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Pope Urban IV ( la, Urbanus IV; c. 1195 – 2 October 1264), born Jacques Pantaléon, was the head of the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic Church
and ruler of the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also '), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Ital ...
from 29 August 1261 to his death. He was not a
cardinal Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Christianity * Cardinal (Catholic Church), a senior official of the Catholic Church * Cardinal (Church of England), two members of the College of Minor Canons of St. Paul's Cathedral Navigation * Cardin ...
; only a few popes since his time have not been cardinals, including
Gregory X Pope Gregory X ( la, Gregorius X;  – 10 January 1276), born Teobaldo Visconti, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 1 September 1271 to his death and was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order. He was ...
,
Urban V Pope Urban V ( la, Urbanus V; 1310 – 19 December 1370), born Guillaume de Grimoard, was the head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Catholics . As the ...

Urban V
and
Urban VI Pope Urban VI ( la, Urbanus VI; c. 1318 – 15 October 1389), born Bartolomeo Prignano (), was the Roman claimant to the headship of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Chris ...
.


Early career

Pantaléon was the son of a cobbler of
Troyes Troyes () is a Communes of France, commune and the capital of the Departments of France, department of Aube in the Grand Est region of north-central France. It is located on the Seine river about south-east of Paris. Troyes is situated within ...
, France. He studied theology and
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law Case law is the collection of past legal decisions written by courts and similar tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority ...
in Paris and was appointed a canon of
Laon Laon () is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known a ...
and later Archdeacon of Liège. At the
First Council of Lyon The First Council of Lyon (Lyon I) was the thirteenth ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and s ...
(1245) he attracted the attention of
Pope Innocent IV Pope Innocent IV ( la, Innocentius IV; – 7 December 1254), born Sinibaldo Fieschi, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 25 June 1243 to his death in 1254. Fieschi was born in Genoa and studied at the universities ...

Pope Innocent IV
, who sent him on two missions in Germany. One of the missions was to negotiate the
Treaty of Christburg The Treaty of Christburg (modern Dzierzgoń in Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and ...
between the pagan Prussians and the
Teutonic Knights The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem (official names: la, Ordo domus Sanctae Mariae Theutonicorum Hierosolymitanorum; german: Orden der Brüder vom Deutschen Haus der Heiligen Maria in Jerusalem), commonly known ...
. He became
Bishop of Verdun The Bishopric of Verdun was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine ''State Magazine'' is a digital magazine published by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Global Talent Management ...
in 1253. In 1255,
Pope Alexander IV Pope Alexander IV (1199 or 1185 – 25 May 1261) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with ...

Pope Alexander IV
made him
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languag ...

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
. Pantaléon had returned from Jerusalem, which was in dire straits, and was at
Viterbo Viterbo (; Central Italian, Viterbese: ; lat-med, Viterbium) is an ancient city and ''comune'' in the Lazio region of central Italy, the capital of the province of Viterbo. It conquered and absorbed the neighboring town of Ferento (see Ferenti ...

Viterbo
seeking help for the oppressed Christians in the East when Alexander IV died. After a , Pantaléon was chosen by the eight cardinals of the
Sacred College The College of Cardinals, formerly styled the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all Cardinal (Catholicism), cardinals of the Catholic Church. List of living cardinals, its current membership is 225. Cardinals are appointed by the pop ...
to succeed him in a
papal election A papal conclave is a gathering of the College of Cardinals The College of Cardinals, or more formally the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all cardinals Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Christianity * Cardinal ( ...
that concluded on 29 August 1261. He chose the regnal name of Urban IV.


Pontificate

A fortnight before Urban's election, the
Latin Empire of Constantinople The Latin Empire, also referred to as the Latin Empire of Constantinople, was a feudal Crusader states, Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire. The Latin Empire was intended to re ...
, founded during the ill-fated
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Roman Catholic Church, Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Islam, Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first defeating th ...
against the Byzantines, fell to the led by Emperor
Michael VIII Palaiologos Michael VIII Palaiologos or Palaeologus ( el, Μιχαὴλ Δούκας Ἄγγελος Κομνηνὸς Παλαιολόγος, Mikhaēl Doukas Angelos Komnēnos Palaiologos; 1223 – 11 December 1282) reigned as the co-emperor of the Empire ...

Michael VIII Palaiologos
. Urban IV endeavoured without success to stir up a
crusade The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...
to restore the Latin Empire. Urban initiated construction of the Basilica of St. Urbain, Troyes, in 1262. The festival of Corpus Christi ("the Body of Christ") was instituted by Urban on 11 August, 1264, with the publication of the papal bull ''Transiturus.'' Urban asked
Thomas Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino, Italy, Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Order, Dominican friar, Philosophy, philosopher, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. An immensely influential ...

Thomas Aquinas
, the Dominican theologian, to write the texts for the Mass and Office of the feast. This included such famous hymns as the ''Pange lingua, Tantum ergo,'' and ''Panis angelicus''. Urban became involved in the affairs of
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
.
Jakob Erlandsen Jakob Erlandsen (died February 18, 1274) was a Danish Archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ''archiepiscopus'', from Greek language, Greek , from -, 'chief', and 'over'+ 'seer') is a bishop ...
,
Archbishop of Lund List of (arch)bishops of Lund. Until the Reformation in Denmark, Danish reformation the centre of a great Latin (arch)bishopric, Lund has been in Sweden since the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658. The Diocese of Lund is now one of thirteen in the Ch ...
, wanted to make the Danish Church independent of the Royal power – which put him in direct confrontation with the Dowager Queen
Margaret Sambiria Margaret Sambiria (in Danish: ''Margrethe Sambiria'', ''Sambirsdatter'' or ''Margrethe Sprænghest''; c. 1230 – December 1282) was Queen consort of Denmark, Queen of Denmark by marriage to Christopher I of Denmark, King Christopher I, and rege ...
, acting as regent for her son, King
Eric V of Denmark Eric V Klipping (1249 – 22 November 1286) was King of Denmark from 1259 to 1286. After his father Christopher I of Denmark, Christopher I died, his mother Margaret Sambiria ruled Denmark in his name until 1266, proving to be a competent regent. ...

