Pope John XXI

Pope John XXI (Latin: Ioannes XXI; c. 1215 – 20 May 1277), born Peter Juliani (Latin: Petrus Iulianus; Portuguese: Pedro Julião), was Pope from 8 September 1276 to his death in 1277. Apart from Damasus I (from Roman Lusitania), he has been the only Portuguese pope.[1] He is sometimes identified with the logician and herbalist Peter of Spain (Latin: Petrus Hispanus; Portuguese: Pedro Hispano), which would make him the only pope to have been a physician.[1]

"Pope John XXI" was actually the 20th pope named John, but decided to skip the number XX.[a]


John XXI
Pope John XXI
Papacy began8 September 1276
Papacy ended20 May 1277
PredecessorAdrian V
SuccessorNicholas III
OrdinationMay 1275
Created cardinal3 June 1273
by Gregory X
Personal details
Birth namePedro Julião, Peter Juliani
Bornc. 1215
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Died20 May 1277
Viterbo, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
Previous post
Coat of armsJohn XXI's coat of arms
Other popes named John


Early life

Pedro Julião was born in Lisbon between 1210 and 1220. He started his studies at the episcopal school of Lisbon Cathedral and later joined the University of Paris, although some historians claim that he was educated at Montpellier. Wherever he studied, he concentrated on medicine, theology, logic, physics, metaphysics, and Aristotle's dialectic. He is traditionally and usually identified with the medical author Peter of Spain, an important figure in the development of logic and pharmacology. Peter of Spain taught at the University of Siena in the 1240s and his Summulae Logicales was used as a university textbook on Aristotelian logic for the next three centuries. At the court in Lisbon, he was the councilor and spokesman for King Afonso III in church matters. Later, he became prior of Guimarães.

He was Archdeacon of Vermoim (Vermuy) in the Archdiocese of Braga.[2] He tried to become bishop of Lisbon but was defeated. Instead, he became the Master of the school of Lisbon. Peter became the physician of Pope Gregory X (1271–76) early in his reign. In March 1273 he was elected Archbishop of Braga, but did not assume that post; instead, on 3 June 1273, Pope Gregory X created him Cardinal Bishop of Tusculum (Frascati).[3]


After the death of Pope Adrian V on 18 August 1276, Peter was elected Pope on 8 September.[1] He was crowned a week later on 20 September. One of John XXI's few acts during his brief reign was the reversal of a decree recently passed at the Second Council of Lyon (1274); the decree had not only confined cardinals in solitude until they elected a successor Pope, but also progressively restricted their supplies of food and wine if their deliberations took too long. Though much of John XXI's brief papacy was dominated by the powerful Cardinal Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, who succeeded him as Pope Nicholas III, John attempted to launch a crusade for the Holy Land, pushed for a union with the Eastern church, and did what he could to maintain peace between the Christian nations. He also launched a mission to convert the Tatars, but he died before it could start.[4] To secure the necessary quiet for his medical studies, he had an apartment added to the papal palace at Viterbo, to which he could retire when he wished to work undisturbed. On 14 May 1277, while the pope was alone in this apartment, it collapsed; John was buried under the ruins and died on 20 May in consequence of the serious injuries he had received. He was buried in the Duomo di Viterbo, where his tomb can still be seen.


After his death, it was rumored that John XXI had actually been a necromancer, a suspicion frequently directed towards the few scholars among medieval popes (see, e.g., Sylvester II). It was also said that his death had been an act of God, stopping him from completing a heretical treatise.[5] Since the works of "Peter of Spain" continued to be studied and appreciated, however, Dante Alighieri placed "Pietro Spano" in his Paradiso's Sphere of the Sun with the spirits of other great religious scholars.

See also


  1. ^ Also, Pope John XVI was an anti-pope who technically should not count in the numbering.


  1. ^ a b c Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, (HarperCollins, 1997), 222.
  2. ^ Conradus Eubel, Hierarchia catholica medii aevi Tomus I, editio altera (Monasterii 1913), p. 144.
  3. ^ Conradus Eubel, Hierarchia catholica medii aevi Tomus I, editio altera (Monasterii 1913), p. 9.
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope John XXI (XX)" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  5. ^ Odorico Raynaldi, sub anno 1227, no. 19.


