Other names: Amédée VIII, the Pacific
Other Titles and Honours
1st Duc de Savoie, 1416-39 abd (Imperial grant)
19th Comte de Savoie, 1391-1439 abd
Principe di Piemonte, 1391-1439
Titular Prince of Achaia
Duc de Chablais, 1391-1439
Duca d'Aosta, 1391-1439
Marchese di Susa, 1391-1439
Conte d'Asti, 1391-1439
Comte de Genève, 1401-51†
Comte de Nice, 1391-1439
Conte di Ventimiglia
Comte de Forcalquier
Comte de Valentinois
Comte de Diois
Baron de Faucigny, 1391-1439
Baron de Vaud, 1391-1439
Baron de Gex, 1391-1439
Signore di Vercelli, 1427-39
Signore di Piemonte, 1419
Seigneur d'Echallens, 1414
Seigneur d'Orne, 1414
Seigneur de Montagny, 1414
Seigneur Bottens, 1414
Seigneur de Faucigny, 1427-39
Seigneur de Bresse, 1391-1439
Seigneur de Bugey, 1391-1439
Seigneur de Valromey, 1391-1439
Seigneur de Villars
Cardinal bishop, 1449-51†
Bishop of Sabina, 1449
Bishop of Geneva, 1444
Dean of the Sacred College
As he was just eight years old when he succeeded his father, Amadeus was placed under the guardianship of his grandmother, Bonne of Bourbon. After he came
of age, he added, in 1401, to his hereditary dominions the county of the Genevois, the line of whose counts had become extinct. Amadeus VIII, who had hereditary claims upon the county, paid to Oddo of Villars, a relative of the house of the Genevois, 40,000 livres for the renunciation of his claims, and he afterwards received the formal investiture of the county from the Emperor Sigismund. By this acquisition, Amadeus, besides the possession of the extensive territory still called the Genevois, obtained over the municipal and imperial town of Geneva that share of authority which the former counts exercised within its walls, in conjunction with, and often in opposition to, its bishops. Amadeus purchased also the valley of the Ossola at the foot of the Simplon, and other districts. North of the Alps, he was possessed of all Savoy, the Pays de Vaud, as far as the lake of Yverdun or Neuchâtel, the lower Valais as far as Martigny, and the districts of Gex, la Bresse, and Bugey. He had also the district of Dombes, the county of Valence, Die, and other fiefs in Dauphiny.
In 1416, the Emperor Sigismund went to Chambéry, and with public solemnity created Amadeus first duke of Savoy, and renewed at the same tune the investiture of his other territories as duke of the Chablais and Aosta, count of Piedmont and of the Genevois, and marquis in Italy. In 1418, Louis of Savoy, of a collateral branch, prince of Morea and Achaia and lord of Piedmont, died without issue, and his dominions reverted to the Duke of Savoy. These dominions, besides Piedmont proper, included Chieri, Fossano, Savigliano, Mondovi, and other districts, forming a line of communication with the county of Nice. In 1427, the duke of Milan gave up the city of Vercelli to Amadeus, and married his daughter Maria. The Duke of Savoy now began to figure among the great powers of Europe.
In 1434, Amadeus, now a widower, retired into the Augustine monastery of Ripaille, which he had founded, and in which he remained for five years, until the Council of Basle, having quarrelled with and deposed Pope Eugenius IV, elected Amadeus in his place. They sent the Cardinal of Aries and several bishops to Ripaille to communicate to Amadeus his election. Amadeus, both while on the ducal throne and in the retirement of Ripaille, enjoyed a great reputation for wisdom, and was called the Solomon of his age. When he received the intimation of his exaltation to the pontifical throne, he objected to it, being unwilling to encourage a schism in the church, but the schism existed already, and the envoys of the council so worked upon him by their remonstrances and persuasions, that they prevailed upon him to accept the tiara. Amadeus was clothed in the pontifical robes in the church of Ripaille, and was proclaimed pope by the name of Felix V. He was acknowledged by
France, England, Castile, Milan, the Swiss cantons, Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, Bavaria, Savoy, and Piedmont, and by the knights of the Teutonic order. In June, 1440, Felix repaired to Basle, accompanied by thousands on horseback, and was there solemnly crowned. He took up his residence first at Basle, and afterwards at Geneva.
This schism lasted nine years and when Nicholas V was elected at Rome after the death of Eugenius in 1447, he was acknowledged by most states of Christendom, and Felix, wishing to put an end to the schism, entered into negotiations with Nicholas. It was agreed that Felix should renounce the papacy and be made bishop of Sabina and perpetual legate a latere in Lombardy, Savoy, Germany, and Switzerland, and that Nicholas should acknowledge the cardinals created by Felix. Felix then appeared before the prelates of his party, who were assembled at Lausanne, in 1449, and publicly renounced the papacy, after which, resuming his name of Amadeus of Savoy, he returned to his convent of Ripaille.
Place of birth: Chambéry
Place of marriage: Arras
Place of death: Geneva
Place of burial: Ripallo
1. S. Miranda. Savoie, Amedeo di (1383-1451), The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Florida International University Libraries, 2018.
2. S. Guichenon. Histoire généalogique de la royale maison de Savoie, vol. 2. Turin: chez Jean-Michel Briolo, 1778.
3. Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. The Biographical Dictionary, vol. 2.1. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1843.
4. C. Cawley. Medieval Lands - A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families. The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy. ©2018.
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