January 10, 1276—January 21, 1276

In 1276 and 1277 there were five popes and four conclaves. Pope Gregory X (Tedaldo/Teobaldo Visconti) died in Arezzo on January 10, 1276. At the moment of his death there were only three cardinals in Arezzo, the three cardinal-bishops Peter of Tarantaise, Peter Juliani and Bertrand de St. Martin; the rest were in Rome or elsewhere. King Charles of Anjou, Senator of Rome, was in Rome as well, engaging in business with the Curia. He heard of the Pope's death by the 15th (Sternfeld, 243 n. 16). The Conclave opened (and ended) on January 21. The vacancy in the Holy See lasted eleven days. The late pope's regulations for the conduct of a conclave  Ubi Periculum, promulgated at the Second Council of Lyons, worked successfully. Eleven of the cardinals who had elected Gregory were still alive and very experienced at lengthy proceedings. That fact no doubt played a part as well in the single day conclave.

The Cardinals

At the opening ceremonies of the Council of Lyons in 1274, the following fifteen Cardinals were present (Carini, Brevis Historia Concilii Lugdunensis, pp. 250-251, probably written by a ceremoniere):

Gregory X had created five cardinals: (Giovanni) Pietro Giuliani, Vicedomino de Vicedomini, Bonaventura, Peter of Tarantaise, and Bertrand de Saint-Martin.

On June 6, 1274, a Consistory was held in Lyons [AugustinusTheiner, Codex diplomaticus dominii temporis Sanctis Sedis  1 (Romae 1861), p. 186], and the following thirteen cardinals were present:

Cardinal Giovanni Orsini of S. Niccolo in Carcere was not present.

At the time of Gregory's death, there were fourteen cardinals, though

There were, therefore, twelve electors present in Arezzo (Eubel I, p. 9 n.4; Sternfeld, 241; Novaes, 258, says ten):

  1. Pietro de Tarentaise, OP, of Savoy, Prior of the French Province of the Order of Preachers, then Superior General of the Order. Archbishop of Lyon (1267-1272), but he repeatedly refused the promotion [Gallia christiana 4 (1728), 149-150]; Ptolemy of Lucca (XXIII. 17) says that he was never consecrated.  Cardinal Bishop of Ostia (June 3, 1273—January 21, 1276), Major Penitentiary of the Holy Roman Church. Doctor in Sacred Scripture (or Theology).  He was elected pope by the Conclave, but died on June 22, 1276, after a reign of five months.
  2. Peter Julian (Giampietro Giuliani, or di Giuliano), of a noble family of Lisbon. He studied in Paris, and was adept in Aristotelianism, Astronomy and Medicine. On his return to Portugal, he was made canon and then Archbishop of Braga; Gregory X made him Cardinal Bishop of Tusculum. He participated in the Second Council of Lyon. He was the future Pope John XXII (1276-1277).
  3. Vicedomino de Vicedomini, of Piacenza, Archbishop of Aix, he was in the suite of Charles of Anjou when he first came to Italy. He was the nephew of Pope Gregory X, who made him a Cardinal (December, 1273) and Bishop of Palestrina. He died in Viterbo on September 6, 1276 (Cardella, 2-3; Cristofori, 201, from the Annales of Piacenza) His family had old connections with the Fieschi of Genoa, one of his ancestors having been Podestà of Genoa in 1144 (Muratori Annali 18, 119)
  4. Bertrand de Saint Martin, born in Arles, Benedictine, Archbishop of Arles in 1266, Cardinal Bishop of Sabina in 1273. He participated as cardinal in the Second Council of Lyons. On June 7, 1175, he was assigned the church of S. Marcello in commendam (Posse, 848). †March 28, 1277 at Avignon. (Cardella, 8, says 1275)

  5. Ancherus Pantaleoni, nephew of Pope Urban IV, Cardinal (1261) priest of Santa Prassede   † November 1, 1286, according to his memorial inscription in Santa Prassede. below (P. Fedele, Archivio della Societa romanà di storia patria 27 (1904), 31).
  6. Guilelmus (Guillaume) de Bray (or Brie), diocese of Reims, Cardinal priest of S. Marco (1262-1282) †1282
  7. Simon Paltanieri, from Monselice near Padua, Cardinal (1261-1276) Priest of S. Silvestro e S. Martino ai Monti †1276

