Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Boniface VIII & Philip IV

Adapted from the Web-monk's M.A. thesis, 
Boniface VIII and the Decline of Papal Power.


    The story of Pope Boniface VIII and King Philip IV of France represents one of the more dramatic clashes between the forces of Church and State.  Papal political influence reached its zenith in the reign of Innocent III (1198-1216).  Developing out of a milieu of other-worldliness, by the twelfth century papal power transformed itself into an instrument of worldliness -- some would say extreme worldliness.  Yet the seeds of the papacy's political undoing could be found in its own traditions, in the workings of the secular and religious scholarship it fostered, and in the social development of its faithful.

    The power gained by Innocent III prevailed for a little less than a century.  Often during the years between Innocent and Boniface popes lacked Innocent's sharp focus and clarity of purpose.  The death of Boniface VIII is often said to mark the end of the great temporal power of the Papacy  an end grounded more in Christian tradition and the realities of society than in any real failing on Boniface's part.  This paper begins by relating the events of the clash between Boniface and Philip.  Subsequent chapters examine those Christian political traditions and the changes then taking place in society which, through no fault of their own, made it impossible for Boniface and his successors to wield the absolute power of Innocent III.

Chapter I.  The Conflict

    The conflict between Boniface VIII and Philip IV of France took place between 1295 and 1303.  This first chapter outlines the relationship between France and the Papacy at that time and relates how war between France and England brought increased taxation of Church revenues.  Arguments over taxation turned into a heated clash between the pope and the king debating the very nature of kingly and papal power.

    Boniface VIII reigned as pope from late 1294 until October 1303.  Born Benedetto Gætani, in 1235 at Anagni, to a modestly wealthy family, he studied law, entered the Church, and rose through the papal bureaucracy.  He was instrumental in obtaining the resignation of his incompetent predecessor, Celestine V, and was consecrated and crowned pope on 23 January 1295.[1]

    With Boniface VIII, the Roman Catholic Church ended a period of reform and consolidation of power that dates roughly from the reign of Gregory VII (1073-1085).  This reform will be treated in greater detail below but for the moment suffice it to say that internally it was a struggle to ensure the personal holiness of the clergy and people under the leadership of the pope.  Externally it dealt with the relationship between the Church and the various civil powers.  The reform sought to strengthen the Church by securing its material properties and maintaining control over the appointments of its higher clergy.

    Papal power reached its peak in the pontificate of Innocent III (1198-1216), who clearly functioned as a power broker in the affairs of Europe and beyond.  During his reign he influenced the succession of the Holy Roman Empire, excommunicated King John of England, annulled Magna Carta, mediated disputes between France and England, received kingdoms in Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Poland, and England as papal fiefs, and launched a crusade in the East, as well as the Albigensian crusade into France.  Innocent reformed the living styles of both the secular and the monastic clergy.  He granted a measure of independent decision making to the bishops, while making it clear that he alone had the final say in important matters.  Yet, within a century of Innocent's death, papal power would be dissipated amid strife and confusion.[2]

    After Innocent's pontificate, the secular powers -- particularly France and the empire -- rapidly regained influence over affairs of both church and state.  By the end of the thirteenth century, papal elections had deteriorated to squabbles among the influential families which controlled the College of Cardinals.  The death of Nicholas IV in 1292 found the College heavily influenced by the Roman Colonna and Orsini families.[3]  The Ghibelline (pro-imperial) Colonnas, who ruled much of the territory from Rome to Naples, had two family members (Peter and James) in the College of Cardinals.  The Guelph (pro-papal) Orsini were represented by Cardinals Matteo Rosso and Giordano.[4]   The total membership in the College was only twelve; six Romans, four Italians, and two Frenchmen.[5]

    The papal election was further complicated by the plague which forced nine of the Cardinals to withdraw to Rieti.  In October 1293 the College assembled at Perugia but failed to elect a pope for another ten months.  The political situation was complicated by war in the papal state and the overthrow of Rome's civil government.[6]

    On 5 July 1294, the devout, but completely incompetent hermit monk, Peter Murrone, then almost ninety, was elected pope after more than two years of electoral deadlock.[7]  As Celestine V, he conferred numerous and often contradictory privileges on all who asked.  He avoided all controversy and decision making, wishing only to be left alone in prayer.[8]  Peter Celestine remained in office for only five months before resigning on 13 December 1294—the first pope ever to do so of his own free will.[9]

