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The former was crowned at Mainz on 8 September, 1198, the latter at Aachen on 12 July, 1198.Immediately upon his accession to the papal throne Innocent had sent the Bishop of Sutri and the Abbot of Sant' Anastasio as legates to Germany, with instructions to free Philip of Swabia from the ban which he had incurred under Celestine III, on condition that he would bring about the liberation of the imprisoned Queen Sibyl of Sicily and restore the territory which he had taken from the Church when he was Duke of Tuscany.In his answer Innocent stated that he had no intention of encroaching upon the rights of the princes, but insisted upon the rights of the Church in this matter.He emphasized especially that the conferring of the imperial crown belonged to the pope alone.
Pope Gregory VIII ordained him subdeacon, and Clement III created him Cardinal-Deacon of St. The imperial throne had become vacant by the death of Henry VI in 1197, and no successor had as yet been elected.(Lotario de' Conti) One of the greatest popes of the Middle Ages, son of Count Trasimund of Segni and nephew of Clement III, born 1160 or 1161 at Anagni, and died 16 June, 1216, at Perugia. During the pontificate of Celestine III (1191-1198), a member of the House of the Orsini, enemies of the counts of Segni, he lived in retirement, probably at Anagni, devoting himself chiefly to meditation and literary pursuits. Previous to his death he had urged the College of Cardinals to elect Giovanni di Colonna as his successor; but Lotario de' Conti was elected pope, at Rome, on the very day on which Celestine III died.He received his early education at Rome, studied theology at Paris, jurisprudence at Bologna, and became a learned theologian and one of the greatest jurists of his time. He accepted the tiara with reluctance and took the name of Innocent III.Innocent III made clear to the German princes by the Decree "Venerabilem" which he addressed to the Duke of Zähringen in May, 1202, in what relation he considered the empire to stand to the papacy.This decretal, which has become famous, was afterwards embodied in the "Corpus Juris Canonici". The following are the chief points of the decretal : Innocent's exposition of his theory concerning the relation between the papacy and the empire was accepted by many princes, as is apparent from the sudden increase of Otto's adherents subsequent to the issue of the decretal.