Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 207 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BONIFACE IX. (Piero Tomacelli), pope from 1389 to 1404, was born at Naples of a poor but ancient family. Created cardinal by Urban VI., he was elected successor to the latter on the 2nd of November 1389. In 1391 he canonized Birgitta of Sweden. He was able to restore Roman authority in the major part of the papal states, and in 1398 put an end to the republican liberties of the city itself. Boniface won Naples, which had owed spiritual allegiance to the antipopes Clement VII. and Benedict XIII. of Avignon, to the Roman obedience. In 1403 he ventured at last to confirm the deposition of the emperor Wenceslaus and the election of Rupert. Negotiations for the healing of the Great Schism were without result. In spite of his inferior education, the contemporaries of Boniface trusted his prudence and moral character; yet when in financial straits he sold offices, and in 1399 transformed the annates into a permanent tax. In 1390 he celebrated the regular jubilee, but a rather informal one held in 1400 proved more profitable. Though probably not personally avaricious, he was justly accused of nepotism. He died on the 1st of October 1404, being still under sixty years of age. (W. W. R.*)
End of Article: BONIFACE IX

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