Pope Benedict VII

Pope Benedict VII (Latin: Benedictus VII; d. October 983) was Pope from October 974 to his death in 983.

Benedict was born in Rome, the son of David or Deodatus (brother of Alberic II of Spoleto). His date of birth is not known with certainty, but it is known that he was related to Prince Alberic II and connected to the Conti family.[2] Before his election to the papacy, he had previously served as Bishop of Sutri.[1]

He was elected by the Roman clergy and people in October 974 under the influence of Sicco, imperial envoy of Emperor Otto II. He succeeded to the papacy as a compromise candidate to replace antipope Boniface VII (974, 984–985). Boniface, who had caused the death of Pope Benedict VI, usurped the pontificate, and in a month plundered the Vatican of its most valuable contents. He then escaped to Constantinople.[2]

The new pope's authority was opposed by Boniface VII and his supporters, and although the antipope himself was forced to flee, his party followed fiercely in his footsteps and compelled Benedict to call upon Otho II for help. Once he was firmly established on his throne by the emperor, he showed himself both desirous of checking the tide of simony which was rising high in the Church, and of advancing the cause of monasticism.[1]

Benedict VII consecrated the priest James, who had been sent to him by the people of Carthage "to help the wretched province of Africa," which since the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb, had seen a steep decline in the number of bishops.[3] Benedict VII visited the city of Orvieto with his nephew Filippo Alberici, who later settled there and became consul of the city in 1016. In 978 Benedict issued a bull defining the boundaries of the diocese of Vic for bishop Froia, thereby rescinding the bulls issued by Pope John XIII that had made Vic an archdiocese. In March 981, Benedict presided over a synod in St Peter's that prohibited simony. In September 981, he convened a Lateran Synod.

Benedict VII died in the year 984, and was interred at Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.[2]


Benedict VII
Pope Benedict VII
Papacy beganOctober 974
Papacy endedOctober 983[1]
PredecessorBenedict VI
SuccessorJohn XIV
Personal details
BornRome, Papal States
Died10 July 983
Rome, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
Previous postCardinal-Priest of San Teodoro (972–974)
Other popes named Benedict


  1. ^ a b c Mann, Horace. "Pope Benedict VII." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 7 November 2017
  2. ^ a b c De Montor, Artaud. The Lives and Times of the Popes, The Catholic Publication Society of New York, 1911
  3. ^ Philip Zaleski (30 Nov 2010). The Best Spiritual Writing 2011. Penguin. ISBN 9781101478127. At the time of the Arab conquest there were more than three hundred bishops in the area, but by the tenth century Pope Benedict VII could not find three bishops to consecrate a new bishop.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Benedict VII". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Benedict VI
Succeeded by
John XIV

Year 974 (CMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


Year 975 (CMLXXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


The 980s decade ran from January 1, 980, to December 31, 989.

== Events ==

=== 980 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

Peace is concluded between Emperor Otto II (the Red) and King Lothair III (or Lothair IV) at Margut. Lothair renounces his claim on Lower Lorraine, while Otto promises to recognize Lothair's son Louis V as the rightful heir of the West Frankish Kingdom.

June 11 – Vladimir I (the Great), grand prince of Kiev, consolidates the Kievan realm from modern Ukraine to the Baltic Sea. Vladimir is proclaimed ruler (knyaz) of all Kievan Rus'.

Fall – Otto II sets off on his first expedition to Italy. He leaves the government in the hands of Archchancellor Willigis. Otto is accompanied by his wife, Empress Theophanu.

Winter – Otto II celebrates Christmas with his family at Ravenna. He receives the Iron Crown of Lombardy as the King of Italy.

King Harald Bluetooth orders the construction of the Viking ring fortress of Trelleborg (modern Denmark).

====== England ======

Viking raids from Scandinavia threaten the southern English coast after a pause of 25 years. Hampshire and the Isle of Thanet are ravaged.

