Paschal II

Paschal II

Paschal II [Lat.,=of Easter], d. 1118, pope (1099-1118), an Italian (b. near Ravenna) named Ranieri; successor of Urban II. He was a monk and, as a reformer, was made a cardinal by Pope Gregory VII. He was a loyal supporter of Urban II as well. His reign began auspiciously. Philip I of France was reconciled with the church (1104), St. Anselm was victor in his struggle in England, and the First Crusade was a great success. Difficulties with the Roman emperor were continual, however, chiefly over the question of investiture. Henry IV was deposed by his son Henry V, with whom Paschal was allied. Henry V, however, proved no less strongly anti-investiture. He invaded Italy in 1110; negotiations between emperor and pope failed, and the emperor captured Paschal, who was compelled to surrender the papal position on investitures. Once freed, however, and encouraged by clerical protests, the pope reaffirmed the legislation against lay investiture in 1112 and 1116. The name is also spelled Pascal. He was succeeded by Gelasius II.

Paschal II, born Ranierius, (died January 21, 1118) was Pope from August 13, 1099 until his death. A monk of the Cluniac order, he was created Cardinal Priest of the Titulus S. Clementi by Pope Gregory VII (1073–85) about 1076, and was consecrated Pope in succession to Pope Urban II (1088–99) on August 19, 1099.


He was born in Bleda, near Forlì, Romagna.

In the long struggle with the Emperors over investiture, he zealously carried on the Hildebrandine policy, but with only partial success. In 1104 Paschal II succeeded in instigating the Emperor's second son to rebel against his father, but soon found Emperor Henry V (1105–25) even more persistent in maintaining the right of investiture than Emperor Henry IV (1056–1105) had been. The imperial Diet at Mainz invited Paschal II to visit Germany and settle the trouble in January 1106, but the Pope in the Council of Guastalla (October 1106) simply renewed the prohibition of investiture. In the same year he brought to an end the investiture struggle in England, in which Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, had been engaged with Henry I of England (1100–35), by retaining to himself exclusive right to invest with the ring and crozier, but recognizing the royal nomination to vacate benefices and the oath of fealty for temporal domains. He went to France at the close of 1106 to seek the mediation of Philip I of France (1060–1108) and Prince Louis in the Imperial struggle, but, his negotiations remaining without result, he returned to Italy in September 1107. When Henry V advanced with an army into Italy in order to be crowned, the Pope agreed to a compact (February 1111), by the terms of which the Church should surrender all the possessions and royalties it had received of the empire and kingdom of Italy since the days of Charlemagne (768–814), while Henry V on his side should renounce lay investiture. Preparations were made for the coronation on 12 February, 1111, but the Romans rose in revolt against him, and the German king retired taking the Pope and curia with him.

After sixty-one days of harsh imprisonment, during which Prince Robert I of Capua's Norman army was repulsed on its rescue mission, Paschal II yielded and guaranteed investiture to the Emperor. Henry V was then crowned in St. Peter's on 13 April, 1111, and after exacting a promise that no revenge would be taken for what had passed withdrew beyond the Alps. The Hildebrandine party was aroused to action, however; a Lateran council of March 1112 declared null and void the concessions extorted by violence; a council held at Vienna in October 1111 actually excommunicated the Emperor, and Paschal II sanctioned the proceeding. Towards the end of his pontificate trouble began anew in England; Paschal II complained (1115) that councils were held and bishops translated without his authorization, and threatened Henry I with excommunication. On the death of the countess Matilda, who had bequeathed all her territories to the Church (1115), the Emperor at once laid claim to them as imperial fiefs and forced the Pope to flee from Rome. Paschal II returned after the Emperor's withdrawal at the beginning of 1118, but died within a few days on January 21, 1118.

Actions during his reign

Pope Paschal II ordered the building of the new basilica of Santi Quattro Coronati, on the ashes of the one burned during the Norman Sack of Rome (1084). The first bishop of America was appointed during Paschal II's reign, nearly four centuries before Columbus's first voyage across the Atlantic. Erik Gnupsson was given the province of Greenland and Vinland, the latter believed to refer to what is now Newfoundland.



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