Treaty of Benevento

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Treaty of Benevento was signed on June 18, 1156 between Pope Hadrian IV and William I of Sicily. He regulated the relationship between the Roman Church and the kings of Sicily, but did not resolve all territorial issues. Some ecclesiastical political and feudal law provisions remained in effect until the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

The Kingdom of Sicily around 1154


Under Roger II , the Norman rulers of Sicily had conquered an area of ​​influence far into the papal territories of southern Italy. After his death in 1154, his heir Wilhelm I struggled with uprisings in Apulia and, in light of this, tried for the first time to come to an understanding with Pope Hadrian IV. At the same time, both the Normans and the Papal States were threatened by a Byzantine invasion. In 1153 the Byzantines took Ancona . On the other hand, Konrad III. and his successor Friedrich I. Barbarossa with the Treaty of Constanceobliged to drive the Normans out of southern Italy in cooperation with the Pope, so that the Normans were faced with a united opposing front, from which the Pope could not easily have left. However, it remained unclear who should get the reclaimed land: the Pope or the Emperor.

In view of this complicated contractual and interests situation, Barbarossa set out on the Rome procession in autumn 1154, with which he sought the coronation of the emperor . In addition, he planned to begin retaking southern Italy after the coronation and even land in Sicily . On June 18, 1155, Friedrich I was crowned emperor. Shortly afterwards, Hadrian IV had to flee to Benevento from the uprisings in the city . Barbarossa was negotiating at the same time with Byzantine envoys about a common campaign against Sicily. In the imperial army, however, the German princes offered massive resistance to this project and Friedrich had to give up the campaign, which led to the almost complete breakdown of relations with Byzantium. In addition, the Pope had lost his most important ally against the Normans. The Byzantines then offered Hadrian IV their support against the city Romans, but demanded the transfer of fixed bases on the coast of Apulia. The Pope hesitated to agree, as he would have given the Byzantines extensive access to his territory. At the same time, the Byzantines stirred up an uprising in the Norman Empire, which by the spring of 1156 encompassed almost all of Apulia and also spread to Sicily. In addition, Byzantium conquered Brindisi . At the same time, however, William I had recovered from a long illness, put down the uprisings on mainland Italy and retook Brindisi in May 1156.

The contract

In view of this sudden gain in power by the Normans and Barbarossa's de facto turning away from southern Italy, Hadrian IV fundamentally reoriented his policy and made peace with the Normans. In June 1156 the contract of Benevento was agreed. Hadrian sent a delegation with the Cardinal Priests Humbald of Santa Prassede and Iulius of San Marcello under the leadership of the Chancellor Roland to William I, who in turn sent his ammiratus ammiratorum Maio of Bari , the Archbishops Hugo of Palermo and Romuald of Salerno and the Bishop William of Troia and named the Abbot Marinus of Cava as negotiator. The result was recorded in two documents. The original Norman copy has been preserved in the Vatican Secret Archives , only a copy of Hadrian's counter-document has been preserved.

Hadrian recognized the Norman Empire in them. In addition, he renounced any influence on the succession and left it to the decision of the respective Norman king. In return, Wilhelm swore the Pope the feudal oath , which should also apply to the respective successors. Wilhelm received the license to practice medicine for church elections for the entire empire . Papal legations were only allowed to enter the mainland part of the empire without the express consent of the ruler; the reservation of consent also applied to appeals by the clergy to the Holy See.

With this step the Pope had transformed an opponent into a new protecting power. The Normans had their kingdom legitimized by the highest authority of the Catholic Church.

William demonstrated his will to fulfill the new task by paying 5,000 pounds of gold to the Romans, the sum traditionally distributed to the people by the Pope when he took office. After this payout, the Roman uprising ended and the Pope returned to the city.

The consequences

The Treaty of Benevento is related to a general change of coalition: In 1158 Hadrian brokered a peace between Byzantines and Normans, whereupon these agreed future actions against the Staufer territories in Italy. In addition, the Benevento Treaty also represented an important step in the intensification of the conflict between Pope and Emperor. After all, Frederick had not performed the protective function that Hadrian had hoped for against the Normans and Hadrian had allied himself with the Normans, whom Barbarossa viewed as enemies.

In terms of the history of ideas, the treaty broke the ties between the emperor and the pope. The emperor was no longer legitimized by him as the sole bailiff of the church and also no longer legitimized by his function in the city of Rome.