The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Honorius III (1216-1227)
Consistory of September 28, 1225 (III)


(9) 1. PADERBORN, Oliver von (ca. 1170-1227)

Birth. Ca. 1170, probably in Westfalen (or in Friesland), Germany. He is also listed as Thomas Olivier; Thomas Oliviera; Tommaso Oliviero di Sassonia; Oliver de Sachse; Oliver Saxo; Oliverius Saxus; and also as Oliver and Oliviero, without a last name.

Education. He studied theology, languages, mathematics and physics.

Early life. Canon of the cathedral chapter of Paderborn from 1196. Master scholastic in Cologne. Schoolmaster of the cathedral chapter of Paderborn in 1200. Schoolmaster of the metropolitan cathedral chapter of Cologne in 1203; later its dean. He later went to Paris; in 1207, Pope Innocent III granted him the church of Epernay (Dauphiné); from 1213, in the name of the pope, he preached the crusade in Flanders, in the diocese of Utrecht, in Friesland, and in northwest Germany; he recruited 50,000 crusaders; in Cologne, he procured 300 ships. In 1219, in the delta of the Nile river, Damietta fell, when Oliver designed a war machine which made the chain of towers collapse. He combined the knowledge of languages with physics and mathematics in an unusual manner.

Episcopate. The majority of the cathedral chapter of Paderborn elected him bishop on March 23, 1223; he successfully argued against the rival candidate selected by the chapter minority, Heinrich von Brakel, in the Roman Curia; Pope Honorius III set up successively three commissions for the examination of the disputed choice; the pope explained on April 7, 1225 the papal confirmation; he received the regalia from King Heinrich Hohenstaufen in July 1225; occupied the see until his promotion to the cardinalate a short time later. Consecrated perhaps by Pope Honorius III. He does not seem to have entered his diocese again.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal bishop of Sabina in the consistory of September 28, 1225. Subscribed the papal bulls issued between September 18, 1225 and May 9, 1226; and May 7 to August 9, 1227. Did not participate in the papal election of 1227, in which was elected Pope Gregory IX. Legate before Emperor Friedrich II; preached the crusade in Germany; he was going to accompany the emperor in the Crusade; shortly after embarking, an epidemic broke out and they went back to Otranto, where the cardinal died.

Death. September 11, 1227, Otranto (1). Buried (no information found).

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 2, 241-242; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, II, col. 64; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIIIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1929. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1929, p. 116; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen I (1198-1431). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1913; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp. 5, 38 and 385; Hengst, Karl. "Oliver." Die Bischöfe des Heiligen Römischen Reiches, 1198 bis 1448 : ein biographisches Lexikon. Herausgegeben von Erwin Gatz, unter Mitwirkung von Clemens Brodkorb. Berlin : Duncker & Humblot, 2001, p. 539; Paravicini Bagliani, Agostino. Cardinali di curia e "familiae" cardinalizie. Dal 1227 al 1254. 2 vols. Padova : Antenore, 1972. (Italia sacra, 18-19), I, 12.

Links. Biography, in German, Wikipedia; Hermann von Salza und der Kvlner Domscholaster Oliver by Dieter Deubner, in German; Oliver of Paderborn and his siege engine at Damietta by Dominic Francis, Nottingham Medieval Studies, XXXVII (1993), in English; and his engraving and arms, Araldica Vaticana.

(1) This is according to Hengst, "Oliver." Die Bischöfe des Heiligen Römischen Reiches, 1198 bis 1448, p. 539; and his first biography in German, linked above; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIIIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1929, p. 116, says that he died in August or September 1227 in Paderborn; his second biography in German, linked above, says that he died in Anagni on August 29, 1227; his third biography in German, also linked above, indicates that he died in Brindisi between August 8 and September 18, 1227; Johann Heinrich Zedler and Carl Günther Ludovici. Grosses vollständiges Universal-Lexicon aller Wissenschafften und Künste. (64 v. Graz, Adakemische Druck, 1961- . Reprint. Originially published : Halle : J. H. Zedler, 1732-50. Vols. 19-64 ed. by Carl Günther Ludovici), col. 1326, says that he died on September 3, 1228.

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