Collection of Letters: Detail
- Urban II, pope
Urban [to Matilda?] . . .
We wish and for the sake of his(1) respect we desire that, just as he was previously chosen,(2) the bishop of Sutri, who is said to have laboured greatly(3) in the church,(4) be solemnly enthroned in the bishopric of Piacenza, if it can be done peacefully and with the agreement of the clergy and people.
[S]utrinus episcopus, qui multum in ecclesia laborasse dicitur, si cum pace et cleri populique concordia fieri potest, volumus et pro eius reverentia desideramus ut in episcopatu Placentino, sicut olim electus est, sollempniter intronizetur.
Though the addressee is identified only as M, Somerville suggests that Matilda is the likely recipient. Urban also wrote to Bonizo and probably to Cardinal Herman, former bishop of Brescia, about Bonizo’s election to the bishopric of Piacenza (Somerville, p.5051), to which there was clerical and lay dissent. In both those letters, Urban says he approves the election if it can be accomplished canonically and peacefully. That he says in this letter "with the agreement of the clergy and people" may suggest that he leaves it to Matilda to secure such agreement. I am grateful to Prof. Somerville for alerting me to this text and allowing me to use it.
(1) “eius” of line 4 has been translated to refer to Bonizo although this pronoun might refer to other words in the passage, e.g. “ecclesia” (see CB 6), or “episcopatu.” (2) “electus est” (3) “qui multum in ecclesia laborasse dicitur”: perhaps who is said to have suffered greatly in the church’ (although the letter surely would still date before Bonizo's mutilation — see CB 5 n. 28). (4) church’ is unmodified, in contrast to the “illius aecclesie” of CB 6, line 3, unambiguously designating Piacenza. It remains uncertain whether Urban meant that Bonizo laboured vigorously in the church in general, or in a specific church, i.e. Sutri or Piacenza.
Text, translation and annotation from Pope Urban II, the Collectio Brittanica, and the Council of Melfi (1089), by Robert Somerville, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), p.52.