The year 1998 was the 800th anniversary of the election of Lotario dei Conti di Segni as Pope.
At 37, he was one of the youngest men ever to hold that office, and he was to become one of the most important popes in the entire history of Christianity. Together with Gregory VII, he was one of the two most important popes of the Middle Ages. In his efforts to promote Christianity and defend it from its enemies, Innocent played a role in the history of almost every part of Europe and its environs. He initiated both the ill-fated Fourth Crusade, that ended up sacking the Greek Christian city of Constantinople, and the Albigensian Crusade, that devastated major parts of Southern France and led to its submission to the French crown.
He promoted the crusades that accomplished the conquest and conversion of the pagans of the south Baltic coast. These papers are taken from the interdisciplinary conference, Pope Innocent III and his World, held in May 1997 at the Hofstra University Cultural Center, New York.