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Report No. a028

Alexander III

pope (1159–1181)

 

Alternative Names

Alexander III, Pope (LC); Rolandus Bandinelli

 

Biography/Description

Although John Noonan and Rudolf Weigand disproved the old identification of Alexander with the canonist Rolandus, the contribution of this pope to the history of canon law remains important. Alexander was the first pope who fully grasped the signficance of his role as the supreme legislator of the Church. He issued decretals in unprecedented numbers, deciding many legal disputes that Gratian’s Decretum had raised but left unresolved. Contemporary decretists soon appreciated these legislative efforts, whence Alexander figured prominently in the collections of extravagantes proliferating since the 1170s. This was later reflected in the authoritative Liber extra of Gregory IX (1234), which gave Alexander’s decretals an importance equalled only by those of Innocent III (1198–1216).

Literature

D. Summerlin, ‘The Reception and Authority of Conciliar Canons in the Later-Twelfth Century: Alexander III’s 1179 Lateran Canons and their Manuscript Context’, ZRG KA 100 (2014) 112–131.

Pope Alexander III (1159–81). The Art of Survival, P. Clarke and A. Duggan, ed. (Church, Faith, and Culture in the Medieval West; New York 2012).

K. Pennington, ‘The Decretists: The Italian School’, in The History of Medieval Canon Law in the Classical Period, 1140–1234: From Gratian to the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX, W. Hartmann and K. Pennington, ed. (History of Medieval Canon Law 6; Washington DC 2008) 124–26, 131–35.

C. Duggan, ‘Decretal Collections from Gratian’s Decretum to the Compilationes antiquae: The Making of the New Case Law’, in The History of Medieval Canon Law in the Classical Period, 1140–1234: From Gratian to the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX, W. Hartmann and K. Pennington, ed. (History of Medieval Canon Law 6; Washington DC 2008) 250–52, 255–79, 288–92.

A. Duggan, ‘Conciliar Law 1123–1215: The Legislation of the Four Lateran Councils’, in The History of Medieval Canon Law in the Classical Period, 1140–1234: From Gratian to the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX, W. Hartmann and K. Pennington, ed. (History of Medieval Canon Law 6; Washington DC 2008) 318, 321, 334, 338, 340–41.

L. Kéry, Gottesfurcht und irdische Strafe: Der Beitrag des mittelalterlichen Kirchenrechts zur Entstehung des öffentlichen Strafrechts (Konflikt, Verbrechen und Sanktion in der Gesellschaft Alteuropas, Symposien und Synthesen 10; Köln 2006) 308, 363–435, 451–517, 568–625.

K. Pennington, The Prince and the Law, 1200–1600: Sovereignty and Rights in the Western Legal Tradition (Berkeley 1993) 65–66, 137–42.

L. Falkenstein, ‘Leistungsersuchen Alexanders III.: Aus dem ersten Jahrzehnt seines Pontifikats’, ZKG 102 (1991) 45–75.

U.–R. Blumenthal, ‘Papal Registers in the Twelfth Century’, in Proceedings Cambridge, P. Linehan, ed. (MIC C–8; Città del Vaticano 1988) 135, 143, 145–46.

Miscellanea Rolando Bandinelli papa Alessandro III, F. Liotta, ed. (Siena 1986).

J. Brundage, ‘The Limits of the War–Making Power: The Contribution of Medieval Canonists’, in Peace in a Nuclear Age: The Bishops’ Pastoral Letter in Perspective, C. Reid, ed. (Washington DC 1986) 76–79. Reprinted in: idem, The Crusades, Holy War and Canon Law (Collected Studies CS 338; Aldershot 1991) no. XI.

C. Donahue, ‘The Dating of Alexander the Third’s Marriage Decretals’, ZRG Kan. Abt. 68 (1982) 70–124.

R. Weigand, ‘Magister Rolandus und Papst Alexander III.’, AKKR 149 (1980) 3–44.

J. Noonan, ‘Who was Rolandus?’, in Law, Church and Society: Essays in Honor of Kuttner, K. Pennington, ed. (Philadelphia 1977) 21–48.

R. Somerville, Pope Alexander III and the Council of Tours (Berkeley 1977).

Boso’s Life of Alexander III ed. G. Ellis, (Totowa, NJ 1973).

J. Brundage, Medieval Canon Law and the Crusader (Madison WI 1969) 68, 75, 129, 143, 147, 171, 172.

R. Benson, The Bishop–Elect: A Study in Medieval Ecclesiastical Office (Princeton 1968) 108–12, 151–56, 162–64, 371.

M. Pacaut, Alexandre III: Étude sur la conception du pouvoir pontifical dans sa pensée et dans son oeuvre (L’Eglise et L’Etat au Moyen Age 11; Paris 1956).

M. Pacaut, ‘Louis VII et Alessandro III’, RHEF 39 (1953) 5–45.