  • Guiraud, J. and L. Cadier (editors), Les registres de Grégoire X et de Jean XXI (1271-1277) (Paris, 1892-1898) [Bibliothèque de l'Ecole française à Rome, 2 série, 12]. (in Latin)
  • Walter, Fritz, Die Politik der Kurie unter Gregor X (Berlin 1894). (in German)
  • Stapper, Richard, Papst Johannes XXI. Eine Monographie (Münster 1898) [Kirchengeschichtliche Studien, Volume 4, no. 4]. (in German)
  • Gregorovius, Ferdinand, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume V. part 2, second edition, revised (London: George Bell, 1906).
  • H. D. Sedgwick, Italy in the Thirteenth Century Volume II (Boston-New York 1912).
  • Mazzi-Belli, V., "Pietro Hispano papa Giovanni XXI," Rivista di storia della medicina 15 (1971), 39-87. (in Italian)
  • Morceau, Joseph, "Un pape portugais: Jean XXI, dénommé Pierre d'Espagne," Teoresi 24 (1979), 391-407. (in French)
  • Maxwell-Stuart, P. G. Chronicle of the Popes: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Papacy from St. Peter to the Present, Thames & Hudson, 2002, p. 119. ISBN 0-500-01798-0.
  • José Francisco Meirinhos: Giovanni XXI. In: Massimo Bray (ed.): Enciclopedia dei Papi, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Vol. 2  (Niccolò I, santo, Sisto IV), Rome, 2000, OCLC 313581688
  • Meirinho, José Francisco (2000). "Giovanni XXI, papa". Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Volume 55: Ginammi–Giovanni da Crema (in Italian). Rome: Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana.
  • Jean Claude Bologne: La Naissance Interdite; Stérilité, avortement, contraception au Moyen-Age. Orban, Paris, 1988, ISBN 2-85565-434-3.
  • Michael Hanst (1992). "Johannes XXI". In Bautz, Friedrich Wilhelm (ed.). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 3. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 224–228. ISBN 3-88309-035-2.
  • Joachim Telle: Petrus Hispanus in der altdeutschen Medizinliteratur und Texte unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des ‚Thesaurus pauperum‘. 2 vols., Heidelberg, 1972.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Adrian V
Succeeded by
Nicholas III

Year 1215 (MCCXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


Year 1277 (MCCLXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

1277 papal election

The papal election of 1277 (May 30 – November 25), convened in Viterbo after the death of Pope John XXI, was the smallest papal election since the expansion of suffrage to cardinal-priests and cardinal-deacons, with only seven cardinal electors (following the deaths of three popes who had not created cardinals). Because John XXI had revoked Ubi periculum, the papal bull of Pope Gregory X establishing the papal conclave, with his own bull Licet felicis recordationis, the cardinal electors were able to take their time. After six months of deliberation, the cardinals eventually elected their most senior member Giovanni Gaetano Orsini as Pope Nicholas III. From the end of the election until Nicholas III's first consistory on March 12, 1278, the number of living cardinals—seven—was the lowest in the history of the Roman Catholic Church.


3X3D is a 2014 anthology film comprising three short 3D films directed by French/Swiss filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, British filmmaker Peter Greenaway and Portuguese filmmaker Edgar Pêra. It was released in France April 30, 2014 after being presented at the closing night of International Critics' Week of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival in May. It also screened at the 2013 Vancouver International Film Festival.

The film was commissioned by the city of Guimarães in Portugal at the time of its designation as European Capital of Culture in 2012.

Balian of Arsuf

Balian of Ibelin (1239 – 29 September 1277) was the Lord of Arsuf from 1258 until the early 1260s (probably 1261), when he leased/rented it to the Knights Hospitaller. He was the son and successor of John of Arsuf, Constable of Jerusalem. At the time when he leased/rented it to the Hospital, his fief of Arsuf was worth six knights' fees and twenty sergeants'; the Hospital took up his obligations with the exception of the servise de cors.

