Pope Gregory II

Pope Gregory II (Latin: Gregorius II; 669 – 11 February 731) was Pope from 19 May 715 to his death in 731.[1] His defiance of the Byzantine emperor Leo III the Isaurian as a result of the iconoclastic controversy in the Eastern Empire prepared the way for a long series of revolts, schisms and civil wars that eventually led to the establishment of the temporal power of the popes.

Pope Saint

Gregory II
89-St.Gregory II
Papacy began19 May 715
Papacy ended11 February 731
SuccessorGregory III
Personal details
Birth nameGregorius Sabellus
Rome, Exarchate of Ravenna, Roman Empire
Died11 February 731
Rome, Exarchate of Ravenna, Roman Empire
Feast day11 February
Venerated inCatholic Church
Other popes named Gregory
Papal styles of
Gregory II
Emblem of the Papacy SE
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleSaint

Early life

Born into a noble Roman family in the year 669,[2] Gregory was the son of Marcellus and Honesta.[3] As a young man, he was placed in the papal court, and was made a subdeacon and sacellarius (or treasurer) of the Roman See during the pontificate of Pope Sergius I (687 – 701). Later he was made a deacon and placed in charge of the Vatican Library.[4]

During the pontificate of Pope Constantine, Gregory was made a papal secretary, and accompanied him to Constantinople in 711 to deal with the issues raised by Rome’s rejection of the canons of the Quinisext Council.[5] The actual negotiations on the contentious articles were handled by Gregory, with the result that the emperor Justinian II agreed that the Papacy could disregard whichever of the council’s decisions it wished to.[6]

After Constantine’s death on 9 April 715, Gregory was elected pope, and was consecrated as Bishop of Rome on 19 May 715.[4]

First years and expanding missionary activity

Almost immediately, Gregory began the task of repairing the Walls of Rome, beginning at the Porta Tiburtina.[4] Work on this task was delayed in October 716 when the Tiber river burst its banks and flooded Rome, causing immense damage and only receding after eight days.[4] Gregory ordered a number of litanies to be said to stem the floods, which spread over the Campus Martius and the so-called Plains of Nero, reaching the foot of the Capitoline Hill.[7] The first year of his pontificate also saw a letter arrive from Patriarch John VI of Constantinople, who attempted to justify his support of Monothelitism, while at the same time seeking sympathy from the pope over the position he was in, with respect to the emperor. Gregory responded by sending a letter outlining the traditional Roman position against Monothelitism.[8]

Then in 716, Gregory received an official visit from Theodo, the Duke of Bavaria, to discuss the continuing conversion of his lands to Christianity. As a result of this meeting, Gregory gave specific instructions to his delegates who were to travel to Bavaria, coordinate with the duke, and establish a local church hierarchy, overseen by an archbishop.[9] Gregory maintained an interest in Bavaria; in 726 he forced an unwilling Corbinian, after reviewing his appeal through a synod, to abandon his monastic calling, and become Bishop of Freising, in upper Bavaria.[10]

Witterschnee Kirche Decke 3b
St Boniface, whom Gregory sent to Germany to begin missionary work there

Gregory next turned his attention to Germany. In 718, he was approached by an Anglo-Saxon missionary, Winfrid, who proposed undertaking missionary work in Germany.[11] Gregory agreed, and after changing his name to Boniface, commissioned him in May 719 to preach in Germany.[1] After hearing of the work that had been done so far, in 722 Gregory summoned Boniface back to Rome to answer rumours concerning Boniface’s doctrinal purity.[12] At this face to face meeting, Boniface complained that he found Gregory’s Latin difficult to understand, a clear indication that Vulgar Latin had already started to evolve into the Romance languages.[13] After examining Boniface’s written profession of faith, Gregory was satisfied enough that he made Boniface a bishop in November 722, and returned him to Germany to continue his mission.[1] Continued successes saw Gregory write to Boniface in December 724 to offer his congratulations, followed in November 726 by a response to Boniface’s questions about how to structure the newly emergent churches in Germany.[14]

Gregory also strengthened papal authority in the churches of Britain and Ireland. In 726 Gregory had a royal visit from Ine, the former King of Wessex, who had abdicated the throne in order to undertake a pilgrimage to Rome and end his life there.[15]

