Sylvester IV, Antipope
SYLVESTER IV, ANTIPOPE
Pontificate: Nov. 18, 1105 to April 12 or 13, 1111. Little is known of Maginulf, archpriest of St. Angelo, until he emerges in 1105 as the favored candidate for antipope among opponents of Pope Paschal II (1099–1118). This group may not have been purely old partisans of antipope Clement III (1080–1100)—like those who had elected Theodoric (1100) and Albert (1102)—because they appear to have had imperial support through Count Werner, who administered the royal holdings in Ancona and Spoleto. They met in Santa Maria Rotunda (the Pantheon), and elected Maginulf pope after accusing Paschal of simony and heresy. Count Werner brought troops to Rome while Paschal was outside the city, and Maginulf was consecrated Sylvester IV in the Lateran. Fighting broke out upon Paschal's return. For a time Paschal could only occupy an island in the Tiber that was owned by the Pierlioni family, but he soon forced Sylvester to flee the city, first for Tivoli and then for Osimo (in Ancona).
Nothing substantive is known of Sylvester until 1111, when Henry V (1106–25) occupied Rome with an imperial army. In an effort to pressure Paschal to end the investiture Controversy, Henry brought Pachal to his camp and threatened to replace him with Sylvester if pope and emperor could not come to an agreement. After Paschal's arrangement with the emperor was rejected by his own cardinals, Henry took him away from Rome and soon secured from Paschal the right to invest his bishops with ring and staff (the so-called Privilege of Ponte Mammolo). As a result, on April 12 or 13, 1111 Henry ordered Sylvester to renounce his claim to the papacy and do homage to Paschal. Sylvester complied and lived the rest of his life at Ancona under the protection of Count Werner.
Bibliography: l. duchesne, ed. Liber Pontificalis (Paris 1886–92; repr. 1955–57) 2.298, 345–48. p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum Romanorum (Leipzig 1885–88; repr. Graz 1956) 1.773–74. Forma abrenuntiationis Silvestri IV Antipapae, in Monumenta Germaniae historica, Constitutiones 1.146–47. Annales ceccanenses, in Monumenta Germaniae historica, Scriptores 19.281–82. c. ser vatius, Paschalis II (Stuttgart 1979) 43, 71–74, 220, 232, 245, 251. j. n. d. kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 162–63. g. tellenbach, The Church in Western Europe from the Tenth to the Early Twelfth Century (Cambridge 1993) 253–64.
[p. m. savage]