Nicholas V, Antipope

views updated


May 12, 1328, to Aug. 25, 1330; b. Pietro Rainalducci, at Corvaro (Rieti), Italy; d. Avignon, Oct. 16, 1333. The details surrounding Pietro's life are scarce. He was from humble origins and was married for five years to Giovanna Mattei. He left his wife and joined the Franciscans at Aracoeli in Rome in 1310. The reports of his character are varied and range from admiration to disapprobation. On May 12, 1328, Emperor Louis IV of Bavaria had Pietro elected to the papacy as part of a campaign to dislodge the reigning Pope john xxii. Using the name Nicholas V, Pietro found some popularity among Augustinian and spiritual Franciscan sympathizers. For example, in the early part of his reign Nicholas enjoyed support from such notables as William of Ockham and Michael of Cesena. When Louis IV was forced to retreat to northern Italy on April 11, 1329, however, Nicholas broke with his protector. Having also lost the support of his fellow Franciscans, Nicholas took temporary asylum in the castle of Burgaro under the care of Count Bonifacio of Doronatico. In order to keep him safe from an approaching Florentine army, Count Bonifacio secretly moved Nicholas to Pisa. Nevertheless, Pope John XXII discovered this new location and began negotiations for Nicholas' arrest. An agreement was eventually reached and on Aug. 25, 1330, Nicholas appeared in Avignon, renounced his office, and submitted to Pope John. Pietro Rainalducci received a small pension and pardon in exchange for his abdication but he was kept under house arrest until his death.

Bibliography: k. eubel, Historisches Jahrbuch der Görres-Gesellschaft 12 (Munich 1891) 277308. Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, ed. a. vauchez et al. (Chicago 2000) 2:1018. j. n. d. kelly Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1996) 216217. a. mercati, Studi e Testi 134 (1947) 5982. g. schwaiger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 7:979.

[j. a. sheppard]

About this article

Nicholas V, Antipope

Updated About content Print Article