Religion Wiki

Pope Urban IV

34,279pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Add New Page Talk0
Urban IV
Pope Urban IV
Papacy began August 29, 1261
Papacy ended October 2, 1264
Predecessor Alexander IV
Successor Clement IV
Personal details
Birth name Jacques Pantaléon
Born c. 1195
Troyes, Champagne, France
Died October 2, 1264
Perugia, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
Other Popes named Urban
Styles of
{{{papal name}}}
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style none

Pope Urban IV (c. 1195 in Troyes, France – October 2, 1264 in Perugia), born Jacques Pantaléon, was Pope, from 1261 to 1264. He was not a cardinal, and there have been several Popes since him who have not been Cardinals, including Urban V and Urban VI.


Urban IV was the son of a cobbler of Troyes, France. He studied theology and common law in Paris, and was appointed a canon of Laon and later Archdeacon of Liège. At the First Council of Lyon (1245) he attracted the attention of Pope Innocent IV (1243-1254) who sent him on two missions in Germany. One of the missions was to negotiate the Treaty of Christburg between the pagan Prussians and the Teutonic Knights. He became the bishop of Verdun in 1253. In 1255, Pope Alexander IV (1254-1261) made him Patriarch of Jerusalem.

He had returned from Jerusalem, which was in dire straits, and was at Viterbo seeking help for the oppressed Christians in the East when Alexander IV died, and after a three-month vacancy Pantaléon was chosen by the eight cardinals of the Sacred College to succeed him, on August 29, 1261, taking the name of Urban IV.

The Latin Empire of Constantinople came to an end with the capture of the city by the Greeks (led by their Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos) a fortnight before Urban IV's election; Urban IV endeavoured without success to stir up a crusade to restore the Latin Empire. The festival of Corpus Christi ("the Body of Christ") was instituted by Urban IV in 1264.

Italy commanded Urban IV's full attention: the long confrontation with the late Hohenstaufen Frederick II had not been pressed during the mild pontificate of Alexander IV, while it devolved into interurban struggles between nominally pro-Imperial Ghibellines and even more nominally pro-papal Guelf factions, in which Frederick II's heir Manfred was immersed. Urban IV's military captain was the condottiere Azzo d'Este, nominally at the head of a loose league of cities that included Mantua and Ferrara. Any Hohenstaufen in Sicily was bound to have claims over the cities of Lombardy, and as a check to Manfred, Urban IV introduced Charles of Anjou into the equation, to place the crown of the Two Sicilies in the hands of a monarch amenable to papal control. Charles was Comte de Provence in right of his wife, maintaining a rich base for projecting what would be an expensive Italian war. For two years Urban IV negotiated with Manfred regarding whether Manfred would aid the Latins in regaining Constantinople in return for papal confirmation of the Hohenstaufen rights in the regno. Meanwhile the papal pact solidified with Charles, a promise of papal ships and men, produced by a crusading tithe, and Charles' promise not to lay claims on Imperial lands in northern Italy, nor in the Papal States. Charles promised to restore the annual census or feudal tribute due the Pope as overlord, some 10,000 ounces of gold being agreed upon, while the Pope would work to block Conradin from election as King of the Germans.

Before the arrival in Italy of his candidate Charles, Urban IV died at Perugia, on October 2, 1264. His successor was Pope Clement IV (1265-1268), who immediately took up the papal side of the arrangement.

Legend of Tannhäuser

Tannhäuser, a prominent German Minnesänger and poet, was a contemporary of Pope Urban IV - the pope died in 1264, and the minnesänger died shortly after 1265. Two centuries later, the pope became a major character in a legend which grew up about the minnesänger, which is first attested in 1430 and propagated in ballads from 1450.

The legendary account makes Tannhäuser a knight and poet who found the Venusberg, the subterranean home of Venus, and spent a year there worshipping the goddess. After leaving the Venusberg, Tannhäuser is filled with remorse and travels to Rome to ask Pope Urban IV if it is possible to be absolved of his sins. Urban replies that forgiveness is as impossible as it would be for his papal staff to blossom. Three days after Tannhäuser's departure Urban's staff blooms with flowers; messengers are sent to retrieve the knight, but he has already returned to Venusberg, never to be seen again.[1]

There is no historical evidence for the events in the legend. Urban IV was evidently inserted into the legend since he was Pope during Tannhäuser's lifetime.


