Benedict IX

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Benedict IX (previously Theophylact III of Tusculum ; * probably after 1000; † around 1055 in Grottaferrata ) was Pope three times in a period from 1032 to 1048. He is the only Pope who has held the office more than once.

Family and career

The predominant power in Rome in the 10th and 11th centuries was the Tusculan family , to whom the later Benedict IX. belonged to. When his uncle John XIX. died in October of the year 1032, Benedict IX. officially elected and crowned just two days later. The then Roman-German Emperor Konrad II recognized the elevation of Theophylact to Pope.

First term (1032-1044)

There is controversy about the age of Benedict when he took office. It is well known that children were considered adults early in the Middle Ages. In Benedict's case, it is not possible to exactly determine when he was born and how old he was in 1032. The information varies widely; According to the sources, Benedict may have been between ten and thirty years old when he ascended the throne. By comparing the different information, Klaus Jürgen Herrmann comes to the well-founded view that the Pope must have been around 14 years old when he was first surveyed, i.e. that he was actually still at a young age. Rudolf Schieffer regards the sources that claim that Benedict was ten or twelve years old, however, as polemical exaggerations. The note goes back mainly to Rodulfus Glaber , who may want to discredit the Pope as an imperial writer. Obviously, regardless of age, it was unusual to call such a young Pope even then.

Although Tusculan, Benedict IX operated not a pure policy in favor of his family. He left Octavians and Stephaniern , i.e. competing noble families, their offices and positions in church administration. Benedict thus successfully continued the policy of his direct predecessor, John XIX. He strived for a balance between the leading families and tried to keep himself out of the competition between the noble families. So he disappointed the possible hope of his father Alberich, with the help of his son, to gain greater influence on papal affairs and to strengthen the position of the family. Alberich III. as a result turned away from the public political stage. Benedict's older brother Gregory II of Tuskulum became the new head of the family. The two brothers worked closely together, so Gregor also took over judicial functions in special cases at the request of his brother.

Benedict himself demonstrated expertise and diplomatic skills. So he mediated at a synod in 1036 in the legal dispute between Bishop Andreas of Perugia and the Petrus monastery located there and was able to resolve the dispute to the satisfaction of both parties. The bishop even promised the pontiff and his brother never to raise claims against the monastery again.

Benedict IX also dedicated the papal administration. great attention and intervened more decisively than its predecessors. Benedict's uncle John XIX had already told the papal administrator Peter von Silva Candida . granted far-reaching rights. These were at the end of 1037 by Benedict IX. confirmed and expanded to include the office of librarian of the Roman Church. The decision was spectacular at the time because the library also acted as a law firm and was responsible for issuing documents. Thus, as Chancellor, Peter was responsible for both finances and papal correspondence.

In terms of foreign policy, Benedict also had some successes. His actions were astonishingly independent of the interests of the German king, in whose sphere of influence the dispute between Aquileia and Grado also fell. Benedict ended this dispute on his own at the synod of 1044 in Rome, without having communicated with the king. Benedict could not show more clearly that he did not see himself as the henchman of a Roman-German emperor . Nevertheless, he searched harder than his predecessor John XIX. Ways of cooperation with the kings on the other side of the Alps. Perhaps it was this turn to the north that offended some in Rome and ultimately led to the coup against Benedict.

Benedict IX represents like his two predecessors Benedict VIII. and John XIX. the rare type of an aristocratic Roman pope who acts independently in terms of church politics. All three came from the ruling nobility and were relatively influential actors even before they were elected. Self-confidently and aggressively, they represented the interests associated with their office even against internal Roman resistance, even from their own families. As popes, they no longer saw their task in increasing the domestic power of the Tusculans. They were happy to fall back on support from the family and use the existing connections. However, they no longer use troop contingents from their relatives on campaigns in the vicinity of Rome to increase the influence of their own families, but to strengthen the position of the church. With his politics, Benedict was able to build on the line of his predecessors, which had already been established before him, and was thus the strong man in Rome alongside his brother Gregory II for twelve years.

