Rainald of Dassel

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Imperial chancellor (115659) and archbishop of Cologne (115967); b. c. 1118; d. Aug. 14, 1167. He was a younger son of Saxon Count Rainald I, and was educated at Hildesheim and Paris. Subsequently he held posts at Goslar, Hildesheim, and Münster. He showed himself to be an ardent supporter of Emperor frederick i Barbarossa, was a member of the embassy sent to eugene iii at Rome in 1153, and became chancellor in 1156. Even after his elevation in 1159 he remained a militant statesman. The basic principle of his actions was to strengthen the empire at the expense of the papacy. He was probably responsible for the outburst at the Diet of Besançon in October of 1157, and the schism between alexander iii (115981) and the antipopes he supported first Victor IV (105964) and then Paschal III (116468). The latter action was a mistake and against the wishes and best interests of the empire. He failed to win foreign support for his policies, was excommunicated in 1163, and died on a campaign in Italy. The extent of his influence on Frederick Barbarossa has probably been overestimated.

Bibliography: g. rill, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, 10v. (Freiburg 195765) 8:979. b. gebhardt, Handbuch der deutschen Geschichte (Stuttgart 195460). m. maccarrone, Papato e Impero, dalla elezione di Federico I alia morte di Adriano IV, 11521159 (Rome 1959). r. m. herkenrath, "Reinald von Dassel als Verfasser und Schreiber von Kaiserurkunden," Mitteilungen des Instituts für österreichische Geschichtsforschung 72 (1964): 3462.

[j. gilchrist]