Pope Clement III

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Pope Clement III (1130 – March 20, 1191), born Paulino (or Paolo) Scolari,[2] was elected Pope on December 19, 1187 and reigned until his death.



A Roman by birth, he was made in succession, by Pope Alexander III, Archpriest of the patriarchal Liberian Basilica, Cardinal-deacon of Sergio e Bacco, and finally Cardinal bishop of Palestrina in December 1180. He appears as signatory of the papal bulls issued between October 15, 1179 and December 11, 1187.[citation needed]


Shortly after his accession, he succeeded in allaying the conflict which had existed for half a century between the Popes and the citizens of Rome, with an agreement by which the citizens were allowed to elect their magistrates, while the nomination of the governor of the city remained in the hands of the Pope. On 31 May 1188 he concluded a treaty with the Romans which removed long standing difficulties, thus returning the Papacy to Rome.[3]

Clement also inherited a depleted college of cardinals, consisting of no more than twenty cardinals. He orchestrated three series of promotions: March 1188, May 1189 and October 1190, resulting in over thirty new cardinals.[4]

He pursed Henry II of England and Philip II of France to undertake the Third Crusade.[5] In April 1189, Clement made peace with the Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa.

He settled a controversy with William I of Scotland concerning the choice of the archbishop of St. Andrews, and on 13 March 1188 removed the Scottish church from under the legatine jurisdiction of the archbishop of York, thus making it independent of all save Rome.[6]

In spite of agreeing to crown Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor, Clement III angered Henry VI of Germany by bestowing Sicily on Tancred.[7] The crisis was acute when the Pope died in the latter part of March 1191.



  • Benson, Robert Louis and Robert Charles Figueira, Plenitude of power: the doctrines and exercise of authority in the Middle Ages, Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2006.
  • Blair, D. Oswald Hunter, History of the Catholic Church of Scotland, Willian Blackwood and Sons, 1887.
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Pope Clement III" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
  • Cheetham, Nicolas, Keepers of the Keys, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1982.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  • Reston, James, Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade, Random House Inc., 2001.
  • Robinson, Ian Stuart, The Papacy, 1073–1198: Continuity and Innovation, Cambridge University Press 1990.

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