He was married to Plaisance of Antioch from 1254 until their divorce in 1258, after which he moved from Antioch to Tripoli. He was created Constable of Jerusalem like his father had been in 1268 and held that post until his death. Hugh III of Cyprus and Jerusalem appointed Balian bailiff, effectively regent, of the kingdom upon returning to Cyprus in October 1276. Hugh's claim to the royal title, however, was disputed by Charles I of Naples, who sent Roger of Sanseverino to Acre as his bailiff in 1277.

Balian initially refused to admit Roger into the citadel until papers signed by Charles, Mary of Antioch, and Pope John XXI were produced and the Knights Hospitallers and John of Versailles, Patriarch of Jerusalem, had refused to intervene. To avoid war, he allowed Roger in and Charles was proclaimed king.

Cardinals created by Gregory X

Pope Gregory X (1271–1276) create five cardinals in one consistory.

Catholic Church in Portugal

The Catholic Church in Portugal is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. The Catholic Church is the world's largest Christian organisation. It is Portugal's largest religion and its former state religion, and has existed in the territory since the Iberian Peninsula was ruled by the Roman Empire.

There are an estimated nine million baptised Catholics in Portugal (84% of the population) in twenty dioceses, served by 2789 priests. Although a large number wish to be baptized, married in the church, and receive last rites, only 19% of the national population attend Mass and take the sacraments regularly.

In 2010, the average age of priests was 62. In 2012 88% of the Portuguese population considered themselves culturally Catholic in a commissioned survey of religious attitudes sponsored by a Christian organization.

Condemnations of 1210–1277

The Condemnations at the medieval University of Paris were enacted to restrict certain teachings as being heretical. These included a number of medieval theological teachings, but most importantly the physical treatises of Aristotle. The investigations of these teachings were conducted by the Bishops of Paris. The Condemnations of 1277 are traditionally linked to an investigation requested by Pope John XXI, although whether he actually supported drawing up a list of condemnations is unclear.

Approximately sixteen lists of censured theses were issued by the University of Paris during the 13th and 14th centuries. Most of these lists of propositions were put together into systematic collections of prohibited articles. Of these, the Condemnations of 1277 are considered particularly important by those historians who consider that they encouraged scholars to question the tenets of Aristotelian science. From this perspective, some historians maintain that the condemnations had positive effects on the development of science, perhaps even representing the beginnings of modern science.

Giovanni Visconti (bishop)

Giovanni Visconti — according to Lorenzo Cardella nephew of Pope Gregory X. He was ostensibly created cardinal-bishop of Sabina by his uncle in 1275 and in 1276 was named judge in the case concerning the translation of bishop Giovanni of Potenza to the archbishopric of Monreale, postulated by the cathedral chapter of Monreale. He died in 1277 or 1278.

The modern scholars have concluded that no such cardinal existed in 13th century because the suburbicarian see of Sabina was occupied by Bertrand de Saint-Martin from 1273 until at least 1277. The document of Pope John XXI concerning the postulation of bishop Giovanni of Potenza to the see of Monreale actually refers to cardinal Bertrand and even explicitly calls him by name.

List of Portuguese cardinals

The following is a list of Portuguese cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church, order by year of consistory, with year of birth and death.

1273 – Dom Pedro Julião or Dom Pedro Hispano (future Pope John XXI)

1409 (by Antipope Benedict XIII); 1419 (confirmed by Pope Martin V) – Dom Pedro Cardeal da Fonseca

1411 – Dom João Cardeal Afonso de Azambuja

1439 – Dom Antão Cardeal Martins de Chaves

1456 – Dom Jaime de Portugal

1476 – Dom Jorge Cardeal da Costa (Cardeal de Alpedrinha)

1517 – Dom Afonso de Portugal (1509–1540)

1539 (in pectore); 1541 – Dom Miguel Cardeal da Silva

1545 – Dom Henrique de Portugal (1512–1580)

1686 – Dom Veríssimo Cardeal de Lencastre (1615–1692)

1697 – Dom Luís Cardeal de Sousa (1630–1702)

