Sede Vacante 1159

September 1—September 7, 1159

view of the Vatican in 1493

Site of the Papal Election of 1159
Old St. Peter's Basilica, with the famous altar screen
Fresco by Giulio Romano, "The Donation of Constantine"


Early in his reign Pope Adrian IV (Nicholas Breakspear) and Emperor Frederick I enjoyed good relations, since each needed the other. The basis of their concord was a treaty struck with Eugenius III on March 23, 1153 [Monumenta Germaniae Selecta 3-4 nr. xxvii], directed against King Roger of Sicily (Tout, 247-248). Adrian was trying to free Rome and himself from the influence of the Roman Republic, inspired and led by Arnold of Brescia (Cardinal Boso, "Vita Adriani IV papa"; Watterich, pp. 324-326; de Castro, pp. 467-530). Adrian had been forced out of Rome and was living in Viterbo. Frederick was trying to reverse the advances in conquering central and northern Italy which were being made by King William I of Sicily, son and successor of King Roger. William had tried to approach Adrian in 1154, but had been rebuffed. During Lent, Pope Adrian sent Cardinal Henricus of SS. Nereus and Achilles to King William, but he was not received because the Pope's letters did not refer to William as king [Romoaldi Salernitani Annales: MGH SS 19, p. 428]. Adrian tried to help Frederick (and himself) by excommunicating William in May of 1155 (Watterich, p. 340).

As Frederick advanced south, the Pope sent him mandata, demanding, among other things, the person of Arnold of Brescia; the Pope's representatives were Cardinals Ioannes dei Conti, Guido of S. Pudenziana and Guido of S. Maria in Porticu (Watterich, 325). At the same time King Frederick sent the Archbishops Arnold of Cologne (Chancellor of Conrad III) and Anselm of Ravenna to the Pope, to arrange for Frederick's coronation as Emperor. Due to the haughtiness of both principals and their mutual suspicion, neither embassy accomplished its mission. When the King had reached Viterbo, however, there turned up in his camp another Cardinal, Octavianus of Santa Cecilia, who had not been sent by the Pope as part of a second mission to the King. Octavianus immediately began to stir up trouble (Watterich, 326-327). Pope and King finally met at Sutri in June, 1155, but again their haughtiness obstructed concord. Cardinal Octavian was already a good friend of Frederick Barbarossa, having first met him when he was Legate of Eugenius III in Germany, and again under Adrian IV (with Cardinal Giordano Orsini); and in 1155 he conducted the Imperial Army from Sutri to Rome for the Imperial coronation on June 18 (Letter of Frederick to Otto of Frising: Watterich, p. 349). The price of the Pope's agreement to preside at an imperial coronation was the capture of Arnold of Brescia. On the day after the coronation, Arnold was executed in Rome, having been condemned, it is said, by the Prefect of the City [Boso, "Vita Hadriani", in Watterich, p. 325].

At the Imperial Coronation on June 18, 1155, Pope Adrian himself crowned the new Emperor. All of this was done without the knowledge and consent, let alone the presence, of the Commune or people of Rome. When they heard what was taking place, they broke into the Leonine City, which was being guarded by the Germans, and massacred numbers of defenders. Both Emperor and Pope left Rome on the next morning.

Unfortunately, Frederick wanted to be another Constantine or Charlemagne, and Adrian wanted to realize all of the ambitions of Gregory VII. Caesaropapism was the ambition and the danger. Their mutual assistance began to founder as each pursued his own agenda, which was contrary to the interests of the other. Frederick's promises to help Adrian get control over Rome and the Patrimony of St. Peter, by deposing the Senators of the City, for example, were ignored [Romoaldi Salernitani Annales: MGH SS 19, p. 429]. Hadrian finally decided, upon the advice of the Cardinals, of Petrus the Prefect of the City (one of the Crescentii, nephew of Cardinal Octavianus [Gregorovius, 566 and n. 1]), and of Oddone Frangepane, that a change of policy was necessary, since Frederick could not be trusted to moderate his ambitions or keep his promises. Hadrian sent several Cardinals (John of SS. Giovanni e Paolo; Guido of S. Pudenziana; and Guido Cremensis of S. Maria in Porticu) to engage in discussions with King William. William was beginning to feel the effects of his excommunication (according to Cardinal Boso); his vassals, in fact, opened negotiations of their own with Pope Adrian. On their request, Pope Adrian travelled south and received the hommage of Prince Robert of Capua and Count Andrea, and other members of the nobility (September 29, 1155); eventually (by November 21, 1155) he took up residence at Benevento (until after July 10, 1156). At the same time the Greek Emperor, Manuel Paleologus, sent an embassy with a large sum of money, trying to get the pope to give him three cities in Apulia, from which he intended to mount an attack on King William. William, however, was not idle. He beat his rebellious vassals in Sicily, and he invested Brindisi in a siege that lasted until the end of May, 1156, resulting in the capture of Greek nobles and their treasure as well as some Apulian barons. William was again in control of south Italy and the nobility of Apulia were returning to his allegiance. He quickly seized all of the maritime cities of Apulia, in which the Greeks were so interested. Robert of Capua, the pope's mainstay, fled as the King approached Benevento, but he was betrayed by Riccardo de Aquila, Count of Fondi and handed over to William. Adrian, who really had no option but to deal with William, sent Cardinals Hubaldus (S. Prassede), Iulius (S. Marcello) and Rolandus (S. Marco) to deal with William (Watterich, 334), and, after some discussion, they gave him everything that he asked. William swore his oath of fealty to the Pope on June 10. William was invested as King of Sicily, Duke of Apulia, and Prince of Capua. A treaty was struck at Benevento on June 18, 1156, which completely reversed papal loyalties [Romoaldi Salernitani Annales: MGH SS 19, p. 429; text of the treaty in Watterich, 352-356; Baronius-Theiner, sub anno 1156 no. 4-7]. Adrian was able to return to papal territory; at the suggestion of his cardinals he had visited the city of Orvieto (September-October), which had recently returned to obedience to the Papacy, he and stopped in Viterbo (Watterich, 335). He was back in Rome by November 12

In October 1157, Pope Adrian sent an embassy to the Emperor Frederick, who was in Burgundy at the time, where he held a Diet at Besançon. The embassy was led by Cardinal Rolandus of S. Marco, Adrian's Chancellor, and Cardinal Bernardus of S. Clemente (Watterich, 357). When Rolandus read Adrian's letter in the presence of the Emperor, it caused a great stir of indigantion among Frederick's counsellors, because of its haughty tone and because of the statement that the crown of the Holy Roman Empire came to the Emperor Frederick as a beneficium (a fief) of the Pope (Watterich, 359-360). The implications of this attitude brought about a collapse of the embassy and a darkening of suspicions between the Emperor and Rome. The Investiture Controversy was back, and in full force. Frederick's statement made the issue clear (Radgewinus Gesta Friderici I III. 11; Monumenta Germaniae Selecta 3-4, p. 110)

Cumque per electionem principum a solo Deo regnum et imperium nostrum sit, qui in passione Christi filii sui duobus gladiis necessariis regendum orbem subiecit, cumque Petrus apostolus hac doctrina mundum informaverit 'Deum timete, regem honorificate', quicumque nos imperialem coronam pro beneficio a domno papa suscepisse dixerit, divinae institutioni et doctrinae Petri contrarius est et mendacii reus erit.

In the Spring of 1158, when it was heard in Rome that the Emperor was coming to Italy and that his Chancellor Reynaldus and Count Palatine Otto were already in the north, Pope Adrian again sent an embassy to the north. This time the leaders were Cardinal Henricus of SS. Nereus and Achilles and Cardinal Iacinthus of S. Maria in Cosmedin (Radevicus: Watterich, 365). The papal embassy reached Ferrara, only to discover that the Imperial agents had gone back to Modena; they followed them there, and humbly explained their mission, though they were able to get no satisfaction. They decided to head for Germany, but in the neighborhood of Trent, they were captured and imprisoned. Frederick Barbarossa returned to Italy in July of 1158, setting off another period of tensions. He took Milan on September 8. There is some indication that the King William of Sicily was in touch with some of the cardinals and was planning action with Pope Adrian IV against the Emperor Frederick. In exchange for a sum of money (it is alleged), the Pope would excommunicate the Emperor [MGH SS 23, 350 and 351-352 (Urspergensium Chronicon)]:

Eo tempore conspiratio facta est contra imperatorem, ut asserit quidam scriptor [Ioannes] Cremonensis, de cuius editione haec, quae narramus, excerpsimus. Idem quoque scriptor testatur, haec se audisse a viris probatissimis et veracissimis et valde religiosis Mediolanensibus et Brixiensibus, qui se huic conspirationi interfuisse dixerunt. In qua conspiratione se astrinxerunt maxima pars cardinalium sedis apostolicae, Wilelmus quoque rex Siciliae et paene universae civitates Italiae cum multis baronibus et viris potentibus: dataque est immensa pecunia Domino Adriano Papae, ut ipse imperatorem excommunicaret....

Refert supradictus scriptor Cremonensis, videlicet Iohannes sacerdos, quod supradictis testimoniis bonorum virorum didicerit, qui interfuerunt, quod illa conspiratio cum apostolico Adriano iuramentis adeo firmata sit, ut nullus ab altero recedere posset vel imperatoris gratiam sine omnium consensu requirere, quod, si mortuus esset papa ille, de numero conspiratorum alium eligerent cardinales.

In April 1159, Pope Adrian attempted to intervene in the matter of Milan. He sent an embassy to the Emperor, consisting of Cardinals Octavianus of S. Cecilia, Henricus of SS. Nereus & Achilles, Wilhelmus Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata, and Guido Cremensis Cardinal Deacon, which achieved nothing (Watterich, 369. The embassy was apparently evenly divided between Imperialists and the Papal party). At the same time, certain of the Roman nobles approached the Emperor on behalf of the Senators and People of Rome, attempting to repair the damage done at the time of the Imperial Coronation. Frederick received their apologies in friendly fashion, and agreed to send two of his counsellors, Count Palatine Otto von Wittelsbach and Master Haribert, the Provost of Aqui, to Rome to conduct negotiations (Watterich, 373). Likewise, there is no doubt that the Pope was also engaged in negotiations, with Milan, Piacenza, and Brescia in the Summer of 1159, during his stay in Anagni (where he was residing by June 15). His hope was to oppose and contain the movements of the Emperor. These negotiations with the Lombard cities contained an agreement that the Pope would excommunicate the Emperor within forty days ["Eleven days" is a paleographical mistake: XL versus XI]. But he died within those forty days, and the excommunication was never pronounced [MGH SS 18, 368 (Annales Mediolanenses)]:

Sed interim dum obsideretur Crema, Mediolanenses iuraverunt cum Brixiensibus et Placentinis, et miserunt legatos ad Adrianum papam qui erat in Anagnia, et concordiam fecerunt, istae tres civitates cum eo, quod exinde non paciscerentur, vel aliquam concordiam facerent cum Federico imperatore, absque licentia Adriani papae vel eius catholici successoris; et ita iuraverunt Cremenses. Papa quoque a converso idem convenit cum eis, et convenit quod ab illa die usque ad quadraginta dies excommunicaret imperatorem qui tamen non iuravit. Accidit autem, ut infra statutam diem papa morietur.

