Arnold of Brescia

(d. 1155)

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(d. 1155), reformer.

A canon regular, c.1139 he had to leave Brescia after taking part in a conflict between the bishop and reformers. In France he supported Peter Abelard and at the Council of Sens (1140) he was condemned with him. He went to Rome in 1146/7. After a brief reconciliation with the Church, he backed the senate in its rejection of the temporal dominion of the Pope; he was excommunicated in 1148 and later captured by the Emp. Frederick Barbarossa and hanged. It is probable that he discouraged his followers from receiving the sacraments from priests guilty of simony, but like other reformers of the time, he was mainly concerned to revive the ideal of apostolic poverty. He developed this into an assault on the possession of worldly goods and the exercise of secular authority by the Church.

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

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