Pope John II

Pope John II (Latin: Ioannes II; died 8 May 535) was pope of the Catholic Church from 2 January 533 to his death in 535.


John II
Johannes II
Papacy began2 January 533
Papacy ended8 May 535
PredecessorBoniface II
SuccessorAgapetus I
Personal details
Birth nameMercurius
Died8 May 535
BuriedSt. Peter's Basilica
Other popes named John


Roma San Clemente Chorschranken
Monogram of John II on a marble slab in St. Clement's Basilica

He was born in Rome as Mercurius, son of Praeiectus. He became a priest at St. Clement's Basilica on the Caelian Hill. The basilica still retains memorials of "Johannes surnamed Mercurius". A reference to "Presbyter Mercurius" is found on a fragment of an ancient ciborium. Several marble slabs that enclose the schola cantorum bear upon them, in the style of the sixth century, his monogram.[1]


Mercurius was elected pope on 2 January 533, becoming the first to adopt a new name upon elevation to the papacy.[1] Considering his birth name—after the pagan god Mercury—to be inappropriate, he took John as his papal name after Pope John I, who was venerated as a martyr.


At this period, simony (the purchase or sale of church offices or preferment) in the election of popes and bishops was rife among clergy and laity. During the sede vacante of over two months, "shameless trafficking in sacred things was indulged in. Even sacred vessels were exposed for sale". The matter was brought before the Senate, and laid before the Arian Ostrogothic Court at Ravenna. The last decree (Senatus Consultum) that the Roman Senate is known to have issued, passed under Boniface II, was directed against simony in papal elections. The decree was confirmed by Athalaric, king of the Ostrogoths. He ordered it to be engraved on marble and to be placed in the atrium of St. Peter's Basilica in 533.[1]

By one of Athalaric's additions to the decree, it was decided that if a disputed election was carried before the Gothic officials of Ravenna by the Roman clergy and people, three thousand solidi would have to be paid into court. This sum was to be given to the poor. John remained on good terms with Athalaric, who, being an Arian Christian, was content to refer to John's tribunal all actions brought against the Roman clergy. Cassiodorus, as praefectus praetorio under the Ostrogothic supremacy, entrusted the care of temporal affairs to Pope John II.[1]

The Liber Pontificalis records that the following year John obtained valuable gifts as well as a profession of orthodox faith from the Byzantine emperor Justinian I,[1] a significant accomplishment in light of the strength of Monophysitism in the Byzantine Empire at that time.

The notoriously adulterous behavior of Bishop Contumeliosus of Riez caused John to order the bishops of Gaul to confine him in a monastery.[2][3] Until a new bishop could be appointed, he bade the clergy of Riez to obey the Bishop of Arles.[1]


In 535, two hundred and seventeen bishops assembled in a council at Carthage submitted to John II a decision about whether bishops who had lapsed into Arianism should, on repentance, keep their rank or be admitted only to lay communion. The question of re-admittance to the lapsed troubled north Africa for centuries (see Novatianism and Donatism). The answer to their question was given by Agapetus, as John II died on 8 May 535. He was buried in St Peter's Basilica.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainMann, Horace K. (1910). "Pope John II" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 8. New York: Robert Appleton.
  2. ^ De Jong, Mayke. "Transformations of Penance", Rituals of Power, (Frans Theuws and Janet Laughland Nelson, eds.) BRILL, 2000, p. 202 ISBN 9789004109025
  3. ^  Wace, Henry; Piercy, William C., eds. (1911). "Joannes II. Mercurius, bishop of Rome" . Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century (3rd ed.). London: John Murray.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Boniface II
Succeeded by
Agapetus I

The 530s decade ran from January 1, 530, to December 31, 539.

== Events ==

=== 530 ===

==== By place ====

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

December 15 – Emperor Justinian I selects a second commission to excerpt and codify the writings of the jurists on Roman law. This becomes the Digest (Pandects).

Tribonian becomes quaestor sacri palatii and chief editor of the compilation of the old Roman lawyers' writings.

====== Persia ======

Spring – Battle of Dara: Belisarius and Hermogenes (magister officiorum) defeat a combined Persian-Arab army of 50,000 men at Dara (modern Turkey), by entrenching his infantry in a refused position in the centre line, then carrying out a cavalry envelopment to culminate a classic defensive-offensive battleplan.

Summer – Battle of Satala: A Byzantine cavalry force (30,000 men) under command of Sittas defeats a major Persian invasion into Roman Armenia.

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

King Hilderic is deposed by his cousin Gelimer after a 7-year reign. He restores Arianism as the official religion of the Vandal Kingdom, and puts his uncle along with supporters in prison.

