- Pope Nicholas II
English name=Nicholas II
birth_name=Gérard de Bourgogne
January 24, 1059
July 27, 1061
Nicholas II (died July 27, 1061), born Gérard de Bourgogne,
Popefrom 1059 to July 1061, was at the time of his election the Bishop of Florence.
Relationship with the Normans
To secure his position, Nicholas II at once entered into relations with the
Normans, now firmly established in southern Italy, and later in the year the new alliance was cemented at Melfi, where the Pope, accompanied by Hildebrand, Cardinal Humbertand the abbot Desideriusof Monte Cassino, solemnly invested Robert Guiscardwith the duchies of Apulia, Calabriaand Sicily, and Richard of Aversawith the principality of Capua, in return for oaths of fealty and the promise of assistance in guarding the rights of the Church.
The first fruits of this arrangement, which was based on no firmer foundation than the forged "
Donation of Constantine", but destined to give to the papacy a position of independence towards both the Eastern and Western Empires, was the reduction in the autumn, with Norman aid, of Galeria, where the antipopehad taken refuge, and the end of the subordination of the papacy to the Roman nobles.
ubordination of Milan
Peter Damianand Bishop Anselm of Luccahad been sent by Nicholas II to Milanto adjust the difference between the Patarenesand the archbishop and clergy. The result was a fresh triumph for the papacy. Archbishop Wido, in the face of the ruinous conflict in the Church of Milan, was forced to submit to the terms proposed by the legates, which involved the principle of the subordination of Milan to Rome; the new relation was advertised by the unwilling attendance of Wido and the other Milanese bishops at the council summoned to the Lateranpalace in April 1059. This council not only continued the Hildebrandine reforms by sharpening the discipline of the clergy, but marks an epoch in the history of the papacy by its famous regulation of future elections to the Holy See.
Previously, Papal elections had been effectively controlled by the Roman aristocracy, unless the Emperor was strong enough to be able to intervene from a distance to impose his will. At the synod held in the Lateran at Easter, 1059, Pope Nicholas brought 113 bishops to Rome to consider a number of reforms, including a change in the election procedure. The electoral reform adopted by that synod amounted to a declaration of independence on the part of the church. Henceforth, popes were to be selected by the Cardinals, in assembly at Rome.
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