The Creation of the Conclave

  • Frederic J. Baumgartner


The incredibly long and difficult election of 1268–71 reflected the vast political power of the papacy. Neither party in the College of Cardinals was willing to concede to the other the authority and resources that having a pope on their side would bring, despite the hardship and scandal that their intransigence created. It was, however, the last gasp of the party that favored the Holy Roman emperor, made up mostly of older cardinals; the emperor no longer would be much of a factor in conclave politics. To be sure, later emperors sought to interfere in papal elections, but the threat to the independence of the College for most of the next two centuries came from the French monarchy. The French kings would prove more successful in shaping the papacy to their goals than the most powerful German emperors had ever been.


Roman Pope Official List Urban Versus Clement Versus Papal Court 
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  1. 1.
    Quoted in H. Mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, 20 vols. (reprint, Nendeln, Liechtenstein, 1964 ), XVIII, p. 29.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    E. Leroy Ladurie used Fourier’s inquisitorial records for his best selling Montaillou: Promised Land of Error (New York, 1978).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    J. Wrigley, “The Conclave and the Election of 1342,” Archivum Historicae Pontificae, 20 (1982), pp. 51–81.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Calculated in L. Gayer, Le Grand Schisme d’Occident (Florence, 1889), p. 3.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Text of Gregory’s bull in P. Thibault, Pope Gregory XI: The Failure of Tradition ( Lanham, Maryl., 1986 ), pp. 181–83Google Scholar

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© Frederic J. Baumgartner 2003

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  • Frederic J. Baumgartner

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