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With the greatest fidelity the pope watched over the welfare of his ward during the nine years of his minority.
Even the enemies of the papacy admit that Innocent was an unselfish guardian of the young king and that no one else could have ruled for him more ably and conscientiously.
She appealed to Innocent III to save the Sicilian throne for her child.
The pope made use of this opportunity to reassert papal suzerainty over Sicily, and acknowledged Frederick II as king only after Constance had surrendered certain privileges contained in the so-called Four Chapters, which William I had previously extorted from Adrian IV.
(Lotario de' Conti) One of the greatest popes of the Middle Ages, son of Count Trasimund of Segni and nephew of Clement III, born 1160 or 1161 at Anagni, and died 16 June, 1216, at Perugia. During the pontificate of Celestine III (1191-1198), a member of the House of the Orsini, enemies of the counts of Segni, he lived in retirement, probably at Anagni, devoting himself chiefly to meditation and literary pursuits. Previous to his death he had urged the College of Cardinals to elect Giovanni di Colonna as his successor; but Lotario de' Conti was elected pope, at Rome, on the very day on which Celestine III died.
He received his early education at Rome, studied theology at Paris, jurisprudence at Bologna, and became a learned theologian and one of the greatest jurists of his time. He accepted the tiara with reluctance and took the name of Innocent III.
The Prefect of Rome, who reigned over the city as the emperor's representative, and the senator who stood for the communal rights and privileges of Rome, swore allegiance to Innocent.
After the death of Henry VI a double election had ensued.
The Ghibellines had elected Philip of Swabia on 6 March, 1198, while the Guelfs had elected Otto IV, son of Henry the Lion and nephew of King Richard of England , in April of the same year.
First he sent two cardinal legates to Markwuld to demand the restoration of the Romagna and the Church.
Upon his evasive answer he was excommunicated by the legates and driven away by the papal troops.