From 756 to 857, the papacy shifted from the orbit of the Byzantine Empire to that of the kings of the Franks. Pepin the Short (ruled 751–768), Charlemagne (r. 768–814) (co-ruler with his brother Carloman I until 771), and Louis the Pious (r. 814-840) had considerable influence in the selection and administration of popes. The "Donation of Pepin" (756) ratified a new period of papal rule in central Italy, which became known as the Papal States.
This shift was initiated by the Lombards conquering the Exarchate of Ravenna from the Byzantines, strengthened by the Frankish triumph over the Lombards, and ended by the fragmentation of the Frankish Kingdom into West Francia, Middle Francia, and East Francia. Lothair I continued to rule Middle Francia which included much of the Italian peninsula, from 843 to 855.
This period was "a critical time in Rome's transformation from ancient capital to powerful bishopric to new state capital." The period was characterized by "battles between Franks, Lombards and Romans for control of the Italian peninsula and of supreme authority within Christendom."
Following the death of Zachary, the last culturally Greek pope, Stephen II (752-757) became the first pope to cross the Alps, in 752, when he appealed in person for the aid of Pepin the Short upon his election, following the Lombard takeover of Ravenna in 751. The Lombards had extinguished the exarchate of Ravenna and turned their attention to the formerly Byzantine Duchy of Rome. Stephen II had asked Constantinople for help, but the Eastern Romans had their own problems, so he traveled all the way to the palatium at Quierzy, where the reluctant Frankish nobles finally gave their consent to a campaign in Lombardy. For his part, then and there, Pepin executed in writing a promise to convey to the Papacy certain territories that were going to be wrested from the Lombards. No actual document has been preserved, but later 8th century sources quote from it. Fulfilling his part, in Paris Stephen anointed him as King of the Franks in a lavish ceremony at the Basilica of St Denis, bestowing upon him the additional title of patricius Romanorum (Patrician of the Romans). The "Donation of Pepin" strengthened the claim of the popes to the de facto core of the Papal States, and thus the incentives for secular interference in papal selection.
Stephen II's brother and successor was Pope Paul I (757-767). According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
The death of Paul I was followed by a bloody schism characterized by Toto, the dux of Nepi, and Pope Stephen III (768-772). Toto supported the claim of his layman brother, Antipope Constantine; a small group of Lombards also supported the rival claim of a monk named Philip. Toto invaded Rome. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "through the support of the brothers Charlemagne and Carloman, Kings of the Franks, Stephen was able to recover some territories from the Lombards." However, the Lombard King Desiderius married his daughter to Charlemagne, and "in some mysterious manner effected the fall of the pope's chief ministers, Christopher and Sergius."
After Toto had his eyes gouged out and was imprisoned, Stephen III decreed that the entire Roman clergy had the right to elect the pope but restricted eligibility for election to the cardinal-priests and cardinal-deacons (incidentally, the first use of the term "cardinals" to refer to the priests of the titular churches or the seven deacons); the cardinal-bishops, supporters of Toto, were excluded. The Roman laity quickly regained its role after Stephen III's decree, and maintained its participation until 1059. The "papal elections of the following decade were a series of battles between secular and ecclesiastical groups, entangled obliquely in larger Italian and Frankish politics."
Pope Adrian I (772-795) and Pope Leo III (795-816) were elected under the rules of Stephen III, but the latter was forced from Rome and sought the aid of Charlemagne. Under the rule of Adrian I, Charlemagne conquered Pavia, ending the Lombard kingdom "and the Papacy was forever delivered from its persistent and hereditary foe." Adrian I played a pivotal role in the fall of Pavia, and scholars have long assumed that he consistently supported the Frankish efforts to destroy Lombard power; however, the actual situation might be more complicated. Charlemagne confirmed the election of Leo III, sending Angilbert, Abbot of St. Regnier, to Rome to carry to the new Pope admonitions about the proper filling of his office. Leo III was consecrated the day after his election, an unusual move perhaps intended to preempt any Frankish interference.
Pope Stephen IV (816-817) required the Romans to take an oath to Charlemagne's son, Louis the Pious, as their suzerain, and he sent notice of his election to him before traveling to France to crown Louis. Pope Paschal I (817-824) sent "several ambassadors in rapid succession" to Louis before receiving from him the Pactum Ludovicianum, confirming the Donation of Pepin.