Eric V of Denmark
. The Queen imprisoned the Archbishop, who responded by issuing an
interdict In Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christi ...
. Both sides tried to get the Pope's support. The Pope agreed to several items that the Queen wanted – especially, he issued a dispensation to alter the terms of the Danish succession that would permit women to inherit the Danish throne. However, the main issues remained unsolved by Urban's death, with the case continuing at the papal court in Rome and the exiled Archbishop Erlandsen coming to Italy to pursue it in person. In fact, the convoluted affairs of distant Denmark were of only a minor concern to the Pope. It was Italy which commanded Urban's near full attention: the long confrontation with the late
Hohenstaufen The Hohenstaufen (, , ), also called Staufer, was a noble dynasty of unclear origin that rose to rule the Duchy of Swabia The Duchy of Swabia ( German: ''Herzogtum Schwaben'') was one of the five stem duchies of the medieval German Kingdom. I ...

Hohenstaufen
German Emperor The German Emperor (german: Deutscher Kaiser ''Kaiser'' is the German word for "emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, ...
Frederick IIFrederick II, Frederik II or Friedrich II may refer to: * Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (1194–1250), King of Sicily from 1198; Holy Roman Emperor from 1220 * Frederick II of Denmark (1534–1588), king of Denmark and Norway 1559–1588 * Freder ...

Frederick II
had not been pressed during the mild pontificate of Alexander IV, during which it devolved into inter-urban struggles between nominally pro-Imperial
Ghibellines The Guelphs and Ghibellines (, , ; it, guelfi e ghibellini ) were faction Faction or factionalism may refer to: * Political faction, a group of people with a common political purpose * Faction (literature), a type of historical novel based o ...
and even more nominally pro-papal Guelf factions. Frederick II's heir Manfred of Sicily, Manfred was immersed in these struggles. Urban's military captain was the condottiere Azzo d'House of Este, Este, nominally at the head of a loose league of cities that included Mantua and Ferrara. Any Hohenstaufen in Sicily was bound to have claims over the cities of Lombardy, and as a check to Manfred, Urban introduced Charles of Anjou into the equation to place the crown of the Kingdom of Sicily in the hands of a monarch amenable to papal control. Charles was Count of Provence by right of his wife, maintaining a rich base for projecting what would be an expensive Italian war. For two years, Urban negotiated with Manfred regarding whether Manfred would aid the Latins in regaining Constantinople in return for papal confirmation of the Hohenstaufen rights in the realm. Meanwhile, the papal pact solidified with Charles a promise of papal ships and men, produced by a crusading tithe, and Charles's promise not to lay claims on Imperial lands in northern Italy, nor in the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also '), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Ital ...
. Charles promised to restore the annual ''census'' or feudal tribute due the Pope as overlord, some 10,000 ounces of gold being agreed upon, while the Pope would work to block Conradin from election as King of the Germans. Before the arrival in Italy of his candidate Charles, Urban IV died at Perugia on 2 October 1264. His successor was Pope Clement IV, who immediately took up the papal side of the arrangement. There is a story that the pope's death was related to Great Comet of 1264 which he fell sick at sometime near the arrival of the comet and then he died when the comet disappeared.


Legend of Tannhäuser

Tannhäuser, a prominent German Minnesang, Minnesänger and poet, was a contemporary of Urban—the pope died in 1264, and the Minnesänger died shortly after 1265. Two centuries later, the pope became a major character in a legend which grew up about the Minnesänger, which is first attested in 1430 and propagated in ballads from 1450. The legendary account makes Tannhäuser a knight and poet who found the Venusberg (mythology), Venusberg, the subterranean home of Venus (goddess), Venus, and spent a year there worshipping the goddess. After leaving the Venusberg, Tannhäuser is filled with remorse and travels to Rome to ask Pope Urban IV if it is possible to be absolved of his sins. Urban replies that forgiveness is as impossible as it would be for his papal staff to send forth green leaves. Three days after Tannhäuser's departure Urban's staff begins to grow new leaves; messengers are sent to retrieve the knight, but he has already returned to Venusberg, never to be seen again; while the Pope, for refusing a penitent, is damned eternally. There is, however, no historical evidence for the events in the legend.


See also

*List of popes


Notes


References

* David Abulafia, 1988. ''Frederick II'', pp 413ff. *


External links


''Catholic Encyclopedia'':
Pope Urban IV {{DEFAULTSORT:Urban 04 Pope Urban IV, 1195 births 1264 deaths People from Troyes French popes Latin Patriarchs of Jerusalem 13th-century Roman Catholic archbishops in the Kingdom of Jerusalem 13th-century French Roman Catholic bishops Non-cardinals elected pope Bishops of Verdun Apostolic Envoys to Poland Viterbo Papacy Christians of the Prussian Crusade Popes 13th-century popes