Amadeus VIII, Duke of Savoy

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 an antipope of the Catholic Church from 1439 to 1449 as Felix V, in opposition to Popes Eugene IV and Nicholas V.

Felix V
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 arms
Other popes and antipopes named Felix


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.

Election as anti-pope Felix V

Amadeus increased his dominions and encouraged several attempts to negotiate an end to the Hundred Years' War. After the death of his wife, he founded the Order of Saint Maurice with six other knights (1434).[1] They lived alone in the castle of Ripaille, near Geneva, in a quasi-monastic state. He resigned as Duke of Savoy in favour of his son in 1440, stepping down to accept a Cardinal's hat.

Amadeus was elected at Basel as Pope Felix V, in opposition to Pope Eugene IV, by the Council of Basel-Ferrara-Florence and reigned from November 1439 to April 1449.[2] 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. 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.)


He married Mary of Burgundy (1386–1422), daughter of Philip the Bold,[3] Duke of Burgundy and granddaughter of John II of France. They had nine children:

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


See also

Papal styles of
Antipope Felix V
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleNone



  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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
Louis, Duke of Savoy
Preceded by
Amadeus VII
Count of Savoy
County elevated to Duchy
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