After two unanimous elections, Louis the Pious intervened in a bitterly disputed election in favor of Pope Eugene II (824-827). According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "the election of Eugene II was a triumph for the Franks" and Louis "accordingly sent his son Lothair to Rome to strengthen the Frankish influence." The pope and emperor signed a concordat or constitution in 824. The papal subjects were made to swear fealty to Louis and Lothair and were not to "suffer the pope-elect to be consecrated save in the presence of the emperor's envoys." This was approximately the status quo circa 769, reincorporating the lay Roman nobles (who continued to dominate the process for 200 years) and requiring the pope to swear loyalty to the Frankish ruler.
The consecration of Pope Gregory IV (827-844) was delayed for six months to attain the assent of Louis. Gregory IV was the candidate of the "secular nobility of Rome who were then securing a preponderating influence in papal elections" and thus "the representatives in Rome of the Emperor Louis the Pious" required this delay. Because of this delay, Gregory IV could not begin to govern the church until March 828.
The clergy and the nobles elected different candidates in 844. Because Pope Sergius II (844-847) was, "after a disputed election, consecrated without any reference to the Emperor Lothaire, the latter was indignant, and sent his son Louis with an army to examine into the validity of the election." Only when "Sergius succeeded in pacifying Louis, whom he crowned king", did Lothair I side with Sergius II, the noble candidate.
Three years later Pope Leo IV (847-855) was consecrated, again without imperial approval, which would have been difficult in any case as the Carolingian Empire was in the process of breaking up. Lothair II of Lotharingia indeed failed to impose his own candidate, Pope Benedict III (855-858), in 855 until the Roman-elected candidate refused the office (the first recorded historical refusal). According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
Lothair II was present for the election of Pope Nicholas I (858-867), who prohibited anyone outside of the Roman community from interfering in papal elections, and as a result Pope Adrian II (867-872) was consecrated without even informing the Franks. Lothair II's choice of Nicholas I was contrary to the wishes of the clergy, but "was confirmed without much ado" and Nicholas I was crowned in the emperor's presence.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Adrian II "strove to maintain peace among the greedy and incompetent descendants of Charlemagne." Pope Marinus I (882-884) was consecrated "without waiting for the consent of the incompetent emperor, Charles the Fat." Pope Stephen V (885-891) was similarly consecrated, and Charles the Fat may have intervened had Stephen V not been elected unanimously.
The coins of Pope Romanus (879) continued to bear the name of Emperor Lambert as well as his own monogram. A synod in Rome decided that Pope John IX (898-900) should not be consecrated except in the presence of "imperial envoys."
It was during the time of Charlemagne that it became customary for the pope to approve the creation of a new archdiocese and to determine its geographic extent. These changes "made the archbishop seem more like the pope's deputy with a delegated share of the universal primacy." Of course, powerful rulers continued to establish their own archdiocese—for example, Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor, created Magdeburg in 963, and Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor, created Bamberg in 1020—and to strongly influence decisions nominally made by the pope. Pope Gregory IV (822-844) was unsuccessful in 830 when he attempted to side with Lothair I and his bishops against Louis the Pious. Disputes such as these lead to the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, a forgery of the ilk of the "Donation of Constantine."
The coronations of Pepin, Charlemagne, and Louis by popes planted the idea among generations of European rulers that the pope could confer legitimacy to the title of "emperor."
Constantine I's (272–337) relationship with the four Bishops of Rome during his reign is an important component of the history of the Papacy, and more generally the history of the Catholic Church.
The legend surrounding Constantine I's victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312) relates his vision of the Chi Rho (☧) and the text in hoc signo vinces in the sky and his reproducing this symbol on the shields of his troops. The following year Constantine and Licinius proclaimed the toleration of Christianity with the Edict of Milan, and in 325 Constantine convened and presided over the First Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council. None of this, however, has particularly much to do with the popes, who did not even attend the Council; in fact, the first bishop of Rome to be contemporaneously referred to as "Pope" (πάππας, or pappas) is Damasus I (366-384). Moreover, between 324 and 330, he built Constantinople as a new capital for the empire, and—with no apologies to the Roman community of Christians—relocated key Roman families and translated many Christian relics to the new churches.
