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Popes & Anti-Popes AD 500-600

AD 0-100 AD 100-200 AD 200-300 AD 300-400 AD 400-500 AD 500-600 AD 600-700 AD 700-800 AD 800-900 AD 900-1000 AD 1000-1100 AD 1100-1200 AD 1200-1300 AD 1300-1400 AD 1400-1500 AD 1500-1600 AD 1600-1700 AD 1700-1800 AD 1800-1900 AD 1900-2000

(mouseover timeline to select a century)

Alphabetical list of Popes

96    Adrian I  (772-75)
107  Adrian II (867-872)
110  S. Adrian III (884-885)
168  Adrian IV  (1154-9)
185
  Adrian V  (1276)
217
 Adrian VI  (1522-3)
57
    S. Agapitus  (535-6)
130
  Agapitus II (946-955)
79
    S. Agatho  (678-81)
6    S. Alexander (105-115)
155  Alexander II (1061-73)
169
 Alexander III (1159-81)
180
 Alexander IV  (1254-61)
anti-pope  Alexander V
213
  Alexander VI (1492-1503)
236
 Alexander VII (1655-67)
240
 Alexander VIII (1689-91)
3.
    S. Anacletus  (76-93)
39.
  S. Anastasius  (399-401)
50.
 Anastasius  II (496-98)
121
.  Anastasius III  (911-13)
167.
  Anastasius IV  (1153-4)
11.
 S. Anicetus  (155-166)
19.  S. Anterus  (236)

62
  Benedict I  (575-9)
81.
  S. Benedict II (684-5)
105
.  Benedict III  (655-8)
118.
  Benedict IV  (900-903)
133.
  Benedict V  (964-6)
135.
  Benedict VI  (973-4)
136
.  Benedict VII  (974-83)
144.  Benedict VIII  (1012-24)
146.
  Benedict IX  (1042)
anti-pope  Benedict X  (1058)
193.
  Benedict XI (1303-4)
196.
  Benedict XII (1335-42)
244.
  Benedict XIII (1724-30)
246.
  Benedict XIV (1740-58)
247.
  Benedict XV  (1914-22)
42.
  S. Boniface  I  (418-22)
55.  Boniface II (530-2)
66
.  Boniface III (607)
67.  S. Boniface IV  (608-15)
69.
  Boniface V  (619-25)
113.  Boniface VI  (896)
anti-pope
 Boniface  VII (974)
192.  Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
202.  Boniface IX (1389-1404)

28.
 S. Caius  ( 283-96)
16.
 S. Callistus  ( 217-22)
161.
 Callistus  II  ( 1119-24)
208.
 Calistus III  ( 1455-58)
43.
  S. Celestine I ( 422-32)
164.  Celestine II  ( 1143-4)
174.
  Celestine III  ( 1191-8)
178.  Celestine IV  ( 1241)
191.
  Celestine V  ( 1294)
4.
   S. Clement I  ( c.91-101)
149.
 Clement II  (1046-7)
173.  Clement III  ( 1187-91)
182.
  Clement IV  (1265-8)
194.  Clement V  ( 1305-14)
197.
 Clement VI  ( 1342-52)
218.
 Clement VII  ( 1523-34)
230.
 Clement VIII  ( 1592-1605)
237.
 Clement IX  ( 1667-9)
238.
 Clement X  ( 1670-6)
242.  Clement  XI  ( 1700-21)
245.
 Clement XII  ( 1730-40)
247.  Clement XIII  ( 1758-69)
248.
  Clement XIV  ( 1769-74)
83.   Conon  ( 686-7)
21.
  S. Cornelius  ( 251-3)
88.
   Constantine I  ( 708-15)

37.
 S. Damasus I  ( 366-84)
150.  Damasus  II  ( 1048)
68.
St. Deusdedit (615-18)
25.   Dionysios  ( 260-8)
78.   Donus  (676-8)

13.
 S. Eleutherus  (175-89)
75.
 S. Eugenius I  ( 654-7)
100.
 Eugenius  II  ( 824-7)
166.
  Eugenius III  (1145-53)
206.
  Eugenius  IV (1431-47)
31.
  Eusebius  ( 310)
27.
  S. Eutychian  (275-83)
5.
  Evaristus  (101-9)

20.
 Fabian  (236-50)
26. 
Felix I  (269-74)
anti-pope  Felix II (355-65)
48.
 S. Felix  III (483-492)
54.
 S. Felix  IV  (526-30)
anti-pope 
Felix V (1439-49)
112
.  Formosus  (891-96)