Justinian I sends an embassy to Carthage to negotiate with Hilderic. He replies: “Nothing is more desirable than that a monarch should mind his own business.”

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

Emperor Xiao Zhuang Di is arrested and imprisoned in a Buddhist temple at Jinyang (Shanxi). He is succeeded by Chang Guang Wang, who becomes the new ruler of Northern Wei.

Xiao Tong, eldest son of emperor Wu Di, compiles the Wen Xuan (Literary Selections), a famous anthology of works dating from the Han to the Liang Dynasty (approximate date).

==== By topic ====

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

The Mosaic synagogue floor from Maon (Judea) is made. It is now kept at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (approximate date).

The Vishnu Temple at Deogarh, Uttar Pradesh (India) is built. Post-Gupta period (approximate date).

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

September 22 – Pope Felix IV dies at Rome after a 4-year reign, in which he has condemned semi-pelagianism. He is succeeded by Boniface II, an archdeacon of German descent, who becomes the 55th pope.

October 14 – Dioscorus is elected as antipope in the Lateran Palace, but he dies within a month, thus ending the schism.

Brendan, Irish abbot, allegedly climbs to the top of Mount Brandon, to look for the Americas (approximate date).

=== 531 ===

==== By place ====

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

April 19 – Battle of Callinicum: A Byzantine army (20,000 men) under command of Belisarius is defeated by the Persians at Raqqa (northern Syria). Emperor Justinian I negotiates an end to the hostilities and Belisarius is hailed as a hero.

Some members of the Blue and Green chariot racing factions in Constantinople are imprisoned for murder, precipitating the Nika riots the next year.

The building of the Hagia Sophia (Constantinople) is begun, and is completed in 537.

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

The Franks under King Chlothar I march against the Thuringii with his nephew Theudebert I. The Kingdom of Thuringia comes under Frankish domination.

Hermanafrid, last king of the Thuringii, is defeated by the Franks near the Unstrut River. During negotiations he is pushed from the town walls of Zülpich.

King Childebert I receives pleas from his sister Clotilde, wife of King Amalaric, claiming that she is abused by her husband. Childebert invades Septimania (Gaul).

Childebert I defeats the Visigoths and conquers the capital Narbonne. Amalaric flees south to Barcelona, where he is assassinated by his own men.

Clotilde returns with the Frankish army and dies on the journey home. She is buried in Paris alongside her father Clovis I.

Theudis, sword-bearer of former king Theodoric the Great, succeeds Amalaric as new ruler of the Visigoths.

====== Persia ======

King Kavadh I, age 82, dies after a 43-year reign. Khosrau I, his favourite son, is proclaimed successor over his elder brothers.

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

The reign of Chang Guang Wang, ruler of Northern Wei, ends. Gao Huan, Chinese general, begins a rebellion and declares another member of the imperial clan, An Ding Wang, emperor.

Ankan, age 66, succeeds his father Keitai as the 27th emperor of Japan.

Anwon becomes ruler of the Korean kingdom of Goguryeo.

====== Unidentified ======

Major volcanic eruption.

=== 532 ===

==== By place ====

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

January 11 – Nika riots in Constantinople: A quarrel between supporters of different chariot teams—the Blues and the Greens—in the Hippodrome escalates into violence. For the next five days the capital is under siege. The fires that start during the tumult result in the destruction of much of the city, including the basilica. The insurrection is put down a week later by Belisarius and Mundus; up to 30,000 people are killed in the Hippodrome.

February 23 – Emperor Justinian I orders the building of a new Orthodox Christian basilica in Constantinople – the Hagia Sophia. He chooses Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles as architects. The material for the construction is brought from all over the empire – such as Hellenistic columns from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, and large stones from quarries in Porphyry, Egypt. More than 10,000 people are employed.

September – Justinian I signs a peace treaty, the "Eternal Peace", with the Persian king Khosrau I, ending the Iberian War. Both sides agree to return all occupied territories, and Justinian makes a one-off payment of 110 centenaria (11,000 pounds of gold), as a contribution to the defense of the Caucasus passes.

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

The Franks, under command of King Childebert I and his brother Chlothar I, invade the Kingdom of Burgundy. They defeat the Burgundians under King Godomar near Autun (modern France).

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

An Ding Wang commits suicide, and is succeeded by Xiao Wu Di as Chinese emperor of Northern Wei.

Silla conquers the city-state of Geumgwan Gaya (Korea) during the Three Kingdoms Period.

==== By topic ====

====== Arts and sciences ======

First year in which the Anno Domini calendar is used for numbering the years.

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

October 17 – Pope Boniface II dies in Rome after a 2-year reign.