  1. Baring-Gould, Sabine. "The Mountain of Venus", from Curious Myths of the Middle Ages, (London, 1866)


External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Robert of Nantes
Titular Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
Succeeded by
William II of Agen
Preceded by
Alexander IV
Succeeded by
Clement IV
Popes of the Roman Catholic Church
PeterLinusAnacletusClement IEvaristusAlexander ISixtus ITelesphorusHyginusPius IAnicetusSoterEleuterusVictor IZephyrinusCallixtus IUrban IPontianAnterusFabianCorneliusLucius IStephen ISixtus IIDionysiusFelix IEutychianCaiusMarcellinusMarcellus IEusebiusMiltiadesSilvester IMarkJulius ILiberiusDamasus ISiriciusAnastasius IInnocent IZosimusBoniface ICelestine ISixtus IIILeo IHilariusSimpliciusFelix IIIGelasius IAnastasius IISymmachusHormisdasJohn IFelix IVBoniface IIJohn IIAgapetus ISilveriusVigiliusPelagius IJohn IIIBenedict IPelagius IIGregory ISabinianBoniface IIIBoniface IVAdeodatus IBoniface VHonorius ISeverinusJohn IVTheodore IMartin IEugene IVitalianAdeodatus IIDonusAgathoLeo IIBenedict IIJohn VCononSergius IJohn VIJohn VIISisinniusConstantineGregory IIGregory IIIZacharyStephen IIPaul IStephen IIIAdrian ILeo IIIStephen IVPaschal IEugene IIValentineGregory IVSergius IILeo IVBenedict IIINicholas IAdrian IIJohn VIIIMarinus IAdrian IIIStephen VFormosusBoniface VIStephen VIRomanusTheodore IIJohn IXBenedict IVLeo VSergius IIIAnastasius IIILandoJohn XLeo VIStephen VIIJohn XILeo VIIStephen VIIIMarinus IIAgapetus IIJohn XIILeo VIIIBenedict VJohn XIIIBenedict VIBenedict VIIJohn XIVJohn XVGregory VSilvester IIJohn XVIIJohn XVIIISergius IVBenedict VIIIJohn XIXBenedict IXSilvester IIIBenedict IXGregory VIClement IIBenedict IXDamasus IILeo IXVictor IIStephen IXNicholas IIAlexander IIGregory VIIVictor IIIUrban IIPaschal IIGelasius IICallixtus IIHonorius IIInnocent IICelestine IILucius IIEugene IIIAnastasius IVAdrian IVAlexander IIILucius IIIUrban IIIGregory VIIIClement IIICelestine IIIInnocent IIIHonorius IIIGregory IXCelestine IVInnocent IVAlexander IVUrban IVClement IVGregory XInnocent VAdrian VJohn XXINicholas IIIMartin IVHonorius IVNicholas IVCelestine VBoniface VIIIBenedict XIClement VJohn XXIIBenedict XIIClement VIInnocent VIUrban VGregory XIUrban VIBoniface IXInnocent VIIGregory XIIMartin VEugene IVNicholas VCallixtus IIIPius IIPaul IISixtus IVInnocent VIIIAlexander VIPius IIIJulius IILeo XAdrian VIClement VIIPaul IIIJulius IIIMarcellus IIPaul IVPius IVPius VGregory XIIISixtus VUrban VIIGregory XIVInnocent IXClement VIIILeo XIPaul VGregory XVUrban VIIIInnocent XAlexander VIIClement IXClement XInnocent XIAlexander VIIIInnocent XIIClement XIInnocent XIIIBenedict XIIIClement XIIBenedict XIVClement XIIIClement XIVPius VIPius VIILeo XIIPius VIIIGregory XVIPius IXLeo XIIIPius XBenedict XVPius XIPius XIIJohn XXIIIPaul VIJohn Paul IJohn Paul IIBenedict XVI

af:Pous Urbanus IV

ca:Urbà IV cs:Urban IV.fa:اوربان چهارمgl:Urbano IV, papa ko:교황 우르바노 4세 hr:Urban IV. id:Paus Urbanus IVjv:Paus Urbanus IV sw:Papa Urban IV la:Urbanus IV lv:Urbāns IV hu:IV. Orbán pápa mk:Папа Урбан IV mr:पोप अर्बन चौथाpt:Papa Urbano IV ro:Papa Urban al IV-lea ru:Урбан IV (папа римский) fi:Urbanus IV sv:Urban IV tl:Urbano IV th:สมเด็จพระสันตะปาปาเออร์บันที่ 4 uk:Урбан IV war:Papa Urbano IV zh:烏爾巴諾四世

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki