Pope Simplicius

Pope Simplicius (died 2 or 10 March 483) was pope from 468 to his death in 483. He was born in Tivoli, Italy, the son of a citizen named Castinus. Most of what is known of him personally is derived from the Liber Pontificalis.[1]

Pope Saint

Papacy began468
Papacy ended2 or 10 March 483
SuccessorFelix III
Personal details
Birth nameSimplicius
BornTivoli, Western Roman Empire
Died10 March 483
Rome, Kingdom of Odoacer
Feast day10 March
Venerated inOrthodox, Catholic


After a vacancy of ten days following the death of Pope Hilarius, Pope Simplicius was consecrated on 25 February 468.[2]

Simplicius defended the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon against the Eutychian heresy. When the Eutychians rose up in Antioch and installed Petrus Mongus, Simplicius made repeated complaints for action to Basiliscus and the Emperor Leo for the restoration of the Catholic bishop; he did the same when Petrus Fullo usurped the seat of the Patriarch of Alexandria. He rehabilitated Patriarch Timotheos Solofaciolus.[3]

He labored to help the people of Italy against the marauding raids of barbarian invaders. He saw the Heruliian mercenaries revolt, depose Romulus Augustulus, the last Western Roman Emperor, and proclaim Odoacer king of Italy in 476.[4] Odoacer made few changes in the administration in Rome, leaving the city firmly in the hands of its bishop, Simplicius.

In 478, Pope Simplicius held a synod in Rome, which pronounced anathemas against eastern heretical bishops Peter Fullo, John of Apamea, and Paul of Ephesus.[5]

He worked to maintain the authority of Rome in the West.[1] He named Zeno, Bishop of Hispalis (Seville) as Papal Vicar in Spain.[6]

In 482, Bishop Gregory of Modena was consecrated a bishop against his will by Archbishop Joannes I of Ravenna. This brought the Archbishop a sharp rebuke from Pope Simplicius.[7]

Simplicius is credited with the construction of a church named Santa Bibiana, in memory of the virgin and martyr St. Bibiana. He also dedicated the Church of San Stefano Rotondo on the Celian Hill, the church of S. Andrea near S. Maria Maggiore, and a church dedicated to Saint Lawrence in the Campo Verano.[8]

According to the Carolingian liturgist, Amalarius of Metz, Pope Simplicius was the first pope to carry out consecrations at any other time than in December before Christmas. He began to confer Holy Orders in February as well.[9]

He was buried in the Basilica of St. Peter on 2 March 483. Rome was without a pope for six days.[10]

Since 1971,[11] St. Simplicius's feast day is celebrated on 10 March.[12][1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c J. P. Kirsch, "Simplicius, Pope St." Catholic Encyclopedia. Volume XIV. New York: Appleton. 1912. pp. 2–3.
  2. ^ Thiel, p. 174 §1. Jaffḗ, Regesta pontificum Romanorum, p. 77. The date is calculated, from his date of death and the length of his reign, fifteen years and seven days.
  3. ^ Thiel, p. 174 §2. Loomis, pp. 97-99; 106 note 2.
  4. ^ Butler, Alban.Lives of the Saints, Benziger Bros. 1894
  5. ^ Karl Joseph von Hefele (1895). W. R. Clark (ed.). A History of the Councils of the Church, from the Original Documents. Volume IV. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. pp. 26–29. In a letter which Thiel (pp. 189-192) dated to October 477, Pope Simplicius wrote to the Patriarch Acacius about what he thought should be done about the heretic bishops.
  6. ^ Thiel, pp. 213-214.
  7. ^ Thiel, pp. 201-202. Kehr, Paul Fridolin (1906), Italia Pontificia Vol. V: Aemilia, sive Provincia Ravennas )Berlin: Weidmann), pp. (in Latin). p. 301 no. 1. Lanzoni, Francesco (1927). Le diocesi d'Italia dalle origini al principio del secolo VII (an. 604) (Faenza: F. Lega), p. 793, no. 4. (in Italian)
  8. ^ Duchesne, p. 249-250. Loomis, p. 106.
  9. ^ Thiel, p. 175. Edmond Martḕne pointed out that this was the beginning of the custom of the Quattuor Temporum.
  10. ^ Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, p. 249. "Hic sepultus est in basilica beati Petri apostoli, vi non. martias. Et cessavit episcopatus dies vi." Thiel, p. 174 §1. Jaffé, Regesta pontificum Romanorum I, p. 80. Loomis, p. 107.
  11. ^ Pennacchio, Maria Cristina (2000). "Simplicio, santo": "La sua memoria liturgica, indicata dal Martyrologium Romanum al 2 marzo, dal 1971 viene celebrata il 10 marzo."
  12. ^ Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7) The date of 10 March is also a calculated one; it begins with a calculated date for the death of Pope Hilarius (29 February), and then adds the ten days of the Sede Vacante reported in the Liber Pontificalis. See Duchesne, pp. 247-248.


