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Pope Gregory VII, 1073–1085$
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H. E. J. Cowdrey

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206460

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206460.001.0001

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Death in Exile

Death in Exile

(p.677) 12 Death in Exile
Pope Gregory VII, 1073–1085

H. E. J. Cowdrey

Oxford University Press

Pope Gregory VII died at Salerno on May 25, 1085. He seems to have fallen seriously ill at about the beginning of the year. The record of his final testament, followed by the Montecassino Chronicle, suggests that he was for a considerable period in the grip of major illness. Some days before he died, Gregory appears to have suffered a relapse. He was attended by an entourage of bishops and cardinals who seem to have been essentially those who had left Rome with him. Also present were a number of chaplains. If he died ‘poor and in exile’, his poverty was a matter of the moral indifference to possessions, which was proper for a Christian, not of enforced material need or human isolation. The only named witness throughout his last illness was Abbot Desiderius of Montecassino, who, however, according to Paul of Bernried, fulfilled Gregory's prophecy by being absent at the hour of his death in order to bring relief to one of his abbey's castles to which some Normans were laying siege.

Keywords:   Pope Gregory VII, Salerno, final testament, bishops, cardinals, chaplains, poverty, Abbot Desiderius, exile, Montecassino Chronicle

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