Local church activities

Gregory also concerned himself with establishing or restoring monasteries. He turned his family mansion in Rome into a monastery, St. Agatha in Suburra, endowing it with expensive and precious vessels for use at the altar,[16] and also established a new church, dedicated to Sant'Eustachio.[17] In 718 he restored Monte Cassino, which had not recovered from an attack by the Lombards in 584, and he intervened in a dispute at the Monastery of St. Vincent on the Volturno over the deposition of the abbot.[18]

In 721, Gregory held a synod in Rome, for the purpose of fixing issues around illegitimate marriages.[19] Then in 723, the longstanding dispute between the patriarchs of Aquileia and Grado flared up again. Upon the request of the Lombard king, Liutprand, Gregory had given the pallium to Bishop Serenus, granting him the patriarchate of Aquileia. Soon afterwards, however, Gregory received a letter from Donatus, Patriarch of Grado, complaining that Serenus had overstepped his authority, and was interfering within what was Grado’s ecclesiastical jurisdiction.[20] At the same time, Gregory reprimanded Donatus for complaining about Gregory’s decision to grant the pallium to Serenus in the first place.[21] Then in 725, upon Donatus’ death, the Grado patriarchate was usurped by Peter, the Bishop of Pola. Gregory responded by depriving Peter of both sees, and he wrote to the people of the diocese, reminding them to only elect bishops in accordance with church law, whereupon they elected Antoninus, with Gregory’s approval.[22]

Gregory also mandated a number of practices within the Church. He decreed that in Lent, on the Thursdays, people should fast, just as they were required to do during the other days of the week. Apparently the practice had been frowned upon by popes of previous centuries, as pagans had fasted on Thursday as part of their worship of Jupiter.[23] He also prescribed the offices to be said during church services on Thursdays in Lent, as prior to this, the Mass of the preceding Sunday was said on those Thursdays.[24]

Relations with the Lombards

Portrait of Gregory II, with anachronistic papal tiara

Gregory attempted to remain on good diplomatic terms with the Lombards, and especially with their king, Liutprand. In April 716 he managed to get Liutprand to agree not to retake the Cottian Alps, which had been granted to the Roman Church in the reign of Aripert II.[25] However, the semi-independent Lombard Duchy of Benevento, under the expansionist duke Romuald II, resumed hostilities by capturing Cumae in 717, cutting Rome off from Naples.[26] Neither threats of divine retribution nor outright bribery made an impression on Romuald, and so Gregory appealed to Duke John I of Naples, funding his campaign to successfully retake Cumae.[27]

That same year saw the Lombard duke Faroald II of Spoleto, capture Classis, the port of Ravenna. Gregory brokered a deal with Liutprand, who forced Faroald to return it to the Exarch of Ravenna.[28] Perceiving that the Lombard threat would continue to fester and they would take imperial territory in Italy a piece at a time, in around 721 Gregory appealed to the Franks, asking Charles Martel to intervene and drive out the Lombards. Charles however, did not respond to the request.[29] Imperial weakness in Italy encouraged further Lombard incursions, and in 725, they captured the fortress of Narni.

Then in 727, with the Exarchate of Ravenna in chaos over the Byzantine Emperor’s iconoclast decrees (see below), the Lombards captured and destroyed Classis and overran the Pentapolis.[30] Although Classis was retaken in 728, fighting continued between Byzantine forces and the Lombards until 729, when Gregory brokered a deal between Liutprand and the Byzantine exarch, Eutychius, bringing about a temporary ceasing of hostilities that held until Gregory’s death.[31] Gregory and Liutprand met in 729 at the ancient city of Sutri. Here, the two reached an agreement, known as the Donation of Sutri, whereby Sutri and some hill towns in Latium (see Vetralla) were given to the Papacy.[32] They were the first extension of Papal territory beyond the confines of the Duchy of Rome, and in effect marked the beginning of the Papal States.

Conflict with Emperor Leo III

Solidus-Leo III
Byzantine Emperor Leo III who sought to impose iconoclastic doctrines in the west

Tensions between Gregory and the imperial court began around 722, when emperor Leo III attempted to raise taxes on the papal patrimonies in Italy, draining the Papacy’s monetary reserves. Leo required this revenue to pay for the ongoing Arab war, while Gregory needed it to provide local foodstuffs for the city of Rome, thereby relieving Rome on its reliance upon the long-distance supply of grain.[33] The result of which was, through refusing to pay the additional taxes, Gregory encouraged the Roman populace to drive the imperial governor of Rome from the city, and Leo was unable to impose his will upon Rome, as Lombard pressure kept the exarch of Ravenna from fielding an army to bring the pope to heel.[34]