It was also agreed, or so it was alleged, that [MGH SS 23, 350 and 351-352 (Urspergensium Chronicon)], if the Pope should die, the cardinals would elect as his successor only one of the members of the conspiracy. This story is repeated in the Chronica regia Coloniensis by Godefridus [Watterich, p. 374], where he attaches the approximate date of August 1 (which guarantees "forty days" as the true reading of the mss.), and remarks that Adrian had a consistory to discuss the excommunication of the Emperor, though the intention was never carried out due to his death. But some of the cardinals had bound themselves by oath that they would elect no one as his successor unless he was of the same opinion about excommunicating the Emperor:

Adrianus Papa, audito imperatoris adventu circa festum beati Petri quod dicitur ad vincula [August 1], cum cardinalibus suis, Romam egressus [he was at Anagni by June 15], consilium habuit, ut ipsum imperatorem excommunicaret. Sed nocte ipsa morte praeoccupatus consilium infectu reliquit. Sed dum cardinalis quidam hoc se voto pertinaci constrinxissent, quod nullum successorum, nisi qui eiusdem propositi et voluntatis erga imperatorem esset, eligerent, domnum Rulandum prioris Papae cancellarium concorditer elegerunt.

If the German chronicles are to be believed, then the Pope himself had arranged that the cardinals who supported his policies should agree to elect a successor who would continue the same policies. The question is whether he also designated Rolandus Bandinelli, his Chancellor, as his successor. Such a custom was familiar in recent papal history: Gregory VII, Victor III, Urban II, and Gelasius II, and so it would not have been unusual or unexpected. But the evidence is not clear (See Zopffel, 48; Holder, pp.65-66). What is clear is that the nine cardinals who supported the Emperor were furious.


Death of Adrian IV (Breakspear)

Pope Adrian IV had been in his summer residence at Anagni when he died on Tuesday (feria tertia) September 1, 1159. The Cardinals who were at Anagni met immediately. A controvery arose (according to Bishop Ymarus of Tusculum) as to whether Adrian IV should be buried at Anagni or in Rome. According to the account of the Chapter of St. Peter's Basilica, the Senators of Rome, who were among the crowds assembled there, advised that the body be transported to Rome, which was eventually agreed to. Eberhard, the Bishop of Bamberg, wrote to the Archbishop of Salzburg in more emphatic terms about some of the information that he had received, namely, that the Senators of Rome would not grant a funeral to the deceased pope unless the Cardinals go to Rome and, after the funeral, proceed to an Election in accordance with the Canons (Watterich, 454-455):

A quibusdam familiaribus domini imperatoris annuntiatum est, quod ab his, qui senatores dicuntur, domino papae sepultura non conceditur, quoadusque cardinales in Urbe conveniant et exequiis rite celebratis in electione ordine canonico procedant.

It would seem, as happened so often in the twelfth century, that the leaders of the city of Rome intended to play a dominant role in the selection of their Bishop. By no means would they allow the deceased pope to be buried in Anagni, or, more importantly, a papal election to take place there. The Election would take place in Rome, where they could exert their influence effectively.

The funeral, therefore, took place in Rome, in the Vatican Basilica, on Friday, September 4. Adrian IV was buried next to Eugenius III. Petrus Mallius, one of the Canons of St. Peter's at the time, notes (AASS Iunii Tomus VII. 2, p. 39):

Iuxta sepulcrum Domini Eugenii requiescit bonae recordationis Dominus Adrianus IV Papa in optima conca. Hic benignissimus praesul donavit canonicis hujus venerabilis bsilicae sastrum Valeranum in perpetuum, in episcopatu civitatis Castellanae positum. Condidit et privilegium canonicorum de confirmatione Confessionis: nec non et privilegium de libertate omnium nostrarum ecclesiarum, tam in urbe quam extra urbem positarum. Hic sanctissimus Papa semper cum veniebat celebrare Missam ad S. Petrum, offerebat super venerabile altare ejus vel optimum pallium ad ornaturm altaris, vel candelabra argentea, vel aliud papale donum. Ante hujus sepulcrum invenimus duo corpora hominum in Christo quiescentium, quorum nomina Deus scit.

The Emperor Frederick, on hearing of the death of the pope, had Cardinal Otto of S. Nicolaus in Carcere Tulliano released from captivity; he had been captured while on a mission for Pope Adrian in northern Italy (Baronius-Pagi, sub anno 1159, xxiv-xxv): Et ne justa praeberetur occasio aliqua iis, qui tantum bonum impedire vellent, eo quod detineretur a nobis magister Oddo S. Nicolai in carcere Tulliano reverendissimus Cardinalis, non solum ipsum, verum etiam alios Ecclesiae Praelatos praestantissimos dimittendos etiam decrevimus. He also released Cardinal Julius, Bishop of Palestrina, his enemy: Nunc vero rem novam, non solum haesitatione, verum etiam stupore dignam vobis et reliquis Orbis principibus hac nostra epistola significatura progreditur, quod scilicet reverendissimum Praenestinum Episcopum, qui adversus Imperatoriam majestatem et nomen ita aperte se objecit, et obstitit, quamprimum absolvimus et dimisimus praeter omnium hominum opinionem. Frederick actually believed that his generosity would produce a pope who would be favorable to his interests.


The Cardinals

Cardinal Boso, in the "Life of Adrian IV" [Watterich II, 336], states that Pope Adrian created seven deacons (Adriano Rivotella, Boso, Cencius, Petro de Miso, Ryamondo de Arenis, Ioannes dei Conti di Segni, and Milo)  and five priests (Johannes Pissuti, Albertus de Mora, Boso, Johannes Anagninus, Cinthius [Kartusch, 27]).  Onuphrio Panvinio provided a list of the twenty-five cardinals who elected Alexander III in his Epitome Pontificum Romanorum (Venetiis 1567), pp. 125-126. A documentary list of the Cardinals who supported Alexander III is supplied by the salutation of an encyclical letter written by the Cardinals shortly after the election. It appears in the Acta of the Council of Pavia (Watterich, p. 493). This is a total of: 5 cardinal-Bishops; 9 Cardinal-Priests; and 11 Cardinal-Deacons. Another list, containing twenty-two names, is found in the salutation of a letter from Alexander III's Cardinals to the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa [Watterich, pp. 464-465]. But to that number must certainly be added Cardinal Octavianus and his supporters, who were also present at the Election. The letter of Cardinal Ymarus supplies these names [Watterich, pp. 461-462]. All told, there were 32 participants in the Election of 1159. See M. Doeberl, MGS (1889), 149-150 n. Compare Salvador Miranda, who states that Pope Alexander III was elected by twenty five cardinals (this would apparently include Cardinal Milo, who Miranda insists was the first of Alexander III's cardinals), while Victor IV was elected by a minority of cardinals, eight (Miranda's list of participants in Victor's conclave lists only seven members, Octavianus included); that would make a total of 33 cardinals, or thirty-four if Alexander himself were included with his supporters.

  1. Hymarus (Imarus), OSB [Gallus], Bishop of Tusculum (since 1142) , prior episcoporum [Watterich, 454, 461]. Designated as his successor by Adrian IV.   Principal consecrator of Victor IV (Octavianus). (died iamdiu before Octavianus, i.e. before April 20, 1164: Watterich, p. 396-397) [Cardella I. 2, pp. 32-33]
  2. Gregorius, Bishop of Sabina (by September, 1154; died 1163). Formerly Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere (ca. 1138/1140 until after June 25, 1154). In the treaty of January, 1155, between Frederick I and Adrian IV, he is referred to: mediante domino Gregorio tunc Sancte Marie Transtiberim nunc episcopo Sabinensi [MGH Diplomata (Urkunden) Frid. I, no. 98, pp. 165-167]. He was not a nephew of Anastasius IV. He supported Cardinal Octavianus at the election, at least for a time, but not in the schism. He signed the letter of the Cardinals of Alexander III to the Emperor. He was not with Octavianus at the end of his life [Watterich, 399, 486]
  3. Hubaldus "Allucingoli", O.Cist. [of Lucca], Bishop of Ostia and Velletri, after December 19, 1158 (former Cardinal Priest of S. Prassede, February 23, 1141[Watterich, 333]; some consider him the same Hubaldus as was created Cardinal Deacon of S. Adriano in 1138 [RIS III. 1 p. 442 column 2]). [Future Pope Lucius III, September 1, 1181–November 25, 1185] He had been legate of Innocent II in Lombardy in 1142. [Cardella I. 2, pp. 27-29]
  4. Iulius [Romanus], Bishop of Palestrina (formerly Cardinal Priest of S. Marcello, from 1144 until the end of 1158). On April 11, 1155, he was judge in a case involving S. Maria in Monasterio, along with Gregory of Sabina and Girardus of S. Stefano in Monte Celio [Fedele, Archivio 29 (1906), no. i, pp. 205-209]. He was Vicar of Rome for Pope Alexander III (died in 1164 or 1165) [Cardella I. 2, pp. 42-43; Watterich, pp. 387, 399]
  5. Bernardus, Bishop of Porto and Santa Rufina (January 29 1159-June 22, 1176) Former prior of the Lateran, Cardinal Priest of S. Clemente (1145) Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica from 1153: Migne, Patrologiae 188, col. 1587; Mignanti Istoria della Basilica Vaticana II, p. 333; Eggs Purpura Docta I, 80-83.
  6. Galterius [Gualterius] Bishop of Albano (from March, 1159, according to Novaes, p. 89; died March 1179); Zenker, p. 39, puts his creation in 1158; he subscribed a bull on February 3, 1159[Cardella I. 2, p. 96] Vicar of Rome for Alexander III [Migne, Patrologiae 200, xxv, column 97]

