GREGORY VII (Hildebrand)

Topics: Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, Pope, Holy Roman Empire Pages: 4 (1602 words) Published: October 27, 2013
GREGORY VII (Hildebrand) (Pope, 1073-85). He was born in Tuscany about 1020, perhaps at Soana, a village of the southern border. His family belonged to the plebeian class. Although nothing of his remoter ancestry is known, his family name, Hildebrand, would imply a Teutonic descent; but by birth and education at least he was Italian. His youth was passed in Rome, in the monastery of St. Mary, on the Aventine, of which his uncle was abbot, and he probably took monastic vows. The Emperor Henry III took him to Germany, and he continued his studies in Cologne. Very likely he also visited Aix-la-Chapelle and Cluny. He attended the council at Worms at which Bishop Bruno of Toul was chosen Pope (Leo IX), and the latter took him to Rome (1049) and made him a cardinal subdeacon. He had great influence during the pontificate of Leo. On the latter's death (1054) the Roman people manifested a desire to have Hildebrand as successor; but this honor he declined, preferring to gain more experience. Besides important domestic employments which were assigned to him, he was sent as legate to the Council of Tours (1054), in which the cause of Berengarius was examined. (See BERFEGARIUS of TOURS.) He was likewise one of the three legates dispatched to Germany to consult about a successor to Leo IX. Under the four popes who followed Leo--Victor II, Stephen IX, Benedict X, and Alexander II, known in history as the German popes--Hildebrand continued to be the predominant. Power and inspired into their government of the Church the great principles to which his life was devote. Henry IV (1050-1106) was Holy Roman emperor and king of Germany from 1056 to 1106. An able, ruthless, and secretive monarch, he led the empire into a disastrous confrontation with Pope Gregory VII in the Investiture Controversy. Born in Goslar, Saxony, Henry IV was the only son of Emperor Henry III and Agnes of Poitou. His father died when he was only 6, and he had a long and difficult minority as king, since early...
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