  8. Ottobonus (Ottobono, Ottoboni) Fieschi, of Genoa, Cardinal (1251-1276) deacon of S. Adriano, nephew of Innocent IV and future Pope Adrian V (1276). Strongly Guelf, in opposition to the Doria and Spinola. Acceptable to King Charles.
  9. Godefridus (Geoffroy, Goffredo da Alatri in Lazio), Cardinal Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabor (1261-1287)   †1287.
  10. Hubertus (Coccinato), Cardinal Deacon of S. Eustachius (1261-1276). A correspondent of King Rudolf (Redlich, Wiener Briefsammlung, nos. 37-39) †1276
  11. Iacobus (Giacomo Savelli), Cardinal (1261-1285) Deacon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, future Pope Honorius IV (1285-1287)
  12. Matteo Rosso Orsini, nephew of Nicholas III, Cardinal (1262-1305) Deacon of Santa Maria in Portico †1305 The Orsini had turned to supporting the claims of Rudolf of Austria to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor (Sternfeld, 225-228; cf. Redlich, Wiener Briefsammlung, nr. 40).


Marshal of the Holy Roman Church

At the II Council of Lyons, Gregory X had granted the privilege to the senior member of the Savelli family of being the Marshal of the Holy Roman Church and Custodian of the Conclave (Cancellieri, 6), though it seems that the family first exercised the privilege after the death of the Savelli pope, Giacomo Savelli, Pope Honorius IV, in April 1287.

The Conclave

The conclave lasted a single day. On January 21, 1276, the unanimous choice of the cardinals on the first scrutiny was Peter of Tarantaise in Savoy, OP, who took the name Innocent V (Novaes, III, 258). The new pope himself describes the events in his Electoral Manifesto Nuper Sanctae [Tomassetti, Bullarium Romanum  Turin edition  IV, pp. 35-36]:

Nuper sanctae ac venerandae memoriae Gregorio Papa patre ac praedecessore nostro, in continuatione laborum, quos ad Dei prosequenda servitia solers et devotus assumpserat, nobsisque, tunc Ostiensi episcopo ac aliis nostris fratribus, quos tam in Urbe, quam cirac eius confinia, iam diversa loca receperat, tribus tantum ex illis existentibus circa ipsum, de ultramontana redeuntibus regione, ac eodem praedecessore apud Aretium civitatem Tusciae in infirmitate diebus aliquibus deductis de hoc saeculo nequam, quod eo dignum forte non erat, ereopt, et ipsius corpore cum exequiarum solemnitate debita tumulato; licet in pastoris substituendi processu eorumdem fratrum absentia, satisque longa distantia, difficultatem non modicam communi hominum indicio iuvaret; Illo tamen, ut firmiter credimus, eorumdem fratrum corda tangente, cui facile est distincta coniungere, ac etiam inter se distantia insimul adunare, nos, fratres iidem omnes, quibus id personarum suarum status indulsit, sponte ac celeriter convenimus in civitate praedicta: et in omni mansuetudine spontanea palatium, in quo idem praedecessor habitarat, pridie ante festum beatae Agnetis intrantes, in ipso festo summo mane missarum solemniis in honorem Sancti Spiritus celebratis ex more, ipsiusque gratia votis invocata supplicibus, concorditer ad celebrandam electionem instantem scrutinii viam elegimus; et assistente ipso benigno sapientiae Spiritu, qui devote se invocantibus, Ecce adsum, solet dicere invocatus, cuius gratia molimina tarditatis ignorat; primo celebrato et publicato scrutinio (quod tamen nequaquam aliud, sicut nec oportuit, est secutum), in humilitatem nostram, Dei providentia, seu permissione mirabilii, nobisque nimium terribili et stupenda, iidem fratres nullo discordante unanimiter concordarunt: nobis ad summi apostolatus evocatis apicem, et ipsius onus giganteis etiam tremendum humeris nostris debilibus imponentes.

This was another victory for the French and King Charles of Sicily. Innocent V was the first Dominican to become pope. He had been Provincial of his order in France until he was elected Archbishop of Lyons in 1273  (though he was never installed). He took part in the Second Council of Lyons as Bishop of Ostia (created on June 2, 1273). He was charged (along with St. Bonaventura) by the Pope with the real detail work of bringing about the agreement of the Eastern Church to the demands of the Western, in particular to the filioque issue and to papal supremacy. He gave the keynote speech at the opening of the Third Session of the Council. Though the cardinals objected to Pope Gregory's ideas about the regulation of the election of a pope, Peter supported the Pope and brought the majority of the Council around to the papal position. (One of his successor's first acts was to suspend these electoral ordinances, the bull Ubi Periculum.)  Gregory X, very satisfied with his work.

