Pope Alexander III (1159-81)

Clarke, Peter D
Duggan, Anne J.
Date published: 
April 2012

Alexander III's papacy marked a significant watershed in the history of the Western Church and society. This book provides a long overdue reassessment of his papacy and his achievements, bringing together thirteen essays which review existing scholarship and present the latest research and new perspectives. Individual chapters cover topics such as Alexander's contributions to Western Church Law and his relations with Byzantium, the Holy Land, central and northern Italy, France, Spain and England, but the dominant theme is the major clashes between secular and spiritual authority, in particular the eighteen-year conflict with the German emperor, Frederick I. Both the papacy and the Western Church emerged as stronger institutions from this struggle largely owing to Alexander's leadership and resilience: he truly mastered the art of survival.