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Felix III

Year 468 (CDLXVIII) was a leap 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 Anthemius without colleague (or, less frequently, year 1221 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 468 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar I haveera became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.


The 480s decade ran from January 1, 480, to December 31, 489.


Year 483 (CDLXXXIII) 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 Aginantius without colleague (or, less frequently, year 1236 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 483 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.

Acacius of Constantinople

Acacius (? – 26 November 489) was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 472 to 489. Acacius was practically the first prelate throughout the Eastern Orthodoxy and renowned for ambitious participation in the Chalcedonian controversy.Acacius advised the Byzantine emperor Zeno to issue the Henotikon edict in 482, in which Nestorius and Eutyches were condemned, the twelve chapters of Cyril of Alexandria accepted, and the Chalcedon Definition ignored. This effort to shelve the dispute over the Orthodoxy of the Council of Chalcedon was quite in vain. Pope Felix III saw the prestige of his see involved in this slighting of Chalcedon and his predecessor Leo's epistle. He condemned and deposed Acacius, a proceeding which the latter regarded with contempt, but which involved a schism between the two sees that lasted after Acacius's death. The Acacian schism lasted through the long and troubled reign of the Byzantine emperor Anastasius I, and was only healed by Justin I under Pope Hormisdas in 519.The Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates The Departure of St. Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople on the 30th of the Coptic month of Hatour.

Basilica of Junius Bassus

The Basilica of Junius Bassus (basilica Iunii Bassi) was a civil basilica on the Esquiline Hill in Rome, on a site now occupied by the Seminario Pontificio di Studi Orientali, in via Napoleone III, 3. It is best known for its examples of opus sectile work.

Caecina Decius Maximus Basilius

Caecina Decius Maximus Basilius (floruit 483–500), was a Roman politician. He was the first consul appointed under Odoacer's rule (480), and afterwards was Praetorian prefect of Italy. He is best known for presiding over the papal election of Pope Felix III.

Fabrica ecclesiae

In the Catholic Church, fabrica ecclesiæ (Latin for 'workshop of the church') is a term meaning, etymologically, the construction of a church, but in a broader sense the funds necessary for such construction.

This expression may also be used to designate the repairing and maintenance of churches, the daily expense of worship, and to the amount requisite for covering these expenses. In this particular connexion, the expression is first met with in the letter of Pope Simplicius to Gaudentius, Bishop of Aufina (19 November 475); however, even then it was not new, being borrowed from profane usage.

Flavius Valila Theodosius

Flavius Valila Theodosius or Theodobius (died before 483) was a Roman senator and military commander who held the office of magister militum in the west in 471. Valila, who was of Gothic origin, endowed a Christian church on his property near Tibur. At his death, he bequeathed the 4th century basilica of Junius Annius Bassus (consul of 331) on the Esquiline Hill in Rome to the Church, and Pope Simplicius dedicated it to St. Andrew, which later came to be known as Sant'Andrea Catabarbara.

March 10

March 10 is the 69th day of the year (70th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 296 days remain until the end of the year.


Ofena (Abruzzese: Ofenë) is a comune and town in the Province of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy. It is located in the natural park known as the "Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park". The comune/village is home to a vast and rich history of a community that has existed for many hundreds of years.

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."

Patriarch John I of Alexandria

John Talaia was Patriarch of Alexandria from 481 until 482.He was consecreated Patriarch of Alexandria in 481, succeeding Timothy III Salophakiolos.