However, in 725, possibly at the emperor’s request, Marinus, who had been sent from Constantinople to govern the Duchy of Rome, encouraged a conspiracy to murder the pope. Involving a duke named Basil, the Chartoularios Jordanes, and a subdeacon named Lurion, the departure of Marinus paused the plot, only to see it resume with the arrival of the new exarch, Paul. However, the plot was uncovered, and the conspirators put to death.[35]

Then in 726, Leo issued an iconoclast edict, condemning possession of any icon of the saints.[36] Although Leo made no move to enforce this edict in the west beyond having it read in Rome and Ravenna, Gregory immediately rejected the edict.[37] Upon hearing this, the Exarchate of Ravenna rose in revolt against the imperial imposition of iconoclasm. The armies of Ravenna and the Duchy of the Pentapolis mutinied, denouncing both Exarch Paul and Leo III, and overthrew those officers who remained loyal. Paul rallied the loyalist forces and attempted to restore order, but was killed. The armies discussed electing their own emperor and marching on Constantinople, but were dissuaded by Pope Gregory from acting against Leo.[38] At the same time, the self described “duke” Exhilaratus and his son Hadrian rebelled in Naples, sided with the emperor and marched on Rome in order to kill Gregory, but were overthrown by the people and killed.[39]

In 727, Gregory summoned a synod to condemn iconoclasm.[40] According to Greek sources, principally Theophanes, it was at this point that Gregory excommunicated Leo. However, no western source, in particular the Liber pontificalis, confirms this act by Gregory.[41] He then dispatched two letters to Leo, denying the Imperial right to interfere in matters of doctrine. He wrote:

"You say: ‘We worship stones and walls and boards.’ But it is not so, O Emperor; but they serve us for remembrance and encouragement, lifting our slow spirits upwards, by those whose names the pictures bear and whose representations they are. And we worship them not as God, as you maintain, God forbid!... Even the little children mock at you. Go into one of their schools, say that you are the enemy of images, and straightway they will throw their little tablets at your head, and what you have failed to learn from the wise you may pick up from the foolish... In virtue of the power which has come down to us from St. Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, we might inflict a punishment upon you, but since you have invoked one on yourself, have that, you and the counsellors you have chosen... though you have so excellent a high priest, our brother Germanus, whom you ought to have taken into your counsels as father and teacher. . . . The dogmas of the Church are not a matter for the emperor, but for the bishops."[42]

In 728, Leo sent to Italy a new exarch, Eutychius, to try to retrieve the situation.[43] Eutychius sent an emissary to Rome, with instructions to kill Gregory and the chief nobility in the city, but the plot was uncovered and foiled. Next, he attempted to turn the Lombard king and dukes against the pope, but they retained their ambivalent stance, not committing one way or the other.[44] That same year Gregory wrote to Patriarch Germanus I of Constantinople, giving the patriarch his support, and when Germanus abdicated, Gregory refused to acknowledge the new patriarch, Anastasius, nor the iconoclast rulings of a council summoned by Leo.[45]

In 729, Eutychius finally managed to bring about an alliance with the Lombard king, Liutprand, and both agreed to help the other deal with their rebellious subjects. After they had subjugated the dukes of Spoleto and Benevento, bringing them under Liutprand’s authority, they turned to Rome with the intent of bringing Gregory to heel.[46] However, outside Rome, Gregory managed to break up the alliance against him, with Liutprand returning to Pavia. After this, Eutychius reached an uneasy truce with Gregory, and the pope in return forged a temporary truce between the Lombards and the Byzantines.[47] Regardless, Gregory was still a devoted and vigorous defender of the empire. This was demonstrated in 730 when there arose another usurper, Tiberius Petasius, who raised a revolt in Tuscany. He was defeated by the exarch Eutychius, who received steady support from Pope Gregory.[48]

Gregory died on 11 February 731, and was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica. The location of his tomb has since been lost. He was subsequently canonized and is commemorated as a saint in the Roman calendar and martyrology on 13 February, although some martyrologies list him under 11 February.[49]

Links to later families

Gregory II was an alleged collateral ancestor to the Roman Savelli family,[50] according to a 15th-century chronicler, but this is unattested in contemporary documents and very likely unreliable. The same was said of the seventh-century Pope Benedict II, but nothing certain is known about a kinship between the two of them.

