1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Innocent/Innocent II

6896951911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 14 — - Innocent Innocent IIPreserved Smith

Innocent II. (Gregorio Paparesci dei Guidoni), pope from 1130 to 1143, was originally a Benedictine monk. His ability, pure life and political connexions raised him rapidly to power. Made cardinal deacon of Sant Angelo in Pescheria by Paschal II. he was employed in various diplomatic missions. Calixtus II. appointed him one of the ambassadors who made peace with the Empire and drew up the Concordat of Worms (1122), and in the following year, with his later enemy Cardinal Peter Pierleoni, he was papal legate in France. On the 13th of February 1130 Honorius II. died, and on that night a minority of the Sacred College elected Paparesci, who took the name of Innocent II. After a hasty consecration he was forced to take refuge with a friendly noble by the faction of Pierleoni, who was elected pope under the name of Anacletus II. by a majority of the cardinals. Declaring that the cardinals had been intimidated, Innocent refused to recognize their choice; by June, however, he was obliged to flee to France. Here his title was recognized by a synod called by Bernard of Clairvaux at Étampes. Similar action was taken in Germany by the synod of Würzburg. In January 1131 Innocent held a personal interview with King Henry I. of England at Chartres, and in March, at Liége, with the German King Lothair, whom he induced to undertake a campaign against Anacletus. The German army invaded Italy in August 1132, and occupied Rome, all except St Peter’s church and the castle of St Angelo which held out against them. Lothair was crowned emperor at the Lateran in June 1133, and as a further reward Innocent gave him the territories of the Countess Mathilda as a fief, but refused to surrender the right of investiture. Left to himself Innocent again had to flee, this time to Pisa. Here he called a council which condemned Anacletus. A second expedition of Lothair expelled Roger of Sicily (to whom Anacletus had given the title of king in return for his support) from southern Italy, but a quarrel with Innocent prevented the emperor attacking Rome. At this crisis, in January 1138, Anacletus died, and a successor elected by his faction, as Victor IV., resigned after two months. The Lateran council of 1139 restored peace to the Church, excommunicating Roger of Sicily, against whom Innocent undertook an expedition which proved unsuccessful. In matters of doctrine the pope supported Bernard of Clairvaux in his prosecution of Abelard and Arnold of Brescia, whom he condemned as heretics. The remaining years of Innocent’s life were taken up by a quarrel with the Roman commune, which had set up an independent senate, and one with King Louis VII. of France, about an appointment. France was threatened with the interdict, but before matters came to a head Innocent died on the 22nd of September 1143.

See Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie, “Innocenz II.,” with full references. Gregorovius, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, trans. by Hamilton (London, 1896), vol. iv. part ii. pp. 420-453.  (P. Sm.)