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10 - War and the Great Schism: Military Factors Determining Allegiances in Iberai

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2014

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Summary

Not only is the Enemy of your Enemy your Friend; it is often equally true that the Friend of your Enemy becomes your Enemy!

Introduction

In the fall of 1378 a pair of envoys from Italy arrived at the royal court of Enrique II of Castile (r. 1366–1367 and 1369–1379) then located in the city of Cordoba near Spain's southern coast. They brought greetings to the king from a new pope, the sixty-year-old archbishop of Bari, Bartolomeo Prignano, who had taken the papal name Urban VI (r. 1378–1389). Never himself a cardinal, the archbishop had been a compromise candidate in a severely divided election and was the first pope to be selected by a conclave held in Rome since the papacy had removed to Avignon some seven decades earlier. Urban's election and its “cancellation” several months later by the same cardinals who had elected him together set the stage for an era in Church history known as the Great Schism (1378–1417), one of the most divisive periods experienced by the Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages. During the forty years it endured, the schism forced most western and central European states to choose which of two and eventually three squabbling popes they would acknowledge as the true successor to Peter: the one ensconced in Rome or his rivals in Avignon and Pisa.

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Journal of Medieval Military History
Volume XII
, pp. 217 - 238
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2014

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