Expulsion and the Schism of 1046

In 1044 the Romans rose against Benedict IX. The motif is difficult to reconstruct due to the contradictory nature of the sources. The reform movement of the 11th century and the investiture controversy among the later reform popes contributed to the fact that the chroniclers are often prejudiced against Benedict and their statements are partial or distorted. Bonizo von Sutri reports, for example, that Benedict tried to get rid of his office because of the intention to marry, and thus paints the enemy image of a “ Nicolaitan ” typical of the reformers . He is also said to have offered the vacant empire to Peter of Hungary . Abbot Desiderius of Montecassino, later Pope Viktor III. , describes Benedict as a voluptuary and a murderer and accuses him of various crimes and misconduct, including simony , murder, a dissolute life and many other offenses. Contemporary polemics against Benedict go back to his rival Bishop Johannes von Sabina, who after Benedict's dismissal as New Year's Eve III. was elected Pope and belonged to the Stephani, a hostile family with the Tusculans.

The appointment of New Year's Eve was accompanied by turmoil and unrest, as Benedict still had numerous followers and considerable influence in Rome. In addition, the Tusculans continued to be the dominant power in Italy. Benedict's brother Gregor II took up arms against the enemy. The Annales Romani report that the Tusculan army was victorious on the advance to Rome during the election and inauguration of New Year's Eve. The expelled from the city Benedict had excommunicated the rival . In March 1045 the Tusculans managed to drive their opponents out of Rome. New Year's Eve withdrew, but had enough support from the Crescenti so that he could resume his office as Bishop of Sabina unmolested. At first he did not renounce his papal claims.

Benedict was aware that his position in Rome was not unchallenged and that there could be uprisings again at any time. In addition, he had lost the independence he had gained in recent years. In order to get rid of the burden of this office, he decided to cede the highest church office to a successor for a sum . This was viewed by his critics as an official sale. According to tradition, Benedict resigned from the papacy on May 1, 1045 in favor of his godfather, Archpriest Johannes Gratianus Pierleoni von St. Johann in Porta Latina. He is one of the few popes who have renounced the office . Benedict received a severance payment and withdrew as a private individual to his property near Tuskulum. His successor gave himself the Pope name Gregory VI. and in contrast to New Year's Eve III. officially counted as Pope in church historiography.

At the court of the Salians it was assumed that the change at the top of the church had taken place legitimately. The church reformer Petrus Damiani even praised the new Pope as an allegedly recognized opponent of simony. However, the circumstances of the handover were initially unknown to the contemporaries. It was unclear to the observers from the environment of King Henry III. also that the schism continued latently because New Year's Eve III. had not officially resigned from his position.

Intervention of the emperor and third pontificate (1047-1048)

During this turmoil in Rome, King Henry III planned. a trip to the holy city to be crowned emperor there . Shortly after he had reached Italy, the first of a total of three synods took place, which ultimately ended the schism. Henry III stopped in Pavia 30 km south of Milan . Before the assembled participants of the church assembly (" Synod of Pavia ") on October 25, 1046 a speech against "simony" (purchase of offices) and issued a strict ban on simony, which he took up a concern of his church advisers urgent church reforms, especially the monks of the Cluniac order . At first, the schism was not at issue here.

As the historian Karl Schmid found out, Heinrich and Pope Gregory VI met. already a few kilometers behind Pavia in Piacenza . At this meeting they arranged for Henry to be crowned emperor in Rome. To express the mutual bond, they were entered side by side in the prayer memory of the local monastery of San Savino.

Shortly after this meeting, Heinrich III. to have heard rumors of the alleged purchase of office by Gregor. The transfer of office, which was viewed as unlawful, entailed the danger that Heinrich could be crowned by an illegitimate Pope and thus face legitimacy problems himself, especially in view of the recently tightened ban on simony. Then there were the unresolved claims of Silvester III. Therefore , the hastily convened Synod of Sutri took place on December 20 in Sutri , 50 kilometers from Rome , on which both New Year's Eve III. as well as Gregory VI. were discontinued.

