Online Encyclopedia

CELESTINE III

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 600 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CELESTINE III. (Giacinto Bobo), pope from 1191 to 1198, was cardinal deacon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin as early as 1144, and had reached the age of eighty-five when chosen on the 3oth of March 1191 to succeed Clement III. The first pope of the house of the Orsini, his policy was marked by mildness and indecision. Henry VI. of Germany at once forced the pontiff to crown him emperor, and three or four years later took possession of the Norman kingdom of Sicily; he refused tribute and the oath of allegiance, and even appointed bishops subject to his own jurisdiction; moreover, he gave his brother in fief the estates which had belonged to the countess Matilda of Tuscany. Celestine did not dare so much as to threaten him with excommunication. It was Celestine's purpose to lay England under the interdict; but Prince John and the barons still refused to recognize the papal legate, the bishop of Ely. Richard I. had been set free before the dilatory pope put Leopold of Austria under the ban. In his last sickness Celestine wished to resign his office, but the cardinals protested. Death released him from his perplexities on the 8th of January 1198. See " Epistolae Coelestini III. Papae," in M. Bouquet, Receuil des historiens des Gaules et de la France, tome 19 (Paris, 1738 ff.) ; J. P. Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus, tome 206 (Paris, 1855), 867 ff.; further sources in Neues Archie file die dltere deutsche Geschichtskunde, 2. 218; II. 398 f.; 12. 411-414; P. Jaffe, Regesta Pontificum Romanorum, vol. ii. (2nd ed., Leipzig, 1888), 577 if. (W. W. R.*)
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