Pope Agapetus II

Pope Agapetus II (died 8 November 955) was Pope from 10 May 946 to his death in 955. A nominee of the Princeps of Rome, Alberic II, his pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.


Agapetus II
Pope Agapetus II
Papacy began10 May 946
Papacy ended8 November 955
PredecessorMarinus II
SuccessorJohn XII
Personal details
Birth nameAgapetus
BornRome, Papal States
Died8 November 955
Rome, Papal States
Other popes named Agapetus


Born into a Roman noble family, he was born with Roman father (descendant of consul Anicius Faustus Albinus Basilius) and with Greek mother. Agapetus was elected pope on 10 May 946 after the death Pope Marinus II. The existence of an independent republic of Rome, ruled by Alberic II, (932–954), son of Marozia and the self-styled "prince and senator of the Romans", meant that Agapetus was prevented from exercising any temporal or secular power in Rome and the Papal States. Tensions between the rival kings of Italy, Berengar II and Otto I allowed Alberic to exercise complete control over Rome and Agapetus, meaning the pope was largely limited to managing internal church affairs.[1] Even Agapetus’ invitation to Otto to intervene in Italian affairs in 951 was done at the instigation of Alberic, who was growing concerned at Berengar’s growing power. However, when Otto’s envoys, the bishops of Mainz and Chur, were sent to the pope to discuss Otto’s reception in Rome and other more important questions, they were turned away by Alberic.[2]

Agapetus was forced to intervene in the dispute over the occupancy of the See of Reims. He ordered a synod to be held at Ingelheim in June 948 to resolve the rights of the rival claimants, Hugh of Vermandois and Artald of Reims. He sent his legate Marinus of Bomarzo to act on his behalf, while Agapetus wrote to a number of bishops, asking them to be present at the council.[3] Through his legate the pope indicated his support for King Louis IV of France, and gave his support for reinstalling Artald as bishop of Reims.[4] This council was followed up by another one at Trier, where Agapetus was again represented by Marinus of Bomarzo.

Then in 949, Agapetus held a synod in Rome, which confirmed the rulings of the two councils. It condemned the former bishop Hugh and it excommunicated his father, Herbert II, Count of Vermandois for his opposition to King Louis IV.[5]

After receiving requests from both Louis IV of Francia and Otto I of Germany, Agapetus granted privileges to monasteries and nunneries within their respective kingdoms. He also was sympathetic towards Otto’s plans to restructure the bishoprics within Germany, which were eventually aborted due to pressure exerted by William of Mainz.[6] Around 948, Agapetus, granted the Archbishop of Hamburg the right of consecrating bishops in Denmark and other northern European countries instead of the pope.[7] The pope was also apparently asked by King Frode VI of Jutland to send missionaries to his kingdom.[8]

Agapetus was also asked to intervene in a dispute between Herhold, archbishop of Salzburg and Gerard, bishop of Lauriacum who both claimed the title of metropolitan of all Pannonia. Agapetus dispatched a letter to the two claimants, in which he stated that the diocese of Lauriacum had been the metropolitan church of all Pannonia before the invasion of the Huns. However, following the ravages inflicted by them, the metropolitan had transferred his See to another city, and since that time Salzburg had been raised to an archbishopric. Consequently, both lawfully occupied their respective Sees, and both were to retain their rank and diocese. Agapetus ruled that jurisdiction over western Pannonia would rest with Herhold, while the eastern part, along with the regions occupied by the Avars and the Moravians, would fall under Gerard.[9]

In Italy, Agapetus wrote to the dukes of Beneventum and Capua, demanding that monasteries be returned to the monks whom they had displaced. He also deposed the bishops of Termoli and Trivento who were accused of simony. Hoping to rejuvenate the religious life of the clerics in Italy, Agapetus, with the blessing of the Princeps Alberic, asked for the abbot of Gorze Abbey to send some of his monks down and join the monastic community attached to the church of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.[10]

Agapetus died on 8 November 955, and was succeeded by Alberic’s son, Octavianus, who took the papal name of John XII. He was buried in the Lateran basilica, behind the apse, and close to the tombs of Pope Leo V and Pope Paschal II.[11] Agapetus was noted for his caution and for the sanctity with which he led his life.[12]


  • Gregorovius, Ferdinand, The History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Vol. III (1895)
  • Mann, Horace K., The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, Vol. IV: The Popes in the Days of Feudal Anarchy, 891-999 (1910)


  1. ^ Mann, pgs. 226-229
  2. ^ Gregorovius, pgs 323-324
  3. ^ Mann, pgs. 231-232
  4. ^ Mann, pgs. 233-234
  5. ^ Mann, pg. 234
  6. ^ Mann, pg. 236
  7. ^ Mann, pgs. 237-238
  8. ^ Mann, pg. 238
  9. ^ DeCormenin, Louis Marie; Gihon, James L., A Complete History of the Popes of Rome, from Saint Peter, the First Bishop to Pius the Ninth (1857), pg. 291
  10. ^ Mann, pgs. 238-240
  11. ^ Mann, pg. 240
  12. ^ Gregorovius, pg. 321; Mann, pg. 225

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Marinus II
Succeeded by
John XII

The 950s decade ran from January 1, 950, to December 31, 959.