Miracle at the Battle of Toulouse (721)

A miracle concerning Gregory II is linked to the victory over Muslim forces at the Battle of Toulouse (721). According to the Liber Pontificalis, in 720 Pope Gregory sent to Odo, Duke of Aquitaine, "three blessed sponges/baskets of bread". The Duke kept these, and just before the battle outside of Toulouse, he distributed small portions of these to be eaten by his troops. After the battle, it was reported that no one who had eaten a part of the sponges/baskets of bread had been killed or wounded.[51]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Mann, Horace. "Pope St. Gregory II." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 18 September 2017
  2. ^ Levillain, pg. 642
  3. ^ Mann, pg. 144
  4. ^ a b c d Mann, pg. 145
  5. ^ Ekonomou, pg. 272; Mann, pg. 133
  6. ^ Treadgold, pg. 342
  7. ^ Mann, pgs. 146–147
  8. ^ Mann, pgs. 147–148
  9. ^ Mann, pg. 151
  10. ^ Mann, pgs. 153–154
  11. ^ Levillain, pg. 643
  12. ^ Mann, pgs. 157–158
  13. ^ Mann, pg. 158
  14. ^ Mann, pgs. 161–162
  15. ^ Mann, pg. 150
  16. ^ Mann, pgs. 144–145
  17. ^ Ekonomou, pg. 299
  18. ^ Mann, pgs. 163–164
  19. ^ Ekonomou, pg. 245
  20. ^ Mann, pgs. 166–167
  21. ^ Mann, pgs. 167–168
  22. ^ Mann, pg. 168
  23. ^ Mann, pgs. 201–202
  24. ^ Mann, pg. 202
  25. ^ Mann, pg. 169
  26. ^ Mann, pgs. 169–170
  27. ^ Mann, pg. 170
  28. ^ Mann, pg. 171
  29. ^ Mann, pgs. 171–172
  30. ^ Mann, pg. 187
  31. ^ Ekonomou, pg. 299; Mann, pgs. 197–198
  32. ^ Bury, pg. 444
  33. ^ Treadgold, pg. 350; Ekonomou, pg. 275
  34. ^ Treadgold, pg. 350; Bury, pgs. 440–441; Mann, pg. 185
  35. ^ Levillain, pg. 642; Mann, pg. 184
  36. ^ Treadgold, pg. 352
  37. ^ Treadgold, pg. 352; Mann, pg. 186
  38. ^ Treadgold, pg. 352; Mann, pg. 186; Bury, pg. 441
  39. ^ Mann, pg. 186
  40. ^ Mann, pg. 188
  41. ^ Mann, pgs. 199–200
  42. ^ Mann, pgs. 191–192
  43. ^ Treadgold, pg. 353
  44. ^ Mann, pgs. 194–195
  45. ^ Treadgold, pgs. 353–354; Levillain, pg. 643
  46. ^ Bury, pgs. 444–445; Mann, pgs. 197–198
  47. ^ Mann, pg. 198; Bury, pg. 445
  48. ^ Mann, pg. 198
  49. ^ Mann, pgs. 200–202
  50. ^ Williams, George L., Papal Genealogy: The Families And Descendants Of The Popes (2004), pg. 37
  51. ^ Mann, pgs. 165–166

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


  • Ekonomou, Andrew J., Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes: Eastern Influences on Rome and the Papacy from Gregory the Great to Zacharias, A.D. 590–752 (2007)
  • Levillain, Philippe, The Papacy: Gaius-Proxies, Routledge (2002)
  • Treadgold, Warren, A History of the Byzantine State and Society (1997)
  • Mann, Horace K., The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, Vol. I: The Popes Under the Lombard Rule, Part 2, 657–795 (1903)
  • Bury, John Bagnall, A History of the Later Roman Empire From Arcadius to Irene, Vol. II (1889)
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope St. Gregory II" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  • Paolo Delogu: Gregorio II, santo. In: Massimo Bray (ed.): Enciclopedia dei Papi, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Vol. 1  (Pietro, santo. Anastasio bibliotecario, antipapa), Rome, 2000, OCLC 313504669, pp. 647–651.
  • Annette Grabowsky: Gregor II. In: Germanische Altertumskunde Online (nur bei De Gruyter Online verfügbarer Artikel mit umfassenden Quellen- und Literaturangaben) 2014.
  • Rudolf Schieffer: Gregor II in: Lexikon des Mittelalters. Vol. 4, Artemis & Winkler, Munich/Zurich 1989, ISBN 3-7608-8904-2, Col. 1666–1667.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Gregory III
Anastasius of Constantinople

Anastasios (Greek: Αναστάσιος), (? – January 754) was the patriarch of Constantinople from 730 to 754. He succeeded Germanos I (715 — 730). Anastasios was heavily involved in the controversy over icons (images). His opinion of icons changed twice. First he opposed them, then he favored them, and finally he opposed them again.

