Clement VI,1291–1352, pope (1342–52), a Frenchman named Pierre Roger; successor of Benedict XII. His court was at Avignon. He had been archbishop of Sens, archbishop of Rouen, and cardinal (1338). During his pontificate there was a major outbreak of the plagueplague,
any contagious, malignant, epidemic disease, in particular the bubonic plague and the black plague (or Black Death), both forms of the same infection. These acute febrile diseases are caused by Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis
..... Click the link for more information. known as the Black Death (1348–50); Clement did what he could for sufferers. He tried to stem the wave of anti-Semitism brought on by the plague, and he did much to protect the Jews. In Roman affairs Clement at first favored Cola di RienziRienzi or Rienzo, Cola di
, 1313?–1354, Roman popular leader. In 1343 on a mission to Pope Clement VI at Avignon, he won the papal confidence. While there he befriended Petrarch.
..... Click the link for more information. , then helped to defeat him. He had a quarrel with Holy Roman Emperor Louis IVLouis IV
or Louis the Bavarian,
1287?–1347, Holy Roman emperor (1328–47) and German king (1314–47), duke of Upper Bavaria. After the death of Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII the Luxemburg party among the electors set aside Henry's son, John of Luxemburg,
..... Click the link for more information. over the annulment of Margaret Maultasch's marriage; the struggle was aggravated by enmity between the pope and the German archbishops, caused by the elevation of Prague into an archbishopric, detaching it from Mainz. The years before the onset of the Black Death were the heyday of papal AvignonAvignon
, city (1990 pop. 86,440), capital of Vaucluse dept., SE France, on the Rhône River. It is a farm market with a wine trade and a great variety of manufactures.
..... Click the link for more information. , which Clement purchased (1348) from Joanna IJoanna I,
1326–82, queen of Naples (1343–81), countess of Provence. She was the granddaughter of King Robert of Naples, whom she succeeded with her husband, Andrew of Hungary.
..... Click the link for more information. . Clement spent extravagantly, had an elegant court, patronized the arts, and vastly favored his relatives. He was completely pro-French. He was succeeded by Innocent VI.