Antipope Felix V, the last historical Antipope.
|Papacy began||5 November 1439|
|Papacy ended||7 April 1449|
|Opposed to||Eugene IV and Nicholas V|
|Birth name||Amadeus VIII|
|Born||4 September 1383|
|Died||7 January 1451(aged 67)|
|Parents||Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy and Bonne of Berry|
|Coat of arms|
|Other popes and antipopes named Felix|
Amadeus VIII (4 September 1383 - 7 January 1451) was a Savoyard nobleman, the son of Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy and Bonne of Berry. He was surnamed the Peaceful. After the death of his father in 1391, his mother acted as a regent, because of his youth. He was a claimant to the papacy from 1439 to 1449 as Felix V in opposition to Eugene IV and Nicholas V.
Born at Chambéry, he was the count of Savoy from 1391 to 1416 and was elevated by Emperor Sigismund to duke of Savoy in 1416. In 1418 his distant cousin Louis of Piedmont, his brother-in-law, the last male of the elder branch of House of Savoy, died, leaving Amadeus as his heir-general, thus finally uniting the male-lines of the House of Savoy.
Amadeus increased his dominions and encouraged several attempts to negotiate an end to the Hundred Years' War. From 1401 to 1422, he campaigned to recover the area around Geneva and Annecy. After the death of his wife, in 1431 he founded the Order of Saint Maurice with six other knights (1434). They lived alone in the castle of Ripaille, near Geneva, in a quasi-monastic state according to a rule drawn up by himself. He appointed his son Louis regent of the duchy.
Amadeus had been in close relations with the Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence and was elected at Basel as Pope Felix V, in opposition to Pope Eugene IV. The Cardinal of Arles reminded the Council that they needed a rich and powerful pope to defend it from its adversaries. After long negotiations with a deputation from the council, Amadeus acquiesced in the election, 5 February 1440, completely renouncing at the same time all further participation in the government of his duchy. He named his son Louis, Duke of Savoy, and Philip, Count of Geneva. He reigned from November 1439 to April 1449. His supporters came from the movement to have the Church managed by Ecumenical councils, and prelates like Cardinal Aleman, who wanted to set limits upon the doctrine of Papal supremacy.
Amadeus' image in history is marred by the account of him as a pontiff concerned with money, to avoid disadvantaging his heirs, found in the Commentaries of Pius II. Nor is there any evidence that he intrigued to obtain the papal office, sending the bishops of Savoy to Basel for this purpose. Of the twelve bishops present, seven were Savoyards. After the death of his opponent Pope Eugene IV in 1447, both sides of the church favoured a settlement of the schism, and in 1449 he accepted the authority of Pope Nicholas V.
(Note on numbering: When numbering of the Popes began to be used, Antipope Felix II was counted as one of the Popes of that name. The second true Pope Felix is thus known by the number III, and the third true Pope Felix was given the number IV. It also affected the name taken by Amadeus, who would have been the fourth Pope Felix.)
Amadeus VIII the PeacefulBorn: 4 September 1383 Died: 7 January 1451
County elevated to Duchy
| Duke of Savoy
| Count of Savoy
|County elevated to Duchy|