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Celestine III

Pope from 1191. A follower in his youth of Abelard,* he had built up a reputation by the time he became pope as a learned theologian, good administrator, and irenic negotiator. He was anxious to avoid a conflict with the empire for political supremacy. Thus he was willing to crown Henry VI as emperor in 1191, and though relations became strained because of Henry’s Italian ambitions, they never completely collapsed. He accepted Henry’s clever promise to lead a Crusade in 1195, but made sure it had a wide political base by having it preached in other countries. He prevented a marriage of Alfonso IX of Leon within the prohibited degrees, and he refused to agree with the French bishops’ nullification of Philip Augustus’s marriage. Administratively he improved the Curia, and the Liber censuum—a survey of all property dependent on Rome—was taken. He continued the extension of papal jurisdiction particularly by using delegate- judges to hear disputed cases.