Benedict IX was not present at any of these synods, although he had received invitations. He was deposed in Rome on December 23, 1046. Heinrich then had Bishop Suidger von Bamberg elected as Pope, a Cluniac monk who supported the church reform movement and took the name Clement II . His first official act on Christmas Day 1046 was to Heinrich III. and to crown his wife Agnes as imperial couple. In advance, Heinrich had himself and his son bestowed the title of Patricius Romanorum (patron of Rome), which guaranteed him certain rights in the city administration of Rome and in particular the right to propose papal elections, which Heinrich made use of three times during his life.

Clemens died in 1047 on a trip across the Alps. Even then, rumors were circulating that he had been poisoned by opponents in Italy. An examination of the mortal remains of Clemens II in 1958 could not confirm the suspicion, but his biographer Georg Gresser came to the conclusion in 2007: “This was due to his adversaries [...], who were a blond bishop from the north [ ...] would like to see it eliminated. Even with the help of scientific methods, it may no longer be possible to provide the final proof of the Pope's murder today, but from a historical perspective it appears more than likely. ”In any case, Benedict IX appeared. after Clemens' death again on the scene and claimed the leadership of the church for himself. There had been riots in Rome since the emperor left the city. Benedict took advantage of this and, with the support of the Margrave Boniface of Tuscia, regained papal rule. When Heinrich III. threatened an Italian campaign, Boniface gave up his support for Benedict and Benedict resigned from his office again. He was succeeded by the Bishop of Brixen, Poppo, who called himself Pope Damasus II . Benedict IX tried several times in the following years to regain office, but was unsuccessful. He died around 1055.



