Aribert, Archbishop of Milan
Encyclopedia
Aribert (Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

: Ariberto da Intimiano
Capiago Intimiano
Capiago is a comune in the Province of Como in the Italian region Lombardy, located about 35 km north of Milan and about 6 km southeast of Como...

) (died 16 January 1045, Monza
Monza
Monza is a city and comune on the river Lambro, a tributary of the Po, in the Lombardy region of Italy some 15 km north-northeast of Milan. It is the capital of the Province of Monza and Brianza. It is best known for its Grand Prix motor racing circuit, the Autodromo Nazionale Monza.On June...

) was the archbishop of Milan from 1018, a quarrelsome warrior-bishop in an age in which such figures were not uncommon.

Aribert went to Konstanz
Konstanz
Konstanz is a university city with approximately 80,000 inhabitants located at the western end of Lake Constance in the south-west corner of Germany, bordering Switzerland. The city houses the University of Konstanz.-Location:...

 in June 1025, with other bishops of Northern Italy
Northern Italy
Northern Italy is a wide cultural, historical and geographical definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the northern part of the Italian state, also referred as Settentrione or Alta Italia...

, to pay homage to Conrad II of Germany, the beleaguered founder of the Salian dynasty
Salian dynasty
The Salian dynasty was a dynasty in the High Middle Ages of four German Kings , also known as the Frankish dynasty after the family's origin and role as dukes of Franconia...

. There, in exchange for privileges, he agreed to crown Conrad with the Iron Crown of Lombardy
Iron Crown of Lombardy
The Iron Crown of Lombardy is both a reliquary and one of the most ancient royal insignia of Europe. The crown became one of the symbols of the Kingdom of Lombards and later of the medieval Kingdom of Italy...

, which the magnates had offered to Odo of Blois
Odo II, Count of Blois
Odo II , Count of Blois, Chartres, Ch√Ęteaudun, Provins, Rheims, and Tours from 1004 and Count of Troyes and Meaux from 1022, was the son of Odo I of Blois and Bertha, daughter of Conrad of Burgundy...

. This he did, on 26 March 1026, at Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, for the traditional seat of Lombard coronations, Pavia
Pavia
Pavia , the ancient Ticinum, is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 km south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It is the capital of the province of Pavia. It has a population of c. 71,000...

, was still in revolt against imperial authority. He journeyed to Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 a year later for the imperial coronation of Conrad by Pope John XIX
Pope John XIX
Pope John XIX , born Romanus, was Pope from 1024 to 1032.He succeeded his brother, Pope Benedict VIII , both being members of the powerful house of Tusculum...

 on 26 March 1027; at a synod at the Lateran he negotiated a decision of the precedence of the archdiocese of Milan over that of Ravenna. He subsequently joined an imperial military expedition into the Kingdom of Arles
Kingdom of Arles
The Kingdom of Arles or Second Kingdom of Burgundy of the High Middle Ages was a Frankish dominion established in 933 from lands of the early medieval Kingdom of Burgundy at Arles...

, which Conrad inherited upon the death in 1032 of Rudolph III of Burgundy
Rudolph III of Burgundy
Rudolf III of Burgundy was the last King of an independent Burgundy. He was the son of Conrad, King of Burgundy, and Matilda of France...

, but which was contested by Odo.

In the political arena of Italy, power was disputed between the great territorial magnates— the capitanei— with their vassal captains and the lesser nobility— the valvassores
Vavasour
A vavasour, is a term in Feudal law. A vavasour was the vassal or tenant of a baron, one who held their tenancy under a baron, and who also had tenants under him...

— allied with the burghers of the Italian commune
Medieval commune
Medieval communes in the European Middle Ages had sworn allegiances of mutual defense among the citizens of a town or city. They took many forms, and varied widely in organization and makeup. Communes are first recorded in the late 11th and early 12th centuries, thereafter becoming a widespread...

s.

Aribert created enemies among the lower nobility, against whom he perpetrated the worst violences, and with the metropolitan
Metropolitan bishop
In Christian churches with episcopal polity, the rank of metropolitan bishop, or simply metropolitan, pertains to the diocesan bishop or archbishop of a metropolis; that is, the chief city of a historical Roman province, ecclesiastical province, or regional capital.Before the establishment of...

 of Ravenna
Ravenna
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

, whose episcopal rights, along with those of the smaller sees, he ignored. A revolt soon engulfed northern Italy and, at Aribert's request, Conrad's son, the Emperor Henry III
Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry III , called the Black or the Pious, was a member of the Salian Dynasty of Holy Roman Emperors...

, travelled south of the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

 in the winter of 1036/37, to quell it. The Emperor, however, took the position of champion of the valvassores and demanded that Aribert should make a defence against charges brought against him, but Aribert refused, on the grounds that he was the emperor's equal. His consequent arrest provoked the rebellion of the anti-Imperial faction of the Milanese, seen by 19th-century historians as fiercely patriotic. Aribert had soon escaped his imprisonment and was leading the revolt from Milan. The Emperor found himself unable to take Milan by siege and proceeded to Rome, where his diplomatic skills succeeded in isolating Aribert from his erstwhile allies, notably through his famous decree of 28 May 1037, securing the tenancy of lesser vassals, both imperial and ecclesiastical. The Emperor took the step of deposing the fighting archbishop, and John's successor Pope Benedict IX
Pope Benedict IX
Pope Benedict IX , born Theophylactus of Tusculum, was Pope on three occasions between 1032 and 1048. One of the youngest popes, he was the only man to have been Pope on more than one occasion and the only man ever to have sold the papacy.-Biography:Benedict was born in Rome as Theophylactus, the...

 excommunicated Aribert in March 1038. That year, he held up the carroccio
Carroccio
A Carroccio was a four-wheeled war altar, mounting a large vexillum standard, drawn by oxen, used by the medieval republics of Italy. It was a rectangular platform on which the standard of the city and an altar were erected; priests held services on the altar before the battle, and the trumpeters...

as the symbol of Milan and soon it was the symbol of all the Tuscan cities as far as Rome. Aribert ended his episcopacy in relative peace, having agreed to cease hostilities with Henry, at Ingelheim in 1040.
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