=== 533 ===

==== By place ====

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

Spring – Vandalic War: Anti-Vandal revolt in Tripolitania and Sardinia; Gelimer, king of the Vandals, dispatches the bulk of the Vandal fleet (120 ships and 5,000 men) under his brother Tzazo to Sardinia. Byzantine forces from Cyrenaica occupy Leptis Magna and Tripolis.

Summer – Emperor Justinian I holds a war council in Constantinople. His advisers warn him against launching an expedition to North Africa, because of the supply-lines (1,000 miles into Vandal waters) and the huge drain on the imperial treasury. Justinian appoints Belisarius to command the Byzantine army.

June 21 – A Byzantine expeditionary fleet under Belisarius sails in 500 transports, escorted by 92 war vessels (dromons), manned by 20,000 seamen from Constantinople, to attack the Vandals in Africa, via Greece and Sicily. The fleet carries 10,000 infantry, about half Byzantine and half foederati, and 5,000 cavalry, consisting of 3,000 Byzantine horsemen, 1,000 foreign allies (Huns and Heruli) and 1,500 of Belisarius' retainers (bucellarii). On the flagship Belisarius is accompanied by his military secretary Procopius and his wife Antonina.

September – Belisarius arrives at Sicily, which he uses as a staging area, with the permission of the Ostrogoth queen Amalasuntha, daughter of Theodoric the Great and regent of Italy. The Ostrogoths help him with supplies and the fleet is prepared for the final attack.

September 9 – The Byzantine army lands at Caput Vada (modern Tunisia). Belisarius marches his army northwards, towards Carthage (over 140 miles), following the coast, accompanied by the fleet and shadowed by Gelimer. During the march, the Vandal towns fall without a fight.

September 13 – Battle of Ad Decimum: Gelimer attempts to ambush the Byzantines in a defile at the "10th milestone" from Carthage; due to inadequate coordination and the alertness of Belisarius, the attack is repulsed and the Vandals are scattered into the desert. Belisarius enters the capital and orders his soldiers not to kill or enslave the population. The fleet is stationed in the Lake of Tunis.

December 15 – Battle of Tricamarum: Gelimer assembles an army of about 50,000 men at Bulla Regia (Numidia), and advances towards Carthage. Belisarius moves out to meet the Vandals; he leads the Byzantine cavalry (5,000 men) into battle. Without waiting for his infantry to come up, he charges, despite odds of almost 10-to-1, and throws Gelimer in confusion. Belisarius captures the Vandal camp by storm. Tzazo is killed in an all-cavalry fight, and Gelimer is forced to seek refuge in the mountains of Tunis with the Berbers.

December 16 – The Digesta or Pandectae, a collection of jurist writings and other sources, is completed (see Corpus Juris Civilis).

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

Theudebert I succeeds his father Theuderic I and becomes king of Austrasia.

==== By topic ====

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

January 2 – Pope John II becomes the 56th pope of Rome, and the first to adopt a regnal name upon elevation to the papacy (his birth name, Mercurius, being of pagan origin).

=== 534 ===

==== By place ====

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

January 1 – Decimus Theodorius Paulinus is appointed consul (the last to hold this office in the West).

March – King Gelimer surrenders to Belisarius, after spending a winter in the mountains of Numidia. He and large numbers of captured Vandals are transported to Constantinople. The Vandal Kingdom ends, and the African provinces return to the Byzantine Empire.

April – Belisarius leaves a small force in Africa under the Byzantine general Solomon, to continue the subjugation of the province. He is appointed governor (Exarch) and pacifies with success the Moorish tribes. Malta becomes a Byzantine province (until 870).

Summer – Belisarius arrives in Constantinople and is permitted by Emperor Justinian I to celebrate a triumph, the first non-imperial triumph for over 500 years. In the procession are paraded the spoils of the Temple of Jerusalem and the Vandal treasure.

Justinian I commemorates the victory against the Vandals by stamping medals in his honor with the inscription "Gloria Romanorum" (approximate date).

November 16 – A second and final revision of the Codex Justinianus is published.

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

Toledo becomes the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom that controls the Iberian Peninsula. King Theudis expands Visigoth rule in the southern regions (Hispania Baetica).

The Frankish kings Childebert I and Chlothar I overthrow Godomar, king of the Burgundians, and end the Kingdom of Burgundy.

Cynric becomes king of Wessex (according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle).

October 2 – King Athalaric dies of tuberculosis, age 18, having dissipated his youth in drink and debauchery. His mother, Amalasuntha, proposes to her cousin Theodahad, the kingdom's largest landowner and her father's last male heir, that he share the throne with her but that he will be king of the Ostrogoths in name only. Theodahad has secret conversations with the Byzantine ambassador, and promises to turn over Tuscany in exchange for a large sum of money, the rank of senator, and permission to live at Constantinople.