    Celestine's abdication was engineered by Benedetto Gætani, who would succeed him.  Aware that his enemies would challenge Celestine’s ability to abdicate,[10]  Gætani had Celestine issue a papal pronouncement confirming his own right to resign, prior to doing so.  Following this pronouncement, Celestine tendered his resignation.[11]

    On Christmas eve, eleven days later, Benedetto Gætani was elected to replace Celestine as Boniface VIII.  At fifty-nine years of age, Boniface possessed training in law and diplomacy, as well as the appropriate family connections.  Loffredo Gætani, his father, came from a noble Spanish family, long settled in Italy.  A nephew of Alexander IV, he was related, through his mother, to Innocent III and Gregory IX of the Conti family.  The politics of the great Italian families brought Boniface to the papacy.  Those same politics would ultimately contribute to his downfall.[12]

    As a young man, Boniface took the Doctorate in canon and civil law, studying at Todi, Spoleto, and Paris.  He served as a canon of the cathedral chapter of his native Anagni before holding progressively more important canonries at Todi, Paris, Lyons, and Rome.  About 1276, he entered the Roman Curia, was made a Cardinal-Deacon by Martin IV in 1281, and a Cardinal-Priest by Nicholas IV in 1291.[13]

    As Canon, and later Cardinal, Gætani rendered impressive service as a papal diplomat.  He served as part of the mission to England in 1265 to negotiate an end to the rebellion of the Barons against Henry III.  As the papal legate of Nicholas IV, he negotiated a compromise with Philip IV over the limits of the legal jurisdiction to be exercised by French bishops.  This compromise was clearly mindful of the rights of the secular power.[14]  Yet, as pope Boniface would directly challenge Philip over these same rights.

    Philip IV, the Fair, became heir to the French throne with the death of his elder brother, Louis, in 1276.  When Philip's natural mother died, his father, Philip III took Marie de Brabant as his second wife (1274).  According to tradition, the Augustinian political theorist Ægidius Romanus assumed the task of his education.  This claim rests largely on Ægidius' dedication of his De regimine principium to Philip.[15]  More likely, one Guillaume d'Ercuis, another Augustinian canon actually served as his tutor.  In his rule, Philip reflected some of Ægidius' philosophy of statecraft, especially the idea that kings reign for the good of the nation without being subject to positive law.[16]

    Philip III died in 1285 while retreating from a reluctantly joined “crusade” against Peter III of Aragon, who had seized the papal territory of Sicily.[17]  Honorius VI had promised the crown of Sicily to Philip's younger son Charles of Valois[18] as a papal fief in return for the island's recovery.[19]  The battle went poorly, and Philip III died shortly after struggling back across the Pyrenees.  At the age of seventeen or eighteen, in the year he married Jeanne of Navarre, Philip IV ascended the French throne.[20] 

    France in 1285 was not France in the modern sense.  The French king had varying degrees of control over the lands surrounding the Île de France, the original region about Paris.  The Albigensian crusades,[21] in the first half of the century, brought only nominal control of that southeastern region bordering on the Mediterranean (sometimes referred to as “Occitania,” or perhaps as “Languedoc”).[22]   The French king was, at best, an outsider.  Royal control required a firm hand and carefully placed advisors.[23]

    The new king quickly determined a need to strengthen the internal workings of French government.  To eliminate favoritism and corruption he replaced many of his father's appointees and reassigned most of the rest.  Many of the bailli and seneschals were assigned to new territories between 1286 and 1289.  Joseph Strayer suggests that Philip became embittered with the interventionist foreign policies that he blamed for his father's premature death while on crusade and that the reorganization was a move toward isolationism.[24]

    The introduction of the "legists" into French government furthered the transition from reliance on the clergy.  More and more, educated laymen filled those posts often held by clerics in the past.  Thus, Philip had at least one less reason to fear confrontation with the papacy; he was no longer so completely dependent on the clergy for secretarial, legal, and accounting services.  In this, Philip followed the contemporary trend to staff state bureaucracies with educated non-noble laymen.  In 1224, Emperor Frederick II had established the University of Naples to train similar officials for Sicily.[25]   The Roman Curia began to employ men trained in law rather than theology just a few years earlier during the late twelfth century.[26]  Both Church and state were aware of the importance of law in the conduct of their affairs and wanted functionaries who would not be swayed from their duties by connections to a noble family.

