Gil Álvarez Carrillo de Albornoz

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Gil Álvarez Carrillo de Albornoz (Italian: Egidio Albornoz) (1310 – August 23, 1367) was a Spanish cardinal and ecclesiastical leader.



Early years

Albornoz was born at Carrascosa del Campo, (Cuenca) early in the 14th century. He was the son of Gil Állvarez de Albornoz and of Doña Teresa de Luna, sister of Jimeno de Luna, archbishop of Toledo and a member of the prominent Carrillo family. He was educated at Zaragoza, while his uncle was bishop of that see, and studied law at Toulouse.

The powerful influence of his family opened him a public career early in life. He was made archdeacon of Calatrava, and became a member of the king's council while young. In 1338 he was chosen archbishop of Toledo in succession to his uncle by the favour of the king, Alfonso XI of Castile. At the battle of Rio Salado he successfully fought against a Marinid invasion from Morocco in 1340, and at the taking of Algeciras in 1344 he led the armed levy of his archbishopric.

In 1343 he had been sent to Pope Clement VI at Avignon to negotiate a grant of a tax on the revenues of the Church for the Crusade. His military and diplomatic ability became known to the pope, who made him a cardinal-priest of S. Clemente in 1350. Albornoz left Spain on the death of the king Alfonso XI in that year, and never returned. It has been said, but not on contemporary evidence, that he fled from fear of Pedro of Castile.

He was appointed grand penitentiary shortly after election of Pope Innocent VI in December 1352 and given the epithet "Angel of Peace", a title which quickly became a sad misnomer as his future actions in the Papal States would drench the Italian countryside in blood from the River Po until the Garigliano.

First campaign in Italy

In 1353 Innocent VI sent him as a legate into Italy, with a view to the restoration of the papal authority in the states of the Church, at the head of a small mercenary army. After received the support of the archbishop of Milan, Giovanni Visconti, and of those of Pisa, Florence and Siena, he started a campaign against Giovanni di Vico, lord of Viterbo, who had usurped much of the Papal territories in the Latium and Umbria. Giovanni was defeated in the battle of Viterbo of March 10, 1354 and signed a treaty of submission.

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