=== 535 ===

==== By place ====

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

Gothic War: Emperor Justinian I appoints Belisarius commander-in-chief (stratēgos autokratōr), and sends a Byzantine expeditionary force of only 8,000 soldiers (half are heavy East Roman cavalry) to begin the reconquest of Italy.

Summer – Belisarius lands in Sicily and meets little opposition, save for the Gothic garrison of Palermo. Laying siege to the citadel, he blockades the harbour with his ships. Mundus invades Dalmatia and captures its capital, Salona.

Justinian I issues the Lex Julia and declares that a wife has no right to bring criminal charges of adultery against a husband. This makes divorce almost impossible in the Byzantine Empire.

December 31 – Belisarius completes the conquest of Sicily, defeating the Gothic garrison of Palermo (Panormos), and ending his consulship for the year.

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

April 30 – King Theodahad revenges himself upon Queen Amalasuntha. He has her taken from the capital of Ravenna to a small island on Lake Bolsena, where she is strangled in her bath.

The Byzantine city of Justiniana Prima is founded, and later becomes a bishop's seat of the Central Balkans.

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

Spring – Solomon defeats the Moorish rebels at Mount Mammes and Mount Bourgaon. He secures Byzacena (modern Tunisia) and establishes fortifications along the Numidian border.

April – Justinian I reorganises the province as an African prefecture, centered in Carthage. He restores frontier defences, and returns property to the Catholic Church.

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

The Northern Wei Dynasty ends: The northern region of China is split into the Eastern Wei and the Western Wei during a civil war. The first ruler is Wen Di; he makes his son Fei Di crown prince.

Significant to the history of agriculture, Chinese author Jia Sixia writes the treatise "Chimin Yaoshu" in this year, and although it quotes 160 previous Chinese agronomy books, it is the oldest existent Chinese agriculture treatise. In over 100,000 written Chinese characters, the book covers land preparation, seeding, cultivation, orchard management, forestry, animal husbandry, trade, and culinary uses for crops.

Reports of the eruption of Krakatoa (Java), which possibly lead to several years of climate change (see Climate changes of 535–536), are recorded in the Javanese Book of Kings.

==== By topic ====

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

May 8 – Pope John II dies in Rome after a two-year reign, and is succeeded by Agapetus I as the 57th pope. He is sent on an embassy to Constantinople.

Byzantine troops drive the extremist Monophysite party out of Alexandria, and establish Theodosius I as patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Anthimus I becomes patriarch of Constantinople (535–536).

A Christian basilica is completed at Leptis Magna in North Africa.

====== Meteorology ======

The weather is reported to be unusually cold and dark in multiple parts of the world; see Extreme weather events of 535–536.

=== 536 ===

==== By place ====

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

Spring – Emperor Justinian I appoints his cousin Germanus as magister militum to deal with the crisis in Africa. He sends a mobile force of comitatenses (mostly cavalry) and an elite guard. Solomon returns to Constantinople.

Summer – Gothic War: Belisarius crosses the Strait of Messina and invades Italy. He conquers the city of Rhegium and advances to Naples.

October – Siege of Naples: Belisarius captures Naples after a month's siege, by sending troops into the city through an abandoned Roman aqueduct.

December 9 – Belisarius enters Rome through the Asinarian Gate; the Gothic garrison (4,000 men) flee the capital. He sends an urgent request for reinforcements to Justinian I, meanwhile preparing Rome for a siege by bringing in great quantities of food and other supplies.

Winter – Belisarius sets up his headquarters on the Pincian Hill and repairs the neglected city walls of Rome. He stations a 5,000-man garrison, of whom half are his personal bodyguard (bucellarii). To hold parts of the city, he recruits 20,000 young Romans to man the walls.

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

Early in 536 – A volcanic eruption in Iceland blankets much of the Northern Hemisphere in clouds and ash, and dims the sun for 18 months.

March – King Theodahad cedes Provence and upper Alamannia to the Franks gaining their support in the war. He sends a large Gothic army into Dalmatia. They defeat the Byzantines, Mundus is killed during the fightings at Salona, and the Byzantine army withdraws.

Summer – Constantinianus, magister militum per Illyricum, retakes Dalmatia. The Goths abandon Salona and withdraw to the north. The Byzantines rebuild its walls and reclaim the province.

Vitiges deposes his rival Theodahad at Ravenna and marries Matasuntha (daughter of queen Amalasuntha). He becomes king of the Ostrogoths and assembles an army to fight against Belisarius.