    Philip built most of his bureaucracy with these legists, men who had been trained in the law.  For the most part (Nogaret may have been an exception) they did not become nobles, but did derive great personal power from their association with the crown.[27]  Philip was shrewd enough to recognize that by taking some of his lawyers from the rural towns of Occitania he could build personal loyalties with men who would have to represent him in his unfamiliar lands.  Whether they were from the old domains, or the new, service with Philip represented a tremendous opportunity.  They would do their best to retain the king's favor.

    The Occitanians played a large part in the conflict with Boniface VIII.  From the south Philip acquired men like Pierre Flote, Giles Aicelin, Guillaume de Plaisians, and Guillaume de Nogaret.[28]  These names recur constantly in the documents and narratives of the period.  Nogaret, who may have lost family in the Albigensian crusade,[29] is perhaps the best known.  His name and his style are associated with three actions that twentieth century writers might describe as “Gestapo-like”—the expulsion of the Jews and Lombards from France, the arrest and suppression of the Knights Templar in Catholic lands, and the physical attack on Boniface VIII.[30]  Sophia Menache holds that the first two of these enterprises enabled Philip's treasury to acquire wealth or taxing power ... foreigners' property was confiscated and French debts to the Templars were written off as the cost of prosecuting them.[31]   Had he not died shortly after being captured, Boniface's arrest (and hoped for deposition) would have prevented further opposition to taxes on the Church.

    Philip's concerns extended beyond the borders of France.  The English king, Edward I, held Gascony as a fief of the French monarch.  An independent ruler in his own right, Edward chafed at the idea of owing feudal service to the French king.  Edward had performed homage to Philip in 1286, just after the latter's coronation.  Edward's refusal to attend the French court, coupled with a naval battle in the English Channel (1293), brought war in 1294.[32]  With English forces involved in conflicts with the Scots and the Welsh, Edward appeared vulnerable to the power of the French.

    Neither king could finance war out of feudal revenues.  Both formed overseas alliances and raised more money internally.  Direct taxes were levied on clergy and laity alike.  Edward expelled the Jews from England and confiscated their property in 1290 and Philip began to follow suit in 1292.[33]  Edward placed stiff duties on England's wool trade while France imposed a variety of sales taxes and took measures to devalue the currency.[34]  Both sides exercised control over exports of food, grain, wine, cloth, and raw materials passing through the country.  Philip occasionally issued export licenses to his creditors in lieu of paying his debts.[35]

    England and France both found additional revenue in the taxation of the clergy.  Innocent III had authorized a direct tax on the income from benefices in order to finance the crusades.  As with most taxes, clerical taxation remained in effect even when no crusade was being mounted.  It became particularly annoying to non-Italians when the revenues intended for crusades were diverted to wars for the defense of specifically Italian interests in the papal states.  The pope was not the only offender.  Henry III and Edward I of England both collected crusade tithes for crusades that they never fought,[36] just as Philip III and Philip the Fair collected for a largely political "crusade" against Aragon.[37]

    The French king collected two kinds of taxes from the clergy, "annates" and "tenths."  Annates, a year's net income from a newly acquired benefice, were paid only by newly promoted clergy and only on command of the pope.  They were intended to be used for secular purposes.  Tenths, literally ten percent of the income from benefices, were paid for religious purposes.  In principle, tenths were levied by the pope and not the king.  In reality, Philip collected annates and tenths during twenty four years between 1285 and 1314.  The crown also taxed the clergy on the secular property they held.[38]

    At least in theory, the tithes on benefices went to further the affairs of the Church.  Since Innocent III allowed tithes to be collected to finance crusades, the continuing practice accustomed both king and clergy to the idea of taxing benefices to finance military operations.  The French and English clergy generally did not resist these levies.[39]  Sons of their own respective patriæ, they had loyalties to their homelands as well as to the Church.  Thirteenth century Christianity acknowledged patriotism as a virtue.[40]  Virtue and common sense militated against allowing a foreign invasion.  Strayer suggests that as Boniface's reign progressed and negotiations about taxes became more and more convoluted, the pope failed to protect the interests of the French clergy.  He holds that as a result some of the clergy may have preferred to deal directly with the king without Roman interference.[41]  Philip, for his part, was not trying to damage the Church.  Elizabeth A. R. Brown describes Philip as a sincere, practicing Catholic, personally generous to the Church within his realm.[42]  The levies were necessary to meet Philip's military needs.