Battle of Ravenna (729)

The Battle of Ravenna in 729 was fought between the troops of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Exarchate of Ravenna and a force of Italians. This was in response to Emperor Leo III the Isaurian outlawing the veneration of holy icons, which Pope Gregory II was against. After a fierce battle, the Eastern Roman Army was overcome and thousands of Byzantines were killed.


Saint Ceolfrid (or Ceolfrith, [ˈtʃeːolfrɪð]; c. 642 – 716) was an Anglo-Saxon Christian abbot and saint. He is best known as the warden of Bede from the age of seven until his death in 716. He was the Abbot of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Abbey, and a major contributor to the project Codex Amiatinus. He died in Burgundy while en route to deliver a copy of the codex to Pope Gregory II in Rome.


Saint Corbinian (Latin: Corbinianus; French: Corbinien; German: Korbinian; c. 670 – 8 September c. 730 AD) was a Frankish bishop. After living as a hermit near Chartres for fourteen years, he made a pilgrimage to Rome. Pope Gregory II sent him to Bavaria. His opposition to the marriage of Duke Grimoald to his brother's widow, Biltrudis, caused Corbinian to go into exile for a time. His feast day is 8 September. The commemoration of the translation of his relics is 20 November.

Donation of Sutri

The Donation of Sutri was an agreement reached at Sutri by Liutprand, King of the Lombards and Pope Gregory II in 728. At Sutri, the two reached an agreement by which the city and some hill towns in Latium (like Vetralla) were given to the Papacy, "as a gift to the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul" according to the Liber Pontificalis. The pact formed the first extension of papal territory beyond the confines of the Duchy of Rome.

Duchy of the Pentapolis

In the Byzantine Empire, the Duchy of the Pentapolis was a duchy (Latin: ducatus), a territory ruled by a duke (dux) appointed by and under the authority of the Praetorian Prefect of Italy (554–584) and then the Exarch of Ravenna (584–751). The Pentapolis (from the Greek term πεντάπολις, "five cities") consisted of the cities of Ancona, Fano, Pesaro, Rimini and Sinigaglia. It lay along the Adriatic coast between the rivers Marecchia and Misco immediately south of the core territory of the exarchate ruled directly by the exarch (the Ravennate), east of the Duchy of Perugia, another Byzantine territory, and north of the Duchy of Spoleto, which was part of the Lombard Kingdom of Italy (founded in 568). The duchy probably extended inland as far as the Apennine Mountains, perhaps beyond, and its southernmost town was Humana (Numera) on the northern bank of the Misco. The capital of the Pentapolis was Rimini and the duke was both the civil and military authority in the duchy.The Pentapolis was one of the more commercially vibrant parts of Italy. The citizens of the Pentapolis tried constantly to reduce the authority of the exarch in the duchy, while Byzantine Italy generally experienced a general decentralisation during the 7th century. In 725, when the Exarch Paul wanted to lead a punitive expedition against the Duchy of Rome, where Pope Gregory II and the citizens had usurped imperial prerogatives and deposed and replaced the reigning duke, he raised troops in the Ravennate and the Pentapolis. The Lombard historian Paul the Deacon says that he had great difficulty in raising the necessary troops and his expedition was ultimately a failure. In 726, the iconoclasm of Emperor Leo III the Isaurian (r. 717–741) first became public, possibly even through an edict against sacred images. The inability of the exarch to impose his authority in Rome and his weakness in the Pentapolis was transformed into impotence when the "armies", that is, the Roman military aristocracies, of the duchies of the Ravennate, the Pentapolis, and Venetia rose in revolt declaring that they would protect the pope from the imperial decree, which Paul had been ordered to enforce throughout Italy (727).In 738, the Lombard king Liutprand marched through the Pentapolis on his way to Spoleto, and during his transit was attacked by a group of "Spoletans" (Lombards from central Italy) and "Romans" (local Pentapolitans). The locals may have been incited to this alliance against Liutprand by the exarch, Eutychius, who may have had a deal with the duke of Spoleto, Transamund II. The Pentapolitans were not traditionally on good terms with either the Byzantines, whom Liutprand fought in 728–729, or the exarch in Ravenna, whom Liutprand also fought frequently, but they were unlikely to regard Lombard incursions in their region as a "liberation". Liutprand attacked Ravenna and Cesena on the via Aemilia in 743, probably with the goal of controlling a passage through Byzantine territory to Spoleto. His successor, Ratchis, attacked several cities in the Pentapolis and Perugia in 749, before retiring to become a monk. By 752, the Pentapolis was conquered by King Aistulf of the Lombards.In 754 Pepin the Short crossed the Alps, defeated Aistulf, and gave to the pope the lands which Aistulf had torn from the ducatus Romanus (Duchy of Rome) and the exarchate (including the Pentapolis).