====== Arabian Empire ======

The Dari dialect (which will become the major language of Persia) is developed in the royal courts of the Samanid Empire in Central Asia.

====== Africa ======

The Kilwa Sultanate, centered at Kilwa (an island off modern Tanzania), is founded by Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi, Persian prince of Shiraz.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Notker (or Notger), Frankish Benedictine monk and bishop, founds the Prince-Bishopric of Liège (modern Belgium) which will remain an independent state inside the Holy Roman Empire for more than 800 years.

=== 981 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

Spring – Emperor Otto II (the Red) leads the imperial court to Rome, making the city his imperial capital and receives nobles from all parts of Western Europe. Otto makes plans to conquer Byzantine Italy.

Fall – Otto II departs with an expeditionary force from Rome and invades Apulia (Southern Italy) to punish the Saracens. He demands a fleet from Pisa and imposes a trade embargo against Venice.

Al-Mansur, the de facto ruler of Al-Andalus, conquers and razes the city of Zamora, as part of his effort to seize the Christian-dominated north of the Iberian Peninsula.

====== Asia ======

Summer – Seongjong ascends the throne of Goryeo (Korea) after the death of his brother-in-law (and cousin), king Gyeongjong.

The first recorded Mahamastakabhisheka ceremony, of the sacred 57 feet (17 m) high monolithic statue of Bahubali, is performed.

The Gommateshwara statue is built by Chavundaraya, minister and commander of the Ganga Dynasty, in India (approximate date).

==== By topic ====

====== Exploration ======

Erik the Red leaves Norway to survey west of Iceland in Viking longships that carry nearly 700 people with cattle, horses, and other necessities for starting a colony on the island. Erik finds land and calls it Greenland.

====== Religion ======

Spring – Pope Benedict VII dissolves the Slavic bishopric of Merseburg after conferring with Otto II. He issues an encyclical forbidding the exaction of money for the conferral of any Holy Order (known as simony).

====== Commerce ======

The first commercially made shaving soap sells for 3 dirhams (0.3 dinars).

=== 982 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

Summer – Emperor Otto II (the Red) assembles an imperial expeditionary force at Taranto and proceeds along the gulf coast towards Calabria. In the meantime, Abu'l-Qasim (Kalbid emir of the Emirate of Sicily), declares a Holy War (jihad) against the Germans, but retreats his forces when he notice the unexpected strength of Otto's troops (not far from Rossano).

July 13 (or 14) – Battle of Stilo: Abu'l-Qasim is cornered by the imperial German forces led by Otto II at Cape Colonna (south of Crotone). After a violent clash, the German heavy cavalry destroys the Muslim centre, killing al-Qasim in the initial fighting. The Saracens hold together, draws Otto into a trap, encircling and defeating his forces (killing around 4,000 men).

King Harald Bluetooth invades Norway, pillaging south-west Norway all the way to Stad, where he encounters Haakon Sigurdsson (the de facto ruler of Norway) and his army. He flees back to Denmark, ending the invasion.

====== Arabian Empire ======

'Adud al-Dawla, emir (king of kings) of the Buyid Dynasty, concludes a 10-year peace treaty with the Byzantine Empire. He establishes what will soon become the most important hospital of Baghdad.

====== China ======

October 13 – Emperor Jing Zong dies (during a hunting trip) after a 13-year reign. He is succeeded by his 12-year-old son, Sheng Zong, as ruler of the Khitan-led Liao Dynasty. His mother, Empress Dowager Xiao Yanyan becomes the regent.

==== By topic ====

====== Exploration ======

Erik the Red establishes the first Viking colonies in Greenland (see 981).

====== Religion ======

Adalbert becomes bishop of Prague after the death of Dětmar (or Dietmar).