The Donation of Constantine, an 8th-century forgery used to enhance the prestige and authority of popes, places the pope more centrally in the narrative of Constantinian Christianity. The legend of the Donation claims that Constantine offered his crown to Sylvester I (314-335), and even that Sylvester baptized Constantine. In reality, Constantine was baptized (nearing his death in May 337) by Eusebius of Nicomedia, who, unlike the pope, was an Arian bishop. Sylvester was succeeded by Mark (336) and Julius I (337-352) during the life of Constantine.
Although the "Donation" never occurred, Constantine did hand over the Lateran Palace to the bishop of Rome, and begin the construction of Old Saint Peter's Basilica (the "Constantinian Basilica"). The gift of the Lateran probably occurred during the reign of Miltiades (311-314), Sylvester I's predecessor, who began using it as his residence. Old St. Peter's was begun between 326 and 330 and would have taken three decades to complete, long after the death of Constantine. Constantine's legalization of Christianity, combined with the donation of these properties, gave the bishop of Rome an unprecedented level of temporal power, for the first time creating an incentive for secular leaders to interfere with papal succession.Crescentii
The Crescentii clan (in modern Italian Crescenzi) — if they were an extended family — essentially ruled Rome and controlled the Papacy from 965 until the nearly simultaneous deaths of their puppet pope Sergius IV and the patricius of the clan in 1012.Index of Vatican City-related articles
This is an index of Vatican City-related topics.List of popes (graphical)
This is a graphical list of the popes of the Roman Catholic Church.
While the term pope (Latin: Papa, 'Father') is used in several churches to denote their high spiritual leaders, in English usage, this title generally refers to the supreme head of the Roman Catholic Church and of the Holy See. The title itself has been used officially by the head of the Church since the tenure of Pope Siricius.
There have been 266 popes, as listed by the Annuario Pontificio (Pontifical Yearbook) under the heading 'I Sommi Pontefici Romani' (The Supreme Pontiffs of Rome). Some sources quote a number of 267, with the inclusion of Stephen II, who died four days after his election but before his episcopal consecration. However, only 264 (or 265) men have occupied the chair of Saint Peter, as Benedict IX held the office thrice on separate occasions in the mid–11th century.
The pope bears the titles
Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the Servants of Godand is officially styled 'His Holiness'.
Since the Lateran Treaty of 1929, the pope's temporal title has been Sovereign of the Vatican City State.Orvieto Papacy
Orvieto, Umbria, Italy, was the refuge of five popes during the 13th century: Urban IV (1261–1264), Gregory X (1271–1276), Martin IV (1281–1285), Nicholas IV (1288–1292) and Boniface VIII (1294–1303). During this time, the popes took up residence in the Papal Palace of Orvieto (also known as Palazzo Soliano), which was adjacent to the Orvieto Cathedral and expanded onto the bishop's residence. None of these popes died in Orvieto, and thus no papal elections took place in there, nor are there any papal tombs.
Political and strategic reasons motivated the frequent moves of the pope and Roman Curia during this period, and other destinations include Viterbo and Perugia. Urban IV and Martin IV resided in both Viterbo and Orvieto. During the period from the reign of Nicholas IV to Benedict XI (1303–1304), Orvieto hosted the pope more frequently than Rome.
Art historian Gary M. Radke notes that "the papal palaces in Viterbo and Orvieto are the most extensive thirteenth-century papal palaces to survive to our own day." He dates the frescoes in the palace to the 1290s, during the reign of Nicholas IV or Boniface VIII. They display naturalistic impulses in the Gothic style.Pope-elect Stephen
Pope-elect Stephen (d. 26 March 752) was a Roman priest elected pope in March 752 to succeed Zachary; he died of a stroke a few days later, before being consecrated a bishop. Therefore, he is not listed as a pope in the Annuario Pontificio.
In 745, Pope Zachary had made him a cardinal-priest, with the titulus of San Crisogono, the same titulus later held by Cardinal Frederick of Lorraine, who became Pope Stephen IX.Pope Alexander III
Pope Alexander III (c. 1100/1105 – 30 August 1181), born Roland of Siena, was Pope from 7 September 1159 to his death in 1181.Pope Boniface II
Pope Boniface II (Latin: Bonifatius II; d. 17 October 532) was the first Germanic pope. He reigned from 17 September 530 until his death in 532. He was born an Ostrogoth.Pope Conon
Pope Conon (d. 21 September 687) was Pope from 21 October 686 to his death in 687. He had been put forward as a compromise candidate, there being a conflict between the two factions resident in Rome— the military and the clerical. On his death, Conon was buried in the Patriarchal Basilica of St. Peter. He consecrated the Irish missionary Kilian a bishop and commissioned him to preach in Franconia.Pope John I
Pope John I can also refer to Pope John (Talaia) I of Alexandria.
