World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sciarra Colonna

Sciarra Colonna slapping Boniface VIII, illustration by Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville, from Fran├žois Guizot's The History of France from the Earliest Times to the Year 1789 (1883).

Giacomo Colonna (1270-1329), more commonly known by his bynames Sciarrillo or Sciarra, was a member of the powerful Colonna family. He is most famous for attacking Pope Boniface VIII and for crowning Louis IV of Germany as Holy Roman Emperor.

The feud between the Colonna and Pope Boniface VIII

The Colonna were a powerful family in papal Rome and constant - but unusuccesful - contenders in papal elections. The stalemate between the Colonna and the Orsini led to the election of Pope Celestine V, who quickly abdicated, and then Pope Boniface VIII in 1294. The new pope, who hailed from the relatively obscure Caetani family, looked for opportunities to enlarge his family's power base, and found one in a dispute among the Colonna family: when Cardinal Giacomo Colonna - Sciarra's uncle - disinherited his brothers Ottone, Matteo, and Landolfo in 1297, the three appealed to the Pope, who ordered Giacomo to return the land, and furthermore hand over the family strongholds Palestrina and other towns to the Papacy. When Giacomo refused, Boniface removed him from the College of Cardinals and excommunicated him and his followers. In turn, the Colonna disputed the legitimacy of Boniface's election and declared Celestine the rightful pope. Eventually, Palestrina was stormed by papal forces.

The outrage of Anagni

The Colonna allied with the Pope's other great enemy, Philip IV of France. In September 1303, Sciarra and Philipp's advisor, Guillaume de Nogaret, led a small force into Anagni to arrest of Boniface VIII and bring him to France, where was to stand trial. While the two managed to apprehend the Pope and Sciarra reportedly slapped the pope in the face in the process, which was accordingly dubbed the "Outrage of Anagni". The attempt eventually failed after a few days, when locals freed the Pope. However, Boniface VIII died on the 11th October, allowing France to dominate his weaker successors during the Avignon papacy.

Later years

The Colonna remained powerful in the papal states, especially during successive popes' absence. In 1328, Louis IV of Germany marched into Italy for his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor. As Pope John XXII was residing in Avignon and had publically declared that he would not crown Louis, the King decided to be crowned by a member of the Roman aristocracy, who proposed Sciarra Colonna. In honor of this event, the Colonna family was granted the privilege of using the imperial pointed crown on top of their coat of arms.

One year later, Sciarra Colonna died in Venice in 1329.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.