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Pope Innocent III (1160/61-1216)Pope Innocent III (1160/61-1216)

John C. Moore

Narrated by Gary Galone

Available from Audible

Book published by University of Notre Dame Press

Innocent III has been considered the greatest pope of the high Middle Ages: he launched the Fourth Crusade, sent an army against the Albigensians, convened the Fourth Lateran Council, and in his struggle for the supremacy of the spiritual over the temporal power, excommunicated both King John and the Emperor Otto IV. In him, many of the abiding concerns and contradictions of the medieval papacy are powerfully embodied.

John C. Moore is professor of history, emeritus, at Hofstra University. He is the author and editor of a number of books, including Love in Twelfth-Century France.


“Moore makes a self-consciously bold choice by deciding to abandon the prevailing thematic approach to Innocent and instead to organize his material chronologically.... Generously quoting from Innocent’s pre-papal works, papal sermons, and, above all, papal letters, Moore allows his subject the chance to speak for himself. Three well-produced illustrations, two from the thirteenth century, one from the twentieth, depict Innocent’s persona hieratically. More intimately, however, we glimpse him momentarily relaxed and good-humored, thanks to the prose of Gerald of Wales.... Moore’s prose is eminently readable.... Inherently complex matters of papal diplomacy and relations with troublesome Christian kings are ludicly explained.”


“This book assesses Innocent’s personal attitudes as expressed both in his ecclesiological ideas and in his practical actions and describes events on the basis of a wide range of sources (papal letters, decrees and sermons). In addition Moore’s chronological approach establishes the actual framework within which Innocent built up his policy.”

Journal of Ecclesiastical History

“The author’s presentation of Innocent’s person and pontificate is eminently fair. The complexity of the individual and his times are remarkably well documented. The author has given us an interesting, comprehensive and readable history of an important Pope and an important period in the history of the Church.”

Catholic Library World

“John C. Moore was a distinguished expert on Innocent III and his pontificate before the publication of this volume and his reputation will be enhanced by this thorough and searching scholarly biography of the pope. Moore sets out to provide an insight into the reality of the pontificate as Innocent experienced it, and thus he is very good at evoking details of life in the papal court. Moore’s biography is wide-ranging, showing the preoccupations of the pope at all of the stages of his pontificate.”

English Historical Review

“Thank goodness that John C. Moore’s biography of Pope Innocent III is finally available in an affordable format. His clarity of language, nuanced analysis, and evident mastery of both the sources and the wealth of studies devoted to this pope, whose pontificate was a major watershed in Western history, make Moore’s study a ‘must have’ addition to the library of every medieval student and scholar.”

—Alfred J. Andrea, University of Vermont

“Refusing to be driven by one or another of the great operatic episodes of Innocent’s pontificate, Moore has produced the most comprehensive and rounded study ever written of the man and the pope—the very readable history of a pontificate from day to day.”

—Edward M. Peters, Henry Charles Lea Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

All titles are published by:
University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks