Antipope Felix V
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Antipope Felix V

Felix V
Nuremberg chronicles f 242v 2 (Felix V).jpg
Antipope Felix V, the last historical antipope.
Papacy began5 November 1439
Papacy ended7 April 1449
Opposed toEugene IV and Nicholas V
Personal details
Birth nameAmadeus VIII
Born4 September 1383
Died7 January 1451(1451-01-07) (aged 67)
ParentsAmadeus VII, Count of Savoy and Bonne of Berry
Coat of armsFelix V's 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 nicknamed 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[a] in opposition to Eugene IV and Nicholas V, and is considered the last historical antipope.

Count and duke

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.[1] 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 in 1434.[2] 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.[1]


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.[3] 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.[1] He named his son Louis, Duke of Savoy, and Philip, Count of Geneva. He reigned from November 1439 to April 1449.[4] 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.[3] 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.

Marriage and issue

He married Mary of Burgundy (1386-1422), daughter of Philip the Bold.[5] They had nine children:

  1. Margaret (13 May 1405 - 1418).
  2. Anthony (September 1407 - bef. 12 December 1407).
  3. Anthony (1408 - aft. 10 October 1408).
  4. Marie (end January 1411 - 22 February 1469), married Filippo Maria Visconti, duke of Milan.[6]
  5. Amadeus (26 Mar 1412 - 17 August 1431), Prince of Piedmont.
  6. Louis (24 February 1413 - 29 January 1465), his successor.
  7. Bonne (September 1415 - 25 September 1430).
  8. Hugh (1415-1439)
  9. Philip (1417 - 3 March 1444), Count of Genève
  10. Margaret (7 August 1420 - 30 September 1479), married firstly Louis III, titular king of Naples,[7] secondly Louis IV, Count Palatine of the Rhine[8] and thirdly Ulrich V, Count of Württemberg.


  1. ^ When numbering of the Popes began to be used, Antipope Felix II was counted as one of the Popes of that name. The second official Pope Felix is thus known by the number III, and the third was given the number IV. It also affected the name taken by Amadeus, who would have been the fourth Pope Felix.


  1. ^ a b c Kirsch
  2. ^ Pinder 2002, p. 44.
  3. ^ a b Creighton p. 211
  4. ^ Decaluwe, Izbicki & Christianson 2017, p. 443.
  5. ^ Vaughan 2005, p. 53.
  6. ^ Wilkins & Wilkins 1996, p. 107.
  7. ^ Kekewich 2008, p. 54.
  8. ^ Kekewich 2008, p. 214.


  • Andenmatten, B.; Paravicini Bagliani, A. (ed.) (1992). Amédée VIII-Félix V, premier duc de Savoie et pape (1383-1451). Colloque international, Ripaille-Lausanne, 23-26 octobre 1990. Lausanne 1992. (in French)
  • Bruchet, M. (1907). Le château de Ripaille Paris 1907. See: pp. 49-182. (in French)
  • Cognasso, Francesco (1930). Amadeo VIII (1383-1451). 2 vols. Turin, 1930. (in Italian)
  • Decaluwe, Michiel; Izbicki, Thomas M.; Christianson, Gerald, eds. (2017). A Companion to the Council of Basel. Brill.
  • Creighton, Mandell, The Council of Basel, Longmans, Green, and Company, 1892
  • Hildesheimer, E. (1970). "Le Pape du Concile, Amédée VIII de Savoie," Annales de la Société des Lettres, Sciences et Arts des Alpes-Maritime, 61 (1969-1970), pp. 41-48. (in French)
  • Kekewich, Margaret L. (2008). The Good King: René of Anjou and Fifteenth Century Europe. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Kirsch, Johann Peter. "Felix V." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909
  • Pinder, Kymberly N., ed. (2002). Race-ing Art History: Critical Readings in Race and Art History. Routledge.
  • Vaughan, Richard (2005). Philip the Bold: The Formation of the Burgundian State. Boydell Press.
  • Wilkins, David G.; Wilkins, Rebecca L. (1996). The Search for a Patron in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. E. Mellen Press.

External links

  • Cognasso, Francesco (2000). "FELICE V, antipapa". Enciclopedia dei Papi (Treccani 2000) (in Italian)
Amadeus VIII the Peaceful
Born: 4 September 1383 Died: 7 January 1451
Regnal titles
New creation
County elevated to Duchy
Duke of Savoy
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Amadeus VII
Count of Savoy
County elevated to Duchy

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