Amadeus VIII, Duke of Savoy

Felix V

Antipope Felix V, the last historical Antipope.
Papacy began 5 November 1439
Papacy ended 7 April 1449
Opposed to Eugene IV and Nicholas V
Personal details
Birth name Amadeus VIII
Born 4 September 1383
Died 7 January 1451(1451-01-07) (aged 67)
Parents Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy and Bonne of Berry
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Other popes and antipopes named Felix

Amadeus VIII (4 September 1383 – 7 January 1451) was an Savoyard nobleman, the son of Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy and Bonne of Berry. He was surnamed the Peaceful. After the death of his father in 1391, his mother acted as a regent, because of his youth. Born at Chambéry, he was the Count of Savoy from 1391 to 1416 and was elevated by Emperor Sigismund to Duke of Savoy in 1416.

In 1418 his distant cousin Louis of Savoy-Achaea, his brother-in-law, the last male of the elder branch of House of Savoy, died, leaving Amadeus as his heir-general, thus finally uniting the male-lines of the House of Savoy.

Amadeus increased his dominions and encouraged several attempts to negotiate an end to the Hundred Years' War. After the death of his wife, he founded the Order of Saint Maurice with six other knights (1434). They lived alone in the castle of Ripaille, near Geneva, in a quasi-monastic state. Amadeus was elected at Basel as pope Felix V in opposition to Pope Eugene IV, by the Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence and reigned from November 1439 to April 1449.[1] He resigned as duke in favour of his son in 1440. He stepped down to accept a Cardinal's hat.[2][3] He is now regarded as an antipope.

Amadeus' image in history is marred by the account of him as a pontiff concerned with money, to avoid disadvantaging his heirs, found in the Commentaries of Pius II. Nor is there evidence that he intrigued to obtain the papal office, sending the bishops of Savoy to Basel for this purpose.

(Note on numbering: When numbering of the Popes began to be used, Antipope Felix II was counted as one of the Popes of that name. The second true Pope Felix is thus known by the number III, and the third true Pope Felix was given the number IV. It also affected the name taken by Amadeus, who would have been the fourth Pope Felix.)

Coat of arms of Savoy


He married Mary of Burgundy (1386–1422), daughter of Philip the Bold,[4] Duke of Burgundy and granddaughter of John II of France. They had nine children:

  1. Margaret of Savoy (13 May 1405 – 1418).
  2. Anthony of Savoy (September 1407 – bef. 12 December 1407).
  3. Anthony of Savoy (1408 – aft. 10 October 1408).
  4. Marie of Savoy (end January 1411 – 22 February 1469), married Filippo Maria Visconti, duke of Milan.
  5. Amadeus of Savoy (26 Mar 1412 – 17 August 1431), Prince of Piemonte.
  6. Louis of Savoy (24 February 1413 – 29 January 1465), his successor.
  7. Bonne of Savoy (September 1415 – 25 September 1430).
  8. Philip of Savoy (1417 – 3 March 1444), Count of Genève.
  9. Margaret of Savoy (7 August 1420 – 30 September 1479), married firstly Louis III, titular king of Naples, secondly Louis IV, Count Palatine of the Rhine and thirdly Ulrich V, Count of Württemberg.

According to James H. Guill, Margarida de Sabuya (Margaret of Savoy), the wife of Willem van der Hagen, was the daughter of Amadeus VIII, Duke of Savoy.[5]



  1. Coulombe, Charles A., Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes, (Kensington Publishing Corp., 2003), 318.
  2. Coulombe, 319.
  3. Pope Nicholas V named him Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina, dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals and perpetual legate in the Duchy of Savoy in April 1449.
  4. Vaughan, Richard, Philip the Bold: the formation of the Burgundian state, (Boydell Press, 2005), 53.
  5. James H. Guill. A history of the Azores Islands. 5. pp. 139–140.


Gießmann, Ursula. Der letzte Gegenpapst: Felix V. Studien zu Herrschaftspraxis und Legitimationsstrategien (1434-1451),Papsttum im mittelalterlichen Europa, 3, Köln: Böhlau Verlag, 2014.

Papal styles of
Antipope Felix V
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style None

See also

External links

Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Antipope Felix V

Amadeus VIII the Peaceful
Born: 4 September 1383 Died: 7 January 1451
Regnal titles
New creation
County elevated to Duchy
Duke of Savoy
Succeeded by
Louis, Duke of Savoy
Preceded by
Amadeus VII
Count of Savoy
County elevated to Duchy
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