Fergustus Pictus

Fergustus Pictus or Fergus the Pict was a Scoto-Pictish bishop who is recorded as attending a council organized by Pope Gregory II in 721. He is recorded as "Fergustus episcopus Scotiae Pictus", or "Fergus the Pict, Bishop of Ireland". He is often identified with the Scottish Saint Fergus, and with the Fregus of the Vita Sancti Kentigerni, but the only evidence for this is the name, a name which, either as Fergus or Urgust, just happened to be one of the most popular names in the Scotland and Ireland of the Dark Ages.


Hildeprand (died 744), sometimes called the Useless, was the king of the Lombards from around 735 in association with his uncle, Liutprand. After Liutprand's death in 744, Hildeprand ruled in his own name until he was overthrown later that year by Ratchis, duke of Friuli.Hildeprand was a duke (dux) prior to his elevation to the throne. In 734 he participated in the successful siege of Byzantine Ravenna. Either just before or after the siege, Liutprand fell ill and was not expected to live. The leading Lombard noblemen elected Hildeprand as king, but Liutprand recovered. Although displeased with the election, he felt bound to accept Hildeprand as co-ruler. Liutprand himself had been elected while his father, Ansprand, was fatally ill. In both cases, the initiative to elect a successor was taken by the nobility. By 735, the diplomacy of Pope Gregory II had patched together an alliance between the Byzantine exarch, Eutychius, Duke Ursus of Venetia and Patriarch Antoninus of Grado. With a large Venetian fleet, the new allies retook Ravenna. In this second siege, Hildeprand and Duke Peredeo of Vicenza were captured by the Venetians, according to the Chronicon Venetum.In 739, while Liutprand was campaigning against the church in the Duchy of Rome, Hildeprand was ravaging the ecclesiastical lands around Ravenna. In August he was joined by Liutprand, who attacked the Pentapolis. By 743, Liutprand's health had again begun to fail, and there may have arisen a pro-papal party in the kingdom, led by Duke Ratchis. The next year Liutprand died and Hildeprand succeeded unopposed. He had proved himself an opponent of both the Byzantines and the Papacy, and within a few months he was overthrown by a revolt led by Ratchis, who immediately made peace with Pope Zachary.

John I of Naples

John I was the duke of Naples from September 711 to his death, probably in 719. The main source for his reign is the Chronicon ducum et principum Beneventi, Salerni, et Capuae et ducum Neapolis.

In 716, while a pestilence swept through Naples, Romuald II of Benevento occupied the castle of Cumae. Immediately, Pope Gregory II ordered him to return it and offered compensation if he would. He did not and John led an army against him in 717. As promised, the pope himself contributed 70 pounds of gold to the undertaking.

Michael Glatthaar

Michael Glatthaar (born 3 May 1953) is a German scholar of the Middle Ages, specializing in the documents of the Carolingians and the study of Saint Boniface. A student of Hubert Mordek, he is the author of Bonifatius und das Sakrileg (2004), a study of the saint's influence on the concept of sacrilege in the 8th-century church and afterward. In his study he identifies a number of sententiae in a Wurzburg manuscript (an important witness for the Collectio canonum Hibernensis) as connected to Boniface, proposing the title Sententiae Bonifantianae Wirceburgensis for the fifty-four capitula and chapter headings in the manuscript. He has argued for the authenticity of the 716 capitulary of Pope Gregory II which invested three papal legates with the organization of the church in Bavaria, and for its close connection to Boniface's sphere of influence.With Hubert Mordek and Klaus Zechiel-Eckes he is the editor of the Admonitio generalis, an important Carolingian document.