1712 – Dom Nuno Cardeal da Cunha e Ataíde

1719 – Dom José Cardeal Pereira de Lacerda

1727 – Dom João Cardeal da Mota e Silva

1737 – Dom Tomás Cardeal de Almeida, 1st Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1670–1754)

1747 – Dom José Cardeal Manoel da Câmara, 2nd Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1686–1758)

1756 – Dom Francisco Cardeal de Saldanha da Gama, 3rd Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1713–1776)

1770 – Dom João Cosme Cardeal da Cunha, O.C.S.A. (1715–1783)

1770 – Dom Paulo Cardeal de Carvalho e Mendonça (1702–1770), brother of Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Count de Oeiras and 1st Marquess de Pombal

1779 – Dom Fernando Cardeal de Sousa e Silva, 4th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1712–1786)

1788 – Dom José Francisco Miguel António Cardeal de Mendoça, 5th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1725–1808)

1803 – Dom Miguel Carlos José Cardeal de Noronha e Silva Abranches (1744–1803)

1819 – Dom Carlos Cardeal da Cunha, 6th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1759–1825)

1824 – Dom Frei Patrício Cardeal da Silva, O.S.A., 7th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1756–1840)

1843 – Dom Frei Francisco de São Luís (born Francisco Justiniano) Cardeal Saraiva, O.S.B., 8th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1766–1845)

1846 – Dom Guilherme Cardeal Henriques de Carvalho, 9th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1793–1857)

1850 – Dom Pedro Paulo Cardeal de Figueireido da Cunha e Melo (1770–1855)

1858 – Dom Manuel Bento Cardeal Rodrigues da Silva, 10th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1800–1869)

1873 – Dom Inácio do Nascimento Cardeal de Morais Cardoso, 11th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1811–1883)

1879 – Dom Américo Cardeal Ferreira dos Santos Silva (1829–1899)

1884 – Dom José Sebastião Cardeal Neto, O.F.M., 12th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1841–1920)

1911 (in pectore); 1914 – Dom António Cardeal Mendes Belo, 13th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1842–1929)

1929 – Dom Manuel Cardeal Gonçalves Cerejeira, 14th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1888–1977)

1946 – Dom Teodosio Clemente Cardinal de Gouveia (1889–1962) – Archbishop of Lourenço Marques, Portuguese Mozambique

1962 – Dom José Cardeal da Costa Nunes (1880–1976)

1973 – Dom António Cardeal Ribeiro, 15th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1928–1998)

2001 – Dom José Cardeal da Cruz Policarpo, 16th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon (1936–2014)

2001 – Dom José Cardeal Saraiva Martins, C.M.F. (born 1932)

2012 – Dom Manuel Cardeal Monteiro de Castro (born 1938) Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary

2015 – Dom Manuel José Cardeal Macário do Nascimento Clemente (born 1948), 17th Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon

2018 – Dom António Augusto Cardeal dos Santos Marto (born 1947)

Peter of Spain

Peter of Spain (Latin: Petrus Hispanus; Portuguese and Spanish: Pedro Hispano; fl. 13th century) was the author of the Tractatus, later known as the Summulae Logicales, an important medieval university textbook on Aristotelian logic. As the Latin Hispania was considered to include the entire Iberian peninsula, he is traditionally and usually identified with the Portuguese scholar and ecclesiastic Peter Juliani, who was elected Pope John XXI in 1276. The identification is sometimes disputed, usually by Spanish authors, who claim the author of the Tractatus was a Castilian Blackfriar. He is also sometimes identified as Petrus Ferrandi Hispanus (d. 1254 x 1259).

Pope Gregory X

Pope Gregory X (Latin: Gregorius X; c. 1210 – 10 January 1276), born Teobaldo Visconti, was Pope from 1 September 1271 to his death in 1276 and was a member of the Secular Franciscan Order. He was elected at the conclusion of a papal election that ran from 1268 to 1271, the longest papal election in the history of the Catholic Church.

