The Life and Times of Pope Innocent III
With a New Introduction by Phillip Campbell
Pope Innocent III was the most energetic and iconic Pope of the Middle ages. To say Innocent III epitomizes the character of the age is no overstatement. He is frequently cited in medieval textbooks as the exemplification of a powerful papacy at the height of its temporal influence. His teachings on the relation between the sacerdotium and imperium summarize the best of the medieval tradition, often referred to as the Two Sword theory (cf. Luke 22:38), where the two swords held by St. Peter represent the temporal and spiritual authority, both of which are in the keeping of the Church – though one is delegated to the state. In his actions in relation to the great figures of his time, Pope Innocent III is the dominant figure, determining the direction of Christendom by his assent or dissent. He received England as a feudal fief from King John, bartered with the patrimony of the Hohenstaufen emperors to strengthen the power of the Church, summoned crusades, chartered the University of Paris, gave the world the Franciscan Order, and called the greatest ecumenical council of the Middle Ages. His very life and thought characterized the 13th century.
Author Joseph Clayton attempts to paint the picture of the times and the man in a very easy to read yet thorough narrative, succinctly relating the issues of the day and Innocent’s importance in them.
This work is a reprint, not a facsimile, and has been re-typset to adhere closely to the original, with many of the beautiful layout effects that you have come to expect from Mediatrix Press.