Urban II

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Related to Urban II: Pope Paschal II

Urban II,

c.1042–1099, pope (1088–99), a Frenchman named Odo (or Eudes) of Lagery; successor of Victor III. He studied at Reims and became a monk at Cluny. He went to Rome, as prior of Cluny, early in the reign of St. Gregory VII. The pope kept him there, finding in Odo one of his ablest assistants in the great reform; he made him cardinal and bishop of Ostia. Odo worked especially as legate in Germany. When he was elected pope, Urban pursued the cause of reform, undaunted by the opposition of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and his antipope, Clement III (Guibert of Ravenna). He began work in the lands that recognized him, those of the Normans (S Italy), of the Countess Matilda (Tuscany), and the Lombard cities. He could not stay in Rome until 1093, when the antipope was expelled. Urban's method was to travel about, summoning great councils of the whole population, to advertise and gain popularity for the reforms. The principal councils were at Piacenza (Mar., 1095), Clermont (Nov., 1095), Rome (1097), Bari (1098), and Rome again (1099). At Clermont, Urban preached a sermon that brought forth the First Crusade (see CrusadesCrusades
, series of wars undertaken by European Christians between the 11th and 14th cent. to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. First Crusade

In the 7th cent., Jerusalem was taken by the caliph Umar.
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). At Bari the reunion of East and West was the theme; St. Anselm was the apologist for the West. Urban's resolute condemnation of Philip I of France in the matter of Philip's repudiation of his wife exemplifies his fearlessness. Without Urban's work, most of Gregory's reform movement would probably have been ephemeral. He was succeeded by Paschal II. Urban was beatified in 1881.


See study by F. J. Gossman (1960).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Urban II


(Odo of Lagery, Odo of Châtillon-sur-Marne). Born circa 1042, in Lagery, France; died July 29, 1099, in Rome. Pope (1088–99).

Urban II continued the ecclesiastical and political policies of Pope Gregory VII. In Italy he waged a successful struggle against Emperor Henry IV and his ally, the antipope Clement III, who had strengthened his position in Rome with the emperor’s help. Urban II returned to Rome and secured his hold on the papacy decisively in 1094 after forcing Clement III out of the city. Urban II proclaimed the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont in 1095.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Urban II

original name Odo or Udo. ?1042--99, French ecclesiastic; pope (1088--99). He inaugurated the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont (1095)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
After discussing some of these unexamined presuppositions, this paper will oppose them with the views of the so-called founding father of the Crusades, Pope Urban II. Because Urban died on 29 July 1099 before learning of the conquest of Jerusalem two weeks earlier, his interpretation of the Crusades is able to avoid the problem of anachronism, of judging all prior crusading from the standpoint of the greatest crusading triumph in the eleventh century.
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First Minister Rhodri Morgan was in Brussels to see Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for regional policy, formally launch the initiative - the only Urban II programme in Wales.
In 1090 Urban II summoned his old master to be his adviser in Rome, where the reluctant Bruno lived disconsolately in the ruined Baths of Diocletian.
FIVE hundred years after Islam appeared, Pope Urban II launched the Crusades, in November 1095, to claim land in the Middle East from Muslims.
Wrexham council bosses secured pounds 1.2m to finish of the West Urban II European community initiative.
The European Commission approved on January 25 urban regeneration programmes in four Member States in the framework of the URBAN II Community Initiative.
The Reconciliation Walk was launched last November in Clermont-Ferrand, France, 900 years to the day after Pope Urban II summoned Christendom to war.
The EU URBAN II programme has set aside pounds 6.6m for match funding programmes to help regenerate employment in West Wrexham.
The European Commission approved three urban regeneration programmes in Greece under the URBAN II Community Initiative (2000-2006) on January 24.
Money has been provided under the West Wrexham Urban II programme.

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