Mizizios (Greek: Μιζίζιος; Armenian: Մժէժ, Mžēž or Mzhezh) was an Armenian noble who served as a general of Byzantium, later usurping the Byzantine throne in Sicily from 668 to 669.

Petronax of Monte Cassino

Saint Petronax of Monte Cassino (Italian: Petronace di Monte Cassino) (May 1, 670 – May 6, 747), called "The Second Founder of Monte Cassino", was an Italian monk and abbot who rebuilt and repopulated the monastery of Monte Cassino, which had been destroyed by the invading Lombards in the late sixth century.

A native of Brescia, Petronax had made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Benedict in 717 after being advised to do so by Pope Gregory II. Monte Cassino was a ruin, but there were a few hermits who had nevertheless remained there. Petronax was elected their superior and other recruits soon joined the monastery.

Funds to restore the monastery came from noblemen such as the duke of Beneventum. Petronax received the monastic rule written in Benedict's own hand from Pope Zachary.

Both Saint Willibald and Saint Sturmius of Fulda were monks under Petronax.

Pope Constantine

Pope Constantine (Latin: Constantinus; 664 – 9 April 715) was Pope from 25 March 708 to his death in 715. With the exception of Antipope Constantine, he was the only pope to take such a "quintessentially" Eastern name of an emperor. During this period, the regnal name was also used by emperors and patriarchs.

Selected as one of the last popes of the Byzantine Papacy, the defining moment of Constantine's pontificate was his 710/711 visit to Constantinople where he compromised with Justinian II on the Trullan canons of the Quinisext Council. Constantine was the last pope to visit Constantinople until Pope Paul VI did in 1967.

Pope Gregory

Gregory has been the name of sixteen Roman Catholic Popes and two Antipopes. The Latin name is Gregorius.

Pope Gregory I "the Great" (590–604), after whom the Gregorian chant is named

Pope Gregory II (715–731)

Pope Gregory III (731–741)

Pope Gregory IV (827–844)

Pope Gregory V (996–999)

Pope Gregory VI (1045–1046)

Antipope Gregory VI

Pope Gregory VII (1073–1085), after whom the Gregorian Reform is named

Pope Gregory VIII (1187)

Antipope Gregory VIII

Pope Gregory IX (1227–1241)

Pope Gregory X (1271–1276)

Pope Gregory XI (1370–1378)

Pope Gregory XII (1406–1415)

Pope Gregory XIII (1572–1585), after whom the Gregorian calendar is named

Pope Gregory XIV (1590–1591)

Pope Gregory XV (1621–1623)

Pope Gregory XVI (1831–1846)

Pope Sisinnius

Pope Sisinnius (c. 650 – 4 February 708) was Pope from 15 January to his death in 708.A Syrian by birth, Sisinnius' father's name was John. The paucity of donations to the papacy during his reign (42 pounds of gold and 310 pounds of silver, a fraction of the personal donations of other contemporary pontiffs) indicate that he was probably not from the aristocracy.Sisinnius was selected as pope during the Byzantine Papacy. He succeeded Pope John VII after a sede vacante of three months. He was consecrated around 15 January 708.Sisinnius remained pope for just twenty days. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "although he was so afflicted with gout that he was unable even to feed himself, he is nevertheless said to have been a man of strong character, and to have been able to take thought for the good of the city". Among his few acts as pope was the consecration of a bishop for Corsica. He also ordered "that lime be burned in order to restore portions" of the walls of Rome. The restoration of the walls planned by Sisinnius was carried out by Pope Gregory II.Sisinnius was buried in Old St. Peter's Basilica. He was succeeded less than two months later by Pope Constantine. Constantine, also Syrian by birth, was probably the brother of Sisinnius.

Saint Gregory (disambiguation)

Saint Gregory, also Pope Gregory I or Gregory the Dialogist (c. 540 – 604), was Pope from 590 until his death.