=== 983 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

Summer – Diet of Verona: Emperor Otto II (the Red) declares war against the Byzantine Empire and the Emirate of Sicily. He assembles an large expeditionary force for a renewal of a invasion in Calabria (Southern Italy). Otto gifts the Rheingau ("Rhine District") to the Archbishopric of Mainz during the 'Veronese donation'.

Great Slav Rising: The Polabian Slavs (Wends), mainly Lutici and Obotrite tribes living east of the Elbe River revolt against Christianity and their subjugation to the German (former East Frankish) realm of the Holy Roman Empire. They invade northern Germany, sacking the cities of Havelberg, Brandenburg and Hamburg.

King Harald Bluetooth rebels against the overlordship of Otto II. A Danish Viking army under his son Sweyn Forkbeard invades the March of Schleswig – along the northern border of modern Denmark. The Sorb Slaves in northern Germany overrun and conquer the March of Zeitz (Marca Geronis) from Saxon control.

December 7 – Otto II dies from a fever in his palace at Rome after a 10-year reign. He is succeeded by his 3-year-old son (already pre-elected) Otto III, who is crowned as King of Germany and Lombardia in Aachen. The Holy Roman Empire comes under the regency of his mother, Empress consort Theophanu.

====== Arabian Empire ======

March 26 – 'Adud al-Dawla, ruler (emir) of the Buyid Dynasty, dies after a 34-year reign. He is succeeded by his 20-year-old son Samsam al-Dawla, who is recognised by the Abbasid Caliphate. During al-Dawla's rule his dominions are divided through civil war and revolts (until 987).

Fall – Fatimid troops under the defecting Hamdanid governor of Homs, Bakjur, attack Aleppo (modern Syria), but are repulsed through the intervention of the Byzantine army. Bardas Phokas (the Younger) sacks the city, while Bakjur flees to Fatimid territory in Egypt.

====== China ======

Emperor Sheng Zong of the Khitan-led Liao Dynasty leads an expeditionary force against the Zubu after they killed their own khan and begin to act in defiance of the Khitan.

One of the Four Great Books of Song, the encyclopedia Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era is completed in 1,000 volumes, of 4.7 million written Chinese characters.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

July 10 – Pope Benedict VII dies after a 9-year reign. Otto II secures the election of the imperial chancellor and appoints John XIV as the 136th pope of the Catholic Church.

=== 984 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

Spring – The German boy-king Otto III (4-years old) is seized by the deposed Henry II (the Wrangler), duke of Bavaria, who has recovered his duchy and claims the regency as a member of the Ottonian Dynasty. But Henry is forced to hand over Otto to his mother, Empress consort Theophanu.

King Ramiro III loses his throne to Bermudo II (the rival king of Galicia), who becomes also ruler of the entire Kingdom of León (modern-day Spain).

====== Japan ======

Fall – Emperor En'yū abdicates the throne in favor of his 16-year-old son Kazan after a 15-year reign. En'yū retires and becomes a Buddhist priest.

==== By topic ====

====== Technology ======

Qiao Weiyue, an Chinese engineer, innovates the first known use of the double-gated canal pound lock during the Song Dynasty, for adjusting different water levels in segments of the Grand Canal in China.

====== Religion ======

August 20 – Pope John XIV dies a prisoner in the Castel Sant'Angelo at Rome after a 1-year reign, having either been murdered of starved to death.

Anti-Pope Boniface VII returns from Constantinople and gains support from the powerful Roman Crescentii family. He takes hold of the papal throne.

=== 985 ===

==== By place ====

====== Europe ======

Summer – Henry II (the Wrangler) is restored as duke of Bavaria by Empress Theophanu and her mother-in-law Adelaide at an Hoftag assembly in Rohr (Thuringia). King Otto III (5-years old) remains under the regency of the two empresses in the Holy Roman Empire and in the Kingdom of Italy.

Battle of Fýrisvellir: King Eric the Victorious defeats a Swedish Viking army under Styrbjörn the Strong (his nephew) near Uppsala.

