Death of Pope Alexander III Hot

Death of Pope Alexander III

Pope Alexander III

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Pope Alexander III dies at Civita Castellana. Alexander III's papacy was marred by the fact that a large minority of cardinals at his election chose to go with Cardinal Octavian, who adopted the papal name Victor IV.

This resulted in a new line of antipopes, with Paschal III (1164-1168) and Calixtus III (1168-1178) succeeding him. These antipopes had the support of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, a ruler whom Alexander had actively opposed while he was a cardinal.

It was not until the Peace of Venice in 1177 that Frederick finally accepted the papacy of Alexander, allowing Pope Alexander III to return to Rome, where in 1179 he convened the Third Lateran Council.

Alexander wanted to use this Council to enact a number of important reforms, and among its decisions was that no pope could be elected without receiving at least two-thirds of the cardinals' ballots, thus preventing the same discord that troubled his reign.

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