    The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) issued instructions forbidding clerical taxation without permission of the pope.  In practice, though, the Holy See ignored small scale violations.  However, in 1296, the French Cistercians (and others) petitioned Boniface for relief from Philip's latest request for tenths.[43]  In response, Boniface issued the bull Clericis Laicos  (February 1296)  In rather sarcastic language, it held that "the laity has always been exceedingly hostile to the clergy," that only the Church exercises power over ecclesiastics, and that the clergy may be taxed only with the consent of the pope.[44]

    Kings Philip and Edward, both dependent on clerical revenues to fight each other, reacted belligerently.  Edward confiscated the temporal properties of bishops who refused his levies and withdrew legal protection for the non-compliant clergy.[45]  Philip responded somewhat later with an export embargo (17 August 1296).[46]  A common wartime precaution, disallowing the export of horses, arms, and money, the embargo served primarily to keep the French clergy from sending taxes to the pope.

    With characteristic style, Boniface countered Philip's embargo with the bull Ineffabilis amor (20 September 1296) claiming that “Christ gave His bride, the Church, dominion”—“sponsam ejus libero fidelibus populis præesse dómino" so that She could exercise power over all the faithful."  More than just flowery rhetoric, the bull threatened a papal alliance with England and Germany.  Yet, it also allowed Philip a way out by blaming Philip's actions on his advisors and indicating that the clergy could indeed be taxed if the king would only obtain papal permission.[47]

    Philip understood the power of the pope to influence the allegiance of his subjects.  To avoid the alienation of their loyalty, he embarked on a propaganda campaign.  Late in 1296 anonymous French treatises appeared.   Disputatio inter clericum et militem[48]—A Dialog between a cleric and a soldier—suggested that the civil authority graciously granted the immunities enjoyed by clerics, and could as easily take them away.  The king of France, sovereign within his territory, had power over the clergy, as did the emperor within the empire.  Exacting taxes—even from the clergy—during a time of national emergency fell within the powers of the king.

    A second pamphlet, Antequam essent clerici—Before There Were Clergy—held the rather doubtful proposition that the kings of France ruled prior to the existence of the Church.  It continued that the Church included both clergy and laity and that both had an obligation to defend their native land.  It insinuated that the clergy spent their money for base purposes and that they bordered on treason in their refusal to aid the realm.  The pamphlet contrasted Christ's dictate to "Render unto Cæsar" with the papal prohibition to do so.  In short, it attempted a philosophical justification for denying the pope any temporal power.[49]

    Boniface also had considerable problems in Italy.  War in Sicily (a papal fief), war between Venice and Genoa, and war between the Bianchi and Neri factions in Florence all required the pope's attention.  Ironically, Boniface depended upon Philip's brother, Prince Charles of Valois, for much of his military power in handling these Italian crises.  His aid proved of questionable value, resolving the Florentine situation by crushing the family of the Bianchi.[50]

    Boniface made the mistake of developing enemies among the Colonnas, a noble and important Roman family with extensive land holdings and powerful influence within the Church.  Boniface became involved in a dispute over Colonna family property in which the younger brothers accused Cardinal Jacopo Colonna of misappropriating their inheritance.  The pope's intervention was resented by all of the brothers and the dispute developed into a two year confrontation which included robbery, murder, a small war that Boniface called a "crusade," and the wholesale destruction of the town of Palestrina.  In July of 1297, during the course of this disturbance, the Colonna cardinals Jacopo and Pietro issued formal decrees blaming Boniface for the illegal (so they claimed) resignation of Celestine V, and holding Boniface to be an anti-pope.  It fit Philip's purposes well to have two cardinals of the Roman Church calling for an ecumenical council to depose Boniface and warning all concerned not to "obey or heed . . . this man who does not possess the authority of the supreme pontiff."[51]  Boniface had been elected with the cooperation of the Colonnas; they would prove to be powerful enemies.

    Boniface felt it necessary to back down from his confrontation with Philip.  With the bull of 7 February 1297, Romana mater, he suspended Clericis laicos in France, allowing Philip to take "contributions voluntarily granted."  Then, with the bull Etsi De Statu  (31 July 1297) he allowed Philip to act on his own to levy taxes in case of an "emergency."[52]   On 11 August, Boniface presided at the canonization of Philip's crusader grandfather, St. Louis IX.  At least for the moment, good relations prevailed between France and the papacy.[53]

