Teta E. Moehs



Gregorius V. (996-999)



A biographical Study

Gregorius V. (996-999)
  • 978-3-7772-7214-6
  • 9783777272146
  • Teta E. Moehs
  • A biographical Study
  • Päpste und Papsttum
  • 2
  • 114
  • 1972
  • Leinen
  • 1 FaltTafeln
  • Anton Hiersemann Verlag


  • The reader of this study on Pope Gregory V will soon discover that it was necessary for me to use a wide variety of sources. Not only was the reference material scattered over a period of almost one thousand years, but historians have, in general, paid far more attention to Gregory´s cousin, Emperor Otto III. While Gregory as a personality was often mentioned as he moved in and related to the life of Otto III, very few extensive biographies were written about him. To be sure, this attitude is understandable. The young Emperor and his idea of the revival of the Roman imperium left distinctive marks on his era. He seemed to be the dominant personality and far more intriguing than Gregory V, who spent most of his short reign of only three years in the shadow of his cousin.A fresh inquiry into the life of his Pope was prompted by the fact that new documentary evidence has come to light in recent years. The existing studies by C.HÖFLER(1839), A.OTTO(1881), K.H.MANN (1910), and K.GUGGENBERGER (1916), although most important in their contributions, no longer seemed to suffice. Furthermore, Gregory V has appeared in an number of works written about this period in general or about the papacy in particular, which have greatly enlarged the available material about the tenth century. Most important in this connection are the many volumes produced by M.UHLIRZ and H.ZIMMERMANN. Both of these historians collected the documents in the REGESTA IMPERII, UHLIRZ on Otto III and ZIMMERMANN on the papacy. In the process of trying to reconstruct the life of Gregory V, I found the results of their labors indispensable and would like to express my admiration and gratitude.This biography had two possible courses for organization, the thematic or the chronological. I must admit that the choice between these two alternatives was very difficult. Both were begun but in the end the thematic was abandoned for the simple reason that, like all other historians concerned with this period, I discovered that it was impossible to completely separate the actions of Gregory V from those of Otto III. This fact may perhaps evoke some criticism. Nevertheless, I believe that a different portrait has emerged of Gregory V as pope. Although he was dependent on his cousin, he was not quite as colorless or insignificant as had been presented until now. To the contrary, his own contributions to the papacy have surfaced thereby creating greater stature.
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