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

March – Belisarius sails to Carthage with 1,000 men, to suppress a mutiny against Solomon. Meanwhile the capital is besieged by 9,000 rebels, including many Vandals, under Stotzas. Belisarius defeats the mutineers and hurries back to Sicily.

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

Senka succeeds his brother Ankan as the 28th emperor of Japan.

==== By topic ====

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

April 22 – Pope Agapetus I dies in Constantinople after a reign of just ten months. He is succeeded by Silverius as the 58th pope.

Anthimus I is deposed as patriarch of Constantinople, in favour of Menas.

The Little Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (begun in 527) is completed.

====== Meteorology ======

Extreme weather events of 535–536, thought to have been caused by an extensive veil of dust in the atmosphere, begin in the Northern Hemisphere. They continue until the following year, causing unseasonal weather and crop failure worldwide. It is possible this was caused by the eruption of Ilopango or a volcano in Iceland.

=== 537 ===

==== By place ====

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

March 2 – Siege of Rome: The Ostrogoth army (45,000 men) under King Vitiges begins the siege of the capital. Belisarius conducts a delaying action outside the Flaminian Gate; he and a detachment of his bucellarii are almost cut off.

Vitiges sets up seven camps, overlooking the main gates and access routes to the city, in order to starve it out. He blocks the Roman aqueducts that are supplying Rome with water, necessary both for drinking and for operating the corn mills.

March 21 – Vitiges attempts to assault the northern and eastern city walls with four siege towers, but is repulsed at the Praenestine Gate, known as the Vivarium, by the defenders under the Byzantine generals Bessas and Peranius.

April – The Goths capture the Portus Claudii at Ostia; the harbor is left unguarded by the Romans. Belisarius is forced to unload his supplies at Antium (modern Anzio); he sends urgent messages for reinforcements to Constantinople.

April 9 – Belisarius receives his promised reinforcements: 1,600 cavalry, mostly of Hunnic or Slavic origin and expert bowmen. He starts, despite shortages, raids against the Gothic camps and Vitiges is forced into a stalemate.

June – In Rome, famine brings the city to despair; Belisarius sends his secretary Procopius to Naples for more reinforcements and supplies. Vitiges arranges a three-month armistice for Gothic envoys to travel to Constantinople.

November – Belisarius brings his long-awaited reinforcements, namely 3,000 Isaurians and 1,800 cavalry embarked in Ostia, along with a supply convoy, safely to Rome. The Goths are forced to abandon the Portus Claudii.

December – Belisarius sends John "the Sanguinary" with a force of 2,000 men towards Picenum, to plunder the east coast of Italy. He arrives at Ariminum (Rimini), where he is welcomed by the local Roman population.

December 27 – The construction of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (begun in 532) is completed.

====== Britain ======

Battle of Camlann: King Arthur fights his last battle against the forces of his rebellious son (or nephew) Mordred, and is mortally wounded (according to the 10th-century Annales Cambriae).

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

Spring – At the Battle of Scalas Veteres, 6 km south of Carthage, in the Praetorian prefecture of Africa, Byzantine troops under Germanus crush a large-scale mutiny. Stotzas, leader of the rebellion, flees with a handful of followers to Mauretania.

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

Eastern Wei sends an advance guard of three army columns through the Tong Pass, to attack Western Wei. The Western army under Yu-Wen Tai defeats one of the columns while the others retreat. Yu-Wen follows up, but runs into the main Eastern army (200,000 men). The Westerners are pushed back through the pass, and the Eastern army emerges from the mountains. Unexpectedly they are charged in the flank by 10,000 Western cavalry, and 6,000 Easterners are killed and 70,000 captured.

John Cottistis starts a short-lived rebellion against Justinian I. He is declared emperor at Dara, but is killed four days later by conspiring soldiers.

====== America ======

Yaxchilan captures the ajaws of Bonampak, Lakamtuun, and Calakmul at the outset of the First Tikal-Calakmul War.

==== By topic ====

====== Construction ======

The Aqua Virgo aqueduct is destroyed by the Goths; they try to use the underground channel as a secret route to invade Rome.

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

March 29 – Pope Vigilius succeeds Silverius as the 59th pope, when the latter is deposed by Belisarius at the order of Justinian I.

====== Society ======

Second year of worldwide famine, a consequence of the extreme weather events of 535–536.

=== 538 ===

==== By place ====

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

March 12 – Siege of Rome: King Vitiges of the Ostrogoths ends his siege (after 374 days) and abandons Rome. He retreats with his Gothic army northeast along the Via Flaminia.

Belisarius attacks the Goths when they have crossed the Milvian Bridge. After fierce resistance, Vitiges routs in panic, and many are slain or drowned in the river.

