Paschal II, pope (Ranieri of Bieda), born in Tuscany, died Jan. 21, 1118. He was a monk of the order of Cluny, and was made cardinal by Pope Gregory VII. He was elected pope on Aug. 13, 1099, and almost immediately renewed the struggle with the German emperor on the subject of investitures. He excommunicated Henry IV. in 1102, whereupon that emperor's son revolted and caused himself to be acknowledged as Henry V.; but in the matter of investitures he proved as unyielding as his father. Paschal proposed a compromise, but the bishops would not consent to it, and when Henry arrived at Rome to be crowned in 1110 the negotiation was broken off, and the pope refused to perform the coronation ceremony. The emperor thereupon seized the pontiff's person, treated him with great indignity, and after keeping him prisoner two months extorted from him the permission to invest the prelates of his kingdom with ring and crosier, provided their election was free, received the imperial crown, and went back to Germany. Paschal, stricken with remorse, wished to abdicate, but was prevented by the cardinals. In 1112 he summoned a council in the Lateran basilica, and submitted his conduct to its judgment. His cession of the right of investiture was solemnly condemned.
The result was a rebellion of some of the turbulent German barons, but Henry soon subdued them, and marching upon Rome compelled the pope to flee to Benevento. After the emperor's return, Paschal made vigorous preparations for war, but died before he could take the field. He had also been involved in a dispute with Henry I. of England on the same subject, but a compromise was effected in 1108, whereby the king surrendered the most obnoxious part of the ceremony of investiture, the collation of the ring and crosier, and retained the right of nominating bishops and abbots and exacting from them fealty and homage.