Pope Martin IV

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Pope Martin IV, pope (1281-1285). He was a native of Touraine, the region of Tours, France, born about 1210, and his proper name was Simon de Brion. After holding various offices at Rouen and Tours, he was made chancellor of France by Louis IV in 1260, and cardinal by Urban IV in 1261. He acted as legate for this pope and also for his successor Clement IV in the negotiations for the assumption of the crown of Sicily by Charles of Anjou, and he is supposed also to have stimulated the ambition of Philip III for the imperial dignity in 1273. After the death of Nicholas III (August 1280) Charles of Anjou was able to secure the election of Cardinal Simon by the conclave at Viterbo (February 22 1281). The Romans declined to receive him within their walls, and he was crowned at Orvieto. At the instance of Charles, whose tool he had become, he in November 1281 excommunicated the Byzantine emperor Michael Palaeologus, who stood in the way of the French projects against Greece - an act by which the union of the Eastern and Western churches was rendered impossible. For three years after the Sicilian Vespers in 1282 all the spiritual and material resources at his command were in vain employed on behalf of his patron against Peter of Aragon. He died at Perugia on March 25, 1285, and was succeeded by Honorius IV


text from the 9th edition of an unnnameable encyclopedia


preceded by Pope Nicholas III (1277-1280)
succeeded by Pope Honorius IV (1285-1287)