  7. Hubaldus Caccianemici [Bononiensis], presbiter cardinalis tituli Sanctae Crucis in Ierusalem. (June 28, 1144-September 9, 1170) He was a relative of Pope Lucius II, who gave him his own titular church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme in 1144 [Cardella I. 2, p. 51; Besozzi La storia della basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Roma 1750) p. 107] On May 26, 1159, he sat on a committee with Cardinal Iacintus of S. Maria in Cosmedin and Cardinal Boso of SS. Cosmae et Damiani to determine the tribute to be paid by the citizens of Ostia [Kehr, Italia Pontificia II, p. 16 no. 2].
  8. Octavianus de' Monticelli [Sabinensis, not Tusculanus] (aged 64), presbiter cardinalis tit. sanctae Ceciliae, formerly Cardinal Deacon of S. Niccolo in Carcere (1138-1150). Legate to King Roger of Sicily for Popes Celestine II and Lucius II (1143-1145). Legate in to the Emperor Conrad for Pope Eugenius III, where he became friends with Duke Frederick of Swabia (who was elected Emperor in 1152). Antipope Victor IV (died April 20, 1164 at Lucca) [Cardella I. 2, pp. 23-24].
  9. Astaldus [Romanus], presbiter cardinalis tituli sanctae Priscae (formerly Cardinal Deacon of S. Eustachio, 1143-1151) [Cardella I. 2, p. 46]
  10. Rolando Bandinelli, presbiter cardinalis tituli sancti Marci et Cancellarius (died August 30, 1181)
  11. Iohannes, presbiter cardinalis tituli sanctorum Ioannis et Pauli tit. Pamachii [Forcella, Iscrizioni delle chiese 10, p. 6 no. 4 (December 31, 1157)]. In June of 1155 he was one of three cardinals (along with Guido of S. Pudenziana and Guido of S. Maria in Porticu) who were sent to King Frederick with papal mandates, which included a demand for the person of Arnold of Bresica (Boso, "Vita Hadriani", in Watterich, p. 325). He succeeded Cardinal Julius as Vicar of Rome for Pope Alexander in 1165 [Cardella I. 2, p. 94-96; Watterich, p.399; Archivio 27, p. 392]. He became Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica in 1176 [Kehr, Italia Pontificia I, p. 143 no. 39 (April 30, 1178)].
  12. Iohannes Mercone [Morrone] [Pisanus], presbiter cardinalis tit. sanctorum Silvestri et Martini titulo Equitii [Watterich, p. 381]  Followed Cardinal Octavianus into schism, and became his Chancellor.
  13. Henricus Moricotti, O.Cist.[Pisanus], presbiter cardinalis tituli sanctorum Nerei et Achillei.   He had been sent in March, 1155, as a legate of Adrian IV to William of Sicily, but the letter he carried offended the King and he was sent back (Romuald of Salerno, in Watterich, 341). On August 8, 1159, he was in Tuscany at Pisa [Kehr, Italia Pontificia 3, p. 122, no. 21]. One of Alexander III's legates to the Council of Toulouse. He was also sent as Legate to England along with Cardinal Wilelmus in 1160-1162 [JL 10729]
  14. Ildebrandus [Hiltprandus] Crassus [Bononiensis], presbiter cardinalis basilicae XII apostolorum (formerly Cardinal Deacon of S. Eustachio) (died 1178: Klaus Ganzer, Die Entwicklung des auswärtigen Kardinalats im hohen Mittelalter, 101)
  15. Iohannes [Neapolitanus], son of Gaderisius of Naples. In a letter to King Louis VII [Bouquet (ed. M.-J.-J. Brial), Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France XVI (Paris 1878), p. 118, no. ccclxii], he claims kinship with a Neapolitan baron: praesentium lator F(lorius) nobilis homo est, filius sororis germanae amicissimi et fidelissimi vestri Al(phani) archiepiscopi Capuani, nobis quoque satis proximo consanguinitatis gradu conjunctus, qui, donec terram suam habuit, unus de majoribus Calabriae baronibus computabatur.   Cardinal Priest of S. Anastasia, formerly diaconus cardinalis sanctorum Sergii et Bachi [JL 10299 (June 28, 1157); Cardella I. 2, pp. 84-85; Watterich, p. 475] [Neapolitanus: C. Holdsworth, Rufford Charters (1972) p. 366; Theiner, Codex Diplomaticus (1861), 20] He subscribes documents regularly through 1158 and 1159, and he was at Agnani with Pope Adrian on July 30, 1159 [Migne PL 188, 1637 (JL 10579)], less than five weeks before the Pope died.
          He studied in Paris, and became a canon of S. Victor. It is conjectured that he was made a cardinal deacon at the time of Pope Eugenius' stay in Paris between April and June of 1147. He last appears as a Cardinal Deacon on February 10, 1158 [JL 10378 (7030)], or March 12, 1158 [Brixius, 144]; Joannes presbyter cardinalis S. Anastasiae appears on April 21, 1158; obviously Joannes Neapolitanus was promoted. The alleged reason for his promotion is reported by A. Hari, "La promozione e probabilmente conessa con la circostanza che Adriano IV, prima di diventare papa, era stato priore della canonica regolare di S. Rufo presso Avignone." That is nothing but a facile guess, for which there is not the slightest justification. Hari also states that Iohannes Neapolitanus was one of the principal architects of the election of Alexander III— for which there is no positive evidence, unless Hari means merely that he was in Rolando Bandinelli's party and voted for him. One cannot place any political or partisan weight on the fact that he was one of the three cardinals who placed the papal mantle on Alexander III's shoulders. In his politics, he seems to have been a supporter of King William of Naples against the Emperor Frederick, which aligned him with the latest phase of Pope Adrian' policies against the Emperor. Thus his support for Rolando Bandinelli. His great value was in cementing Pope Alexander's alliance with King William and the Neapolitan nobility. In 1160, he was sent on an embassy to the Kingdom of Naples by Alexander III, which may have lasted into 1161, and again in 1166-1167, and yet again in 1169 [Kehr, Italia Pontificia 10, pp. xl, 193, 233 no. 33]. In 1177, he was one of seven cardinals sent to negotiate with Frederick Barbarossa. His last subscription was on July 3, 1179.
          It is claimed that close connections continued between Cardinal Johannes and the Abbey of S. Victor. A letter to Pope Alexander III from Guarinus, Abbot of S. Victor [Migne, PL 200, no. xiii, columns 1373-1374 (from the 1170's)] is enlisted by A. Hari to demonstrate the connection. The letter in fact, draws the Pope's attention to two earlier letters written by Cardinal Johannes to the abbots of S. Victor, demanding two canons by name to be sent to him; but one was dead and the other ill. Both times, the Cardinal's request was turned aside. And yet he persisted. In any event the Abbot did not want to send any of his canons, due to the (alleged) hazardous state of the monastery; none of the canons would volunteer, and when asked they refused; the letter requests the Pope's protection against the Cardinal's demands. The Cardinal was promoting a foundation of his own in Naples, S. Pietro ad Aram, and wanted to employ talent from S. Victor's (C. D. Fonseca, Il cardinale Giovanni Gaderisi e la canonica di S. Pietro ad Aram in Napoli (Milano 1962)]. He paid for the building of the Church of S. Pietro [Kehr, Italia Pontificia VIII p. 453 no. 2; JL 12402 (December 25, 1174)]
          The Chronicle of Robert de Monte reports, under the year 1182, that a Papal Legate, Cardinal Iohannes, was murdered in Constantinople [MGH SS VI, 533]:
    Cum autem Latini occiderentur per curdelitatem istius Andronii, quidam cardinalis Romane ecclesie, Iohannes nomine, quem Romanus pontifex miserat Constantinopolim ad peticionem Manuel imperatoris—qui eaqrt vir religiosus, et volebat per predicationem illius cardinalis revocare ecclesiam Grecorum ad instituta et subiectionem Romane ecclesie—hic inquam Iohannes, cum Latini occiderentur, erat in hospitio suo; venerantque ad eum quidam religiosi viri, suadere ei ut discederet, ne occideretur. Quod cum audiret, dixit: Absit hoc ne fiat. Ego hic sto pro unitate ecclesie et precepto domini mei Alexandri pape. Tunc irruentes in eum Greci perfidi occiderunt eum....
    Brixius [55-56, and 110-111, followed by Zenker, 74-77] accepts that the cardinal is Iohannes Neapolitanus, but states that Cardinal Iohannes died in 1183. The reference to Pope Alexander in the story, however, indicates that the murder took place before Alexander's death at the end of August of 1181 (Robert de Monte's notices are often attached to years to which they do not belong). If this murdered cardinal is Johannes Neapolitanus, it would explain why he ceases subscribing in July of 1179, and why he seems to have no connection with the Sede Vacante of 1181.
          [His predecessor at S. Anastasia was Cardinal Aribert, whose tomb in SS. Silvestro e Martino is dated 1160; but Aribert was dead before April 16, 1158, when Cardinal Joannes was already in office at S. Anastasia (JL 10401). The date on the monument is probably the date of reinterment and dedication. After Johannes' death, the titulus of S. Anastasia seems to have remained vacant until the reign of Clement III; Cardinal Bobo first subscribes on March 28, 1188]
  16. Guido Cremensis, presbiter cardinalis S. Mariae Transtiberim tituli Calixti; previously Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Porticu (until March 1158)   [He followed Cardinal Octavianus into schism. He was himself elected Antipope Paschal III, April 22, 1164–September 20, 1168, though not as the first choice. The Emperor wanted Heinrich the Bishop of Liège (Lüttich), but he declined election. See Ficker, 55-59 and 122-126]
  17. Bonadies de' Bonadie [Romanus], presbiter cardinalis sancti Chrysogoni (former Cardinal Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria) [Cardella I. 2, p. 86].
  18. Albertus de Sartorio de Morra [Beneventanus], OSB, presbiter cardinalis tituli sancti Laurentii in Lucina (formerly Cardinal Deacon of S. Adriano; on May 11, 1158, he signs himself Adalbertus presbyter cardinalis S. Adriani: Migne, Patrologiae 188, 1566). [Cardella I. 2, p. 87-91] Future Pope Gregory VIII (October 21, 1187– December 17, 1187)
  19. Wilhelmus [Guglielmo] Matengo, [Papiensis], presbiter cardinalis tituli sancti Petri ad vincula [Watterich, 369; Cardella I. 2, p. 91-93; Zenker, 118-123]. Legate of Adrian IV to Emperor Frederick, with Card. Octavianus [Watterich, 462] He supported Card. Octavianus [Watterich, p. 486, 502], but later went over to Alexander III and served as legate in Gaul [Watterich, 512]. He was sent along with Cardinal Henricus to England in 1162 [JL 10729]. He was also Apostolic Legate in Sicily in 1167 [Kehr, Italia Pontificia 10, xli and p. 232]. One of Alexander III's legates to the Council of Toulouse. He was Apostolici Sedis Legatus at Vercelli in September of 1175 [Kehr, Italia Pontificia VI. 2, p. 20 no. 11].

