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Born c. 1210, Simon de Brie (or Brion) was the canon os St. Martin of Tours and chancellor of France before Urban IV appointed him cardinal priest of St. Cecilia in 1261. Simon was a papal legate to France when he was elected pope twenty years later. Martin was not allowed to enter Rome and lived at Orvieto during his papacy. In 1282, the Sicilian Vespers expelled Charles of Anjou from Sicily, and Martin excommunicated Peter III of Aragon, whom the Sicilians had chosen to be their king. Martin encouraged Philip III the Bold of France to retake Sicily. Martin died of a surfeit of eels in 1285.
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