49.
St Gelasius (492-6)
160.
Gelasius II (1118-9) 
64. Gregory I (590-604)
89.
Gregory II  (715-31)
90.
Gregory III (731-41)
102.
Gregory IV (827-44)
139.
Gregory V (996-9)
anti-pope  Gregory VI  (1012)
148.
Gregory VI (1045-6)
156.
Gregory VII (1073-85)
anti-pope
  Gregory VIII (1187)
172.
Gregory VIII (1187)
177. Gregory IX  (1227-41)
183. Gregory X  (1271-6)
200.
Gregory XI (1370-8)
204.
Gregory XII (1405-15)
225.
Gregory XIII  (1527-85)
228.
Gregory XIV  (1590-1)
233.
Gregory XV  (1621-3)
253.
Gregory XVI  (1831-46)

46.
Hilarus  (461-8)
anti-pope 
Hippolytus  (217-35)
70.
Honorius I  (625-38)
anti-pope
  Honorius II (1061-4)
162. Honorius II  (1124-30)
176. Honorius III  (1216-27)
189.
Honorius IV  (1285-7)
52. Hormisdas  (514-23)
9. St.Hyginus  (c. 138-42)

40.
Innocent I  (401-17)
163.
Innocent II  (1130-41)
anti-pope  Innocent III (1179-80)
175.
Innocent III  (1198-1216)
179.
Innocent IV  (1243-54)
184.
Innocent V  (1276)
198.
Innocent VI (1352-62)
203.
Innocent VII (1404-6)
212.
Innocent VIII  (1484-92)
229.
Innocent IX  (1591)
235.
Innocent X  (1644-55)
239.
Innocent XI  (1676-89)
241. Innocent XII  (1691-1700)
243.
Innocent XIII  (1721-4)

53.
John I  (523-6)
56. John II  (533-5)
61. John III  (561-74)
72.
John IV  (640-2)
82.
John V  (685-6)
85.
John VI  (701-5)
86.
John VII  (705-7
anti-pope
 John  (844)
108
. John VIII  (872-82)
117. John IX  (898-900)
123.
John X  (914-28)
126.
John XI  (931-6)
131.
John XII  (955-64)
134.
John XIII (965-72)
137,
John XIV  (983-4)
138.
John XV  (985-96)
anti-pope  John XVI  (997-8)
141. John XVII  (1003)
142.
John XVIII  (1003-9)
145. John XIX  (1024-32)
186.
John XXI  (1276-7)
195.
John XXII  (1316-34)
anti-pope
  John XXIII  (1410-15)
260.
John XXIII   (1958-63)
262.
John Paul I  (1978)
263.
John Paul II (1978-2005)
35.
Julius I  (337-52)
215.
Julius II  (1503-13)
220.
Julius III (1550-5)

122.
Lando  (913-14)
anti-pope
  Laurentius (498-9; 501-6)
45.
Leo I (440-61)
80. Leo II  (682-3)
97.
St Leo III (795-816)
104.
St Leo IV  (847-55)
119. Leo V  (903)
124. Leo VI (928)
127.
Leo VII  (936-9)
132.
Leo VIII (963-5)
151. Leo IX  (1049-54)
216. Leo X  (1513-21)
231.
Leo XI  (1605)
250.
Leo XII  (1823-9)
255.
Leo XIII (1878-1903)
36.
Liberius  (352-66)
2.
 Linus  (c. 66-78)
22. St. Lucius I  (253-4)
165.
Lucius II  (1144-5)
170.
Lucius III  (1181-5)

29.
Marcellinus  (c.296-304)
30. Marcellus I  (306-8)
221. Marcellus II  (1555)
109.
Marinus I (Martin II) (882-4)
129.
Marinus II  (Martin III) (942-6)
34. St Mark  (336)
74.
Martin I  (649-53)
188.
Martin IV  (1281-5)
205. Martin V  (1417-31)
32.
Miltiades  (311-14)

106.
St Nicholas  (858-67)
154.
Nicholas II  (1056-61)
187.
Nicholas III  (1277-80)
190.
Nicholas IV  (1288-92)
anti-pope  Nicholas V  (1328-30)
207.
Nicholas V  (1447-55)
anti-pope
Novatian  (251-8)

anti-pope 
Paschal  (687)
99. Paschal I  (817-24)
159.
Paschal II  (1099-1118)
anti-pope
  Paschal III  (1164-8)
94.
St Paul  (757-67)
210.
Paul II  (1464-71)
219.
Paul III  (1534-49)
222. Paul IV  (1555-9)
232.
Paul V  (1605-21)
261. Paul VI  (1963-78)
60.
Pelagius  (556-61)
63.
Pelagius II  (579-90)
1.  St. Peter (died c. 64)
anti-pope  Philip  (768)
10.
St Pius I  (c. 142-55)
209.
 Pius II  (1458-64)
214.
 Pius III  (1503)
223.
Pius IV  (1559-65)
224.
St Pius V  (1566-72)
249.
Pius VI  (1775-99)
250.
Pius VII  (1800-23)
252.
Pius VIII  (1829-30)
254.
Pius IX  (1846-78)
256.
St Pius X  (1903-14)
258.
Pius XI  (1922-39)
259.
Pius XII  (1939-58)
18.
St Pontian  (230-5)