  20. Oddo diaconus cardinalis sancti Georgii ad velum aureum. Protodiaconus.
  21. Rodulfus diaconus cardinalis sanctae Luciae in Septo solis (1143-1160)
  22. Iacinthus "Bobone" (Orsini) [Romanus], son of Petrus Bubo, of the Arenula district of Rome [see R. Brentano, Rome before Avignon (Berkeley 1974), p. 103, for the hostility between the Boboni and the Conti]. In July of 1826 he was prior subdiaconorum sacrae basilicae [Sancti Petri] (JL 7266]. In April 1138 he was prior subdiaconum sacri palatii (JL 7890). He studied in Paris, and heard the lectures of Peter Abelard (ca. 1138-1140). Diaconus Cardinalis sanctae Mariae in Cosmedin (1144-1191). [Cardella I. 2, pp. 47-50]. He was Apostolicae Sedis Legatus in Spain and Portugal (1154-1155), having left Rome after February 14, 1154, when he subscribed a papal document [Migne PL 188, p. 1037 (JL 9834)]. He was back in Rome by December 28, 1155 [JL, p. 103; JL 10106]. Iacinthus was Legatus a latere again in Spain and Portugal in 1172-1175 [Erdmann, no. 68, pp. 239-241; Leineweber, 26-32]. On May 26, 1159, he sat on a committee with Cardinal Ubaldo of S. Croce and Cardinal Boso of SS. Cosmae et Damiani to determine the tribute to be paid by the citizens of Ostia [Kehr, Italia Pontificia II, p. 16 no. 2]. In general, see Johannes Leineweber, Studien zur Geschichte Papst Cölestins III (Jena 1905) 10-15. (He died January 8, 1198, as Pope Celestine III)
          In June, 1158, Iacinthus and Cardinal Henricus of SS. Nereo ed Achilleo were sent to Germany on an embassy to Frederick I [Zenker, 164]. He was back by December.
  23. Oddo de Brixia, diaconus cardinalis sancti Nicolai in carcere Tulliano. Legate of Adrianus IV in northern Italy, captured but released by Emperor Frederick so that he could attend the Election of a new pope. One of Alexander III's legates to the Council of Toulouse. Legate of Alexander III in 1172 at Parma [Kehr, Italia Pontificia 5, p. 418 no. 17].
  24. Symone (Simon, Simone) Borelli [Sangrino], Cardinal Deacon of "S. Mariae in Domnica et Sublacensis abbas" (certainly a cardinal by 1157; died after November, 1183) [Chronicon Sublacense, p. 248 ed. Mirzio; Cardella I. 2, p. 96; Watterich, 461; Doeberl, MGS IV, p. 150 n.; Ganzer, 102 and n. 4]. He is said by Cardella to be of the Conti di Pietrabondante in the Kingdom of Naples; this statement is labelled as "cose tutte favolose" by P. Egidi, in I monasteri di Subiaco (Roma 1904), p. 106 n.3.   Symon was educated in France, and joined the pontifical family while Pope Eugenius was there (between March 1147 and May of 1148). Eugenius had heard of the intrusion of a monk Raimo (Rainaldo) into the abbatial Chair at Subiaco, but, accepting the advice of two Cardinals, Octavianus and Gregorius S. Angeli, he authorized his installation. Raimo showed his generosity by giving the Castle of Cerretum to Sublimanus, the brother of Cardinal Octavianus. Raimo and his relatives stripped the monastery of much of its wealth for their own benefit, including its castelli. When Pope Eugenius returned to Italy at the end of 1148, he learned of the real character and activities of Abbot Raimo. Raimo was summoned to an interview with the Pope, probably after the Pope returned to the Lateran on November 28, 1149. Eugenius found fault with his activities and severly criticized him. The Pope sent Cardinal Gregory of S. Angelo to Subiaco, who promptly excommunicated the Abbot. Raimo (Rainaldo) was deposed by Eugenius III in 1149 [See the narrative in the original document given in the edition of the Chronicon Sublacense of Mirzio by L. Allodi, p. 242 n.1; P. Egidi, 106]. At the same time Cardinal Gregory took possession of the citadel at Subiaco. The Pope and the monks of Subiaco then elected Symon as the thirty-first Abbot of Subiaco [Chronicon Sublacense, 943-944 ed. Muratori, 248 ed. Mirzio; Zenker, 140].
          Not much later, non multo post haec (that is to say, after his election as abbot), Abbot Simon was appointed Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Domnica by Pope Eugenius [cf. Brixius, pp. 59-60 and 117, who attributes his cardinalate to Hadrian IV, not Eugenius III; Zenker, 140 and 197 n. 12.   K. Ganzer, Die Entwicklung, p. 102, says "Spätestens in Jahre 1158 wurde Simon zum Kardinaldiakon von S. Maria in Domnica erhoben." Egidi, 106, attributes the date of 1158 to Louis de Mas Latrie; the date of 1158 for the creation has no documentary support whatever. Ganzer is the most accurate, with his "spätstens", but the evident meaning of the author of the Chronicle is that the promotion was made by Eugenius III].   Abbot Simon removed the Castle of Cerretum from the possession of Raimo's brother, and gave it in feudal tenure to the brother of Cardinal Gregory [column 944 ed. Muratori; Zenker, 140] or to the brother of Cardinal Iacinthus [p. 248, ed. Cherubino Mirzio]. Ciaconius [Ciaconius-Olduin I, 1068] believed that it was in Adrian IV's second creation of cardinals in 1158 that Symon was elevated; Onuphrio Panvinio believed that it was in the "third creation in 1159". The statement, often repeated, that he became a cardinal in 1158 (or 1159, see below), is incorrect.   It was before September 28, 1157, that Cardinal Symon, Abbot of Subiaco, had been named Rector of the Campagna of Rome and papal vicar in spiritual matters [Fabre-Duchesne (edd.), Liber Censuum I, 588 (where the suggested date of 1158 is inconsistent with Albertus de Morra being Cardinal Deacon); cf. Kehr, Italia Pontificia II, p. 95, no 44].
          A fragment apparently derived from the Annales Sublacenses [MGH SS 19, 274] indicates that Abbot Symon was seized and expelled from the monastery in 1159, and Raimo (Rainaldus) was brought back. But Raynaldus fell into Symon's hands in 1162.
          Cardinal Symon supported Cardinal Octavianus ("Victor IV") in the schism for the first few months [Cardinal Ymarus' manifesto of October, 1159, in Gesta Friderici IV. 52; MGH SS 20, 472, includes his name as a co-signatory]. But with numerous gifts to his abbey of Subiaco [Kehr, Italia Pontificia II, nos. 45-55, pp. 95-97], he switched sides— by early 1160 [K. Ganzer. Die Entwicklung des auswärtigen Kardinalats im hohen Mittelalter (Tübingen 1963), 102-104]. The Chronicon Sublacense dates this in 1161 [Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores 24, 947], with the note:
    Simon Abbas anno Domini MCLXI tempore Alexandri Papae Tertii, quaesivit et acquisivit multa bona. Vixit multo tempore laudabiliter. Tempore suo anno Dominicae Incarnationis millesimo centesimo octvagesimo tertio, mense Novembris [November 1183], tempore Papae Lucii Tertii facta est quaestio magna, et querela deposita per Oddonem Yconomum Monasterii Sublacensis adversus Ricerem de Arfula de Castris Arsula, et utroque Robiano, et Sancta Maria Velleri. Quae causa a Domino Papa commissa fuit Domino Milani Tiburtino Episcopo, tractanda et terminanda ante ejus praesentiam. Domnus Simon Abbas cum fratribus suis cum Ricere de Arsula semel et iterum ad Pontem Maram causati sunt; sed cum per eumdem episcopum quaestio terminari non posset, et Domino Lucio Papae significatum fuisset, eumdem Ricerem ad suam preaesentiam accivit, et laudabiliter determinavit, et Monasterium omnia jura obtinuit.
    He is apparently last mentioned in a papal document on December 3, 1182 [Kehr, Italia Pontificia II, p. 97 no. 58 (JL 14710)]. He appears to have survived to 1183 [Brixius, p. 117 n. 145 accepts the dating of the Chronicon]. He does not subscribe.
  25. Ardicius Rivotella [Mediolanensis], diaconus cardinalis sancti Theodori (died 1186) [Cardella I. 2, p. 86-87]
  26. Boso, "ab isto Pontifice [Adriano IV] ab exordio sui Apostolatus eius camerarius constitutus et in ecclesia sanctorum Cosmae et Damiani diaconus ordinatus" Author of lives of the popes of the 11th and 12th centuries [Watterich, p.336]. On May 26, 1159, he sat on a committee with Cardinal Ubaldo of S. Croce and Cardinal Iacintus of S. Maria in Cosmedin to determine the tribute to be paid by the citizens of Ostia [Kehr, Italia Pontificia II, p. 16 no. 2]. Later (after February 11, 1165) Cardinal Priest of S. Pudenziana (died ca. 1181) [Cardella I. 2, p. 85-86]. He was succeeded by Cardinal Paolo Scolari by September 26, 1180 [JL 13693; Ch. Hugo, Annales Premonstratenses II, column 454]
  27. Cencius [Cinthius] di Guidone Papareschi [Romanus], diaconus cardinalis sancti Adriani (later Cardinal Priest of S. Caecilia, 1178) (died 1182) nephew of Innocent II. Supported Card. Octavianus [Cardella I. 2, p. 93; Novaes III, p. 89; Watterich, 486] [His predecessor, Cardinal Albertus, was still in office on February 10, 1158: Migne Patrologiae 188, col. 1562; on May 11, he signs himself Adalbertus presbyter cardinalis S. Adriani, a transitional title: Migne, 1566]
  28. Petrus di Miso (Mizo), diaconus cardinalis sancti Eustachii (1158-1166). He heard a case along with Cardinal Boso on September 27, 1158 [Kehr IP 2, p. 130 no. 1]. His latest subscription is on September 1, 1165 [Nachrichten von der k. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen . Phil.-hist. Klasse (1907) 120-121]   He was promoted to the titulus of S. Lorenzo in Damaso, 1166-1174). He engaged in several missions to Hungary, beginning in 1160; another took place in 1168 [Zenker, 176 and n. 251]. He is mentioned in a letter to King Henry II of England written by his procurators at the Curia on Easter of 1171 as someone who might be willing to speak to the Pope on behalf of the excommunicated king in the matter of the murder of Thomas Becket [Bosquet (ed. M.-J.-J. Brial), Recueil des historiens de la Gaule XVI (1878), 477-478]. He died on September 14 (of 1174?), according to the Necrologio dei SS. Ciriaco e Nicola [P. Egidi, Necrologi e libri affini della Provincia Romana (Roma 1908), 61] [Cardella I. 2, p. 93; JL, p. 145; Brixius, p. 59 no.9 and p. 166; Ohnsorge, 110; cf. Zenker, 176-177]
  29. Raymundus de Arenis [Nimes], diaconus cardinalis sanctae Mariae in via lata [JL II, p. 103; Brixius, 103; Zenker, 179].  Practiced Canon Law, with title of Magister. Supported Card. Octavianus in the vote, and apparently signed the encyclical letter of Cardinal Ymarus [Watterich, 461and n. 3, where he expresses doubts]; but did not support Octavianus in the Schism [Watterich, 486] [Cardella I. 2, p. 94]   His full name is known from a subscription: J. Bosch Vilá, Historia de Albarracín y su sierra 3 (1959) p. 102
  30. Ioannes dei Conti di Segni [Anagninus], diaconus cardinalis sanctae Mariae in porticu.   Successor of Cardinal Guido Cremensis in 1158, or 1159. That the Guido who was at Santa Maria in Porticu was Guido Cremensis is proved by Wiederhold, Nachrichten von der k. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen . Phil.-hist. Klasse (1907), no. 7, pp. 29-30 (December 26, 1154): Ego Guido Cremensis diac. card. sancte Marie in Porticu. He is not the same Guido as Guido S. Pudentianae (The two were together on a mission to King William I of Sicily in 1155: Watterich, p. 325).