King Charles I of Sicily was in Rome from January 8, 1276 (two days before Pope Gregory died) through July 20 (after the election of Adrian V–who was never crowned), except for a brief visit to Viterbo on February 9, and to Macerata on June 5 (Durrieu, 179-180).. Innocent V was crowned in Rome on February 22, 1276, and took up residence at the Lateran Palace. He attempted to pursue a policy balanced between Guelph and Ghibbeline, hoping (in vain) to avoid more civil war. Innocent was able, however, to arrange a reconciliation between the party of Cardinal Ottobono Fieschi and the exiles from Genoa. (Muratori, 361). He ruled the Church from January 21 to June 22, 1276. (Novaes, 259), and was buried in the Lateran Basilica.


Tomb of Cardinal Ancher Pantaleone in S. Prassede
Tomb of Cardinal Pantaleone in Santa Prassede (died November 1, 1286)


Brevis Historia Concilii Lugdunensis: edited by Isidoro Carini, in Specilegio Vaticano di documenti inediti e rari estratti dagli Archivi e dalla Biblioteca della Sede Apostolica Volume I (Roma: Ermanno Loescher 1890), 241-258.

Redlich, Wiener Briefsammlung: Oswald Redlich, Eine Wiener Briefsammlung zur Geschichte des deutschen Reiches .... (Wien 1894) [Mittheilungen aus dem Vaticanischen Archive, II. Band]. E. Martene-U. Durand Thesaurus novus anecdotorum II (Paris 1717).

Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa Tomo primo, parte secondo (Roma: Pagliarini 1792).  Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Annali d' Italia Volume 18 (Firenze 1827). Giuseppe de Novaes, Elementi per la storia de' Sommi Pontefici terza edizione Volume III (Roma 1821).   G. Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Volume 32 (Venezia 1845) 264-278. Pietro Maria Campi, "Apologio dell innocente e s. vita del gran pontefice Gregorio il Decimo,"  in Dell' historia ecclesiastica di Piacenza  parte seconda (Piacenza 1651), pp. 315-339; "Vita Gregorii Papae Decimi patria Placentini," pp. 343-349.

Paul Durrieu, Étude sur les registres angevines du Roi Charles Ier Tome second (Paris 1888), 179-180.  Fritz Walter, Die Politik der Kurie unter Gregor X (Berlin 1894), 8-32.   R. Sternfeld , Der Kardinal Johann Gaetan Orsini (Papst Nikolaus III) 1244-1277 (Berlin 1905) 238-244. Francesco Cancellieri, Notizie istoriche delle stagioni e de' siti diversi in cui sono stati tenuti i conclavi... (Roma 1823) 5-6.  F.Gregorovius, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume V.2 second edition, revised (London: George Bell, 1906) 473-474.  H. D. Sedgwick, Italy in the Thirteenth Century Volume II (Boston-New York 1912) 71-80. Marie-Hyacinthe Laurent, Ciro Giannelli and Louis Bertrant Gillon, Le Bienheureux Innocent V (Pierre de Tarentaise) et son temps [Studi e testi, 29] (Città del Vaticano: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana 1947).

On Bernard Ayglier, OSB, abbot of Montecassino, see: Luigi Tosti, OSB, Storia della Badia di Monte-cassino Tomo III (Napoli 1843) 6-32; 65-89

On Vicedomino de' Vicedomini, and the myth of his one-day papacy, see:  F. Cristofori, Le tombe dei pape in Viterbo (Siena 1887), 185-202. Novaes, 262. Moroni Dizionario di erudizione storico ecclesiastica 32, 279-280.

Suspension of Gregory X's constitution on papal elections: Adrian V (Ottobono Fieschi) suspended the arrangements of Pope Gregory orally in a consistory: Giordano, quoted in Reynaldi, Annales Ecclesiasticae sub anno 1276. They were officially cancelled by the Bull Licet of Pope John XXI on September 30, 1276. A. Ceccaroni Il conclave (Roma 1901) 57.


November 15, 2013 4:37 AM

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