    Even though Philip was no longer hostile, he seems to have lost respect for Boniface.  When, in 1298, Boniface tried to negotiate a truce between France and England,  Philip accepted Boniface's mediation only as an individual and not as one having any sort of international authority in temporal matters.  That is, Philip recognized him as Benedetto Gætani, and not as the pope.  In order to establish peace, Boniface served as a match-maker, arranging a marriage between the future Edward II of England and Philip's daughter, Isabelle of France.[54

    Boniface proclaimed 1300 a Jubilee year, offering a plenary indulgence to all those who made a pilgrimage to Rome.[55]>  The highly successful jubilee celebration brought large crowds, which benefited the Roman economy, restored Boniface's confidence, and perhaps his health.  Feeling a groundswell of popular support, he again felt capable of resisting Philip's attempts to control church affairs.[56]

    A second crisis began in August of 1301, as royal officials arrested Bernard Saisset, the bishop of Pamiers, and a personal friend of the Pope.  The charges against Saisset included treason and heresy.[57]  Many of the inhabitants of Pamiers, in southern France, viewed Philip and the French as invaders.  Linked to the separatist movement which sought to preserve the south free from the French crown, Saisset apparently labeled the king "a bastard" and likened him to "an owl, the handsomest of birds, which is worth absolutely nothing."[58]  It must be noted that the royal enquˆteurs were clerics, who gathered some of their testimony from Saisset's fellow bishops.[59]  Such anti-French sentiments clearly disturbed bishops and clergy from those areas long a part of the royal dominion.

    Boniface responded to Saisset's imprisonment with bulls denouncing Philip's condemnation and summoning the French bishops to Rome for a synod to begin on All Saints day, 1 November 1302.  The bull, Salvator mundi, revoked Philip's authority to tax the clergy.  To Philip personally, he sent the bull Ausculta fili,  (December 1301) a condescending letter beginning, "Listen son. . . ." and claiming that "God has set us over kings and kingdoms."[60]Ausculta fili constituted a direct threat to Philip, asserting papal authority over civil government.

    Philip seems to have had forgeries -- probably authored by Pierre Flote -- of a more outrageous letter attributed to Boniface circulated in France.[61]   These forgeries portrayed Boniface as claiming to be Philip's superior in temporal matters and were intended to make the pope seem altogether unreasonable to the French people and to justify action against him.  In April of 1302, Philip summoned the first meeting of the Estates General (the aristocracy, the clergy, and the town peoples) to develop support for the opinion that he was protecting France against a hostile pope.[62]  Philip forbade the French bishops from going to Rome and later confiscated the goods of those who did.[63]

    Boniface opened his synod with thirty nine or roughly half of the French bishops attending[64] and then on 18 November 1302 issued the bull Unam Sanctam[65] claiming that the Church had authority over both spiritual and temporal governments, (that it had "two swords") and that anyone not under the pope's authority was subject to eternal damnation.  Unam Sanctam unequivocally made the claim that all power of government is divine and flows from God through the pope, and that the punishment for resisting the pope reaches beyond this world and the grave. [66]

    Philip summoned the bishops to Paris for a series of meetings between 12 March and 21 June 1303, to enlist their public support.  The bishop of Autun and the abbot of Cîteaux were arrested for absenting themselves. [67]  Forty prelates attended the meetings.  Menache has plotted the dioceses represented on a map, locating most of them in the area surrounding the Ile de France. [68]  Ever conscious of the power of public loyalty to the papacy, Philip had his messengers conduct a tour of the provinces to explain the situation to the clergy and laity of the realm.  Notaries documented the reaction of the crowds, and "letters of adherence" were required from the more important clergy.  Absentees received personal visits. [69]

    Early in 1303, Guillaume de Nogaret, the king's councillor, formally brought charges before the French Council of State, asking King Philip to "protect" the French Church from Boniface, and to set in motion a process by which an ecumenical council might be called to secure Boniface's deposition.  On 13 June 1303, Philip and his men met in Paris to assemble testimony against Boniface.  Based largely on the statements of William of Plaisians, the General Assembly accused Boniface of every imaginable doctrinal evil, for heresy was the one charge that might bring about a pope's deposition.  For good measure it accused him of murder, sodomy, fortune telling, and having relations with the demon that lived in his ring! [70]

    Anxious to act quickly, Nogaret obtained funds from the treasury and powers to act in King Philip's name.  In mid-March, even before the proceedings at Paris, he journeyed to Tuscany to meet with Boniface's Italian enemies.  He awaited the opportunity to summon Boniface before a general council, an opportunity that did not come, and would force more drastic action. [71]

