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Boniface VIII

(1235—1303)


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(c.1234–1303),

Pope from 1294. His pontificate was dominated by his struggle with Philip the Fair of France. The bull ‘Clericis laicos’ (1296) forbade extraordinary taxation of the clergy without Papal consent; Philip then stopped the transport of gold and valuables to Rome, and the Pope had to concede to him the right to decide for himself cases of necessity when he might levy taxes. The struggle broke out again in 1301. In his bull ‘Unam Sanctam’ (1302) Boniface defended the jurisdiction of the Pope over all persons; in 1303 Philip tried to bring Boniface to trial. The Pope prepared a bull of excommunication but was taken prisoner at Anagni; though he was released after three days he was broken in health and soon died. Among his achievements was the compilation of the ‘Sext’ and the foundation of the Roman University, the ‘Sapienza’, in 1303.

Subjects: Christianity.


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