Amadeus VIII

Amadeus VIII

Amadeus VIII, 1383-1451, count (1391-1416) and duke (from 1416) of Savoy, antipope (1439-49) with the name Felix V. In 1434 he appointed his son regent of Savoy and retired to the hermitage of Ripaille, on Lake Geneva, which he had founded. In 1439 the Council of Basel (see Basel, Council of), which had been pronounced heretical by the pope, declared Eugene IV deposed and elected Amadeus, much respected for his probity, to the papacy. Although a layman, Amadeus reluctantly accepted, believing that he could bring peace to the church. As Felix V, he received only scattered recognition from the secular powers. Following the election of Nicholas V as pope, Felix yielded his claim. He was subsequently made a cardinal. He was the last of the antipopes.
Amadeus VIII (September 4, 1383January 7, 1451) was the son of Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy and Bonne of Berry. He was surnamed the Peaceful and was the Count of Savoy from 1391 to 1416 and was elevated by Emperor Sigismund to the Duke of Savoy in 1416. Amadeus was also the antipope Felix V, elected by the Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence, from November 1439 to April 1449.

After the death of his father in 1391, his mother acted as a regent, because of his youth.

In 1418 his distant cousin Louis of Savoy-Achaea, his brother-in-law, the last male of the elder branch of House of Savoy, died, leaving Amadeus as his heir-general, thus finally uniting the male-lines of the House of Savoy.

He increased his dominions, encouraged several attempts to negotiate an end to the Hundred Years' War, and, after the death of his wife, retired from his position as Duke to become a hermit. Elected by the Council of Basel as an alternative Pope in opposition to Pope Eugene IV, Amadeus served as Felix V, regarded as an antipope, before stepping down to accept a Cardinal's hat instead.

Amadeus' image in history is marred by the account of him as a pontiff concerned with money, to avoid disadvantaging his heirs, found in the Commentaries of Pius II. Nor is there evidence that he intrigued to obtain the papal office, sending the bishops of Savoy to Basel for this purpose.

(Note on numbering: When numbering of the Popes began to be used, Antipope Felix II was counted as one of the Popes of that name. The second true Pope Felix is thus known by the number III, and the true third Pope Felix was given the number IV. It also affected the name taken by Amadeus, who would have been the fourth Pope Felix.)

Family and children

He married Mary of Burgundy (1380-1422), daughter of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy and granddaughter of John II of France and had nine children:

  1. Margaret of Savoy (1405-1418)
  2. Anthony of Savoy (1407)
  3. Anthony of Savoy (1408)
  4. Margaret of Savoy (1410-1479) married to:
    1. Louis III, titular king of Naples;
    2. Louis IV, Count Palatine of the Rhine;
    3. Ulrich V, Count of Württemberg.
  5. Mary of Savoy (1411-1469), married Filippo Maria Visconti, duke of Milan.
  6. Amadeus of Savoy, Prince of Piemonte (1412-1431)
  7. Louis of Savoy (1413-1465), his successor
  8. Bonne of Savoy (1415-1430)
  9. Philip of Savoy, Count of Genève (1417-1444) unmarried.

See also


External links

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