    In August of 1303, during a consistory of the College of Cardinals held at Anagni, Boniface denied all of the charges against him.  He suspended many of those who cooperated with Philip and insisted that only the pope himself could call a general council.  He threatened Philip with excommunication and prepared the bull Super Petri solio—Upon Peter alone, to be published on 8 September 1303.  The Bull would have excommunicated Philip and freed his subjects from obedience to him. [72]

    Before Super Petri solio could be promulgated, on 7 September 1303, Boniface was attacked by forces from within and from without.  An armed French party under Nogaret joined with Boniface's old enemies, the Colonna Cardinals Jacopo and Pietro, their brother Sciarra Colonna, and an assortment of others who held grievances against the pope.  They violently invaded the papal palace at Anagni and most of Boniface's supporters surrendered to Nogaret.  An eyewitness account[73] holds that the invaders were not in agreement as to what to do with Boniface.  Sciarra Colonna wanted to kill him but was restrained by the others.  Presumably, the latter wanted to bring him before a general council for trial.  While they argued, the townspeople got up their courage and rescued Boniface on the 9th.  He returned to Rome on 25 September, only to die of a violent fever on 12 October 1303.[74]

    Niccolo Boccasino succeeded Boniface as pope Benedict XI (22 October 1303 - 7 July 1304).  Although he stood with Boniface at Anagni, he was a much weaker man.  In an attempt to be conciliatory he granted pardons to the Colonna Cardinals and, ultimately, to everyone except Nogaret.  To sidestep Philip's demand for an ecumenical council to condemn Boniface, he revoked Clericis laicos, absolved Philip, and granted Philip tithes for two years. [75]  He was prevented by death from prosecuting Nogaret.

    Almost a year later the Cardinals elected Bertrand de Got, then Archbishop of Bordeaux, as Clement V (1305-1314).  Clement acceded to Philip's request that he be crowned at Lyons, created more French Cardinals, and spent several years wandering around southern France.  Trying to avoid being forced into an outright condemnation of Boniface, he repudiated Unam Sanctam in February 1306. [76]   In April 1311, Clement absolved those who had attacked Boniface.[77]

    Philip IV pressured Clement into a trial of the deceased Pope Boniface.  All of the charges brought before the French Council of State in 1303 were renewed during these proceedings of 1310-1311, with live witnesses called to testify to the late pope's utter depravity.  The trial ended inconclusively, perhaps because the testimony was beyond belief. [78]

    In March 1309, Clement finally settled at Avignon, on the east side of the rapid waters of the Rhône, just outside France.  The enclave stood on papal land, obtained during the Albigensian Crusade in 1274. [79]  At Avignon Clement would be out of Philip's hands and away from the turmoil of central Italy.  His reign began the "Babylonian Captivity" of the papacy at Avignon, a seventy year exile and a period of decline in papal authority and prestige.[80]


[1]   J.N.D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), 209. 

[2]   The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907 ed., s.v. "Innocent III."

[3]   See Glossary for a discussion of the alliance of powerful families with the pope or the emperor as “guelphs” or “ghibellines.”

[4]   The Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. "Orsini."

[5] Glenn D. Kittler, The Papal Princes - A History of the Sacred College of Cardinals (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1960), 149.  Hereafter referred to as Kittler, The Papal Princes.

[6]   Philip Hughes, A History of the Church 3 Vols. (London: Sheed and Ward, 1947) 3: 52.  Hereafter referred to as Hughes, History.

[7]   Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, 206.

[8]   Hughes, History  3: 53-56.

[9]   Kelly,  The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, 208.  Hughes, History 2: 214.  Earlier abdications had taken place but these were generally forced in order to end the reign of multiple claimants to the papacy.  e.g. Gregory VI in 1046.

[10]   Colona Cardinals, Manifesto, June 1297 in Brian Tierney, The Crisis of Church and State 1050-1300 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989), Doc. No. 98 pp. 176-178.  Hereafter referred to as Tierney, Crisis. They literally questioned the ability of someone to resign from the papacy, as though it imprinted an indelible character on the soul of th officeholder.

[11]   Giovanni Villani, Villani's Chronicle, Philip H. Wickstead, ed. (London: Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd., 1906), 304-306.

[12]   The Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. “Boniface VIII.”

[13]   .  Hughes, History  3: 56-86, and The Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. “Boniface VIII.”

[14]   Joseph R. Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980), 242-247.  Hereafter referred to as Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair.

