Alexander III

(d. 1181)

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(d. 1181),

Pope from 1159. After his election, an antipope (Victor IV) was immediately set up and supported by the Emp. Frederick I. During the 17-year schism, Alexander lived mainly in France. Here he came into contact with Henry II of England over the Becket affair. Though embarrassed by the archbishop, he was firm in imposing penance for his murder. In 1179 he assembled the Third Lateran Council (q.v.). He encouraged the Scholastic revival of the 12th cent., but it is unlikely that he wrote the ‘Decretum’ of Gratian or the ‘Sententiae Rolandi’ long ascribed to him.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — Christianity.

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