Web links

Commons : Benedict IX.  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Klaus Jürgen Herrmann : The Tusculan Papacy (1012-1046) . Stuttgart 1973, p. 20.
  2. Rudolf Schieffer : Benedict IX . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 1, Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1980, ISBN 3-7608-8901-8 , Sp. 1859 f .; see. a. Art. Dess. Authored in LThK (3rd edition).
  3. Rudolfus Glaber: Histriarum libris V usque ad a. 1044 . In: Georg Heinrich Pertz u. a. (Ed.): Scriptores (in Folio) 7: Chronica et gesta aevi Salici. Hannover 1846, p. 66 ( Monumenta Germaniae Historica , digitized version ):
    "... Nam et ipse universalis papa Romanus, nepos scilicet duorum Benedicti atque Iohannis qui ei praecesserant, puer ferme decennis , intercedente thesaurorum pecunia, electus extitit a Romanis." namely as the nephew of the two Benedict and Johannes who had preceded him, as a boy of about ten years, elected with money from the treasury. ")
  4. a b Klaus Jürgen Herrmann: The Tuskulaner Papacy (1012-1046) . Stuttgart 1973, p. 23.
  5. ^ Egon Boshof : The Salians . Stuttgart u. a. 2000, p. 124.
  6. Cf. Klaus Jürgen Hermann: Das Tuskulaner Papstum (1012-1046) . Stuttgart 1973, p. 151.
  7. Harald Zimmermann : Papstabisations des Mittelalters , Graz / Vienna / Cologne 1968, p. 119; Like. Klaus Jürgen Hermann: The Tuskulaner Papacy (1012-1046) . Stuttgart 1973, p. 151; Source: Bonizo von Sutri : Liber ad Amicum , in: Libelli de lite imperatorum et pontificum saeculis XI. et XII. conscripti . Part 1. Edited by Ernst Dümmler, Lothar von Heinemann, Friedrich Thaner a. a. Hannover 1891, p. 584 ( Monumenta Germaniae Historica , digitized version ).
  8. Desiderius: Dialogi de miraculis sancti Benedicti auctore Desiderio abbate casinensi. In: Adolf Hofmeister u. a. (Ed.) Scriptores (in Folio) 30.2: Supplementa tomorum I-XV. Leipzig 1934, p. 1141 ( Monumenta Germaniae Historica , digitized ).
  9. Source by Desiderius: Dialogi de miraculis sancti Benedicti auctore Desiderio abbate casinensi. In: Adolf Hofmeister u. a. (Ed.) Scriptores (in Folio) 30.2: Supplementa tomorum I-XV. Leipzig 1934, p. 1141 ( Monumenta Germaniae Historica , digitized ); Like Annales Romani , in: Louis Duchesne: Le Liber Pontificalis 2 , re-edited and re-edited by E. De Boccarfd, Paris 1955, p. 331.
  10. ^ Werner Goez: Church reform and investiture dispute 910–1122. Stuttgart Berlin Cologne, 2000, p. 89 f.
  11. ^ Klaus Jürgen Herrmann: The Tusculan Papacy (1012-1046) . Stuttgart 1973, p. 155.
  12. See Annales Romani , in: Louis Duchesne: Le Liber Pontificalis 2 , re-edited and re-edited by E. De Boccarfd, Paris 1955, p. 332; Like Desiderius: Dialogi de miraculis sancti Benedicti auctore Desiderio abbate casinensi. In: Adolf Hofmeister u. a. (Ed.) Scriptores (in Folio) 30.2: Supplementa tomorum I-XV. Leipzig 1934, p. 1142 ( Monumenta Germaniae Historica , digitized ).
  13. Stefan Weinfurter : Reign and empire of the Salians - basic lines of a time of change. Sigmaringen 2001, p. 78 f .; Like. Johannes Laudage : The Salians. Munich 2008, p. 40.
  14. Hermann Jakobs : Church Reform and High Middle Ages 1046-1215 , Munich 1999; the like. Tilman Struve : Sutri, Synod of 1046 . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 8, LexMA-Verlag, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-89659-908-9 , Sp. 335.
  15. ^ Karl Schmid : Heinrich III. and Gregory VI. in the prayer memory of Piacenza from the year 1046 . In: Hans Fromm (Hrsg.): Verbum et Signum 2 - Festschrift for Friedrich Ohly: Contributions to medieval research on meaning . Munich 1975.
  16. Johannes Laudage: Die Salier , Munich 2008, p. 40.
  17. Johannes Laudage: The Salians . Munich 2008, p. 41; Stefan Weinfurter: Rule and empire of the Salians - basic lines of a time of upheaval . Sigmaringen 2001, p. 80.
  18. ^ Egon Boshof: The Salians . Stuttgart u. a. 2000, p. 127; Hanna Vollrath : Empire and patriciate in the beginning of the investiture dispute . In: Wolfgang Bienert u. a. (Ed.): ZKG 85, Paderborn 1974, p. 14 f.
  19. ^ Hermann Jakobs: Church Reform and High Middle Ages 1046-1215 . Munich 1999, p. 19; see. Art. Clemens II. In BBKL and ADB.
  20. Markus Knipp: Review of Georg Gresser: Clemens II. The first German reform pope, Paderborn, 2007 , in: Sehepunkte 8 (2008) No. 5, accessed on July 26, 2017.
  21. Harald Zimmermann : Papers appointments in the Middle Ages . Graz / Vienna / Cologne 1968, p. 133.
  22. Rudolf Schieffer: Heinrich III. 1039-1056 . In: Helmut Beumann (Ed.): Imperial figures of the Middle Ages . Munich 1991, p. 110.
  23. ^ Klaus Jürgen Herrmann: The Tusculan Papacy (1012-1046) . Stuttgart 1973, pp. 160-164.
predecessor Office successor
John XIX. Pope
New Years Eve III.
New Years Eve III. Pope
Gregory VI.
Clement II Pope
Damasus ii