Year 951 (CMLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


Year 955 (CMLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


Agapetus (Ancient Greek: Ἀγαπητός 'beloved') is a Greek male given name, and may refer to:

Agapetus (physician), ancient Greek doctor

Pope Agapetus I (died 536)

Pope Agapetus II (died 955)

Agapetus (deacon), sixth-century deacon

Agapetus (genus), a genus in the insect family of Glossosomatidae

Agapetus of Pechersk (died 1095), saint of Eastern Orthodox Church

Agapetus, pen name of the Finnish journalist, novelist and playwright Yrjö Soini

Archbasilica of St. John Lateran

The Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and of Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in the Lateran, (Italian: Santissimo Salvatore e Santi Giovanni Battista ed Evangelista in Laterano) – also known as the Papal Archbasilica of St. John [in] Lateran, St. John Lateran, or the Lateran Basilica – is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome in the city of Rome and serves as the seat of the Roman Pontiff.

It is the oldest and highest ranking of the four papal major basilicas, giving it the unique title of "archbasilica". It is the oldest public church in the city of Rome, and the oldest basilica of the Western world. It houses the cathedra of the Roman bishop, and has the title of ecumenical mother church of the Catholic faithful.

The current archpriest is Angelo De Donatis, Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome. The President of the French Republic, currently Emmanuel Macron, is ex officio the "first and only honorary canon" of the archbasilica, a title that the heads of state of France have possessed since King Henry IV.

The large Latin inscription on the façade reads: Clemens XII Pont Max Anno V Christo Salvatori In Hon SS Ioan Bapt et Evang. This abbreviated inscription translates as: "Pope Clement XII, in the fifth year [of his Pontificate, dedicated this building] to Christ the Savior, in honor of Saints John the Baptist and [John] the Evangelist". The inscription indicates, with its full title (see below), that the archbasilica was originally dedicated to Christ the Savior and, centuries later, co-dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. As the Cathedral of the Pope as Bishop of Rome, it ranks superior to all other churches of the Roman Catholic Church, including St. Peter's Basilica.

The archbasilica is sited in the City of Rome. It is outside Vatican City, which is approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) to its northwest, although the archbasilica and its adjoining edifices have extraterritorial status from Italy as one of the properties of the Holy See, pursuant to the Lateran Treaty of 1929.


Cassino ['kas'sino] is a comune in the province of Frosinone, central Italy, at the southern end of the region of Lazio, the last City of the Latin Valley.Cassino is located at the foot of Monte Cairo near the confluence of the Gari and Liri rivers. The city is best known as the site of the Abbey of Montecassino and the Battle of Monte Cassino during World War II, which resulted in huge Allied and German casualties as well as the near total destruction of the town itself. It is also home to the University of Cassino.

Cassino has a population of 36,512 As of February 2017, making it the second largest town in the province.

John of Gorze

Saint John of Gorze (Jean de Gorze, John of Lorraine) (ca. 900—March 7, 974) was a Lorraine-born monk, diplomat, administrator, and monastic reformer.

List of popes by country

This page is a list of popes by country of origin. They are listed in chronological order within each section.

As the office of pope has existed for almost two millennia, many of the countries of origin of popes no longer exist, and so they are grouped under their modern equivalents. Popes from Italy are in a separate section, given the very large number of popes from that peninsula.

List of state leaders in 955

This is a list of heads of state, heads of governments, and other rulers in the year 955.


Piligrim (Pilgrim of Passau, Pilegrinus, Peregrinus) (died 20 May 991) was Bishop of Passau. Piligrim was ambitious, but also concerned with the Christianization of Hungary.

He was educated at the Benedictine Niederaltaich Abbey, and was made bishop in 971. To him are attributed some, if not all, of the Forgeries of Lorch. These are a series of documents, especially papal bulls of Pope Symmachus, Pope Eugene II, Pope Leo VII, and Pope Agapetus II, fabricated to prove that Passau was a continuation of a former archdiocese of Lorch. By these he attempted to obtain from Benedict VI the elevation of Passau to an archdiocese, the re-erection of those dioceses in Pannonia and Mœsia which had been suffragans of Lorch, and the pallium for himself. There is extant an alleged Bull of Benedict VI granting Piligrim's demands; but this is also the work of Piligrim, possibly a document drawn up for the papal signature, which it never received.

Piligrim converted numerous pagans in Hungary. He built many schools and churches, restored the Rule of St. Benedict in Niederaltaich, transferred the relics of Maximilian of Tebessa from Altötting to Passau, and held synods (983–991) at Ennsburg (Lorch), Mautern an der Donau, and Mistelbach. In the Nibelungenlied he is lauded as a contemporary of the heroes of that epic.


