Philip of Viana

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Philip of Viana (1449/1450 – 1488) was the Archbishop of Palermo from 31 January 1477, when he received papal approval from Sixtus IV, to his renunciation of his see in 1485.

He was the illegitimate son of Charles, Prince of Viana, and his mistress, Brianda de Vaca. He was born in the diocese of Pamplona in 1449 or 1450, for he was twenty seven years old when he was elected to the Palermitan diocese. He was approved as archbishop while away from the city of Palermo, so he sent two vicars to administer the diocese in his place. These were rejected by the senate of Palermo and after much conflict and negotiation, he nominated a Sicilian canon to the post of vicar. When he was also appointed Grand Chancellor, the senate likewise refused to recognise him as he was not of Sicilian birth. His episcopal election was contested to the pope on the basis of irregularities, but John of Cardona installed him in his see on 9 January 1479.

Throughout his episcopate, Philip expanded his territory and control. In 1481, San Giovanni degli Eremiti was granted to the archdiocese. But after all the trouble of getting himself installed in his see, he renounced it in 1485 in order to become the Grand Master of the Order of Montesa and fight the Reconquista in Spain. This he did, dying in war with Granada in 1488.


  • Dizionario biografico degli Italiani.