Pope Urban II

Pope Urban II
Image of Pope Urban II from The Lives and Times of the Popes by Artaud de Montor. Public Domain

Pope Urban II was also known as:

Odo of Châtillon-sur-Marne, Odon of Châtillon-sur-Marne, Eudes of Châtillon-sur-Marne, Odo of Lagery, Otho of Lagery, Odo of Lagny

Pope Urban II was known for:

Beginning the Crusade Movement with his call to arms at the Council of Clermont. Urban also continued and expanded on the reforms of Gregory VII, and helped the papacy become a stronger political unit.


Places of Residence and Influence:

Important Dates:

Born: c. 1035
Elected Pope: March 12, 1088
Speech at Council of Clermont: Nov. 27, 1095
Died: July 29, 1099

About Pope Urban II:

Urban studied at Soissons and then at Reims, where he became archdeacon, before becoming a monk and retiring to Cluny. There he became prior, and after only a few years was sent to Rome to assist Pope Gregory VII in his attempts at reform. He proved invaluable to the pope, and was made a Cardinal and served as a papal legate. Upon Gregory's death in 1085 he served his successor, Victor II ​until Victor died. He was then elected pope in March 1088.

The Pontificate of Urban II:

As pope, Urban had to deal with the antipope Clement III and the ongoing Investiture Controversy. He was successful in asserting his legitimacy as pope, but his reform policies did not take thorough hold throughout Europe. He did, however, establish a softer stance on the Investiture Controversy that would later make a resolution possible. Long aware of the difficulties pilgrims had been having in the Holy Land, Urban used Emperor Alexius Comnenos' call for help as the basis for calling Christian knights to arms in the First Crusade. Urban also called together several important church councils, including those at Piacenza, Clermont, Bari and Rome, passing notable reform legislation.

More Pope Urban II Resources:

Pope Urban II on the Web

Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope Bl. Urban II
Thorough biography by R. Urban Butler.

Council of Clermont: Five Versions
Five versions of the speech, plus a letter of instruction, in modern English translation. Provided by Paul Halsall at his Medieval Sourcebook.

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