[15]   Ernst Kantorowicz, The King's Two Bodies (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1957), 134.  'gidius was a pupil of St. Thomas Aquinas.  Hereafter reffered to as Kantorowicz, The King's Two Bodies.

[16]   Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair, 1-9.

[17]   Joseph R. Strayer,  “The Crusade Against Aragon.”  Speculum.  Vol. 28, No. 1 (1953) 102-113.

[18] Charles of Valois is also remembered as the agent of Boniface VIII in bringing Florence under papal control in 1301.  Rioting ensued between the neri i bianchi (two factions of a guelph family), devfstroying, among other things, the home of Dante Alighieri.

[19]   The Church considered Sicily a papal fief since the Norman conquest of the island by the Hautevilles in 1060.  It became a Hohenstaufen territory with the marriage of Henry VI to Constance of Sicily (1184) but was taken from Henry's grandson Manfred by Charles of Anjou at the encouragement of Urban IV (1266).  Hohenstaufen exiles fled to Aragon, returning to overthrow Charles after the "Sicilian Vespers" of 1282.  The French Pope Martin IV excommunicated Peter III of Aragon, Manfred's son-in-law, and Honorius IV declared the abortive crusade against Aragon.  See Steven Runciman, The Sicilian Vespers (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1958).  Hereafter referred to as Runciman, Vespers.

[20]   Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair, 9-11.

[21]   The Albigensians will be discussed below.

[22]   Joseph R. Strayer, The Albigensian Crusades (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1992), 1-14. Hereafter referred to as Strayer, Albigensian Crusades. The name “Languedoc” came from the linguistic differences between the north and the south.  It was the land where “oc,” instead of “oui,” meant “yes.”

[23]   Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair, 36-99.

[24]   Ibid., 11-16.

[25]   Frederick II founded the University of Naples to train his own legists in an effort to take administration out of the hands of nobles who might have their own agenda.  See David Abulafia, Fredrick II (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988) 210, 263.  Hereafter referred to as Abulafia, Fredrick II.

[26]   I.S. Robinson, The Papacy - 1073-1198 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 55.  Hereafter referred to as Robinson, The Papacy.

[27]   Jan Rogozinski, "Enoblement by the Crown and Social Stratification in France 1285-1322: A Prosopographical Survey." in Order and Innovation in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honor of Joseph Strayer, William C. Jordan, Bruce Mc Nab, Teofilo F. Ruiz, eds.  (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976) 273-291.  Hereafter Jordan, Order and Innovation.

[28]   Franklin J. Pegues, The Lawyers of the Last Capetians (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1962), 87-107.  Hereafter referred to as Pegues, The Lawyers

[29]   John J. Robinson, Dungeon, Fire, and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades (New York: M. Evans & Co., 1991), 417.

[30]   Edward Burman, The Templars: Knights of God (Rochester Vermont: Destiny Books, 1986), 158-175.  Heareafter cited as Burman, The Templars.

[31]   Sophia Menache, “The Templar Order: A Failed Ideal?”  The Catholic Historical Review  Vol. 79, No. 1 (1993): 16-17.

[32]   George Holmes, The Later Middle Ages: 1272-1485 (New York: W.W. Norton, 1962), 105.Elizabeth M. Hallam, Capetian France: 978-1328 (London: Longman Group, 1980), 280.

[33]   A discussion of  the plight of English Jews prior to their expulsion may be found in Robert C. Stacey, "The Conversion of Jews to Christianity in Thirteenth-Century England."  Speculum  Vol. 67, No. 2 (1992): 263-283—they were already paying.

[34]   Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair, 148-169.

[35]   Joseph R. Strayer and Charles H. Taylor, Studies in Early French Taxation (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1939), 13-17.  This is a detailed study of French taxation during the period in question.  Hereafter referred to as Strayer and Taylor, Taxation.

[36]  Clifford Hugh Lawrence,  The English Church and the Papacy in the Middle Ages (New York: Fordham University Press, 1965), 133-137.  Hereafter referred to as Lawrence, The English Church.

[37]  Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair, 250.

[38]  Strayer and Taylor, Taxation, 6-9.

[39]  However, "France was" by no means a homogenous nation.  Jeffrey H. Denton in "Philip the Fair and the Ecclesiastical Assemblies of 1294-1295"  Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol 81, Pt. 1, (1991), 4-6 holds that in the 1290s there was opposition to the tenths levied against Aragon, particularly in dioceses only recently removed from Hohenstaufen control.  There were ties of marriage between Aragon and the empire  Frederick II had been married to Constance of Aragon, and his grand-daughter (through Manfred) Constance married Peter III of Aragon.