Gothic War: Vitiges strengthens the garrisons of various towns and besieges Ariminum. Byzantine forces under the Armenian general Narses arrive at Picenum.

April – Belisarius secures Liguria, Mediolanum (modern Milan) and Ariminum, but disagreements, especially with Narses, leads to disunity in the Byzantine army.

Summer – King Theudebert I sends a small Frankish force across the Alps, and defeats the Goths and Byzantines at the River Po. Belisarius retreats to Tuscany.

Sittas, Byzantine general, suppresses a revolt in Armenia in protest against heavy taxation. During the campaign he is killed by Artabanes, leader of the revolt.

====== Britain ======

King Cuneglas of Rhos abandons his wife in favour of his sister-in-law, a nun who he drags from her convent (approximate date).

Gabrán mac Domangairt becomes king of Dál Riata (Scotland).

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

King Seong of Paekche (Korea) moves the capital from Ungjin (present-day Gongju) further south to Sabi (present-day Buyeo County), on the Geum River. He sends a diplomatic mission that formally introduces Buddhism to the Japanese imperial court (see also 552).

The Kofun period ends and the Asuka period, the second part of the Yamato period in Japan, begins.

==== By topic ====

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

As a result of persecutions by the Byzantine Empire, Monophysite Christians establish the Coptic Church in Alexandria (approximate date).

The Third Council of Orléans takes place and prohibits rural labor on Sunday.

The first time since Emperor Justinian's decree of 533 that John became the Bishop of Rome, Chief Bishop of all the churches. The supremacy of the Bishop of Rome over the Church could actually be implemented by Vigilius.

====== Society ======

Third year of worldwide famine, a consequence of the Extreme weather events of 535–536.

=== 539 ===

==== By place ====

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

March – Gothic War: The Goths and the Burgundians recapture Mediolanum (modern Milan), after many months of siege, the city reaching the point of starvation. The Byzantine garrison (1,000 men) surrenders and is spared, but the inhabitants are massacred (according to Procopius 300,000 people are murdered), and the city itself is destroyed.

Belisarius, still besieging Ravenna, negotiates a treaty with Theodebert I (whose forces are suffering from dysentery), and the Franks retreat to Gaul. The Byzantine fleet controls the Adriatic Sea and blockades the port of the capital from supplies.

Emperor Justinian I becomes alarmed by renewed barbarian incursions across the Danube frontier from the Slavs, the Bulgars, the Gepids, and the Avars.

November 29 – Antioch is struck by an earthquake.

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

Walthari murders his uncle Wacho and becomes king of the Lombards.

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

Kinmei succeeds his brother Senka, and ascends as 29th emperor to the throne of Japan.

==== By topic ====

====== Society ======

Fourth year of worldwide famine, a consequence of the Extreme weather events of 535–536.


Year 533 (DXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Iustinianus without colleague (or, less frequently, year 1286 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 533 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


Year 535 (DXXXV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Belisarius without colleague (or, less frequently, year 1288 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 535 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Contumeliosus of Riez

In 534 Pope John II deposed the adulterous Bishop Contumeliosus of Riez (in Gaul), and authorized Caesarius of Arles to appoint a temporary bishop to the diocese. This is notable for being the first act of jurisdiction of this kind recorded of a bishop of Rome.

Contumeliosus was the bishop of Riez in Gaul, and a sufficiently learned man that Bishop Avitus of Vienne forwarded to him some of his works for editing. Contumeliosus was subsequently accused of adultery and alienation of church property. At a Council of Marseilles, convened in 533 by Caesarius, Metropolitan Archbishop of Arles, Contumeliosus admitted to the charges, and was subsequently deposed. Archbishop Caesarius then wrote Pope John II regarding the disposition of the case.In 534 Pope John, wrote to Caesarius, to the bishops of Gaul, and to the clergy of Riez, directing the guilty bishop be confined to a monastery where he might perform an appropriate penance. No time period was apparently specified. John's successor Pope Agapetus I accepted an appeal from Contumeliosus, and he ordered Caesarius of Arles to grant the accused a new trial before papal delegates. Agapetus charged Caesarius with cruelty and injustice in his proceedings against Contumeliosus, although he had acted in accord with Gallican usage and had defended the discipline of the Church. Of two surviving letters of John to Caesarius, both dated 18 July 535, one is about the dispute over Contumeliosus (Mansi, viii. p. 856).


Cusae (Greek: Kusai; Coptic: ⲕⲱⲥⲉⲓ or ⲕⲟⲥⲉⲓ) was a city in Upper Egypt, known to the Ancient Egyptians as Qis or Kis. Today, the town is known as El Quseyya, and is located on the west bank of the Nile in the Asyut Governorate.