    [ It is conjectured by some (e.g. G. Novaes, Elementi III, p. 87) that Giovanni Pizzuti (or Bozzuti), a Neapolitan nobleman, was the Giovanni who was Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria Nuova from 1155 (actually attested from 1144 to 1151 [JL II, 8474, 9495]), that he moved to S. Maria in Porticu; and then to Cardinal Priest of S. Anastasia in 1558. This theory neatly disposes of three Giovannis in the record by amalgamation.   But the record also shows Guido Cremensis at S. Maria in Porticu from 1151-1158 [JL II, p. 102 and 9495, 9686, 10190, 10212, 10256, 10268, 10285, 10392]. [Cardella, p. 58, wrongly notes his death in 1155 ! ], which makes the theory impossible.   In 1159, there were at least three Giovannis who were Cardinal Priests. And on September 7, 1159, the day of the election of Alexander III [JL 10589], there was a Giovanni at S. Maria in Porticu, who was still there in 1161 [JL 10663 (7169)]. Is this a different Giovanni from Giovanni Bozzuti, who was in that deaconry allegedly until 1158? Or is it the same Giovanni? If Giovanni Bozzuti moved to the rank of Cardinal Priest, it could not have been to SS. Giovanni e Paulo or to SS. Silvestro e Martino—both of those Giovannis were in office by 1155 (JL 10024), nor could it have been from S. Maria in Porticu.] [ It was Cardinal Guido of S. Maria in Porticu who had been promoted to Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere tituli Calixti from S. Maria in Porticu in March, 1158.]

  31. Milo, diaconus cardinalis sanctae Mariae in Aquiro. He is one of the twenty-five cardinals who signed the encyclical letter in favor of Alexander III [Watterich, p. 493]   He signs a bull for Alexander III on February 19, 1160 [Migne, Patrologiae 200 no. xvii, column 87 (JL 10624)].   Cardinal Boso, in the "Life of Adrian IV" [Watterich II, 336], states that Pope Adrian created seven deacons [These would have been: Adriano Rivotella, Boso, Cencius, Petro de Miso, Ryamondo de Arenis, Ioannes dei Conti di Segni, and Milo]  and five priests.

    Many (e.g. Salvador Miranda, relying on Brixius) deny that Milo was a cardinal at the time of the Election of Alexander III. They claim that he was a new creation, the first of Alexander's cardinals, the only cardinal created in a Consistory held at Anagni on February 18, 1160—the day before he signed the bull just referred to. There is no evidence in any other sources, however, for such a Consistory, or for the creation of cardinals by Alexander III before the creation in Sens in 1163. The sudden creation of Milo has all the earmarks of special pleading to include all known facts. The desire is to reconcile the contradictory numbers of cardinals participating in the Election. Moreover, the encyclical letter of the Cardinals which Milo signs repeatedly refers to what "we did" and "we said". The natural interpretation would be that Milo was a participant, not just a signatory who is testifying to events in which he did not participate. It would also be more reasonable to think that he was one of the most junior of new cardinals created in 1158 by Adrian IV, as the Pope plotted with the Cardinals against the Emperor and in favor of William I of Sicily. A new cardinal or two, with the right (anti-Imperial) attitude, would assure the election of the proper candidate. Occam's razor applies.

Cardinal not participating in the Election of 1159:


Each of the following ghost sightings of cardinals allegedly created in February of 1159 is derived from Ciaconius, Cardella [I.2, p. 97], and the Annuaire Pontifique Catholique 1928 by Salvador Miranda.

The only incontestable cardinal in Miranda's list of creations of "February 1159" is Cardinal Gualterius, Bishop of Albano, and he may well have been created in 1158 [Zenker, p. 39]. In fact, there was no Consistory for the creation of cardinals in 1159. The notion goes back to Onuphrio Panvinio [see e.g. Cardella I. 2, p. 94]. The notion that Cardinal Symon was created in 1159 is also demonstrably incorrect.


Pope Adrian IV had been in his summer residence at Anagni when he died on Tuesday, September 1, 1159. The Cardinals who were at Anagni met immediately (omnes illuc convenimus, as they themselves said [Watterich, p. 462]).   A controversy arose (reported by Bishop Ymarus of Tusculum) as to whether Adrian IV should be buried at Anagni or in Rome.  According to the account of the Chapter of St. Peter's Basilica, the Senators of Rome, who were among the crowds assembled there, advised that the body be transported to Rome, which was eventually agreed to. At the same time, some of the Cardinals arranged to have Cardinal Boso, the Chamberlain ('the first-born of Satan', as the Chapter of St. Peter's called him), go on ahead to Rome and secure the fortifications of St. Peter's. These were presumably the "munitiunculum quae est super sanctuarium", which is mentioned by Gerhohus of Reichersperg. When the Cardinals arrived in Rome, some (including Ymarus and Octavianus) took up residence in the Vatican Palace. The majority, however, sought the hospitality of St. Peter, and went up to the fortified area 'above the Basilica', where quarters had apparently been prepared for them by the Cardinal Chamberlain, Cardinal Boso. These quarters would have been very convenient to St. Peter's and at the same time secure against the unwanted attentions of the Commune of Rome. The funeral of Adrian IV, therefore, took place on Friday, September 4 at the Vatican Basilica, with nearly all the Cardinals in attendance: II Nonas Septembris in ecclesia beati Petri, presentibus fere omnibus fratribus satis honorifice, sicut mos est, intumulato (Letter of Alexander III)

According to tradition, the Election of the new pope ought to take place in the place where the pope had been living at the time of his death, in other words, in Anagni. Cardinal Ymarus says that before they left Anagni for Rome, the Cardinals entered into an agreement of some sort:

quod de electione futuri Pontificis tractabunt secundum consuetudinem istius ecclesiae, scilicet quod segregentur aliquae personae de eisdem fratribus, qui audiant voluntatem singulorum et diligenter inquirant et fideliter describant, et, si Deus dederit, quod concorditer possimus convenire, bene; sin autem, nullus procedat sine communi consensu et hoc observetur sine fraude et malo ingenio.

It is impossible, from the Cardinal's words to explain what was actually being promised, or why. The same problem does not occur with the report in the Urspergensium Chronicon [MGH SS 23, p. 352], whose author obviously had heard the story and understood it:

Tunc cardinales in electione summi pontificis dissentire coeperunt: novem siquidem de numero ipsorum elegerunt Octavianum, virum per omnia religiosum et probatum, inter quos fuit Tusculanensis episcopus et Wido Cremensis et alii. Pars vero adversa elegit Rolandum cancellarium. Factaque est pactio inter electores, ut neutra pars suum publice denominaret aut intronizaret, donec discordia inter partes sopiretur.

What the Cardinal is at pains not to make clear is that they all knew that there was a major division in the Sacred College. It appears that no candidate had sufficient votes to make a clear canonical election. It was desirable that neither side should make a public announcement or attempt an inthronization based on majority support of the whole college cardinals until they had resolved their disagreement. But there is still something missing in the explanation. Why was Rolandus' party, which was by far the larger, not able to claim the papal throne based on its fourteen votes?


Plan of Old St Peters

The electoral proceedings began on Saturday, September 5. The election took place in the old Basilica of St. Peter (left, in the famous plan by Tiberio Alfarano, 1590), behind the high altar and the tomb of the Apostle (Letter of the Chapter of St. Peter's). The famous screen with the Solomonic columns separated the Choir from the Transept of the basilica, and gave some feeling of "apartness". Apparently the custodians of the Election were the senators of Rome, and they seem to have been present in the Basilica during the proceedings (Cardinal Boso, Vita Alexandri III: Watterich, p. 379), along with the Cardinals' chaplains and other clergy and laity. The laity apparently included at least one of the Imperial Ambassadors, the Count Palatine of Bavaria, Otto von Wittelsbach. Nearly all the cardinals had been at the Funeral the previous day: presentibus fere omnibus fratribus satis honorifice, sicut mos est, intumulato, and it is admitted that all or nearly all the cardinals were at the election. The statement often made, therefore, that there were only twenty-two participants, as the official encyclical letter of the Council of Pavia insists (Watterich, p. 484), cannot be correct.

If as many as thirty-one cardinals were present, however—and that seems to be the plain meaning that nearly every cardinal was present for the funeral of Adrian IV—then neither candidate commanded a majority, which, at this point in the history of papal elections, was all that was required for a canonical election. It appeared that there was a severe split among the electors: fourteen cardinals nominated Cardinal Rolandus, while nine nominated Cardinal Octavianus. Some authorities, who take 14 + 9 to be the number of cardinals present, rather than the size of the two factions, end up with unsatisfactory narrations, or make changes in the manuscript numbers, or challenge the accuracy of the authorities [e.g. Watterich, p. 463 n.1; Reuter, p. 65 and nn.]. If there were twenty-three cardinals present, then fourteen constituted a clear majority. But the real situation is still more complicated.

It is possible that there were as many as eight more cardinals present, who were supporting neither faction, or who might have been supporting some other nominee. It is said, for example, that Cardinal Bernardus, the Bishop of Porto, had several cardinals who supported his candidacy (Gerhohus Reicherspergensis; Reuter I, 65; Watterich, p. 494 n. 1). Taken literally, this would mean at least three additional cardinals. This fact is ignored by the Pavia crowd, who are trying to minimize the number of cardinals in order to make their "support" seem closer to a majority.   But the inference that there were more than twenty-two cardinals at the Election on September 7, in fact, is essential. Otherwise, the fourteen cardinals who supported Cardinal Rolandus at the beginning might simply have proceeded with an attempt at proclaiming a canonical election; fourteen out of twenty-one or twenty-two is a substantial majority, and at this election only a majority was needed to elect.

