PISA, COUNCIL OF, a church council generally included in those called ecu menical, met awl opened in Pisa March 25, 1409, and the 23d and last session of which was held Aug. 7 following. Its aim was to end the schism which had divided the Western Church for 30 years; and with this view the leading cardinals, finding that neither of the rival Popes, Gregory XII. and Benedict XIII., would keep their promises to abdicate, had set aside the claims of both, and themselves convoked a general council. It was at tended from first to last by 24 cardinals, 4 patriarchs, 80 bishops, 102 proctors of bishops, 87 abbots, 200 delegates of ab bots, besides many generals of orders, doctors, deputies of universities, and am dents. Galileo, who was a native of Pisa, was formerly one of the professors. A library, botanical garden, a cabinet of natural history, and an observatory are connected with the university. Pisa is supposed to have been founded shortly after the Trojan War. It became a Roman colony about 179 B. c., but did
not attain to distinction before the 10th century, when it became the leading com mercial republic of Italy. During the 11th century it maintained its superior ity in the Mediterranean, materially as sisting the French in the Crusades. A war with Genoa ended in the ruin of Pisa in 1284. The city afterward be came the prey of various factions, till finally united to Florence in 1406. Pop. about 70,000.
bassadors. After the rival Popes failed to appear in obedience to its summons, the council formally tried the claims of both in turn, and deposed them as schis matics and heretics. The cardinals then formed themselves into conclave and elected Cardinal Philargi, who assumed the name of Alexander V. But the coun cil, instead of getting rid of the con tending Popes, had only added a third, and the faithful continued to be dis tracted in their allegiance for eight years longer, down to the time of the Council of Constance.