July 6 – The city of Barcelona is sacked by Moorish troops under Al-Mansur, the de facto ruler of Al-Andalus (modern-day Spain).

====== England ======

Lady Wulfrun, an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman, is granted land by King Æthelred II (the Unready). She founds Heantune that later becomes the city of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.

====== Asia ======

Raja Raja Chola I (considered by many as the greatest emperor of the Chola Empire) becomes ruler of the Chola Dynasty. During his reign he expands his domains beyond South India.

==== By topic ====

====== Exploration ======

Greenland is colonized by the Icelandic Viking Erik the Red (according to legend, but has been established as approximately correct – see History of Greenland).

====== Religion ======

July 20 – Anti-Pope Boniface VII dies under suspicious circumstances at Rome. He is succeeded by John XV as the 137th pope of the Catholic Church.

=== 986 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

August 17 – Battle of the Gates of Trajan: Emperor Basil II leads a Byzantine expeditionary force (30,000 man) against the Bulgarians to capture the fortress city of Sredets. After a siege of 20 days, Basil is forced to retreat from the Sofia Valley towards the town of Ihtiman (through a passage known as the Gate of Trajan). The Bulgarians under Tsar Samuel ambush and defeat the Byzantine forces. Only the elite Varangian Guard escapes with heavy casualties and leads Basil to safety through secondary routes.

====== Europe ======

March 2 – King Lothair III (or Lothair IV) dies after a 32-year reign at Laon. He is succeeded by his 19-year-old son Louis V as ruler of the West Frankish Kingdom.

Summer: Al-Mansur, the de facto ruler of Al-Andalus, continues his effort in the north of the Iberian Peninsula and plunders the city of Coimbra (modern Portugal).

Empress Theophanu, accompanied by the 6-year-old King Otto III and Henry II of Bavaria, leads a campaign against Bohemia and the Slavs on the Elbe frontier.

Mieszko I, duke (de facto) ruler of Poland, pledges his allegiance to Otto III and the Holy Roman Empire. He promises assistance in Otto's war against the Slavs.

Battle of Hjörungavágr: The Earls of Lade under Haakon Sigurdsson (the Powerful) defeat a Danish invasion force led by the Jomsvikings in western Norway.

Winter – King Harald II (Bluetooth) dies after a 28-year reign (driven into exile). He is succeeded by his son Sweyn Forkbeard as ruler of Denmark and Norway.

====== Arabian Empire ======

Winter – Sabuktigin, emir of the Ghaznavid Dynasty, invades India. He expands the emirate between the Kabul Valley and the Indus River after defeating King Jayapala.

====== Asia ======

Emperor Kazan abdicates the throne after a political struggle from the Fujiwara family. He is succeeded by his 6-year-old cousin Ichijō as the 66th emperor (tennō) of Japan.

Summer – Chi Go Pass Campaign: The Song Dynasty sends armies on three fronts against the Liao Dynasty in the Sixteen Prefectures, but they are defeated on all fronts.

==== By topic ====

====== Exploration ======

Bjarni Herjólfsson, a Norse-Icelandic merchant captain and explorer, becomes the first inhabitant of the Old World to discover the mainland of the Americas.

====== Literature ======

One of the Four Great Books of Song, the Chinese encyclopedia Finest Blossoms in the Garden of Literature is finished, with a total of 1,000 volumes.

=== 987 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

February 7 – Bardas Phokas (the Younger) and Bardas Skleros, two members of the military elite, begin a wide-scale rebellion against Emperor Basil II. They overrun Anatolia, and Phokas declares himself Emperor. Basil applies for military assistance from Prince Vladimir the Great, ruler of Kievan Rus', who agrees to help him and sends a Varangian army (6,000 men).