115.
Romanus  (897)

65.
Sabinian  (604-6)
84. Sergius I  (687-701)
103.
Sergius II  (844-7)
120. Sergius III  (904-11)
143.
Sergius IV  (1009-12)
71. Severinus  (640)
58.
Silverius  (536-7)
33. Sylvester i  (314-35)
140. Sylvester II  (999-1003)
147.
Sylvester III (1045)
anti-pope
  Sylvester IV (1105-11)
47.
St Simplicius  (468-83)
38.
Siricius  (384-99)
87.
Sisinnius  (708)
7.
Sixtus I  (c.116-125)
24.
Sixtus II  (257-8)
44.
St Sixtus  III  (432-40)
211.
Sixtus IV  (1471-84)
226.
Sixtus V (1585-90)
12.
St  Soter  (c. 166-74)
23.
Stephen I  (254-7)
92. Stephen II  (752-7)
95.
Stephen III (768-72)
98.
Stephen IV  (816-17)
111. Stephen V  (885-91)
114.
Stephen VI  (896-7)
125.
Stephen VII  (928-31)
128.
Stephen VIII  (939-42)
153.
Stephen IX  (1057-8)
51.
St. Symmachus  (498-514)

8.
Telesphorus  (125-136)
73. Theodore I  (642-9)
anti-pope
  Theodore  (687)
116.
Theodore II  (897)
anti-pope  Theodoric  (1100-1)

17.
St. Urban I (222-30)
158
. Urban II  (1088-99)
171.
Urban III  (1185-7)
181. Urban IV  (1261-4)
199.
Urban V  (1362-70)
201.
Urban VI  (1378-89)
227.
Urban VII  (1590)
234.
Urban VIII  (1623-44)
anti-pope
 Ursinus  (366-7)

101.
Valentine  (827)
14.
St. Victor I  (189-98)
152. Victor II  (1055-7)
157.
Victor III  (1086-7)
anti-pope
 Victor IV  (1138)
anti-pope
  Victor V  (1159-64)
59.
Vigilius  (537-55)
76. St. Vitalian  (657-72)

91.
Zacharias  (741-52)
15.
Zephyrinus  (198-217)
41.
St. Zosimus  (417-18)

 

The Popes, in chronological order

AD 500-600

51. St Symmachus I. b. Sardinia; elected 22 Nov, 498. d.  19 July, 514. "He was a good man and sagacious, kindly and courteous" records LP and in his LP commentary Duschene adds that "he came out of paganism and learned the Catholic faith in Rome". He built and decorated many churches and created a papal residence at St Peter's. Dissatisfied with his predecessor's conciliatory stance towards the Acacians, however, a group of deacons had chosen Laurentius as pope. King Theodoric intervened, at first backing Symmachus, then calling various synods at one of which the pope was acquitted of false accusations. Symmachus ruled: "Without a firm indication by a previous pope about his successor, only the clergy of Rome may elect a new pope and that by a simple majority". LP adds:"Then the blessed Symmachus was reinstated with glory...".
   Subsequently Laurentius returned and was able to function as a parallel pope with the aid of his supporters.  Symmachus exiled the Manicheans, a Persian-originated sect that professed to harmonize Chrisitianity and Zoroastrianism following the teachings of Main, a 3rd century Chaldean writer.
7th c. mosaic in S. Agnese fuori le Mura.

anti-pope  Laurentius  (498-505)

52. St Hormisdas. b. Rome; elected 20 July 514; d. 6 Aug, 523. Married before being ordained, his son later became pope Silverius. Attempting to settle the schism caused by the Arian heresies of  Peter of Alexandria and Acacius of Constantinople, Hormisdas ran afoul of the emperor Anastasius who responded (according to Duschene): "We can endure to be insulted and to be made of no effect; we cannot endure to be commanded". His successor, the  emperor Justinian, was more agreeable, signing the Formula Hormisdae  which endorsed Leo's Tomus  and the Chalcedonian affirmation of it, along with the theological primacy of Rome. The Benedictine Order was founded during the Hormisdas pontificate.  Justinian recaptured the marshy coastal city of Ravenna from King Theodoric.

53. St John I. b. Tuscany;elected 13 Aug, 523; d. 18 May, 526.   On behalf of the Goth invader of Rome,  King Theodoric, he went to Constantinople to dissuade the emperor Justin to end his assault on the Arians. He was the first pope to visit the eastern capital. On his return to Ravenna after a warm reception by Justin, Theodoric suspected him of conspiring with the emperor and flung him into jail where he died a few days later.
14th c. fresco at S. Maria in Porto Fuori, Ravenna.