Pope John I can also refer to Pope John I (II) of Alexandria.Pope John I (Latin: Ioannes I; d. 18 May 526) was Pope from 13 August 523 to his death in 526. He was a native of Siena (or the "Castello di Serena", near Chiusdino), in Italy. He was sent on a diplomatic mission to Constantinople by the Ostrogoth King Theoderic to negotiate better treatment for Arians. Although relatively successful, upon his return to Ravenna, Theoderic had the Pope imprisoned for allegedly conspiring with Constantinople. The frail pope died of neglect and ill-treatment.Pope Leo V
Pope Leo V (d. February 904) was Pope from July 903 to his death in 904. He was pope during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum. He was thrown into prison in September 903 by the Antipope Christopher, and was probably killed at the start of the pontificate of Pope Sergius III. If his deposition is not considered valid (as in the modern Vatican list), then his papacy may be considered to have ended with his death in 904.Pope Leo VI
Pope Leo VI (880 – 12 February 929) was Pope for just over seven months, from June 928 to his death in February 929. His pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.Pope Linus
Linus ( (listen); died c. AD 76) was the second Bishop of Rome, and is listed by the Catholic Church as the second pope.
His papacy lasted from c. AD 67 to his death. Among those to have held the position of pope, Peter, Linus and Clement are specifically mentioned in the New Testament.Linus is mentioned in the closing greeting of the Second Epistle to Timothy as being with Paul in Rome near the end of Paul's life.Pope Pelagius II
Pope Pelagius II (d. 7 February 590) was Pope from 26 November 579 to his death in 590.Pope Romanus
Pope Romanus (died November 897) was Pope from August to November 897.Pope Stephen II
Pope Stephen II (Latin: Stephanus II (or III); 714-26 April 757 a Roman aristocrat was Pope from 26 March 752 to his death in 757. He succeeded Pope Zachary following the death of Pope-elect Stephen (sometimes called Stephen II). Stephen II marks the historical delineation between the Byzantine Papacy and the Frankish Papacy.
Rome was facing invasion by the Kingdom of the Lombards. Pope Stephen II traveled all the way to Paris to seek assistance against the Lombard threat from Pepin the Short. Pepin had been anointed a first time in 751 in Soissons by Boniface, archbishop of Mainz, but named his price. With the Frankish nobles agreeing to campaign in Lombardy, the Pope consecrated Pepin a second time in a lavish ceremony at the Basilica of St Denis in 754, bestowing upon him the additional title of Patricius Romanorum (Latin for "Patrician of the Romans") in the first recorded crowning of a civil ruler by a Pope. Pepin defeated the Lombards – taking control of northern Italy – and made a gift (called the Donation of Pepin) of the properties formerly constituting the Exarchate of Ravenna to the pope, eventually leading to the establishment of the Papal States.Pope Victor I
Pope Victor I (Birth year not known - died 199) was Bishop of Rome and hence a pope, in the late second century (189-199 A.D.). He was of Berber origin. The dates of his tenure are uncertain, but one source states he became pope in 189 and gives the year of his death as 199. He was the first bishop of Rome born in the Roman Province of Africa—probably in Leptis Magna (or Tripolitania). He was later considered a saint. His feast day was celebrated on 28 July as "St Victor I, Pope and Martyr".Popes during the Age of Revolution
The modern history of the papacy is shaped by the two largest dispossessions of papal property in its history, stemming from the French and its spread to Europe, including Italy.Tusculan Papacy
The Tusculan Papacy was a period of papal history from 1012 to 1048 where three successive Counts of Tusculum installed themselves as pope.
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
Frankish Papacy (756–857)
Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
Tusculan Papacy (1012–1044/1048)
Imperial Papacy (1048–1257)
Avignon Papacy (1309–1378)
Western Schism (1378–1417)
Renaissance Papacy (1417–1534)
Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
Baroque Papacy (1585–1689)
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
Revolutionary Papacy (1775–1848)
Roman Question (1870–1929)
Vatican City (1929–present)
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