====== Europe ======

May 21 – King Louis V dies during a hunting accident in the Forest of Halatte near the town of Senlis. His death at age 20 ends the Carolingian Dynasty founded by Charlemagne (the Great) (see 800). The late King's uncle, Charles (Duke of Lower Lorraine), lays claim to the throne. Being a vassal of King Otto III, the Frankish nobles balk at the prospect of his ascension.

July 3 – Hugh Capet, Count of Paris, is elected and crowned King of France at Noyon (Picardy), by Adalbero (Archbishop of Reims). He becomes the first monarch of the Capetian Dynasty, who rules the kingdom until 1328. Empress-regent Theophanu (the mother of Otto III) leads an expedition to Lower Lorraine, to ensure it remains as part of the Holy Roman Empire.

Al-Mansur, the de facto ruler of Al-Andalus, occupies the city of Coimbra (modern Portugal). The domination of the Andalusian authorities in the north of Gharb al-Andalus, leads to the submission of the Counts of Portugal to the Caliphate of Córdoba. But it also illustrates the limited ability of the Muslims to repopulate, or at least govern directly, these remote areas.

December – The 15-year-old Robert (the son of Hugo Capet) is around Christmas crowned co-ruler of France at Orléans.

The population of Bari revolts against the Byzantine Empire.

====== Africa ======

The Zirid Dynasty fails to reconquer the western part of the Maghreb (Land of Atlas), which they have recently lost to the Umayyad Caliphate.

==== By topic ====

====== Art ======

An extension of the Prayer Hall, Great Mosque of Córdoba at Córdoba (modern Spain), is made.

=== 988 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Fall – Emperor Basil II supported by a contingent of 6,000 Varangians (the future Varangian Guard) organizes the defences of Constantinople to meet a threat from the insurgents, Bardas Phokas (the Younger) and Bardas Skleros. Basil crosses the Bosphorus, and leads a surprise attack on the rebel camp of Kalokyros Delphinas at Chrysopolis. Delphinas is captured and executed either by crucifixion or by impalement (approximate date).

====== Europe ======

April 1 – The 16-year old Robert II (the Pious) is married to the much older Rozala (the widow of Arnulf II). The marriage is arranged by Robert's father, King Hugh I (Capet), to secure the loyalty of the County of Flanders.

Borrell II, count of Barcelona, does not renew his allegiance to Hugh I. He becomes a de facto indepentent ruler, and starts minting its own currency – this will be later confirmed legally by the Treaty of Corbeil (see 1258).

Charles, duke of Lower Lorraine (the younger brother of the late King Lothair III), revolt against Hugh I. He conquers with support of his half-brother Arnulf (archbishop of Reims) the city of Laon (Northern France).

Al-Mansur, the de facto ruler of Al-Andalus, continues his offensive against the kingdoms of León and Castile. King Bermudo II escapes to Zamora; the city resists four days, but is finally sacked and captured.

====== China ======

The Liao Dynasty adopts civil service examinations in the 'Southern Chancellery', based on Tang Dynasty models (approximate date).

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Grand Prince Vladimir I (the Great) marries Anna Porphyrogenita (the sister of Basil II) and converts to Christianity. He is baptized at Cherson in the Crimea, taking the Christian name of Basil (in honor of his brother-in-law). Vladimir returns in triumph to Kiev and begins with the Christianization of Kievan Rus' to the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The Mezhyhirskyi Monastery (located on the Dnieper River) is founded by Michael I, the first metropolitan bishop of Kiev. He arrives with Greek monks from Constantinople.

====== Economy ======

March 18 – The city of Odense (located on the island of Funen) in Denmark is founded. King Otto III grants trade rights and to the neighbouring settlements.

=== 989 ===

==== By place ====

====== Byzantine Empire ======

Emperor Basil II uses his contingent of 6,000 Varangians to help him defeat Bardas Phokas (the Younger), who suffers a seizure during the siege of Abydos (threatening to blockade the Dardanelles). Phokas dies – ending the revolt and threat to Constantinople. Upon Phokas' death, the other rebel leader Bardas Skleros (who is captured and blinded) yields to Basil's superior forces.