At the beginning of the reign of the Theban pharaoh Kamose, Cusae marked the boundary between the northern Hyksos realm (the 15th Dynasty) and the southern Theban kingdom (the 17th Dynasty). It was a cult centre for Hathor, and also contained a necropolis, Meir, which was used during the Middle Kingdom to hold the tombs of local aristocrats.

During the 5th century, the city was the settlement of Legio II Flavia Constantia.

Francis M. Drexel School

The Francis M. Drexel School was a historic school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Located along Sixteenth Street, the school was designed by Joseph Anschutz and built under the direction of Charles O'Neill, Jr. The three-story brick building was built in a regular rectangular plan in the Victorian style of architecture, with three chimneys dominating its facade.The school was named for Francis Martin Drexel, whose son, banker and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel, founded Drexel University two years after the construction of the school.

January 2

January 2 is the second day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 363 days remain until the end of the year (364 in leap years).

John II of Alexandria

John II of Alexandria may refer to:

Pope John I (II) of Alexandria (Patriarch John II of Alexandria), ruled in 496–505

Pope John II (III) of Alexandria (Patriarch John III of Alexandria), ruled in 505–516

List of Booknotes interviews first aired in 1998

Booknotes is an American television series on the C-SPAN network hosted by Brian Lamb, which originally aired from 1989 to 2004. The format of the show is a one-hour, one-on-one interview with a non-fiction author. The series was broadcast at 8 p.m. Eastern Time each Sunday night, and was the longest-running author interview program in U.S. broadcast history.


Mercurius is Latin for Mercury and may refer to:

Mercury (mythology) or Mercurius

Mercurius (crater), a crater on the Moon

Saint Mercurius

The name of the demon from the German fairy tale "The Spirit in the Bottle"

Pope John II, whose given name was Mercurius

Mercurius Oxoniensis, pen-name of Hugh Trevor-Roper

Mercurius of Transylvania, voivode of Transylvania

Mercurius (Sweden) A Swedish Investment company

The OZ-13MSX2 Mercurius, a mobile suit appearing in the anime, "Mobile Suit Gundam Wing"

Ostrogothic Papacy

The Ostrogothic Papacy was a period from 493 to 537 where the papacy was strongly influenced by the Ostrogothic Kingdom, if the pope was not outright appointed by the Ostrogothic King. The selection and administration of popes during this period was strongly influenced by Theodoric the Great and his successors Athalaric and Theodahad. This period terminated with Justinian I's (re)conquest of Rome during the Gothic War (535–554), inaugurating the Byzantine Papacy (537-752).

According to Howorth, "while they were not much interfered with in their administrative work, so long as they did not themselves interfere with politics, the Gothic kings meddled considerably in the selection of the new popes and largely dominated their election. Simony prevailed to a scandalous extent, as did intrigues of a discreditable kind, and the quality and endowments of the candidates became of secondary importance in their chances of being elected, compared with their skill in corrupting the officials of the foreign kings and in their powers of chicane." According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "[Theodoric] was tolerant towards the Catholic Church and did not interfere in dogmatic matters. He remained as neutral as possible towards the pope, though he exercised a preponderant influence in the affairs of the papacy."

Pashons 27 (Coptic Orthodox liturgics)

26 Pashons - Coptic calendar - 28 Pashons

Patrologia Latina

The Patrologia Latina (Latin for The Latin Patrology) is an enormous collection of the writings of the Church Fathers and other ecclesiastical writers published by Jacques-Paul Migne between 1841 and 1855, with indices published between 1862 and 1865. It is also known as the Latin series as it formed one half of Migne's Patrologiae Cursus Completus, the other part being the Patrologia Graeco-Latina of patristic and medieval Greek works with their (sometimes non-matching) medieval Latin translations.

Although consisting of reprints of old editions, which often contain mistakes and do not comply with modern standards of scholarship, the series, due to its availability (it is present in many academic libraries) and the fact that it incorporates many texts of which no modern critical edition is available, is still widely used by scholars of the Middle Ages and is in this respect comparable to the Monumenta Germaniae Historica.

The Patrologia Latina includes Latin works spanning a millennium, from Tertullian (d. 230) to Pope Innocent III (d. 1216), edited in roughly chronological order in 217 volumes;

volumes 1 to 73, from Tertullian to Gregory of Tours, were published from 1841 to 1849, and volumes 74 to 217, from Pope Gregory I to Innocent III, from 1849 to 1855.