He was a convinced adherent of the Council of Chalcedon and refused to sign Emperor Zeno's Henoticon (which glossed over the Council of Chalcedon). Because of this, the Emperor expelled him and recognized the Miaphysite claimant Peter Mongus as the legitimate Patriarch on the condition that he would sign the Henoticon. Mongus complied and was recognized by the Patriarchs of Antioch and Constantinople.

John fled to Rome, where he was welcomed by Pope Simplicius. This Pope, or his successor Felix III, refused to recognize Mongus and defended Talaia's rights in two letters to Acacius of Constantinople. As Acacius maintained the Henoticon and communion with Mongus, the Pope excommunicated the Patriarchs in 484. This Acacian schism lasted until 519.

John eventually relinquished his claim to the see of Alexandria and became Bishop of Nola.

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.

Saint Bibiana

Saint Bibiana (Viviana, Vivian, or Vibiana) is a Roman Virgin and Martyr. The earliest mention in an authentic historical authority occurs in the "Liber Pontificalis,", where the biography of Pope Simplicius (468–483) states that this pope "consecrated a basilica of the holy martyr Bibiana, which contained her body, near the 'palatium Licinianum' " (ed. Duchesne, I, 249). The Basilica of Santa Bibiana still exists.

Sant'Andrea Catabarbara

Sant'Andrea Catabarbara was a church in Rome, located on what is now the site of the Pontifical Oriental Institute on Via Napoleone III, in the Esquilino district. It was first called Catabarbara or Cata Barbara Patricia in the eighth century.

It was the first devotional church dedicated to Saint Andrew in the city of Rome. Its foundation probably dates to the donation of an aula or hall from the home of Junius Annius Bassus, consul in the year 331, by the Goth general Valila. An inscription from the apse of the church possibly records the donation, though its meaning is uncertain. The church was therefore the result of the transformation from a secular home or house-church into a church, due to the work of Pope Simplicius in the second half of the fifth century. The hall was turned into a monastery to serve the nearby Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. It and its rich decoration were demolished to build the Pontifical Oriental Institute in 1930.

Santa Bibiana

Santa Bibiana is a small Baroque style, Roman Catholic church in Rome devoted to Saint Bibiana. The church façade was designed and built by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who also produced a sculpture of the saint holding the palm leaf of martyrs. Santa Viviana


Simplicius may refer to :

PersonsPope Simplicius (d. 483 AD)

Simplicius of Cilicia (d. c. 560 AD), philosopher

Saint Simplicius, legendary 'founding' bishop of the Sardinian Diocese of Civita

Simplicius, Constantius and Victorinus (fl. 2nd century), Roman martyrs and saints

Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrix (d. 302 or 303 AD), Roman martyrs and saintsArt and fictionSimplicius Simplicissimus, a picaresque novel about the character of the same name

Simplicius (operetta), an operetta by Johann Strauss II

A character in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, a 1632 work by Galileo

Tivoli Cathedral

Tivoli Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Tivoli or Basilica Cattedrale di San Lorenzo Martire) is a Roman Catholic cathedral, dedicated to Saint Lawrence, in Tivoli, Lazio, Italy. It is the seat of the bishop of Tivoli.

Zeno (bishop of Mérida)

Zeno, a Greek, was the Bishop of Mérida in the late fifth century. Though he had traditionally been ascribed the see of Seville, it has now been shown that he was in fact metropolitan of Lusitania and thus bishop of the provincial capital of Mérida. The dates of his episcopate are unknown besides the date of 483 and the fact of a surviving letter from Pope Felix III (483–492).Pope Simplicius was so impressed by his administration of his diocese that he desired to install him as papal vicar in southern Spain and strengthen his position there. It is possible that Simplicius was responding to the conquests of the Suevi in Lusitania. Several diocese had been lost to the barbarians and the pope's letter refers vaguely to the terminos (boundaries) of the Apostles. The provincial boundaries of Lusitania may have been under consideration and Simplicius may have wished to augment Zeno's authority to deal with the Suevi.According to an inscription dated to 483 and surviving in a ninth-century copy, Zeno and Salla, a Gothic official, repaired the walls of Mérida and the bridge over the Guadiana there.

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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