====== Europe ======

Summer – Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, captures the city of Reims by treachery of its new archbishop, Arnulf (the illegitimate son of the late King Lothair III). King Hugh I (Capet), demands that Pope John XV disciplines Arnulf. But John XV, not wishing to defy Empress Theophanu refuses.

Winter – Theophanu arrives with her son, King Otto III in Rome to meet John XV. Crescentius II (the Younger) offers his submission to the Holy Roman Empire, in return for which she confirms his title as patrician of Rome.

==== By topic ====

====== Religion ======

Council of Charroux: French bishops under the patronage of William IV, duke of Aquitaine, declare the first Peace of God (or Pax Dei). This agreement grants immunity from violence to noncombatants (peasants and clergy) who can not defend themselves.

====== Art ======

October 25 – The Hagia Sophia at Constantinople is struck by a great earthquake, causing the collapse of the western dome arch. Basil II asks the Armenian architect Trdat, the creator of the Cathedral of Ani, to direct the repairs.

====== Education ======

Sankore Madrasah is founded by Al-Qadi Aqib ibn Mahmud ibn Umar, the Supreme Judge of Timbuktu (modern-day Mali).

====== Astronomy ======

September – Halley's Comet is at perihelion.


Year 981 (CMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


Year 983 (CMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

Benedict (given name)

Benedict is a masculine given name, which comes from Late Latin word Benedictus, meaning "blessed". Etymologically it is derived from the Latin words bene ('good') and dicte ('speak'), i.e. "well spoken". The name was borne by Saint Benedict of Nursia (480–547), often called the founder of Western Christian monasticism.

Froia (bishop of Vic)

Froia (or Fruia, Catalan: Frujà or Fruià; died 992×93) was a canon of the cathedral of Vic from 957 and bishop from 972. His predecessor, Atto, tried to have Vic raised to archiepiscopal status, but was assassinated by his opponents. Elected to replace him, Froia was consecrated by Ermengol, archbishop of Narbonne, who had opposed Atto because Vic was a suffragan diocese of Narbonne.On 25 February 978, Pope Benedict VII confirmed the possessions and borders of the see of Vic in a pair of bulls sent to Froia and the other suffragan bishops of Narbonne.Froia pursued a policy of acquiring and building castles along the Catalan frontier, even within the county and diocese of Barcelona. In 987, Count Borrell II of Barcelona donated half of the frontier castle of Miralles to Froia, who extracted an oath of fidelity from the castellan or vicar, Ennec Bonfill: the earliest surviving written oath from Catalonia. Froia also acquired the castles of Les Espases, Esparreguera and Font-rubí in the diocese of Barcelona. He also attempted to construct castles at Montbui and Tous.Froia was assassinated in 992 or 993 by a faction supporting an anti-bishop. He was succeeded by Arnulf.

Gembloux Abbey

Gembloux Abbey was a Benedictine abbey near the town of Gembloux in the province of Namur, Belgium.

Origins of the papal tiara

The origins of the Papal Tiara remain somewhat nebulous and clouded in mystery, first appearing in the Early Middle Ages, but developing a recognizable form in the High Middle Ages, after the Great Schism of 1054. The word tiara itself occurs in the classical annals to denote a Persian headdress, particularly that of the "great king." A camelaucum which was similar in shape to papal tiaras, was part of court dress in Byzantium; it was also inspired by the Phrygian cap, or frigium. Given that other rituals associated with the Papal Coronation, notably the use of the sedia gestatoria, were copied from Byzantine and eastern imperial ceremonial, it is likely that the tiara is also of Byzantine origin.

Peter, Duke of the Romans

Peter was a mediaeval Roman noble. Like his fathers, he carried the illustrious title of Romanorum patricius, consul, dux et senator ("Patrician, consul, duke, and senator of the Romans"), implying his secular command over Rome and its militia. He was the son of Alberic III, Count of Tusculum. As a result, he was a descendant of Theophylact I, Count of Tusculum.

