Gebhard III of Constance

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Bishop; b. c. 1050; d. Constance, Germany, Nov. 12, 1110. The future leader of the papal party in Germany was the son of Berthold I of Zähringen. He was provost in Xanten and then a simple monk in the Abbey of hirsau before Otto of Ostia, later Pope urban ii, consecrated him bishop of the largest diocese in the Empire. Gebhard supported william of hirsau in the reform or foundation of numerous monasteries while he imposed the customs of Hirsau on the Abbey of petershausen near Constance, which flourished under Abbot Theodorich (10861116). Named papal legate by Urban II in 1089, Gebhard became the principal legate for Germany after the death of altmann of passau in 1091. As such, he won his brother Berthold II, Duke of Carinthia and Swabia, and Duke Welf IV of Bavaria for the papal cause. During a princes' meeting at Ulm in November 1093, Gebhard and Berthold were given religious and political leadership in Swabia. A reform synod at Constance during Easter 1095 followed. Driven from his see in 1103, Gebhard, at the request of Pope paschal ii, rallied the papal party behind the Emperor's rebellious son, henry v. At the Diet of Mainz during Christmas 1105, he denied the Emperor the absolution for which he had asked. In the cause of Henry V who had returned him to his see in 1105, he went to Rome the following year. Gebhard was reprimanded in absentia by Paschal II at the Synod of Troyes in 1107 for having acquiesced to Henry V's nomination of the bishop of Halberstadt, and thus his legation came to an end. He devoted his last years exclusively to the care of his diocese.

Bibliography: e. hofmann, "Die Stellung der Konstanzer Bischöfe zu Papst u. Kaiser während des Investiturstreites," Freiburger Diözesanarchiv 31 (1931) 181242, esp. 218242. h. tÜchle, Kirchengeschichte Schwabens, 2 v. (Stuttgart 195054) 1:219221; Lexicon für Theologie und Kirche 4:555556. o. feger, Geschichte des Bodenseeraumes, 2 v. (Lindau 195658). k. schmid, Neue deutsche Biographic 6: 114115, bibliog.

[a. a. schacher]