He graduated from the United States Military Academy inwhere he later served as a social sciences instructor, from to Military career[ edit ] Upon graduation from the Military Academy inWickham was commissioned a second lieutenant and assigned to the 18th Infantry Regiment and then the 6th Infantry Regiment in Berlin.
Diocese of Sovana On the following day, 22 FebruaryPope Gregory VII pronounced a sentence of excommunication against Henry IV with all due solemnity, divested him of his royal dignity and absolved his subjects from the oaths they had sworn to him.
The act of excommunicating a king was incredibly bold, but not without precedent. Pope Zachary had brought significant challenges to rulers of his era a full years earlier, in a move Thomas Hobbes would famously call "one of the greatest abuses of the papacy in the history of the Church".
Whether it would produce this effect, or would be an idle threat, depended not so much on Gregory VII as on Henry's subjects, and, above all, on the German princes. Septimus by john wickham evidence suggests that the excommunication of Henry made a profound impression both in Germany and Italy.
Thirty years before, Henry III had deposed three claimants to the papacy, and thereby rendered an acknowledged service to the Church. When Henry IV tried to copy this procedure he was less successful, as he lacked the support of the people.
In Germany there was a rapid and general feeling in favor of Gregory, and the princes took the opportunity to carry out their anti-regal policy under the cloak of respect for the papal decision.
When at Whitsun the king proposed to discuss the measures to be taken against Gregory VII in a council of his nobles, only a few made their appearance; the Saxons snatched at the golden opportunity for renewing their rebellion, and the anti-royalist party grew in strength from month to month.
Walk to Canossa The situation now became extremely critical for Henry. As a result of the agitation, which was zealously fostered by the papal legate Bishop Altmann of Passauthe princes met in October at Trebur to elect a new German ruler.
Henry, who was stationed at Oppenheim on the left bank of the Rhinewas only saved from the loss of his throne by the failure of the assembled princes to agree on the question of his successor.
Their dissension, however, merely induced them to postpone the verdict. Henry, they declared, must make reparation to Gregory VII and pledge himself to obedience; and they decided that, if, on the anniversary of his excommunication, he still lay under the ban, the throne should be considered vacant.
These arrangements showed Henry the course to be pursued. It was imperative under any circumstances and at any price to secure his absolution from Gregory before the period named, otherwise he could scarcely foil his opponents in their intention to pursue their attack against him and justify their measures by an appeal to his excommunication.
At first he attempted to attain his ends by an embassy, but when Gregory rejected his overtures he took the celebrated step of going to Italy in person.
Gregory VII had already left Rome and had intimated to the German princes that he would expect their escort for his journey on 8 January to Mantua.
But this escort had not appeared when he received the news of Henry's arrival. Henry, who had travelled through Burgundyhad been greeted with enthusiasm by the Lombards, but resisted the temptation to employ force against Gregory.
He chose the unexpected course of forcing Gregory to grant him absolution by doing penance before him at Canossawhere he had taken refuge.
The Walk to Canossa soon became legendary. The reconciliation was only effected after prolonged negotiations and definite pledges on the part of Henry, and it was with reluctance that Gregory VII at length gave way, considering the political implications.
If Gregory VII granted absolution, the diet of princes in Augsburg in which he might reasonably hope to act as arbitrator would either become useless, or, if it met at all, would change completely in character.
It was impossible, however, to deny the penitent re-entrance into the Church, and Gregory VII's religious obligations overrode his political interests.Everything you wanted to know about Richard Sharpe but were afraid to ask.
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Pope Gregory VII (Latin: Gregorius VII; c. – 25 May ), born Hildebrand of Sovana (Italian: Ildebrando da Soana), was pope from 22 April to his death in One of the great reforming popes, he is perhaps best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor that affirmed the primacy of papal authority and the new.