Might it be, however, that it was the Cardinal Bishops—who had the right to nominate the candidate according to the Constitution of Nicolaus II (I Lateran Council, 1059)—who could not produce a majority agreement (four out of six)? Cardinal Ymarus was certainly supporting Cardinal Octavianus; Cardinal Bernardus was himself a candidate. Only one other uncertain or dissident cardinal bishop could have deadlocked the proceedings. That third bishop might have been Gregory, Bishop of Sabina—at least if the gossip retailed as 'testimony' in the Acta Concilii Papiensis (Mansi Sacrorum Conciliorum 21, 1115) is to be believed, which depicts him as a waverer:

Gimundus et Wolferaminus dicunt se audivisse ab ore [Gregorii] episcopi Sabinensis quod libenter rediret ad dominum Victorem: sed ita adjuratione est astrictus quod sine perjurio non potest.

In support of this thesis, it may be pointed out that, when the majority of cardinals made their election, the number of Cardinal Bishops who supported Cardinal Rolandus was four: Hostiensis, Albanensis, Portuensis and Sabinensis. Ymarus of Tusculum was with Octavianus, and the name of Cardinal Bernardus is in neither party (Cardinal Boso, Vita Alexandri III papae: Watterich, p. 378).

The discussions, then, went on for three days [September 5-7] without reaching a result (Letter of Alexander III).  Gerhohus reports that several cardinals abandoned the candidacy of Cardinal Bernardus and joined the group that was supporting Cardinal Rolandus (ab eius nominatione recesserunt et ex eis aliqui se in electionem cancellarii iunxerunt); others, however, held themselves in suspense between Rolandus and Octavianus. With the addition of those cardinals who were entirely or ambiguously in favor of Octavianus, his votes numbered seven. At that point, he attempted to draw his supporters aside from the majority, who were supporting Cardinal Rolandus, but he only succeeded in attracting three (not eight, as some allege): Joannes Pisanus, Guido Cremensis and Ymarus Tusculanus. When the other cardinals noticed this withdrawal, they took it that the electoral pact to seek consensus had been broached. They therefore, with their considerable majority, decided to go forward with the election of their candidate, the Chancellor Cardinal Rolandus Bandinelli.   Pope Alexander, in his Electoral Manifesto, however, names only Octavianus, Guido Cremensis and Giovanni of SS. Silvestro e Martino as having refused to agree to the election.

The majority elected Cardinal Rolandus, and thereupon the Cardinal Protodeacon, Odo of S. Georgio, brought forward the red papal mantle, which he would place upon the shoulders of the Electus as a sign that he was now the canonically elected Pope. It is clear that the election had been completed. The evidence is actually presented by some supporters of Cardinal Octavianus (VIctor IV), the Canons of St. Peter's Basilica, who note that it was not just Odo the Cardinal Protodeacon who was presenting the papal mantle, but that he was being assisted by Cardinal Ildebrando of XII Apostolorum and Cardinal Ioannes Neapolitanus. This was the formal investiture, not a rash act by Cardinal Odo. Still, Cardinal Rolandus was making the usual and traditional protestations that he was not worthy (an absurd, useless, and trouble-making custom which is still observed), when Cardinal Octavianus appears to have lost control of himself. He rushed forward and pulled the mantle out of the hands of the Protodeacon and carried away with himself (according to Pope Alexander ):

a collo nostro propriis manibus violenter excussit et secum inter tumultuosos fremitus asportavit.

One of the Roman Senators who was present in the Basilica saw what was happening, rushed forward and snatched the papal mantle out of Cardinal Octavianus' hands. In a rage at being thwarted, Cardinal Octavianus gestured to one of his chaplains who was present to bring him the mantle which he had brought with him. The chaplain quickly brought it to him and he himself began to put it on. There was another of Octavianus' clerics who was waiting in an out-of-the-way place in the Basilica; Octavianus summoned him and had himself acclaimed as pope. According to Gerhohus:

Ipse vero Octavianus, alium mantum de sua domo allatum ac praeparatum offerente sibi suo capellano, vestitus est atque in eminentiorem ascendens locum clerum advocat, qui semotus in parte ecclesiae beati Petri, finem rei exspectabat, ut quem electio sublimasset, ei ipse debita reverentia acclamaret. Hic itaque clerus accurrens, ubi Octavianum in rubea cappa vidit, electum unanimi fratrum assensu credidit, et ei velut electo acclamavit.

The Chapter of St. Peter's have a slightly different story. Count Palatine Otto von Wittelsbach was standing with the Cardinals next to the altar, when the Roman clergy, who had heard the uproar, rushed forward and surrounded them; they were shouting, "Elect Lord Octavian, the only way the Church can have peace." After that, those of Octavian's party, who were in the Basilica, with the "saniore parte cardinalium", "elected" him as pope. This is a clear admission that Cardinal Rolandus was elected first, and with the concurrence of the majority of the Sacred College.

What should have been a solemn moment is represented in the sources hostile to Octavianus as a low comedy, multis videntibus et ridentibus, in the words of Pope Alexander. In his excited condition, while trying to put the mantle on, Cardinal Octavianus got the garment backwards or sideways. At that point the doors of the basilica, which had been closed, were thrown open and a squad of armed men with drawn swords rushed forward with an immense noise. Clearly the moment had been arranged ahead of time, and the Imperialists planned to have their way, by force if necessary.

The supporters of Cardinal Octavianus, which included the Roman senators and the Imperialist party, had been gathered together in advance and were in control of the Basilica of St. Peter. As soon as the "election" of Octavianus was announced, they were able to enthrone their candidate in the papal chair (nostrum electum manto induimus et intronizatum in sede b. Petri collocavimus," according to their own narrative in Cardinal Ymarus' letter. The majority of the Cardinals, however, who had elected Cardinal Rolandus, withdrew from the scene.

It might seem unclear whether these cardinals sought refuge in the fortifications 'above St. Peter's', or were imprisoned in them. According to the narrative of the Canons of St. Peter's, there was much coming and going, and many clergy and laity of Rome had free access and conversation with the cardinals in the munituncula. As they would have it, Rolandus the Chancellor was in charge, and keeping himself away from the Romans, denying all the while that he had been elected or had consented to being elected. . Gerhohus has it that the Cardinals and Pope Alexander removed themselves from what was going on, and retreated into the fortification above St. Peter's: At vero domini cardinales cum suo electo, videntes quae fiebant, in partem se receperunt sanctuarii. Deinde intra munitiunculam, quae est super sanctuarium, se incluserunt. This is confirmed by the Letter of Alexander III, at least in part: Fratres vero facinus tam immensum et a seculis inauditum ex insperato videntes et formidantes, ne a conducticiis militibus truncarentur, sese in munitiones ecclesiae nobiscum pariter receperunt, ibique IX diebus continuis, ne exinde libere exiremus, fecit nos quorundam senatorum assensu, quos pecunia oblata corruperat, die noctuque armata manu cum omni diligentia custodiri. The original intention of the Cardinals and Alexander was indeed to flee from possible harm at the hands of the hired soldiers of Cardinal Octavian and Count Otto, and so they escaped voluntarily into the safety of the fortifications of St. Peter's. However, some of the Senators of Rome were bought off with cash, and kept the Pope and Cardinals confined there day and night for ten straight days.

Among the senators of the year 1159 (according to Cencius Camerarius, the future Pope Honorius III) were Odo de Poli, Gerardo de Guittoni and Oddone Frangipane ("Le Senat Romain", 616). Odo de Poli had been one of the barons in the Campagna who had become trapped between the power of Frederick Barbarossa, the energy of the Commune of Rome, and the determination of the popes to retain and expand their hold on the territories that belonged to St. Peter. Odo de Poli in particular suffered under Pope Adrian, who forced him to disgorge a number of Church properties which he had seized without warrant; he had also been required to swear fealty to the Papacy (Gregorovius, p. 561). Oddone Frangipane had been one of the representatives of Pope Adrian IV in the negotiations with King William of Sicily that resulted in the Treaty of Benevento; it was he who administered the oath of fealty to the King on behalf of the Pope (Watterich, p. 334), and it was he who was principally responsible for the rescue of Pope Alexander and his Cardinals.


Pope Alexander and his cardinals were held in the fortifications of St. Peter's for an entire week. On September 17, however, they were able to escape to Trastevere, and the next day the left the City entirely. The Canons of St. Peter's reported:

Sicque per totam hebdomadam illam [September 9-15] domino cancellario et suis in ecclesia beati Petri morantibus, nono die [September 17] descendentes trans Tyberim, eo die et altero commorantes XI exierunt et pervenerunt ad Cisternam Neronis, in qua latuit Nero figiens Romanos insequentes.... Et ibi, die altero [September 18], qui duodecimus erat ab electione domini Victoris, induerunt cancellarium stolam et pallium erroris in destructionem et confusionem ecclesiae ibique primum cantabant "Te Deum laudamus".

In other words, Alexander III was consecrated on September 18, 1159.

Alexander's own letter Eterna et Incommutabilis makes the situation clearer:

sese in munitiones ecclesiae nobiscum pariter receperunt, ibique IX diebus continuis, ne exinde libere exiremus, fecit nos quorundam senatorum assensu, quos pecunia oblata corruperat, die noctuque armata manu cum omni diligentia custodiri. Sane omni populo incessanter acclamante et in senatores pro tanta impietate multa immanitate fremente, de custodia sumus illius munitionis erepti, sed in artiori loco Transtiberim nos iidem senatores, recepta inde pecunia posuerunt. Cumque ibidem moram ferme per triduum fecissemus, universo populo tantam proditionem atque malitiam nullatenus sustinente, senatores cum nobilibus et populo venientes, nos et fratres nostros per urbem magnifice et honorifice cum immensis laudibus et preconiis, campanis etiam ubique in transitu nostro pulsantibus, conduxerunt, et sic tandem a violentia persecutionis erepti et nostrae reditti libertati, sequenti die dominico venerabilibus fratribus G(regorio Sabinensi, Hub(aldo) Hostiensi, B(ernhardo) Portuensi, Galt(ero) Albanensi, I(ohanni) Signensi et B(erardo) Terracinensi episcopis, cardinalibus quoque, abbatibus, prioribus, iudicibus, advocatis, scriniariis, primicerio et scholae cantoribus, nobilibus etiam et quadam parte de populo urbis, apud Nimpham, non longe ab Urbe, simul congregatis, munus consecrationis accepimus et, sicut in Romana ecclesia consuetudinis est, ibidem pontificali regno magnifice sumus coronati.

