Research on the life of a medieval Pope from the list provided below and put together a 500-word mini biography of the historical figure assigned by the instructor (the list will be posted on the course website). For each mini biography, please include the following:
Year of birth and death
A short biographical sketch of the medieval Pope
- Martin V, born Oddone Colonna, occupied a lot of roles and undertook no small amount of endeavours before being declared Pope, unanimously, at the Council of Constance on November 11, 1417, by representatives of 5 nations: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and England. Martin was born at Genazzano (metropolitan Rome), but some sources specify the actual birth to be in the "Campagna di Roma", a low-lying plain of around 800 square miles surrounding Rome. He studied at the University of Perugia (city in central Italy about 102 miles north of Rome), and served in various capacities both within the church and the Italian courts during the rule of Popes Urban VI and Boniface IX, before being made the Cardinal Deacon of San Giorgio on June 12, 1402. Notably he both participated in and saw the resolution of the Western Schism, having "deserted the lawful pope, Gregory XII...having taken part in the election of the antipopes Alexander V and John XXIII" New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia states:
- Of simple and unassuming manners and stainless character, he possessed a great knowledge of canon law, was pledged to no party, and had numerous other good qualities. He seemed the right man to rule the Church which had passed through the most critical period in its history — the so called Western Schism.
- Martin V was responsible with both the burden and opportunity of seeking the restoration and reconciliation of the Western Church, the papacy, and the Papal States. In fact, this was the chief end of the Council of Constance: it had been called to end the Great Schism (1378-1417) that divided the Western Church on account of multiple claims to the papacy. Having been unanimously affirmed as Pope, the opportunity for Martin V to turn things around for the church is difficult to overstate.
- He is chiefly remembered for this role in history, as well as bringing about the council of Basel (which can be further read about here) and the Hussite Wars (which can be further read about here, and here)
Major impact of the medieval Pope such as:
- Martin V advanced papal interests and sought to recover the authority of "the Curia" (see definition below) in the church at large.
- Martin V's unanimous affirmation and election served to end the Western Schism (referenced earlier)
- Martin V worked to mediate the Hundred Year's War between France and England.
- Martin V organized and executed crusades against the Hussites (followers of Bohemian reformer Jan Hus), the events together known as the Hussite Wars or Bohemian Wars.
- Against England he "fully asserted his determination to obliterate the Statute of Provisors of 1390, which had outlawed the papacy's conferring of an office..."
- Against Spain he emphasized and asserted the rights of the church over and against the state, the government, the crown.
- He avoided and dreaded councils as much as possible for fear of a revival of conciliar theory (see definition below), not holding any more public forum or conversation than absolutely necessary. Nonetheless he called the Council of Pavia in 1423, only to immediately seek to dissolve it and refusing to attend in person.
- "In short, he asserted papal supremacy in all matters...neglected the opportunity offered by councils for church reform"
conciliarism, in the Roman Catholic church, a theory that a general council of the church has greater authority than the pope and may, if necessary, depose him.
Roman Curia, Latin Curia Romana, the group of various Vatican bureaus that assist the pope in the day-to-day exercise of his primatial jurisdiction over the Roman Catholic church.
Both short and long-term impact of the selected church father
It is difficult to what long term influence this particular pope had as an individual removed from his greater context: what we see in Martin V is primarily a desire to consolidate power in the aftermath of great division (as seen in his desire to restore in full "the curia" as well as restoring churches and historic structures and symbols of power in Rome and the empire at large, followed by a desire to cling to this power and foresee any threats to it so as to avoid them (notably the threat of conciliarism and his subsequent avoidance of holding councils). As is quoted and referenced above, his efforts at actual church reform were halfhearted at best. Again, already referenced above, his legacy is primarily one of unification of the church and the assertion of Papal authority.
- "Oxford Reference - Martin V".
- "Vatican - Martin V".
- "New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Martin V".
- "Encyclopedia.com - Campagna di Roma".
- "Wikipedia - Perugia".
- "Britannica Encyclopaedia - Martin V".
- https://www.encyclopedia.com/philosophy-and-religion/christianity/roman-catholic-and-orthodox-churches-councils-and-treaties/council-basel. Missing or empty
- "Wikipedia - List of Popes".
- https://www.britannica.com/topic/Czechoslovak-history/The-Hussite-wars. Missing or empty
- https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Hussite_Wars. Missing or empty
- "Britannica Encyclopaedia - Roman Catholicism - Conciliarism".
- "Britannica Encylopaedia - Roman Curia".