Historians use the term Saeculum obscurum to describe the period when the Papacy was under the direct control of the Roman nobility, in particular when it was under the domination of the family of Theophylact, which later became the Colonna family

Pope Benedict

Benedict has been the regnal name of sixteen Roman Catholic popes. The name is derived from the Latin benedictus, meaning "blessed"

Pope Benedict I (575–579)

Pope Benedict II (684–685)

Pope Benedict III (855–858)

Pope Benedict IV (900–903)

Pope Benedict V (964)

Pope Benedict VI (972–974)

Pope Benedict VII (974–983)

Pope Benedict VIII (1012–1024)

Pope Benedict IX (1032–1044, 1045–1046 & 1047–1048)

Pope Benedict XI (1303–1304)

Pope Benedict XII (1334–1342)

Pope Benedict XIII (1724–1730)

Pope Benedict XIV (1740–1758)

Pope Benedict XV (1914–1922)

Pope Benedict XVI (2005–2013) – Now pope emeritus (born 1927)Additionally, four antipopes have used the name Benedict:

Antipope Benedict X (1058–1059) – Several cardinals alleged that his election was irregular and he was deposed. His papacy, though later declared illegitimate, has been taken into account in the conventional numbering of subsequent Popes who took the same name.

Antipope Benedict XIII (1394–1423)

Antipope Benedict XIV (1424–1429) & (1430–1437) – Two individuals

Pope Benedict VIII

Pope Benedict VIII (Latin: Benedictus VIII; ca. 980 – 9 April 1024) reigned from 18 May 1012 to his death in 1024. He was born Theophylactus to the noble family of the counts of Tusculum (son of Gregory, Count of Tusculum, and brother of future Pope John XIX), descended from Theophylact, Count of Tusculum, like his predecessor Pope Benedict VII (973–974). Horace Mann considered him "...one of the few popes of the Middle Ages who was at once powerful at home and great abroad."

Pope John XIV

Pope John XIV (Latin: Ioannes XIV; died 20 August 984) was Pope from December 983 to his death in 984. He was the successor to Pope Benedict VII.

John XIV was born at Pavia, and before his elevation to the papal chair was imperial Archchancellor for Italy of Emperor Otto II. His earliest document in that capacity dates from 28 December 980, and the latest from 27 August 983. Queen Adelheid of Burgundy, the wife of Otto II, and Queen Theano his wife, on behalf of Otto III, wished to make Majolus of Cluny pope in 983, but he refused, and Pietro Canepanova, Bishop of Pavia, was chosen instead.His original name was Pietro Canepanova, but he took the name John XIV to avoid being linked to St. Peter himself.

Otto II died shortly after his election, his heir Otto III, being only 3 years old and unable to protect John's position as Pope. Antipope Boniface VII (974, 984–985), on the strength of the popular feeling against the new Pope, returned from Constantinople and placed John XIV in prison in the Castel Sant'Angelo, where he died either from starvation or poison.There has been considerable confusion of the number of Popes John. There was only the one John XIV. However, by the 13th century, clerical authorities in the Vatican came to wrongly believe that there were two John XIVs and began to double-count John XIV accordingly. This led to a pope calling himself John XXI, instead of John XX, in 1276.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ferrara-Comacchio

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ferrara-Comacchio (Latin: Archidioecesis Ferrariensis-Comaclensis) has existed since 1986, when the diocese of Comacchio was combined with the historical archdiocese of Ferrara. It is a suffragan of the archdiocese of Bologna.