Saint Gregory may also refer to:

Gregory Thaumaturgus, (Gregory the Wonderworker), or Gregory of Neocaesarea (died 270)

Gregory of Spoleto (died 304)

Gregory the Illuminator, or Gregory the Enlightener (died 331), Armenian saint, founder of the Armenian Apostolic Church

Gregory of Nazianzus the Elder (died 373), bishop of Nazianzus, father of Gregory the Theologian and Caesarius of Nazianzus

Gregory of Nazianzus, or Gregory the Theologian (died 390), one of the Three Holy Hierarchs

Gregory of Nyssa (died after 394), Bishop of Nyssa

Gregory of Tours (died 594), Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours

Pope Gregory II (died 731), Pope from 715 to his death

Pope Gregory III (died 741), Pope from 731 to his death

Gregory of Utrecht, (died c. 770), German bishop

Gregory of Dekapolis (died 816), Byzantine monk

Gregory of Crete (Gregory of Akrita, died 820), Cretan saint venerated January 5

Gregory of Narek (died c. 1003): Armenian monk and mystic

Gregory of Moesia, (died 1012), Bulgarian bishop venerated January 8

Pope Gregory VII (died 1085), Pope from 1073 to his death

Gregory the Wonderworker of the Kiev Near Caves (died 1093), Kievan saint venerated January 8

Gregory the Iconographer (12th century), Kievan iconographer and saint venerated August 8

Gregory of Assos (died 1150), Bishop of Assos, venerated March 4

Gregory of Novgorod (died 1193), Archbishop of Novgorod, venerated May 24

Gregory of Nicomedia (died 1240), Byzantine ascetic and saint venerated April 2

Gregory the Byzantine (died 1310), Byzantine monk and saint venerated April 6

Gregory of Sinai (died 1347), Byzantine monk

Gregory the Singer (died 1355), Byzantine monk and saint venerated October 1

Gregory Palamas (died 1359), Archbishop of Thessalonica

Gregory the Hermit (14th century), Kievan saint venerated January 8

Gregory (14th century), founder of Osiou Gregoriou monastery

Gregory of Rostov (died 1416), Abbott of Kamenny Monastery and Archbishop of Rostov, Yiaroslavl and White Lake, venerated May 3

Gregory of Pelsheme (died 1442), Abbot of Pelsheme and Wonderworker of Vologda, venerated September 30

Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople (1746–1821), Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

Gregory (Orologas) of Kydonies (1864–1922), Metropolitan of Cydoniae

Grigol Peradze (1899–1942), Georgian Archimandrite

Synod of Rome

The Synod of Rome may refer to a number of synods or councils of the Roman Catholic Church, held in Rome.

Some of these synods include:

Synod of Rome (313), attended by the bishop of Beneventum, and Reticius, bishop of Autun

Council of Rome (382), a meeting of Christian Church officials and theologians under the authority of Pope Damasus I

Synod of Rome (465), attended by Concordius, bishop of Bari

Synod of Rome (499), attended by Saint Justus, bishop of Acerenza and Menecrates, bishop of Cariati

Synod of Rome (721), a synod held in St. Peter's Basilica under the authority of Pope Gregory II

Synods of Rome (727), held under the authority of Pope Gregory II

Synods of Rome (731), two synods held in St. Peter's Basilica under the authority of Pope Gregory III

Synod of Rome (732), a synod held in Rome under the authority of Pope Gregory III

Synod of Rome (745) held under the authority of Pope Zachary

Synod of Rome (898) Multiple councils held by John the XI to rectify the wrongs of the Cadaver Synod

Synod of Rome (963), a possibly uncanonical synod held in St. Peter's Basilica under the authority of the Holy Roman Emperor to depose Pope John XII

Synod of Rome (964), a synod held in St. Peter's Basilica, for the purpose of condemning the Synod of Rome (963) and to depose Pope Leo VIII

Synod of Rome (721)

The Synod of Rome (721) (also known as the Council of Rome of 721) was a synod held in St. Peter’s Basilica under the authority of Pope Gregory II to establish canons to improve church discipline.

Tiberius Petasius

Tiberius Petasius was a Byzantine usurper in Italy around 729 and 730.

Nothing is known of his early life, but judging from his Latin name "Petasius" (little felt sun-hat) he was a native of Italy. He claimed imperial power around 729 when large parts of Italy and rest of the empire rebelled against the Iconoclastic policies of Emperor Leo III, who had been excommunicated by Pope Gregory II. He may have been chosen by local Italian assemblies with the intention eventually taking power in Constantinople, but failed uprisings in Greece seem to have disheartened the courage of the Italians with the issue. His power seems to have been centered on the area of Rome, but nothing else is known of his short stay in power. Tiberius Petasius' power came to an end sometime in 730 when he was defeated by Exarch of Ravenna Eutychius with support of Pope Gregory II and killed in Monterano, with his head sent to Leo III as a gift.

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
Virgin Mary
See also

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