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Paschal II, born Ranierius, (died January 21, 1118) was Pope from August 13, 1099, until his death. A monk of the Cluniac ordermarker, he was created cardinal priest of the Titulus S.marker Clementimarker by Pope Gregory VII (1073–85) about 1076, and was consecrated pope in succession to Pope Urban II (1088–99) on August 19, 1099.


He was born in Bledamarker, near Forlìmarker, Romagnamarker.

In the long struggle with the Emperors over investiture, he zealously carried on the Hildebrandine policy, but with only partial success. In 1104 Paschal II succeeded in instigating the Emperor's second son to rebel against his father, but soon found Emperor Henry V (1105–25) even more persistent in maintaining the right of investiture than Emperor Henry IV (1056–1105) had been. The imperial Diet at Mainzmarker invited Paschal II to visit Germany and settle the trouble in January 1106, but the Pope in the Council of Guastallamarker (October 1106) simply renewed the prohibition of investiture. In the same year he brought to an end the investiture struggle in Englandmarker, in which Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, had been engaged with Henry I of England (1100–35), by retaining to himself exclusive right to invest with the ring and crozier, but recognizing the royal nomination to vacate benefices and the oath of fealty for temporal domains. He went to Francemarker at the close of 1106 to seek the mediation of Philip I of France (1060–1108) and Prince Louis in the imperial struggle, but, his negotiations remaining without result, he returned to Italy in September 1107. When Henry V advanced with an army into Italy in order to be crowned, the Pope agreed to a compact (February 1111), by the terms of which the Church should surrender all the possessions and royalties it had received of the empire and kingdom of Italy since the days of Charlemagne (768–814), while Henry V on his side should renounce lay investiture. Preparations were made for the coronation on 12 February 1111, but the Romans rose in revolt against him, and the German king retired taking the Pope and curia with him.

After sixty-one days of harsh imprisonment, during which Prince Robert I of Capua's Norman army was repulsed on its rescue mission, Paschal II yielded and guaranteed investiture to the emperor. Henry V was then crowned in St. Peter'smarker on 13 April 1111, and, after exacting a promise that no revenge would be taken for what had happened, withdrew beyond the Alps. The Hildebrandine party was aroused to action, however; a Lateran council of March 1112 declared null and void the concessions extorted by violence; a council held at Viennemarker in October 1111 actually excommunicated the emperor, and Paschal II sanctioned the proceeding. Towards the end of his pontificate trouble began anew in England; Paschal II complained (1115) that councils were held and bishops translated without his authorization, and threatened Henry I with excommunication. On the death of the countess Matilda, who was said to have bequeathed all her allodial lands to the Church (1115), a donation neither publically acknowledged in Rome nor has any record come down to us, the emperor at once laid claim to them as imperial fiefs and forced the Pope to flee from Rome. Paschal II returned after the emperor's withdrawal at the beginning of 1118, but died within a few days on January 21, 1118.

Actions during his reign

Pope Paschal II ordered the building of the new basilica of Santi Quattro Coronatimarker, on the ashes of the one burned during the Norman Sack of Rome .

The first bishop of America was appointed during Paschal II's reign, nearly four centuries before Columbus's first voyage across the Atlantic. Erik Gnupsson was given the province of Greenlandmarker and Vinland, the latter believed to refer to what is now Newfoundlandmarker.


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