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Pope Boniface VIII

Boniface VIII was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Boniface's given name was Benedict Cajetan, or Benedetto Gaetano. He was regarded as a man of great ability, and was elected in 1294 after Celestine V was persuaded to resign.

Boniface VIII meddled incessantly in foreign affairs, and put forward the strongest claims to temporal as well as spiritual supremacy. His bitterest quarrels were with the emperor Albert I of Habsburg, with the powerful family of the Colonnas, and with Philip the Fair of France, whom he excommunicated in 1303. He was about to lay all France under an interdict when he was seized at Agnani[?] by a party of horsemen under Philippe de Nogaret[?], an agent of Philip and Sciarra Colonna. After three days' captivity he was released by the town's people, but the agitation he had undergone caused his death soon after, on October 11 1303.

In 1300 Boniface instituted the jubilees, which afterwards became such a source of profit and of scandal to the church.

Dante portrayed Boniface VIII as being in the Inferno in his Divine Comedy.


modified after text in the 9th edition (1880s) of a public domain encyclopedia

preceded by Pope Celestine V (1294)
succeeded by Pope Benedict XI (1303-1304)



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