Plechelm, O.S.B. (Plechelm of Guelderland, Plechelm, also Pleghelm or Plechelmus; died 730), is honoured as a saint in both the Catholic Church and the Old Catholic Church as a patron saint of the Netherlands.

Plechelm was an Irish Benedictine monk who traveled to Rome with two fellow monks, Saints Wiro and Otger. He became a missionary first in Northumbria, England, and then in the Kingdom of Frisia, now the Netherlands. He died in St. Odiliënberg.

Plechem was canonized by Pope Agapetus II about 950. As a result, the Basilica of St. Plechelm in Oldenzaal was built to enshrine his remains in 954.

Pope Agapetus

Agapetus has been the papal name of two popes of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Agapetus I (535–536)

Pope Agapetus II (946–955)

Pope John XII

Pope John XII can also refer to Pope John XII of Alexandria.Pope John XII (Latin: Ioannes XII; c. 930/937 – 14 May 964) was head of the Catholic Church from 16 December 955 to his death in 964. He was related to the Counts of Tusculum and a member of the powerful Roman family of Theophylact which had dominated papal politics for over half a century. His pontificate became infamous for the alleged depravity and worldliness with which he conducted his office.

Robert (archbishop of Trier)

Robert, also spelled Ruotbert or Rotbert (died 19 May 956), was the archbishop of Trier from 931 until his death. He played a leading role in the politics of both Germany and France, and especially of the Lotharingian territory in between. He was a patron of scholars and writers and a reformer of monasteries.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Trivento

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Trivento (Latin: Dioecesis Triventinus) is a Latin rite suffragan diocese in the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan archdiocese of Campobasso-Boiano, in the ecclesiastical region of Abruzzo-Molise, southern Italy.The cathedral episcopal see is Cattedrale di Ss. Nazario, Celso e Vittore, dedicated to the diocesan patron saints St. Nazarius, St. Celsus and St. Victor, at Trivento, Campobasso province, in Molise administrative region.

The other major sanctuary is at Canneto, in the commune Roccavivara, founded in the fourth century and until the tenth dependent on Montecassino.

Saeculum obscurum

Saeculum obscurum (Latin: the Dark Age) is a name given to a period in the history of the Papacy during the first two-thirds of the 10th century, beginning with the installation of Pope Sergius III in 904 and lasting for sixty years until the death of Pope John XII in 964. During this period, the popes were influenced strongly by a powerful and corrupt aristocratic family, the Theophylacti, and their relatives.


Sal·la (Latin: Sanla) was the Bishop of Urgell from 981 to 1010, and "one of the first Catalan figures whose own words" survive sufficiently "to give colour to his personality and actions", although all of the words attributed to him were written down by scribes. He receives mention in some sixty-three surviving contemporary documents. As bishop, Sal·la dated documents by the reign of Hugh the Great. Although his episcopate largely preceded the Peace of God movement in Catalonia, his excommunication of high-ranking public figures during a church–state dispute in 991 anticipated it. He also pioneered feudal practices such as the granting of fiefs and was frequently "ahead of the feudalising wave".

Synod of Ingelheim

The Universal Synod of Ingelheim began on June 7, 948 in the then church of Saint Remigius in Ingelheim.

Being summoned by Pope Agapetus II its primary goal was to resolve a long running Schism concerning the archiepiscopal see of Reims. The synod was presided by Marinus of Bomarzo, then the Roman Church's librarian. In the run up to the convocation there were two earlier synods, in Verdun in November 947 and in Mouzon in the beginning of 948, both considering the same problem but unable to resolve it.

William (archbishop of Mainz)

William (929 – 2 March 968) was Archbishop of Mainz from 17 December 954 until his death. He was the son of the Emperor Otto I the Great and a Wendish (West Slavs living near the German border) mother.On 17 December 954, he was appointed to the archbishopric of Mainz following the death of the rebellious former archbishop Frederick. William received confirmation from Pope Agapetus II and also the title of Apostolic Vicar of Germany, a title which made the archbishops of Mainz the pope's deputies in Germany and granted the archdiocese of Mainz the title of Holy See. From his father, William also received the title of "Arch-Chaplain of the Empire."

William died at Rottleberode in 968 and was buried in St. Alban's Abbey, Mainz.

1st–4th centuries
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
5th–8th centuries
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
Frankish Papacy (756–857)
9th–12th centuries
Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
Tusculan Papacy (1012–1044/1048)
Imperial Papacy (1048–1257)
13th–16th centuries
Viterbo (1257–1281)
Orvieto (1262–1297)
Perugia (1228–1304)
Avignon Papacy (1309–1378)
Western Schism (1378–1417)
Renaissance Papacy (1417–1534)
Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
Baroque Papacy (1585–1689)
17th–20th centuries
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
Revolutionary Papacy (1775–1848)
Roman Question (1870–1929)
Vatican City (1929–present)
21st century
History of the papacy
Bible and
By country
of the faithful
Early Church
Late antiquity
Early Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages
19th century
20th century
21st century

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.