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Pope Lucius III

Lucius III
Papacy began 1 September 1181
Papacy ended 25 November 1185
Predecessor Alexander III
Successor Urban III
Consecration 1159
Created Cardinal December 1138
by Innocent II
Personal details
Birth name Ubaldo Allucingoli
Born ca. 1100
Lucca, Holy Roman Empire
Died 25 November 1185(1185-11-25)
Verona, Holy Roman Empire
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Other popes named Lucius

Pope Lucius III (ca. 1100 – 25 November 1185), born Ubaldo Allucingoli, reigned from 1 September 1181 to his death in 1185.[1]


  • Biography 1
  • Election and papacy 2
  • Death 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5


A native of the independent republic of Lucca, he was born ca. 1100 (perhaps 1097) as Ubaldo, son of Orlando. He is commonly referred to as a member of the aristocratic family of Allucingoli, but this is not proven.[2] He had close ties to the Cistercians, but it seems that he never joined the order.[3] He was named cardinal by Pope Innocent II in December 1138, initially as cardinal-deacon of San Adriano, then (in May 1141) as cardinal-priest of Santa Prassede. Pope Adrian IV promoted him to the rank of Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and Velletri in December 1158. He was dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals and one of the most influential cardinals under his predecessor Pope Alexander III.

Election and papacy

After being elected Pope in 1181, he lived at Rome from November 1181 to March 1182, but dissensions in the city compelled him to pass the remainder of his pontificate in exile, mainly at Velletri, Anagni and Verona.

He disputed with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I over the disposal of the territories of the late Countess Matilda of Tuscany. The controversy over the succession to the inheritance of the Countess had been left unsettled by an agreement of 1177, and the Emperor proposed in 1182 that the Curia should renounce its claim, receiving in exchange two-tenths of the imperial income from Italy, one-tenth for the Pope and the other tenth for the cardinals. Lucius consented neither to this proposition nor to another compromise suggested by Frederick I the next year, nor did a personal discussion between the two potentates at Verona in October 1184 lead to any definite result.

During the conflict between Frederick I and the papacy, the problem of heresy required a political solution. In 1184, Pope Lucius III decreed Ad abolendam that all "counts, barons, rectors, [and] consuls of cities and other places" who did not join in the struggle against heresy when called upon to do so would be excommunicated and their territories placed under interdict – and declared that these provisions joined the apostolic authority of the church with the sanction of imperial power.[4]

In the meantime other causes of disagreement appeared when the Pope refused to comply with Frederick I's wishes as to the regulation of German episcopal elections which had taken place during the schism, especially as regards a contested election to the See of Treves in 1183.

In pursuance of his anti-imperial policy, Lucius declined in 1185 to crown Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI as Frederick I's destined successor, and the breach between the Empire and the Curia became wider on questions of Italian politics.

In November 1184 Lucius held a synod at Verona which condemned the Cathars, Paterines, Waldensians and Arnoldists, and anathematized all those declared as heretics and their abettors. Contrary to what is often said, he did not institute the Inquisition, which was not created until the reign of Pope Gregory IX in 1234.


In 1185 preparations began for the Third Crusade in answer to the appeals of King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem. Before they were completed, Lucius III died in Verona.


  1. ^  
  2. ^ J. M. Brixius, Die Mitglieder des Kardinalkollegiums voin 1130–1181, Berlin 1912, p. 90
  3. ^ S. Miranda: Cardinal Ubaldo Allucingoli (note 1); I. S. Robinson, The Papacy 1073–1198. Continuity and innovation, Cambridge University Press 1990, p. 212.
  4. ^ Bornstein, Daniel Ethan, Medieval Christianity , 2009 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press ), 237


  • Philippe Levillain, John W. O'Malley, The Papacy. An Encyclopedia, 2002
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Ostia
Succeeded by
Thibaud of Ostia
Preceded by
Alexander III
Succeeded by
Urban III
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