Post-classical history

Calixtus II (d. 1124)

Pope (1119-1124) who played a significant role in extending the definition of the crusade. Guy (Lat. Guido) of Burgundy, as he was originally known, was probably born around 1060. As one of six sons and five daughters of William II Tête-Hardie, count of Burgundy (d. 1087), Guy belonged to the highest aristocratic circles of the kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire.

Like his older brother Hugh, Guy was destined for an ecclesiastical career, while their other three surviving brothers divided the rule over the vast domains of the comital house of Burgundy. Educated at the cathedral school of Besançon, Guy was elected archbishop of Vienne, probably in 1088. The story that he spent fourteen years as a wandering scholar on pilgrimage in the service of St. James of Compostela is an invention of the Liber Sancti Jacobi found in the so-called Codex Calixtinus.

As archbishop of Vienne, Guy devoted much of his energy to the territorial expansion of his archdiocese. He was engaged in long-running conflicts with the bishop of Grenoble, one of his suffragans, and with the abbey of Saint- Barnard, and did not allow even papal judgments to stand in his way. This earned him the opposition of Pope Urban II, who decided both disputes against Guy on account of disobedience to earlier commands of the pontiff at the Council of Clermont (1095), which Guy did not attend. Guy himself did not go on crusade, unlike his brothers: two of them died in 1102 after having gone to the East with the Crusade of 1101; the third, Hugh, archbishop of Besançon, died during the sea crossing to the Holy Land in 1101.

Guy was a leading opponent of Urban’s successor, Pope Paschal II, who in 1111 tried to reach an agreement with Henry V, the Holy Roman Emperor, in the long-running dispute between empire and papacy concerning the investiture of ecclesiastical offices. At the Council of Vienne (1112), Guy threatened Paschal with schism and excommunicated the emperor. When Paschal’s successor, Pope Gelasius II, died at Cluny in February 1119, the cardinals present at his death elected Guy as pope. He was crowned at Vienne a week later (9 February 1119) and took the name Calixtus. On his way to Rome, he had already held two synods (Toulouse and Mouzon). The First Lateran Council (1123) could be considered the high point of his pontificate. Despite some opposition, it ratified the Concordat of Worms, establishing a truce between Emperor Henry V and the papacy in the struggle over investiture.

The decrees of the Lateran Council of 1123 built on earlier crusade legislation of Urban II and Paschal II by promising remission of sin to those who set out for Jerusalem and by placing their properties and families under the protection of the Apostolic See. Calixtus’s legislation was largely in response to appeals from the Franks of Outremer after the defeat of the army of Antioch by the Turks at the battle of the Ager Sanguinis (Field of Blood) in 1119. Approaches to Venice by Calixtus and King Baldwin II of Jerusalem (a distant relative of his) resulted in a naval crusade in 1122-1124, which was led by Doge Domenico Michiel. Although the expedition was also intended to further Venetian commercial interests, it enabled the Franks of Jerusalem to defeat a major Fātimidinvasion in 1123 and contributed decisively to the capture of the port of Tyre (mod. Soûr, Lebanon) in 1124. In a letter of 1123 to Spanish magnates, Calixtus also equated participation in the Recon- quista (reconquest of Iberia from the Muslims) with the crusade to the Holy Land. He died on 13 or 14 December 1124 in Rome. His encouragement for the crusade in Spain eventually helped bring about a campaign launched against Granada by King Alfonso I of Aragon in 1125-1126.

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