The early years of the thirteenth century saw a series of minorities which would have significant and lasting results in the history of their particular realms (Frederick II in Sicily; Henry III in England; Louis IX in France) but none more so than that of James I in Aragon. James’s survival and the subsequent development of his kingdom were in no small measure down to the efforts of Pope Innocent III and his legate in Spain the great canonist, Peter of Benevento, the importance of whose intervention was acknowledged both by James in his autobiography and by Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada. The manner of papal intervention tells us much about the papacy’s major concerns at the moment when its authority was at its height.


Keywords: Papacy; Aragon; James I; political thought.