Evidently, the actions of the Imperialist party and the Senators of Rome brought about a reaction against them. The Pope and his cardinals were removed from their incarceration in the fortifications of St. Peter's and taken by the Senators, whose cooperation was conditioned by money, into more strict confinement in the Trastevere. Finally, they were compelled (thanks to the intervention of Oddone Frangipane) to lead the Pope and the Cardinals from the city, to the joy of their Roman supporters. Restored to liberty, four of the Cardinal Bishops along with the Suffragan Bishops of Segni and Terracina, cardinals, bishops, abbots and the minor clergy and curial staff, accompanied the Pope to Nympha, not far from the city of Rome, in the Pomptine Marshes. The Roman nobility and part of the populace of the City escorted them. At Nympha (not at the Cistern of Nero) the Pope was duly consecrated and crowned in accordance with the customs of the Roman Church.

On September 27, 1159, Pope Alexander excommunicated Cardinal Octavianus and his supporters [JL p. 147, 10587].

Abbey of Farfa, near Reati

Octavianus was consecrated at the Abbey of Farfa, where he had taken refuge, on October 4, 1159 —two weeks after Alexander III's consecration. He was consecrated by Cardinal Ymarus, Bishop of Tusculum; Ubaldus, Bishop of Ferentum; and Riccardo, Bishop of Molfetta [JL 10601]. These were the only bishops he could find who would lend themselves to his intrusive conduct and risk excommunication and deposition. A successor to the schismatic Ubaldus, Radulfus, was supplied to the diocese of Ferentum by Pope Alexander on October 2, 1160  [Ann. Ceccan. MGH SS 19, p. 285]. At the Council of Pavia, the Emperor actually invested Octavianus with the papal ring, a clear return to the anulus et baculus of the Investiture Controversy. And it was the Emperor who was investing his Pope [Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum 21, col. 1126; Migne, Patrologiae 200 p. 90; Watterich, p. 490; JL 10627 (Anagni, April 1, 1160)]. In a letter to Arnulf, Bishop of Lisieux, Pope Alexander writes:

Unde ad confirmationem ipsius imo ut omnem videretur in Ecclesia Dei auctoritatem habere, archiepiscopos, episcopos, et alios Ecclesiarim prelatos, apud Papiam, contra sacrorum instituta canonum, prout ei placuit, convocavit. Illo autem, sicut homo qui nec in Deo nec in justitia confidebat, in ipsius imperatoris praesentia per aliquod dies, velut pro certo accepimus, insignia pontificatus accepit, sicut etiam in nostro et fratrum nostrorum conspectu, dum Romae olim nos teneret inclusos, suam malitiam recognoscens, facere voluit, ea quidem conditione servata, ut nos ei postmodum reddere deberemus. Cumque nos ea recipere sub hac conditione nollemus, ipse in sua pertinacia et damnabili praesumptione permansit. Ceterum, ut praedictus Imperator Ecclesiam Dei suae videretur subjugare et supponere ditioni, et eam in supremam redigere servitutem, memorato apostatico, sicut dictum est, pontificalia insignia reddidit, et eum de papatu, quod est a saeculis inauditum, per annulum, prout dicitur, investivit.


On September 27, 1159, Pope Alexander III excommunicated Cardinal Octavianus, Cardinal Ioannes de S. Martino, Cardinal Guido Cremensis, Bishop Ubaldus of Ferentino and eight others [JL 10587 (7129)].

Tomb of Alexander III, Lateran

Alexander III took immediate steps to propagate his own version of the Election and to seek committments from various prelates throughout the Christian world. On October 5, 1159, he wrote from Terracina to Theobald, the Archbishop of Canterbury, announcing his election to the papacy and warning of the schism which was developing [V. Forcella, Catalogo dei manoscritti relativi alla storia di Roma I (Roma 1879), p. 1 no. 1]. He immediately, by December 12, 1159 [Letter of Alexander III: Migne, Patrologiae 200, no. viii, column 82], sent two cardinals to France, Henricus SS. Nerei et Achillei and Otto, Sancti Nicolai in Carcere Tulliano, qui totam rei seriem plenius enarrabunt. They were already in Genoa when the Council of Pavia met in February, 1160. They were joined by Cardinal Wilhelmus S. Petri ad vincula by January 17, 1161 [Migne, Patrologiae 200 no.xxix, column 100].

France was a matter of particular interest, since Abbot Hugo of Cluny had declined to endorse either claimant to the papal throne. The influence of Cluny was such that a position of neutrality could bring trouble. Alexander was forced to excommunicate and depose Abbot Hugh [Letter to the Monks of Cluny, April 7, 1161: Migne, Patrologiae 200, no. xli, columns 113-114].

Cardinal Iohannes dei Conti di Segni was sent north to the Po Valley to deal with matters there. On February 27, 1160, he was in Milan when he excommunicated not only Oberto, the archbishop, but also Cardinal Octavianus and the Emperor. Later, on March 12, 1160, he excommunicated the Bishops of Mantua and Lodi and the Marquis of Montferrat and Count of Blandrate; he also excommunicated the magistrates of Cremona and Pavia, Novara, Vercellae, Lodi, Seprii and Martesane. (Radulfus Mediolanensis, in Watterich, p. 503).

At the Council of Toulouse (October, 1161) three cardinals spoke for Pope Alexander [Letter of Fastradus, Abbot of Clairvaux to the Bishop of Verona]; post longam dilationem quae facta est cardinalibus H(enrico, titulo SS. Nerei et Achillei) et W(illelmo Papiensi, titulo S. Petri ad vincula) presbyteris, et O(doni S. Nicolai de carcere Tulliano) diacono, quos dominus Alexander papa in Galliam delegaverat. They had been sent on January 17, 1161, to King Louis VII by Pope Alexander [JL 10644].

These missions were, in fact, part of a larger initiative. Cardinals were sent in every direction, according to Cardinal Boso in his Vita Alexandri III Papae [Watterich, p. 386; cf. Baronius-Theiner, sub anno 1159, no. 63, p. 139, where a "ghost" cardinal is created: Antonius tituli sancti Marci— the H of Henricus is misread as an A, and Nerei is read as Marci; cf. Cardella, p. 133, where more nonsense is added]: Missi sunt ergo ad partes Galliarum et Hispaniarum Henricus tituli sancti Nerei, Vollelmus tituli sancti Petri ad Vincula, et magister Oddo diaconus Cardinalis sancti Nicolai in Carcere; ad partes autem Orientales Joannes tituli sanctorum Joannis et Pauli; ad Hungaros vero legavit Julium Praenestinum Episcopum et Petrum sancti Eustachii diaconum cardinalem. Ad Imperatorem quoque Constantinopolitanum Tiburtinum cum Audrevico [Arderico] sancti Theodori diac(ono). Cardinals Julius and Peter were at work in Salona on July 2, 1161 [JL 10669], and at Spalato on September 1, 1161 [JL 10676]. On September 20, 1161, Alexander III assigned Boso, Cardinal Deacon of SS. Cosmas and Damianus, to deal with affairs in Pisa [JL 10677].

Cardinal Ildebrand of XII Apostolorum was working with Enrico, Patriarch of Grado (Metropolitan of Padua, Ferrara, Tarviso, Verona, and Vicenza) in the territory of Venice [JR 10664 (June 12, 1161)]


England was for a considerable time uncertain about which party to embrace. John of Salisbury, Bishop of Chartres, wrote to King Henry II [Epistolae 44, ed. J.A.Giles p. 45-46] urging caution:

... Scissura enim ecclesiae Romanae novitatis suscitat amatores, et praesumptionibus multam dedit audaciam. Siquidem alii apud nos Alexandrum, alii disponunt et adire et visitare Victorem. Nobis autem incertum est quis eorum causam habeat potiorem nec possumus eos, qui ad alteruturm inconsulta levitate evolant, auctoritate vestra reprimere, et tenere, sed nec aliquem recipere, nisi consilio vestro, dum res in pendulo est, in regno vestro licitum esse credimus: nec expedit aliquo modo ut ecclesia Anglorum Romanae ecclesiae scindatur exemplo, vel regno et sacerdotio praestet materiam contendendi.... Erit autem nobis periculosum, si apud eum, qui victurus est, quem nondum novimus, alii qui minus honoris ab ecclesia Romana acceperunt, devotionem nostram praevenerint....

In writing to his friend Randulfus de Serris [Epistolae 59, ed. J.A.Giles p. 63-71] John of Salisbury is a good deal less circumspect and far more informative, and completely hostile to the schismatic synod at Pavia (February 13, 1160):

...Nos autem timemus supra modum ne Teutonicus imperator circumveniat fraudulentiis suis, et subvertat serenitatem principis nostri, mihi tam parum videtur habere discretionis, quem conventituli Papiensis praesumptio movet, nisi ut Alexandri, si quis de ea dubitet, electio, etiam partis adversantis testimonio roboretur. Ut enim temeritatem illius praeteream, qui Romanam ecclesiam, quae silius Domini reservatur examini, judicare praesumpsit, et eum qui fuerat excommunicatus, sicut cardinalium indicat inhonorato Bisuntina, edicto peremptorio citavit ad judicium, et praejudiciali sententia alterum veteris officii, et dignitatis nomine, alterum appellatione Romani pontificis salutavit, senatoribus et populo favoris sui revelans arcana: quidquid Papiae gestum, est tam aequitati, quam legitimis constitutionibus, et sanctionibus patrum invenitur adversum.... Sed scio quid Teutonicus moliatur. Eram enim Romae, praesidente beato Eugenio, quando, prima legatione missa in regni sui initio, tanti ausi impudentiam tumor intolerabilis et lingua incauta detexit. Promittebat enim se totius orbis reformaturum imperium, et urbi subjiciendum orbem, eventuque facili omnia subacturum, si ei ad hoc solius Romani pontificis favor adesset.

Although he was ill, Archbishop Theobald summoned a council of the episcopacy and clergy of the entire kingdom in London [John of Salisbury, Epistolae 59, ed. J.A.Giles p. 70]:

Licet dominus Cantuariensis languore gravissimo, ut nosti, teneatur, hujus tamen necessitate verbi, convocatis episcopis et clero totius regni, Londinum properat, ut fratrum convocato concilio, quid facto opus sit, domino regi eum consulenti significet. Timebamus ne ex causa itineris amplius gravaretur; ideoque Acardum vestrum per aliquot dies detinui renitentem, ut de statu Domini, ipso referente quae viderat, certiorari possis. Ex quo autem lecticam ascendit, aliquatenus videtur confortatus, licet adhuc nimium infestetur: aliquantulum interdum quievit vomica et sponte naturali, purgatio reparatur. Wintoniensis [Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester, brother of King Stephen] et Dunelmensis [Hugh Pudsey, Puteacensis], ut aiunt, si Octaviano palam auderent pro voto suffragari, libenter cederent in partem ejus: e contra Eboracensis, et thesaurarius noster fovent totis viribus Alexandrum, non tamen soli sunt, quoniam pars haec pluribus et melioribus accepta, sed eam vehementius tuentur.

