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Charles had openly voiced the wish that his nephew be given the Imperial crown. Yet it was France, the ancient magnet o the Pa- pacy, which welcomed the great Council which Gregory summoned to Lyons in 1274. This assembly discussed among other things how peace and reunion might be affected with the Church of the East, where the Imperial power was once more in the hands of the Greeks, who desired Western allies in the face of Charles' threatened attack. Many burning questions were answered in a spirit of harmony and the Greek legates even recognized the Primacy of the Roman See. But though from a political point of view all this was excellent, those who participated in the Council did not devote their whole energies to the task. Solemn decisions were unable to enkindle a love for Rome in the people and the clergy of the East. The peace was there- fore soon broken.

In order to prevent the scandal of long interregna in the future, the Council introduced the Conclave for Papal elections. The Cardinals were to live in a common dwelling, to be shut off from all personal contact with the outer world, and to be fed on a progressively more meagre diet as the sessions went on so that they might reach a decision more rapidly. This rule had a good effect after the death of Gregory, but it soon met with violent opposition from the College.

After the short pontificates of the years 1276 and 1277, the elections once more seemed never to reach an end. But against the will of Charles of Anjou and his faction, an energetic Roman of the house of Orsini was chosen as Nicholas III (12771280). His hope was to balance the power of the Habsburgs against that of the Anjou rulers. He succeeded in inducing Charles to surrender the dignity of Roman Senator and Imperial administrator of Tuscany. Rudolph, who was easy to handle, concluded a lasting peace with the Pope and conferred on him all Imperial rights inside the boundaries of the Papal States. In addition, Nicholas succeeded in conciliating many factions, and called back the exiled Ghibellincs. But if one reads the nineteenth canto of Dante's Inferno one finds that this peace-loving Pope, uttering self-accusations and restlessly paying the penalty of his sins, finds no peace. Dante says that this "true son of the Bear" was greedy ID improve the fortunes of the "little Bears" (Orsini), and therefore gave his family the money for which he was atoning in hell. Villani,