(1020-1085, Pope since 1073)
|1020||Born as the son of common people close to Soana (Tuscany). Brought up under the guidelines of the Cluny-based reform movement in Maria's Monestary in Rome.|
|1049||Hildebrand, already monk, is appointed as subdeacon to the circle of cardinal clerics.|
|1058||Hildebrand deposes and banishs Benedict X, who had been put on Petri's throne by the Latin aristocracy using force of arms. He proposes bishop Gerhard of Florence as the papal successor, who is inaugurated as Nikolaus II one year later.|
|1059||Appointment as archideacon endowed with the exercise of the financial department of the Latin church by which he gains growing influence on the reform curia.|
|1073||Hildebrand is elected Pope by the public and the clergy during Alexander's II inhumation. Henry IV approves the election although Hildebrand's elevation is not in accordance with the papal electoral law: This is the culmination of the ecclesastical reform movement of the 11th century.|
|1074||In the Dictatus Papae Gregory
VII writes down his principles. He postulates the separation of the church
from all its bondings with the secular sphere, the monarchal reign of all
churches from Rome and the submission of all secular powers under the sovereignty
of the Pope.
Moreover, he bans simony and calls for celibacy, which provokes strong resistance among the clerics.
|1075||Abstinence synod: prohibition
of lay investiture, expulsion of fractious clerics from church service,
and order to the public not to accept legal acts carried out by married
Apart from that, Gregory VII threatens King Henry IV with excommunication and deposition.
|1076||Gregory VII bans Henry IV, who - in turn - deposes the Pope.|
|1077||Since the German princes support Gregory VII, Henry travels to Canossa in northern Italy to comply to the Pope who absolves him.|
|1080||Abstinence synod: Pope Gregory
VII again bans King Henry IV, who had gained help from the Normans in southern
The King on his part bans the Pope and appoints as successor the archbishop of Ravenna (Pope Clement III).
|1081||Henry IV starts to drive against the now isolated Gregory VII and besieges Rome.|
|1084||Capitulation of the entire city
to Henry IV, who has been crowned emperor by Pope Clement III.
Henry has to recede from the Normans who have come to help Gregory VII. However, they commit such atrocities during their invasion of Rome that they have to escape with the Pope.
|1085||Gregory VII dies in exile in Salerno on May 25|
Appraisal: Gregory VII was an outstanding
but at the same time contentious medieval pope, whose aim in life was the realization
of the Gregorian reform. He was the first pope who placed the church above the
secular regnancy in such a manner that he ventured to depose the King. Doing
so he strengthend the papal assertiveness and led to a turning point in the
Constanze v. Lessel
translation by: Susanne Kipke