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Pope Alexander III

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Template:Infobox pope Alexander III, né Orlando Bandinelli (c. 1105 - August 30, 1181), was pope from 1159 to 1181.

He was born in Siena, and first made his mark as teacher of canon law at the University of Bologna, where he composed the Stroma or the Summa Magistri Rolandi, one of the earliest commentaries on the Decretum of Gratian.

In October 1150 Pope Eugenius III created him Cardinal Deacon of the Title of Santi Cosma e Damiano; later he became Cardinal Priest of the Title of St Mark. Probably about this time he composed his Sentences, based on the Introductio ad theologiam of Pierre Abélard. In 1153 he became papal chancellor, and was the leader of the cardinals opposed to Frederick Barbarossa.

On September 7, 1159 he was chosen the successor of Pope Adrian IV, a minority of the cardinals, however, electing the cardinal-priest Octavian, who assumed the name of Victor IV. This antipope, and his successors Paschal III (1164-1168) and Callixtus III (1168-1178), had the imperial support; but after the defeat of Legnano, Barbarossa finally (in the peace of Venice, 1177) recognized Alexander as pope. On the 12th of March 1178 Alexander returned to Rome, which he had been compelled to leave twice, namely, from 1162 until the 23rd of November 1165, and again in 1167. The first period he spent in France, the latter chiefly in Gaeta, Benevento, Anagni, and Venice.

In March 1179 Alexander held the Third Council of the Lateran, a brilliant assemblage, reckoned by the Roman Church as the eleventh ecumenical council; its acts embody several of the pope's proposals for the betterment of the condition of the Church, among them the law requiring that no one may be elected pope without the votes of two-thirds of the cardinals, a rule only slightly altered in 1996 -- allowing a simple majority vote after thirty indecisive ballots. This synod marks the summit of Alexander's power. Besides checkmating Barbarossa, he had humbled Henry II of England in the affair of Thomas Becket, he had confirmed the right of Alphonso 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 to leave the city, which he never re-entered; and on September 29, 1179, some nobles set up the Antipope Innocent III. By the judicious use of money, however, Alexander got him into his power, so that he was deposed in January 1180. In 1181 Alexander excommunicated William the Lion of Scotland and put the kingdom under the interdict. The pope died at Civita Castellana on 30 August 1181.

See also: other popes named Alexander.




Preceded by:
Adrian IV
Pope
1159–1181
Succeeded by:
Lucius III

Template:End boxda:Pave Alexander 3. de:Alexander III. (Papst) es:Alejandro III (papa) fr:Alexandre III (pape) it:Papa Alessandro III nl:Paus Alexander III pl:Papież Aleksander III pt:Papa Alexandre III fi:Paavi Aleksanteri III sv:Alexander III (påve)

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