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Pope Innocent III was Pope from 8 January 1198 until his death. His birth name was Lotario dei Conti di Segni, sometimes anglicised to Lothar of Segni. Pope Innocent was one of the most powerful and influential popes in the history of the papacy, who exerted unilateral control over the Christian states of Europe using wealth, power, and religious support, and claimed supremacy over all of Europe's kings. Pope Innocent was central in supporting the Catholic church's reforms of lay investiture, in which Innocent worked to prevent kings from selling of clerical positions to bishops and archbishops in exchange for money or service. Pope Innocent is notable for harshly punishing and even excommunicating lords and feudal lords who refused to comply with his rules. One of Pope Innocent's most critical historical decisions was in calling upon Christian forces to begin The Fourth Crusade. Originally intended to support the Byzantine people of the Byzantine Empire at Constantinople from attack by Turkish invaders, the Crusades became one of the greatest wars in history. Pope Innocent attempted to exercise tremendous power and military control by calling upon armies of Christian European nations such as the Franks and the English to fight for religious causes and under his command. Pope Innocent decreed that the Muslims were heretical and decided upon unilaterally attacking them and seizing the Holy Lands, which included Judaea and modern day Syria, Jordan, and Israel/Palestine from Muslim Control. This was in direct response to the failure of the Third Crusade to secure Jerusalem following the victory of the Muslim forces led by Saladin in 1187.
 
 
Pope Innocent III was Pope from 8 January 1198 until his death. His birth name was Lotario dei Conti di Segni, sometimes anglicised to Lothar of Segni. Pope Innocent was one of the most powerful and influential popes in the history of the papacy, who exerted unilateral control over the Christian states of Europe using wealth, power, and religious support, and claimed supremacy over all of Europe's kings. Pope Innocent was central in supporting the Catholic church's reforms of lay investiture, in which Innocent worked to prevent kings from selling of clerical positions to bishops and archbishops in exchange for money or service. Pope Innocent is notable for harshly punishing and even excommunicating lords and feudal lords who refused to comply with his rules. One of Pope Innocent's most critical historical decisions was in calling upon Christian forces to begin The Fourth Crusade. Originally intended to support the Byzantine people of the Byzantine Empire at Constantinople from attack by Turkish invaders, the Crusades became one of the greatest wars in history. Pope Innocent attempted to exercise tremendous power and military control by calling upon armies of Christian European nations such as the Franks and the English to fight for religious causes and under his command. Pope Innocent decreed that the Muslims were heretical and decided upon unilaterally attacking them and seizing the Holy Lands, which included Judaea and modern day Syria, Jordan, and Israel/Palestine from Muslim Control. This was in direct response to the failure of the Third Crusade to secure Jerusalem following the victory of the Muslim forces led by Saladin in 1187. More...

 
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