The episcopal seat was transferred from Vicohabentia (Voghenza) to the newly founded Ferrara in 657. The earliest known bishop of Vicohabentia is Marcellinus, who was consecrated c. 429–431.Originally, it seems, the diocese (or at least the diocese of Vicohabentia) was a suffragan of the metropolitanate of Ravenna. Ferrara repeatedly contested that opinion, and claimed to be directly dependent upon the Holy See (the Pope). Pope John XIII, in April 967, confirmed that Ferrara was under papal jurisdiction, as far as election, consecration, investiture, and jurisdiction were concerned. Pope Benedict VII, in April 978, again confirmed the papal jurisdiction in much the same language. At some point between 1106 and 1123, however, the diocese of Ferrara fell under the control of the metropolitan of Ravenna, and Bishop Landolfo was suspended from office because of his refusal to submit to Archbishop Walter of Ravenna. Pope Innocent II restored the original independence of the diocese of Ferrara on 11 March 1133; but on the death of Bishop Landolfo in 1138, the Archbishop of Ravenna asserted the right to consecrate his successor. The Ferrarese were required to produce their documentary proofs before the Pope, who issued a decree in favor of Ferrara as directly dependent upon the Holy See on 22 April 1139.Ferrara became an archdiocese, though without suffragans, by the Bull Paterna pontificii of Pope Clement XII on 27 July 1735. Pope Clement goes out of his way to state that the diocese had always been directly subject to the Holy See, citing the decree Ad hoc of Pope Innocent II at the Lateran Council of 1139, and recalling subsequent similar rulings of Celestine II, Lucius II, Gregory VIII, Clement III, Celestine III, Innocent IV, Alexander VIII, Innocent XII, and Clement XI. This fortunate arrangement continued until 1976. In a decree of the Vatican Sacred Congregation of Bishops of 8 December 1976, a new arrangement of certain dioceses in ecclesiastical provinces was announced; the diocese of Ferrara was made a suffragan of the Archbishop of Bologna, though the Archbishop of Ferrara was allowed to keep the title of archbishop.As part of a project begun on orders from Pope John XXIII, and continued under his successors, to reduce the number of dioceses in Italy and to rationalize their borders in terms of modern population changes and shortages of clergy, the diocese of Comacchio was united to the diocese of Ferrara by a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops, on 30 September 1986. There was to be one bishop, and one curia, one cathedral, one Council of Consultors and one Council of Priests, and one seminary. The former cathedral of Comacchio was granted the title of Co-cathedral, and its Chapter was retained and not united with the Chapter of the Cathedral of Ferrara.The old diocesan name of Vicohabentia (Voghenza) was revived in 1967, as a titular See. It has been held by an auxiliary bishop of Cortona and an auxiliary bishop of Rome.

Sant Pere, Besalú

Sant Pere de Besalú is a Benedictine monastery in Besalú, Garrotxa, Catalonia, Spain. The building was renovated in 1160.

Theophylact I, Count of Tusculum

Theophylact I (before 864 – 924/925) was a medieval Count of Tusculum who was the effective ruler of Rome from around 905 through to his death in 924. His descendants would control the Papacy for the next 100 years.

Titular (Catholicism)

In Roman Catholicism, a titular is a cardinal who holds a titulus, one of the main churches of Rome. Such holders were initially by tradition native-born Romans (of high social standing). The first church in Rome to have a non-Italian titular was Santi Quattro Coronati: Dietrich of Trier was appointed titular in 975 by Pope Benedict VII. That basilica was originally Titulus Aemilianae, drawing its name in characteristic fashion from its foundress, who doubtless owned the extensive suburban Roman villa whose foundations remain under the church and whose audience hall became the ecclesiastical basilica. The term also applies to the holder of a titular see, which is a nominal (often former) episcopal or archiepiscopal see without an actual pastoral flock which confers the rank of titular (arch)bishop on its incumbent.


Saint Willigis (Latin: Willigisus; German: Willigis, Willegis; c. 940 – 23 February 1011 AD) was Archbishop of Mainz from 975 until his death as well as archchancellor of the Holy Roman Empire.

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