Theobaldus, Archbishop of Canterbury (who died on April 18, 1161) also wrote to King Henry, though he had no doubt as to which side to support [John of Salisbury, Epistolae 48, ed. J.A.Giles p. 49-51, who wrongly attributes the letter to Thomas Becket]:

...Ecclesia vero Gallicana, sicut nobis veridica relatione innotuit, recepit Alexandrum et ab Octaviano recessit. Quod autem ad humanum spectat examen, meliori et saniori parti videter adhaesisse, quum omnibus constet quod persona Alexandri honestior est, prudentior, litteratior, eloquentior: et causa ejus ab omnibus inde venientibus sincerior et justior praedicetur. Et quamvis neutrius illorum adhuc nuntium aut scriptum viderimus, scimus tamen quia omnes nostrates, si vester consensus affuerit, proniores sunt in partem Alexandri. Audivimus autem quod imperator vos in partem Octaviani trahere conetur: sed absit, ut in tanto periculo ecclesiae pro amore vel honore hominis faciatis nisi quod credideritis Domino placiturum, nec decet majestatem vestram, si placet, ut inconsulta ecclesia regni vestri superponatis ei hominem, qui sine electione, et ut publice dicitur, sine gratia Domini per favorem et vim imperatoris tantum honorem ausus est occupare. Nam tota fere ecclesia Romana in parte Alexandri est....

Cardinals Henricus Pisanus and Willemus Papiensis were already in England by November 2, 1160, when they solemnized the betrothal of Prince Henry and Princess Margaret [Radulphus de Diceto I, p. 304 ed. Stubbs;; Matthew of Paris II, p. 216 ed. Luard]. In July of 1161, King Henry II assembled all the bishops and abbots of Normandy at Novum Mercatum to discuss the question of the acceptance of Alexander or Victor. At the same time, King Louis assembled his clergy at Beauvais. In both cases, the decision was in favor of Pope Alexander III [Robertus de Monte, continuator of Sigebert's chronicle, in MGH SS VI, 511, under the year 1160; Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum 21, 1153]

Pope Alexander received Cardinals Henricus and Guillaume [Wilelmus}, who had returned from a mission to England along with the Archbishop Roger of York, by June 7, 1162 [JL 10729]. They had evidently been working to secure the allegience of King Henry II, and then to do what could be done about the succession to the Archbishopric of Canterbury. Thomas Becket was finally elected on May 24, 1162, ordained priest on June 2, and consecrated on June 3. The Archbishop of York—who is stated not to have been present in London for the discussion—put forward a claim through agents to consecrate the Archbishop of Canterbury, but it was disallowed [Gervase of Canterbury, Chronica, ed. Stubbs, Volume I (1879), pp. 168-173].


Having fled to France in April of 1162 [JL 10708], Alexander III arrived at Montpellier. He announced his intention to send Cardinals Bernardus of Porto and Jacinthus of S. Maria in Cosmedin [cf. JL 10719] to King Louis VII.  However, thanks to information supplied by Odo of S. Nicolai, he sent the Archbishop of Reims and two other French bishops instead.


It was only in 1179, at the III Lateran Council, that the rule was introduced that a 2/3 majority was required for the valid election of a pope.




Ludovico Antonio Muratori (editor), Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Tomus III, pars 1 (Mediolani 1723). "Vita Hadriani IV":   K. Harrison, Boso's Life of Hadrian IV: A translation and historical commentary (Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington 1983).

Ludovico Antonio Muratori (editor), Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Tomus Sextus (Mediolani 1725): "Caffari, eiusque Continuatorum Alles Genuenses," 241-608; "Ottonis Frisingensis Episcopi, ejusque Continuatoris Radevici Libri de gestis Friderici I Imperatoris," 629-860; "Ottonis de Sancto Blasio Chronicon," 861-912; "Epistola Burchardi Notarii Im peratoris ad Nicolaum Sigebergensium Abbatem de victoria Friderici I. Imp. Aug. et excidio Mediolanensi," 913-916; "Sire Raul, sive Radulphi Mediolanensis auctoris Synchroni de rebus gestis Friderici I in Italia Commentarius," 1167-1195.

Letter of Alexander III, Eterna et incomutabilis, "Cafari annales," Monumenta Germaniae Historica Scriptores Volume XVIII (1863), pp. 28-29.

Burchardi et Cuonradi Urspergensium Chronicon, in Monumenta Germaniae Historica Scriptores, Volume XXIII (1863), pp. 333-383.

'De schismate inter Adrianum et Octavianum," in H. Sudendorf, Registrum, oder merkwürdige Urkunden für die deutsche Geschichte Erster Theil (Jena 1849), nr. XXIII, pp. 62-66

Gerhohus Reicherspergensis (1132-1169), de investigatione antichristi   Book I   (1162). [Watterich, pp. 505-507]

Oswaldus Holder-Egger (editor), Gesta Frederici Imperatoris in Lombardia auct(ore) cive Mediolanensi (Hannover 1892), 38-40. [Annales Mediolanenses Maiores].

M. Meyer, Die Wahl Alexander III und Victor IV (1159): Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Kirchenspaltung unter Kaiser Friedrich I (Göttingen 1871).

Alphonsus Ciaconius [Alfonso Chacon], Vitae et Res Gestae Pontificum Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalium ... ab Augustino Oldoino Societatis Iesu recognitae Tomus Primus (Romae: sumptibus Philippi et Antonii de Rubeis 1677) [Volume I of the 4 volume edition; the Jesuit Olduin does what he can to eliminate the multitude of errors from earlier editions; many still remain], esp. 1009-1010.   Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa Tomo primo (Roma: Pagliarini 1793).   J. M. Brixius, Die Mitglieder des Kardinalkollegiums von 1130-1181 (Berlin 1912). W. Ohnsorge, Die Legaten Alexanders III. im ersten Jahrzehnt seines Pontificats (1159-1169) (Berlin 1928).   M. Pacaut, "Les legates d' Alexandre III (1159-1181)," Revue d' historie de l' Église 9 (1953), 828.

Caesaris S. R. E. Cardinalis Baronii, Od. Raynaldi et Jac. Laderchii Annales Ecclesiastici denuo excusi et ad nostra usque tempora perducti ab Augusto Theiner Tomus Decimusnonus 1094-1146 (Barri-Ducis: Ludovicus Guerin 1869). [Baronius-Theiner]

Philippus Jaffé (editor) Regesta Pontificum Romanorum (editionem secundam correctam et auctam auspiciis Guilelmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald) Tomus secundus (Lipsiae: Veit et comp. 1888) [JL].  

Giuseppe de Novaes, Elementi della storia de' sommi Pontefici Terza edizione Tomo Terzo (Roma 1821). [a mine of misinformation; many of his attributions are refuted by the Subscriptiones to papal documents]

Johann M. Watterich, (editor), Pontificum Romanorum qui fuerunt inde ab exeunte saeculo IX usque ad finem saeculi XIII vitae ab aequalibus conscriptae Tomus II (Lipsiae 1862). [Watterich]

M. Doeberl (editor), Monumenta Germaniae Selecta 4 (München 1890). [MGS]

Richard Zöpffel Die Papstwahlen und die mit ihnen im nächsten Zusammenhange stehenden Ceremonien (Göttingen 1871). Karl Holder, Die Designation der Nachfolger durch die Päpste (Freiburg: Weith 1892), pp. 65-66. J. M. Brixius, Die Mitglieder des Kardinalkollegiums von 1130-1181 (Berlin 1912). F. Gregorovius, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume IV. 2 second edition, revised (London: George Bell, 1896) [Book VIII chapter 5], pp. 524-571. T. A. Tout, The Empire and The Papacy, 918-1273, Period II (New York: Macmillan 1899).

Julius Ficker, Reinald von Dassel, Reichskanzler und Erzbischof von Köln, 1156-1167 (Köln: Heberle 1850).   Paul Scheffer-Boichorst, Friedrich' I letzter Streit mit der Kurie (Berlin 1866). Cesare Vignati, Storia diplomatica della Lega Lombarda (Milano 1868), esp. pp. 41-81. Giovanni di Castro, Arnoldo di Brescia e la rivoluzione romana (Livorno 1875).   Alfred H. Tarlton, Nicholas Breakspear (Adrian IV.): Englishman and Pope (London 1896).   Hermann Reuter, Geschichte Alexanders des Dritten   2nd edition Erster Band (Leipzig 1850). G. B. Siragusa, Il regno di Guglielmo I in Sicilia Parte prima (Palermo 1885), pp. 99-127. Moritz Meyer, Die Wahl Alexanders III. und VIctors III. (Göttingen 1871). W. Ribbeck, "Die Traktat uber die Papstwahl des Jahres 1159," Forschungen zur Deutschen Geschichte 25 (Göttingen 1885), 354-364. F. Barlow, "The English, Norman and French Councils called to deal with Papal Schism in 1159," English Historical Review 51 (1936), 242-268. Marcel Pacaut, Alexandre III: étude sur la conception du pouvoir pontifical dans sa pensée et dans son oeuvre (Paris: J. Vrin 1965). Klaus Ganzer. Die Entwicklung des auswärtigen Kardinalats im hohen Mittelalter (Tübingen 1963). Barbara Zenker, Die Mitglieder des Kardinalkollegiums von 1130 bis 1159 (Wurzburg 1964). Willibald Madertoner, Die zwiespältige Papstwahl des Jahres 1159 (Wien VWGO 1978) [Dissertationen der Universität Wien, 136].

"Le sénat romain au douzième siècle," Analecta Iuris Pontificii 12 (Rome 1873), columns 614-618.

On Cardinal Guido Cremensis' career: Studia Gratiana XI (Bologna 1976) pp. 103, 107.

Mid-12th century description of the Vatican Basilica, by Petrus Mallius [or Manlius], presbyter and canonicus of the Vatican Basilica, writing under Alexander III: "Petri Mallii Commentarius de Basilica S. Petri Apostoli antiqua in Vaticano," Acta Sanctorum Iunii Tomus Septimus Pars altera (Antverpiae 1717) 35-56.

[My special thanks to Mr. Tomasz Karlikowski, Esq., who was kind enough to provide me with several corrections for this page, particularly concerning the prosopography of Cardinal Johannes Mercone, Cardinal Hugo, O.Cist., and Cardinal Guido Cremensis.]


June 1, 2015 4:00 PM

© 2011 John Paul Adams, CSUN

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional
Valid CSS!

| Home | | Papal Portraits Home | | Medals Bibliography | | Other Conclaves | | Conclave Bibliography |