INNOCENT III (GlovAxtri LornAnio Corm) : b. Anagni, Italy, 1161; d. Perugia, Italy, 16 July 1216. On the death of Celestine III (1198) he was unanimously elected at the age of 37. Innocent, in the vigor of manhood, en dowed by nature with all the talents of a ruler, possessed of an erudition uncommon at that time, and favored by circumstances, was better qualified than any of his predecessors to elevate the Papal power. By his clemency and pru dence he gained over the inhabitants of Rome, obliged the imperial prefect to take the oath of allegiance to him, and directed his attention to every quarter where he believed that a papal claim of property or of feudal rights existed. He concluded treaties with many cities of Tus can y for the mutual protection of their liberties and those of the Church, and soon obtained possession of the ecclesiastical states in their widest extent. He excommunicated Philip Augustus, king of France; laid the kingdom under an interdict in 1200 because Philip had repudiated his wife Ingeburga, and obliged the king to submit. He was still more decided in his treatment of John, king of England, who refused to confirm the election of Stephen Langton as archbishop of Canterbury. Inno cent laid the kingdom under an interdict, and in 1212 formally deposed him. John was
finally obliged to submit, resigned his territories to Rome, and received them as a papal fief from Innocent. All Christendom acknowledged the Pope's spiritual sovereignty; two Crusades were undertaken at his order, and his influence extended even to Constantinople. Innocent was one of the greatest popes and rulers. It has been said of his rule, as of that of Gregory VII, whom he most resembles, that in those times the power of the Pope was salutary as a bond of union for Europe, in which the still firmer bond of a common civilization and knowledge did not, as atpresent, exist. In 1215 he held a council, the fourth Lateran and twelfth general which passed the decree making confession and communion obligatory at Paschal time. Frederick II was acknowledged as German emperor, and the Franciscan and Dominican orders were confirmed. His corre spondence is in Migne (Vol. CXIV-CXVIII). Consult Von Hurter, 'Geschichte des Papstes Innocenz III and seiner Zeitgenossen> (4 vols., 3d ed., Hamburg 1841-43) Luchaire, 'Innocent III' (Paris 1904-08) ; Mann, 'Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages> (London 1914).