Although the collection ends with Innocent III,

Migne originally wanted to include documents all the way up to the Reformation; this task proved too great, but some later commentaries or documents associated with earlier works were included.

Most of the works are ecclesiastic in nature, but there are also documents of literary, historical or linguistic (such as the Gothic bible in vol. 18) interest.

The printing plates for the Patrologia were destroyed by fire in 1868, but with help from the Garnier printing house they were restored and new editions were printed, beginning in the 1880s. These reprints did not always correspond exactly with the original series either in quality or internal arrangement, and caution should be exercised when referencing to the PL in general.

Pope John

Pope John may refer to:

Pope John I (523–526)

Pope John II (533–535)

Pope John III (561–574)

Pope John IV (640–642)

Pope John V (685–686)

Pope John VI (701–705)

Pope John VII (705–707)

Antipope John VIII (844)

Pope John VIII (872–882)

Pope John IX (898–900)

Pope John X (914–928)

Pope John XI (931–935)

Pope John XII (955–964)

Pope John XIII (965–972)

Pope John XIV (983–984)

Pope John XV (985–996)

Antipope John XVI (997–998) (no longer recognized as a legitimate pope)

Pope John XVII (1003)

Pope John XVIII (1003–1009)

Pope John XIX (1024–1032)

Pope John XX (not an actual pope)

Pope John XXI (1276–1277)

Pope John XXII (1316–1334)

Antipope John XXIII (1410–1415)

Pope John XXIII (1958–1963)Another 19 Popes John in the List of Coptic Orthodox Popes of Alexandria

Pope John II (III) of Alexandria

Pope John II (III) of Alexandria, 30th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.

He is counted as John III by the Eastern Orthodox Church, which acknowledges John Talaia as John I, but as John II by the Copts who reject Talaia.

He was a monk who lived a solitary life in the desert until he was consecrated Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria on 29 May 505.

He was famous for authoring many hagiographical writings and sermons.

He was a contemporary of the Roman Emperor Anastasius I, who favoured the non-Chalcedonian churches, and of Severus of Antioch, the champion of Miaphysitism in Syria. The latter wrote a message to John regarding the nature of Christ, which reads:

John replied with a message that testified to the union of the essence of God, and the trinity of His characters. He also proclaimed that by the incarnation of the eternal Son of God, the Divine and the human nature have become one and no longer two natures, without separation, mingling, or confusion. He anathematized those who separate the two natures, those who confuse them and those who said that the suffering crucified Christ was only a man, and those who say that His Divine nature also suffered and died. He said that the Orthodox faith was to profess that God the word suffered by the flesh that united with.

Pope John I of Alexandria

Pope John I of Alexandria, 29th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.

He is counted as John II by the Eastern Orthodox Church, which acknowledges John Talaia as John I, but as John I by the Copts who reject Talaia.

John was born in Alexandria to Christian parents. He became a monk in the Nitrian Desert, at the Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great.

Against his will, he was consecrated Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria on 29 September 496, following the death of Athanasius II. He was the first Alexandrine bishop to be chosen from among the monks from the desert monasteries rather than from the learned clergy of Alexandria. He reigned for eight years and seven months.

During his time as Patriarch, he is recorded as having secured gifts of wheat, wine, and oil for his former monastery from the Emperor.

He was a firm opponent of the Council of Chalcedon and held communion with those who accepted the Henotikon of Emperor Zeno without imposing a formal anathema on Chalcedon. By doing so, he largely kept the church in peace, although also continuing the schism of the Acephaloi, who opposed both the Council of Chalcedon and the conciliatory approach of the Henotikon.

He is commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Coptic Church on the 4th day of Pashons, the day of his death.

Theophoric name

A theophoric name (from Greek: θεόφορος, theophoros, literally "bearing or carrying a god") embeds the name of a god, both invoking and displaying the protection of that deity. For example, names embedding Apollo, such as Apollonios or Apollodorus, existed in Greek antiquity.Theophoric personal names, containing the name of a god in whose care the individual is entrusted (or a generic word for god), were also exceedingly common in the ancient Near East and Mesopotamia. Some names of theophoric origin remain common today, such as Theodore (theo-, "god"; -dore, origin of word compound in Greek: doron, "gift"; hence "God's gift"; in Greek: Theodoros) or less recognisably as Jonathan (from Hebrew Yonatan, meaning "Yahweh has given").

Venantius Opilio

Venantius Opilio (floruit 500-534) was a Roman politician during the reign of Theodoric the Great. Although he was consul as the junior colleague of emperor Justin I in 524, Opilio is best known as one of the three men Boethius claimed in his De consolatione philosophiae provided evidence of his treason against king Theodoric, an act which led to Boethius' imprisonment and death.

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

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