[40]  Thomas Aquinas,  Summa Theologica,  IIa II', 101, 1c.  Hereafter cited as Aquinas, Summa.

[41]  Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair, 255.

[42]  Elizabeth A.R. Brown, "Royal Salvation and Needs of State in Late Capetian France." in Jordan, Order and Innovation, 366-383.

[43]  Lawrence, The English Church, 135.

[44]  Boniface VIII, Clericis laicos, 25 February 1296.  in Colman J. Barry, O.S.B., Readings in Church History (Westminster, MD: Christian Classics, 1985), 454-455.  Hereafter referred to as Barry, Readings in Church History.

[45]  Lawrence,  The English Church, 137.

[46]  Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair, 251.

[47]  Boniface VIII, Ineffabilis amor (20 September 1296) Charles-Victor Langlois, Saint Louis  Philippe le Bel: Les derniers Cap‚tiens directs, in Wood, Philip the Fair, 35-36.

[48]  Norma N. Erickson, trans., "Disputatio inter clericum et militem."  Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society CXI (1967): 288-309.

[49]  Ibid.  Charles-Victor Langlois, "Saint LouisPhilippe le Bel: Les derniers Cap‚tiens directs," in Wood, Philip the Fair, 37.

[50]  Ferdinand Schevill, Medieval and Renaissance Florence, 2 Volumes (New York:  Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1936), 161-178.  Hereafter cited as Schevill, Medieval Florence.

[51]  Colona Cardinals, Manifesto, June 1297 in Brian Tierney, Crisis,  Doc. No. 98, 176-178

[52]  Boniface VIII, Etsi de statu, July 1297 in Tierney, Crisis,  Doc. No. 99, 178-179.

[53]  Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair, 254, 259.

[54]  Elizabeth A.R. Brown, "The Repercussions of Family Ties in the Early Fourteenth Century: The Marriage of Edward II of England to Isabelle of France."  Speculum  Vol. 63, No. 3 (1988): 573-595.

[55]  Boniface VIII, Antiquorum habet, 22 February 1300, in Henricus Denzinger and Adolfus Sch"nmetzer, S.J., Enchiridion Symbolorum (Barcelona: Herder, 1964) #868.  Hereafter cited as Denzinger.

[56]  Hughes, History, 3: 74-75.

[57]  Sophia Menache, "A Propaganda Campaign in the Reign of Philip the Fair, 1302-1303," French History  Vol. 4, No. 4 (December 1990): 428-430.  Hereafter referred to as Menache, "Propaganda."

[58]  Ibid.

[59]  Ibid.

[60]  Boniface VIII, Asculta Fili, December 1301 in Tierney, Crisis,  Doc. No. 100,  185-187.

[61]  Forgeries of 1302 in Brian Tierney, Crisis,  Doc. No. 101, 187.

[62]  Menache, "Propaganda," 441.

[63]  Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair, 272-273.

[64]  The Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. "Boniface VIII" ennumerates "four archbishops, thirty-five bishops, six abbots and several doctors."

[65]  Denzinger, Nos. 870-875

[66]  Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam.  "Therefore We declare, state, define and pronounce that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Supreme Pontiff."

[67]  Menache, "Propaganda," 441-446.

[68]  Ibid., 440, 453-454.

[69]  Ibid.

[70]  Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair, 275-276.  The General Assembly of Paris, June 1303, in Julius Kirshner and Karl F. Morrison, Readings in Western Civilization, Vol. 4  (Chicago:  University of Chicago, 1986),  Doc. 64,  pp. 383-393.   Hereafter cited as Kirshner, Readings.

[71]  Strayer, The Reign of Philip the Fair, 276-278.

[72]  The Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. "Boniface VIII."

[73]  William Hundleby in a letter to the bishop of Lincoln (September 1303), translated by HGJ Beck, Catholic Historical Review, XXXII (1947), p. 200-205.

[74] Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, 208.

[75]  Hughes, History, 3: 86-89.

[76]  Tierney, Crisis,  Document #106.

[77]  Ibid.  Document #107.

[78]  Robert Brentano, Rome Before Avignon: A Social History of Thirteenth Century Rome  (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), 155-161.

[79]  Marzieh Gail, Avignon in Flower: 1309-1403  (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1965), 16.

[80]  Hughes, History, 3: 125-188.


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