the reconquest of Church Unity," in Convaincre et persuader: Communication et propagande aux XII et XIIIe siècles. Ed. par Martin Aurell. Poitiers: Université de Poitiers-centre d'études supérieures de civilisation médiévale, 2007,
Catholic Church titles Preceded by
Catholic ChurchOrganizations, Papacy, Teachings and Liturgical Traditions History Hierarchy Theology Sacraments Mariology Doctors of
the ChurchAlbertus Magnus · Ambrose · Anselm of Canterbury · Anthony of Padua · Thomas Aquinas · Athanasius of Alexandria · Augustine of Hippo · Basil of Caesarea · Bede · Robert Bellarmine · Bernard of Clairvaux · Bonaventure · Petrus Canisius · Catherine of Siena · Peter Chrysologus · John Chrysostom · Cyril of Alexandria · Cyril of Jerusalem · Peter Damian · Ephrem the Syrian · Francis de Sales · Gregory of Nazianzus · Gregory the Great · Hilary of Poitiers · Isidore of Seville · Jerome · John of Damascus · John of the Cross · Lawrence of Brindisi · Leo the Great · Alphonsus Maria de Liguori · Teresa of Ávila · Thérèse of Lisieux
Pope Benedict XVI Preceding Popes Orders and
Vatican II Particular Churches
Liturgical TraditionsAlexandrian · Coptic · Ethiopic · Antiochian · Maronite · Syriac · Syro-Malankara · Armenian · Armenian · Byzantine · Albanian · Belarusian · Bulgarian · Croatian · Greek · Hungarian · Italo-Albanian · Macedonian · Melkite · Romanian · Russian · Ruthenian · Slovak · Ukrainian · East Syrian · Chaldean · Syro-Malabar · Latin · Roman · Anglican Use · Sarum · Ambrosian · Mozarabic
History of the Catholic Church General
History of the Catholic Church · History of the Papacy · History of the Roman Curia · Catholic Ecumenical Councils · Timeline of the Catholic Church · History of Christianity · Role of the Catholic Church in Western civilization · Art in Roman Catholicism · Catholic religious order · Christian monasticism · Papal States
Church beginnings Constantine the Great to
Pope Gregory I
Constantine the Great and Christianity · Arianism · Basilica of St. John Lateran · First Council of Nicaea · Pope Sylvester I · First Council of Constantinople · Biblical canon · Jerome · Vulgate · First Council of Ephesus · Council of Chalcedon · Benedict of Nursia · Second Council of Constantinople · Pope Gregory I · Gregorian chant
Early Middle Ages High Middle Ages
Pope Urban II · Investiture Controversy · Crusades · First Council of the Lateran · Second Council of the Lateran · Third Council of the Lateran · Pope Innocent III · Latin Empire · Francis of Assisi · Fourth Council of the Lateran · Inquisition · First Council of Lyon · Second Council of Lyon · Bernard of Clairvaux · Thomas Aquinas
Late Middle Ages Protestant Reformation/
Baroque Period to the
19th century 20th century
Pope Pius X · Our Lady of Fátima · Persecutions of the Catholic Church and Pius XII · Pope Pius XII · Pope Pius XII Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary · Dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary · Pope John XXIII · Second Vatican Council · Pope Paul VI · Pope John Paul I · Pope John Paul II
21st century By country or region
Brazil · Cuba · France · Germany · Hispano-America · Ireland · Japan · Mexico · Spain · United States · Venezuela
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Pope Alexander III — Pope Alexander III † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Alexander III Pope from 1159 81 (Orlando Bandinelli), born of a distinguished Sienese family; died 3 August, 1181. As professor in Bologna he acquired a great reputation as a canonist … Catholic encyclopedia
Pope Clement III — Clement III Papacy began December 19, 1187 Papacy ended March 20, 1191 Predecessor Gregory VIII … Wikipedia
Pope Innocent III — Infobox pope English name=Innocent III birth name=Lotario de Conti di Segni term start=January 8, 1198 term end=July 16, 1216 birthplace= Gavignano, Italy birth date=February 22, 1161 predecessor=Celestine III successor=Honorius III… … Wikipedia
Pope Lucius III — Infobox Pope English name=Lucius III birth name=Ubaldo Allucingoli term start=September 1, 1181 term end=November 25, 1185 predecessor=Alexander III successor=Urban III birth date=1097 birthplace= Lucca, Italy dead=dead|death date=death… … Wikipedia
Pope Lucius III — Pope Lucius III † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Lucius III (Ubaldo Allucingoli) Born at Lucca, unknown date; died at Verona, 25 Notaember, 1185. Innocent II created him Cardinal Priest of Santa Prassede on 23 February, 1141, and… … Catholic encyclopedia
Pope Innocent III — Pope Innocent III † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Innocent III (Lotario de Conti) One of the greatest popes of the Middle Ages, son of Count Trasimund of Segni and nephew of Clement III, born 1160 or 1161 at Anagni, and died 16… … Catholic encyclopedia
Pope Clement III — Pope Clement III † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Clement III (Paolo Scolari). Date of birth unknown; elected 19 December, 1187; d. 27 March, 1191. During the short space (1181 1198) which separated the glorious pontificates of… … Catholic encyclopedia
Pope Callistus III — Pope Callistus III † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Callistus III Born near Valencia in Spain, 31 December, 1378; died at Rome, 6 August, 1458. Alfonso de Borja (Ital. Borgia), as he was known before he became pope, came of a noble… … Catholic encyclopedia
Pope Pius III — Pope Pius III † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Pius III (Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini). B. at Siena, 29 May, 1439; elected 22 Sept., 1503; d. in Rome, 18 Oct., 1503, after a pontificate of four weeks. Piccolomini was the son of… … Catholic encyclopedia
Pope Paul III — Pope Paul III † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Paul III (ALESSANDRO FARNESE). Born at Rome or Canino, 29 Feb., 1468; elected, 12 Oct., 1534; died at Rome, 10 Nov., 1549. The Farnese were an ancient Roman family whose possessions… … Catholic encyclopedia