Oliva 50 
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[50. ON CONFIRMATIONS MADE BY THE POPE]

[50.1] One should note that the pope therefore puts proper names in the title of privileges and confirmations, because a right is understood to be especially presented to them, although in some cases it may be transferred to posterity.322 Furthermore, it would be superfluous and tedious to append as a note to this work all things which can be put in confirmations.

[50.2] But you ought to know that the rights of all should be specified according to that which the petitions have presented.

[50.3] Moreover, the pope can confirm elections by apostolic letter not only the election of the king of the Romans, but also all kings,324 since authority seems to be doubled when a temporal kingdom receives a spiritual confirmation.325 

[50.4] Note that all who confirm something to some person or persons can construct a preamble from: 1) a service conferred to him or to his predecessors, or from 2) religion, or from 3) some matter which pertains to his own jurisdiction, according to that which was contained in the treatise on privileges.326 


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322 The emperor does not include an adressee in the protocol of his privileges: see above, Oliva 19.4-5.

323 The idea that the pope might confirm elections of the rex Romanorum, the German king, was tenatively advanced in an exchange of letters between Wibald of Corvey and Eugene III, on the occasion of Frederick Barbarossa's election in 1152 (JAFFE Monumenta Corbeiensia nos. 375, 382). Like his predecessor, Konrad III, Barbarossa had not sought papal confirmation of his election. Several years later, amidst mounting tensions between Roman curia and imperial court in the final years of Hadrian IV's reign, he strenuously resisted all such notions of imperial subordination to the papacy. For the independant basis of royal power, see RANIER MARIA HERKENRATH Regnum und Imperium in den Diplomen der ersten Regierungsjahre Friedrichs I. SB wien 264, Abh. 5 (Vienna 1969). --- However the idea took on renewed life after Barbarossas death. But at first Henry VI was temporarily successful in eliminating the need for any papal involvement in royal elections. At the 1196 Würzburg Reichstag the emperor briefly persuaded the imperial princes to accept a hereditary German kingship, similar to constitutional law of the French kingdom. After the Würzburg agreement crumbled, he engaged in ultimately unsuccessful negotiations in 1197 with papal legates to have his son Frederick crowned, consecrated and enthroned by Celestine III, without an election --whether as king Germany or of Sicily, or of both, it is not clear (alluded to above, Oliva 19.10). --- At the time of the Oliva's writing--at the beginning of the Thronstreit--the Roman curia and the Welf party presupposed the idea that the pope must confirm the election of the German king--as documented by the RNI. See FRIEDRICH KEMPF "Der favor apostolicus bei der Wahl Friedrich Barbarossas und im deutschen Thronstreit (1198-1208)" in Speculum historiale. Geschichte im Spiegel von Geschichtschreibung und Geschichtsdeutung. Festschrift Heinrich Spörl edd. C. BAUER, L. BOEHM and M. MüLLER (Freiburg-Munich 1965) 469-478.

324 See JOHANNES FRIED Der päpstliche Schutz für Laienfürsten (Heidelberg AK. Wiss Phil.-Hist. Kl. Abhandlung 1, 1980).

325 For the idea that papal privileges help to strengthen a recipients right to a temporality, see above, Oliva 8b.27; for privileges of a patriarch: Oliva 18.14; of an archbishop: Oliva 18.34. The Boncompangus includes papal letters confirming the election of an English king (3.3.2) and a German king, an emperor-elect (3.3.1).

326 The topics of preambles for privileges are discussed above, Oliva 7.19 and 15.3.


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© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998

Scrineum © Università di Pavia 1999