Gerardo Bianchi

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Not to be confused with Gerard Segarelli.

Gerardo Bianchi (1220/1225 – March 1, 1302) was an Italian churchman and papal diplomat, an important figure of the War of the Sicilian Vespers.


He was born in Gainago, in the diocese of Parma, studied law at the University of Bologna, and became canon of the cathedral chapter of Parma. Pope Nicholas III in the consistory of March 12, 1278 named him Cardinal Priest of SS. XII Apostoli. He served several times as papal legate in Spain and in the Kingdom of Sicily.

Pope Martin IV promoted him to the suburbicarian see of Sabina on April 12, 1281. On June 5, 1282, he was appointed papal legate in Sicily, to pacify the kingdom.[1] In August he was sent into Messina, which was besieged, on behalf of Charles I of Naples, but to no effect.[2]

In 1283, he was sent to Sicily again, to obtain a surrender of the rebellion there after the Sicilian Vespers; but his only success was the surrender of Naples.[3] He was a close advisor to Charles of Salerno, but the sea-power of Roger of Lauria frustrated the campaign.[4]

On the death of Charles I of Naples in 1285, he shared the regency of the Kingdom of Sicily with Robert II of Artois.[5] In practical terms, however, power was held by Mary of Hungary, Queen of Naples, wife of the imprisoned Charles II of Naples (the former Prince of Salerno).[6]

In 1290, he was in France on a diplomatic mission with Benedetto Gaetani, on behalf of Pope Nicholas IV.[7] The following year he and Gaetani were present at signing of the Treaty of Tarascon, negotiated to stop the Aragonese Crusade.[8]

He was Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals from December 1297. He was also the first archpriest of the patriarchal Lateran Basilica. He died in Rome.



  1. ^ Runciman, p. 245.
  2. ^ Runciman, p. 247–8.
  3. ^ David Sanderson Chambers, Popes, Cardinals and War: the military church in Renaissance and early modern Europe (2006), p. 22; Google Books.
  4. ^ Runciman, p. 270.
  5. ^ Philip Grierson, Lucia Travaini, Medieval European Coinage: with a catalogue of the coins in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Volume 14 (1999), p. 217; Google Books.
  6. ^ Janis Elliott, Cordelia Warr, The Church of Santa Maria Donna Regina: art, iconography, and patronage in fourteenth century Naples (2004), p. 46; Google Books.
  7. ^ W. Vanhamel, Henry of Ghent: proceedings of the international colloquium on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of his death (1293) (1996), p. 386; Google Books.
  8. ^ Luigi Tosti, Eugene Joseph Donnelly (translator), History of Pope Boniface VIII and His Times (1911), pp. 54–5;

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