Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Cardinal Matteo Rosso Orsini

Cardinal Matteo Rosso Orsini[1, 2]

Male Abt 1230 - 1305  (~ 75 years)

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  • Name Matteo Rosso Orsini 
    Title Cardinal 
    Born Abt 1230  Rome, Italy Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Pastor 22 May 1262 
    Created cardinal deacon of St. Maria in Portico Octaviae 
    Died 4 Sep 1305  Perugia, Umbria, Italy Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried The Chapel of St. Pastore Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • MATTEO ROSSO ORSINI, nephew of Cardinal Gaetano Orsini (later Pope Nicholas III), created a cardinal by Urban IV in December, 1262; d. 4 Sept., 1305 (according to some authorities, 1306). As legate for the provinces of the Patrimony of Peter and of the Marches, he fought against Peter de Vico, who, in the name of Manfred, invaded the papal territory with German mercenaries. Soon after the elevation of his uncle, Nicholas III, to the papal throne (1277), he was named by this pope archpriest of the Vatican Basilica, rector of the great Hospital of the Holy Ghost in Vatican territory, and cardinal protector of the Franciscan Order. After the death of Nicholas III (1280), the cardinals assembled in Viterbo for the election of his successor, but, owing to party dissensions, many months passed before a decision was reached. The party which inclined towards the French, and which had the support of Charles of Anjou, King of Naples, himself present in Viterbo, wished to elect an exponent of the policy of France, and chose as their candidate the French Cardinal Simon. However, the two cardinals Orsini, Matteo Rosso and Giordano, the latter a brother of the deceased pope, Nicholas III, energetically opposed this choice. As neither party could command the necessary majority, no election resulted. In February, 1281, the French party resolved to have recourse to a bold stroke. At the instigation of the marshal of the conclave, Annibaldi, who was at variance with the Orsini, citizens from Viterbo suddenly attacked the anti-French cardinals, and took prisoners the two Orsini, carrying them away from the conclave and holding them in custody. The candidate of the French party was now elected pope under the name of Martin IV (22 February, 1281), whereupon Giordano was released, and afterwards Matteo Rosso. The instigator of the attack was excommunicated and the city of Viterbo placed under an interdict. When the news of the capture of the two Cardinals Orsini was received in Rome, great confusion ensued. Their relatives were driven from the city by the adherents of the Annibaldi, but were later recalled by Martin IV, with whom the Cardinals Orsini had become reconciled. During the conflict between Boniface VIII and Philip the Fair of France, it was Cardinal Matteo who, having remained faithful to the persecuted pontiff, brought Boniface back to Rome after the attack of Anagni (1303). Cardinal Matteo attended the numerous conclaves held between 1254 and 1305, there being no less than thirteen. He died in Perugia in 1305 or 1306. His body was later transferred to Rome, where it lies in the Orsini Chapel in St. Peter's. [2]
    Person ID I10898  Dickinson
    Last Modified 28 Jan 2014 

    Father Gentile I Orsini, Signore di Mugnano, et al.,   d. bef. 1246, Italy Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Constance 
    Relationship Birth 
    Family ID F3010  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - Abt 1230 - Rome, Italy Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Orsini Coat of Arms
    Orsini Coat of Arms
    Arms of Cardinals Orsini
    Arms of Cardinals Orsini

    How beautiful upon the mountains
    are the feet of him who brings good news,
    who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
    who publishes salvation,
    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

  • Sources 
    1. [S336461] The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Salvador Miranda, (Miami: Florida International University,

    2. [S336459] Catholic Encyclopedia, (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1913), [Public Domain].