He convened the Second Council of Lyon and also made new regulations in regards to papal conclaves. Though briefly annulled by Pope Adrian V and Pope John XXI, these regulations remained in force until the 20th century, when they were altered by Pope Paul VI.

Pope Clement XI beatified him in 1713 after the confirmation of his cultus.

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 Nicholas III

Pope Nicholas III (Latin: Nicolaus III; c. 1225 – 22 August 1280), born Giovanni Gaetano Orsini, was Pope from 25 November 1277 to his death in 1280.

He was a Roman nobleman who had served under eight popes, been made Cardinal-Deacon of St. Nicola in Carcere Tulliano by Pope Innocent IV (1243–54), protector of the Franciscans by Pope Alexander IV (1254–61), inquisitor-general by Pope Urban IV (1261–64), and succeeded Pope John XXI (1276–77) after a six-month vacancy in the Holy See resolved in the papal election of 1277, largely through family influence.

Roger of San Severino

Roger of San Severino was the bailiff of the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1277 to 1282. He was sent to Acre, then the capital of the kingdom, with a small force by the new king Charles I, also King of Sicily, to act as regent.

Charles, an Angevin and brother of the Louis IX of France, had purchased the rights to the kingdom from Mary of Antioch, one of the claimants after the death of Conradin in 1268. The succession, however, was disputed between Mary and Hugh III of Cyprus.

Roger had the support of the Knights Templar and the Republic of Venice when he landed at Acre. The bailiff at the time was Balian of Ibelin, Lord of Arsuf, who initially refused to admit him into the citadel until papers signed by Charles, Mary, and Pope John XXI were produced and the Knights Hospitallers and Patriarch of Jerusalem John of Versailles had refused to intervene. The state of the kingdom became anarchy as Roger raised Charles' standards and demanded oaths of homage from the barons, who in turn refused to accept the transferral of the royal rights without a decision of the Haute Cour. The barons requested Hugh of Cyprus to release them from their oaths, but he refused. Roger then threatened all the barons with confiscation if they did not do him homage. They did. Even Bohemond VII of Tripoli recognised him as regent in Acre.

Roger governed the remnant of the Latin kingdom in the East in peace. He continued the alliance with the Mamluk sultan of Egypt, Qalawun, at the request of Charles and extended it for another ten years in May 1281. He also refused to aid the Mongol ilkhan of Persia, Abaqa, against the Mamluks at the Second Battle of Homs. He even personally congratulated Qalawun on his victory. In 1281, following the Sicilian Vespers of 30 March, Roger was recalled with his troops to Italy and he left Odo Poilechien behind as his deputy.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Ferentino

The Italian Catholic diocese of Ferentino existed until 1986, when it was united into the new diocese of Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino.

September 1276 papal election

The papal election of September 1276 is the only papal election to be the third election of the same year. The election was also the first non-conclave, since the establishment of the papal conclave after the papal election, 1268–1271.

University of Siena

The University of Siena (Italian: Università degli Studi di Siena, abbreviation: UNISI) in Siena, Tuscany is one of the oldest and first publicly funded universities in Italy. Originally called Studium Senese, the institution was founded in 1240. It had around 20,000 students in 2006, nearly half of Siena's total population of around 54,000. Today, the University of Siena is best known for its Schools of Law, Medicine, and Economics and Management.

Viterbo Papacy

With a long history as a vantage point for anti-popes forces threatening Rome, Viterbo became a papal city in 1243. During the later thirteenth century, the ancient Italian city of Viterbo was the site of five papal elections and the residence of seven popes and their Curias, and it remains the location of four papal tombs. These popes resided in the Palazzo dei Papi di Viterbo alongside the Viterbo Cathedral intermittently for two decades, from 1257 to 1281; as a result, the papal palace in Viterbo, with that in Orvieto, are the most extensive thirteenth-century papal palaces to have survived.Shifting political and economic alliances pushed and pulled various popes of that century from Rome, taking refuge in other, not invariably hospitable, Italian city-states like Perugia and Orvieto. The primary cleavage in these divisions was between the Angevin and Hohenstaufen claimants to the title of Holy Roman Emperor, whom the pope could crown.

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
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Early Church
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