Pope Alexander IV
|Papacy began||12 December 1254|
|Papacy ended||25 May 1261|
18 September 1227|
by Gregory IX
|Birth name||Rinaldo di Jenne|
1199 or c. 1185|
Jenne, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
25 May 1261|
Viterbo, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
|Coat of arms|
|Other popes named Alexander|
Pope Alexander IV (1199 or ca. 1185 – 25 May 1261) was Pope from 12 December 1254 to his death in 1261.
Born as Rinaldo di Jenne in Jenne (now in the Province of Rome), he was, on his mother's side, a member of the family de' Conti di Segni, the counts of Segni, like Pope Innocent III and Pope Gregory IX. His uncle Gregory IX made him cardinal deacon and Protector of the Order of Franciscans in 1227, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church from 1227 until 1231 and Bishop of Ostia in 1231 (or 1232). He became Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals in 1244 (or 1240). On the death of Pope Innocent IV in 1254 he was elected pope at Naples on 12 December 1254.
Alexander IV succeeded Innocent IV as guardian of Conradin, the last of the Hohenstaufens, promising him protection; but in less than three weeks he conspired against him and bitterly opposed Conradin's uncle Manfred. Alexander IV threatened excommunication and interdict against the party of Manfred without effect. Nor could he enlist the kings of England and Norway in a crusade against the Hohenstaufens. Rome itself became too Ghibelline for the Pope, who withdrew to Viterbo, where he died in 1261. He was buried in Viterbo Cathedral, but his tomb was destroyed during sixteenth-century renovations.
Alexander's pontificate was signaled by efforts to reunite the Eastern Orthodox churches with the Catholic Church, by the establishment of the Inquisition in France, by favours shown to the mendicant orders, and by an attempt to organize a crusade against the Tatars after the second raid against Poland in 1259.
On September 26, 1255, Alexander IV canonized S. Clare of Assisi (Santa Chiara), founder of the religious order for women called the Poor Clares. He also confirmed, on October 29, 1255, in the Bull "Benigna Operatio", the reality of the stigmata attributed to S. Francis of Assisi.
The pontiff also, on September 27, 1258, declared in the Bull "Quod super" that alleged witchcraft was not to be investigated by Inquisitors of the Church, who were appointed to deal with heresy, but to be left to local authorities.
On May 14, 1254, shortly before his death, Innocent IV had granted Sicily, a papal fiefdom, to Edmund, second son of King Henry III of England. Alexander confirmed the grant on May 13, 1255, in return for 2000 ounces of gold per annum, the service of 300 knights for three months when required, and 135,541 marks to reimburse the pope for the money he had expended attempting to oust Manfred from Sicily. Henry's unsuccessful attempts to persuade his subjects to pay the taxes required to meet Alexander's demands were one of the factors in the conflict between the king and parliament which culminated in the Second Barons' War. On 12 April 1261, shortly before his death, Alexander issued a papal bull for King Henry that absolved him and the magnates of his realm from the oaths taken in the Provisions of Oxford, which was instrumental in the War.
- A. Coulon (ed.), Les Registres d' Alexandre IV Tome 3, fascicle 7 (Paris 1953), p. 137, no. 3246 (September 9, 1260). Division of the castle of Jenna between two of Alexander's nephews.
- P. Touron, "Alexandre IV contre Manfred," Le Moyen Âge 69 (1963), pp. 391-99.
- A. Tomassetti (ed.), Bullarum, Diplomatum et Privilegiorum Sanctorum Romanorum Pontificum Taurensis editio (Turin 1858), pp. 620-624, no. XX.
- A. Tomassetti (ed.), Bullarum, Diplomatum et Privilegiorum Sanctorum Romanorum Pontificum Taurensis editio (Turin 1858), pp. 626-627, no. XXII.
- A. Tomassetti (ed.), Bullarum, Diplomatum et Privilegiorum Sanctorum Romanorum Pontificum Taurensis editio (Turin 1858), pp. 663-666, no. XLVI.
- August Potthast, Regesta pontificum Romanorum II (Berlin 1875), no. 15364. Thomas Rymer, Foedera, Conventiones, Literae et cujuscunque generis Acta Publica inter Reges Angliae et alios... I. 1, edition tertia (Hagae Comitis: apud Joannem Neaulme 1745), p. 181.
- Potthast no. 15854. Rymer I .1, p. 196.
- Simon Lloyd, Edmund Crouchback, Oxford Online Dictionary of National Biography, 2004. Rymer I. 2, pp. 12-13: a letter of King Henry to Cardinal Riccardo Annibaldi de Molaria, Cardinal Deacon of Sant' Angelo.
- J. R. Maddicott, The Origins of the English Parliament, 924-1327, Oxford University press, 2010, p. 235
- Thomas Rymer, Foedera, Conventiones, Literae et cujuscunque generis Acta Publica inter Reges Angliae et alios... I. 2, edition tertia (Hagae Comitis: apud Joannem Neaulme 1745), pp. 62-63. Harding, Alan. England in the Thirteenth Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 290.
- Nicolaus de Curbio, OFM, "Vita Innocentii Papae IV," Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Tomus Tertius (Mediolani 1723) pp. 592–592e.
- Bernardus Guidonis, "Vita Alexandri Papae IV," Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Tomus Tertius (Mediolani 1723) p. 592ζ-593.
- Alexis François Artaud de Montor, Histoire des souverains Pontifes Romains Tome III (Paris 1851), pp. 1–11.
- Augustinus Theiner (Editor), Caesaris S. R. E. Cardinalis Baronii, Od. Raynaldi et Jac. Laderchii Annales Ecclesiastici Tomus Vigesimus Primus 1229-1256 (Barri-Ducis: Ludovicus Guerin 1870).
- August Karst, Geschichte Manfreds vom Tode Friedrichs II. bis zu seiner Krönung (1250-1258) (Berlin: E. Ebering 1897) [Historische Studien, Heft VI.].
- C. Bourel de la Roncière (editor) Les Registres d' Alexandre IV Tome premier (Paris: Thorin-Albert Fontemoing 1902) [BEFAR].
- F. Gregorovius, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume V.2 second edition, revised (London: George Bell, 1906) Book X, Chapter 1, pp. 335–358.
- F. Tenckhoff, Papst Alexander IV. (Paderborn 1907).
- S. Andreotta, "La famiglia di Alessandro IV e l'abbazia di Subiaco," Atti e Memorie della Società Tiburtina di Storia ed Arte 35 (1962) 63-126; 36 (1963) 5-87.
- I. Rodríguez de Lama, La documentación pontificia de Alejandro IV (1254-1261) (Roma 1976).
- Raoul Manselli, "Alessandro IV," Dizionario dei Papi (2000).
- Richard, Jean (1999). The Crusades: c. 1071 – c. 1291. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-62566-1.
- Harding, Alan. England in the Thirteenth Century. Cambridge University Press. p. 290.
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Alexander IV". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Alexander (popes)". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
|Catholic Church titles|
Ugolino di Conti
|Cardinal-bishop of Ostia
| Succeeded by|
Hugh of Saint-Cher
| Succeeded by|