Key to Umbria: Spoleto

Spoleto in the 11th Century

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Investiture Crisis

The Emperor Conrad granted the Duchy of Spoleto to Duke Boniface III of Tuscany in 1043.  Boniface died in 1052, and his widow Beatrice married the exiled Godfrey of Lorraine.  Godfrey’s brother was elected as Pope Stephen IX (1057-8) and he confirmed Godfrey’s title as Duke of Spoleto.  When he died in 1070, the duchy was combined with that of Tuscany and passed to Beatrice and then (in 1076) to the Countess Matilda, the daughter of Beatrice from her first marriage.

During the conflict between Pope Gregory VII and the Emperor Henry IV, the latter appointed his own candidate as Bishop of Spoleto in 1075, and this was one of the insults that led to his excommunication in 1076.  The Countess Matilda was a staunch supporter of the papacy, and Henry IV famously performed penance outside her fortress of Canossa in 1077 in order to have his excommunication lifted. 

Henry IV soon returned to the offensive, and in 1093 awarded the Duchy of Spoleto to his ally, Werner of Urslingen, Margraves of Ancona, as an act of revenge against Matilda.  In 1105, he marched on Rome and secured the coronation of the anti-pope Silvester IV (1105-11), who seems to have been the candidate of a pro-Imperial faction in the city.  Silvester IV was however soon driven from Rome and  lived under Werner’s protection near Ancona until he was persuaded to renounce his papal claims in 1111.  Duke Werner died in 1119. 

The Concordat of Worms (1122) settled the Investiture Crisis.

Return to the page on the History of Spoleto.