54. St Felix IV. b. Benevento; elected 12 July 526; d. 22 Sept, 530.  Consecrated on King Theodoric's orders, according to LP, Felix "was greatly loved in Rome for his simplicity and generosity to the poor" (BS). Nominated by,  but later fought with Theodoric. Granted by the emperor the right to judge charges brought against the clergy. His attempt to name his archdeacon Boniface as his successor met fierce opposition from his clergy who (according to Duschene) forbade  any discussion of a pope's successor during a pontiff's lifetime".  The clergy elected Dioscorus, archdeacon  of Alexandria, who died after three weeks. Part of the inscription on Felix's tomb in St Peter's reads: "For his humble piety he was preferred to many of the proud. And by singleness of heart he won a lofty place".
6th c. mosaic in SS. Cosma e Damiano.

anti-pope  Dioscorus  (530)

55. St Boniface II. b. Rome; elected 22 Sept, 530; d. 17 Oct, 532. Chosen by a minority backed by King Theodoric the same day as Dioscorus was also elected, he outlived the latter whose supporters subsequently endorsed him. Dioscorus had died after only three weeks and (says tP) "the clergy who may have seen in this speedy death a divine intervention, accepted Boniface".  Out of his original opponents,  60 bishops confessed their earlier "wicked error" (LP) and promised not to repeat it. Proposing that popes be allowed to appoint their successor, Boniface nominated the deacon Vigilius ("ambitious and unscrupulous" -tP) but following the emperor's protest he rescinded the appointment (NCE). During his pontificate, Monte Cassino Abbey was completed  (atop a temple to Apollo) by St Benedict, known thereafter as the founder of monasticism.

56. St John II. b. Rome; elected 2 Jan, 533; d. 8 May, 535. With many aspirants for the papacy, he was the compromise candidate. Changed his name from the pagan Mercurius to John. Challenging earlier doctrine, he collaborated with King Athalaric and the eastern emperor Justinian I, who for political reasons wished to appease the Monophysites. John denounced simony in one of his decrees and was recognised as the head of world bishops after an edict of the new emperor, Athalaric.

57. St Agapitus. b. Rome; elected 13 May, 535; d. 22 April, 536. An archdeadon who was son of a Roman cleric, he was unforgiving of former Arians barring them from clerical office. Agapetus led a mission to Constantinople (where he deposed the Monophysite patriarch Anthimos) to pacify the eastern emperor Justinian with whom he had contested the issue of laymen teaching in the church. Accompanied by the ambitious Vigilius, the papal nuncio, the pope returned in a sealed coffin from Constantinople, where he may have been poisoned by the emperor's wife Theodora, "an ex-actress with a lurid sexual reputation for wearing out relays of athletic young courtiers" (S&S). Her influence and Monophysite sympathies prompted Justinian's controversial ban of certain theological mss (BS)..

58. St Silverius. b. Frosinone; elected 1 June, 536; d. 11 Nov, 537. Son of former pope Hormisdas. Due to the machinations of Theodora who wanted the rehabilitation of patriarch Anthimus, a monophysite, he was captured when Justinian's  Byzantine army invaded Rome He was convicted of high treason ("with the aid of forged letters"--ODP) and exiled first to Lycia and then, at the hands of Virgilius--the pope chosen by Theodora--to the island of Palmeria where, with Vigilius' sanction, he was probably murdered (BS). "To all intents and purposes, one pope and he, the son of a pope, had been deposed and murdered by another" (S&S)

59. Vigilius. b. Rome; elected 29 March, 537; d. 7 June, 555. Ambassadoir  to Constantinople, he had earlier been nominated by Boniface II. His initial acquiescence to the emperor Justinian I's theological stance brought condemnation by African bishops and his later defiance of the emperor caused his arrest and subsequent flight.  Justinian compelled the pope to endorse the condemnation of the "Three Chapters", writings by a trio of authors who supported the "two natures" Christology, that Justinian condemned. They  had been supported by the Istrians  causing a century-long schism as the northern Italy churches withdrew. Many bishops regarded this as an endorsement of the monophysites , an attack on ancient Nestorian beliefs and a repudiation of the 451 Council of Chalcedon where Leo's tomus   condemning the views of Eutyches, Nestorius and Apollinaris had been read. (The monophysites stressed the single, divine nature of Christ,  holding that it transformed human nature in such  a fashion that the whole became divine yet with some human characteristics). Retracting his earlier documents Vigilius explained that he had been"deceived by the devil", the whole situation (says tP) being "perhaps the greatest humiliation in the history of the papacy". LP records that when Justinian had Vigilius arrested--because he was at odds with the rest of the empire--putting him on a boat for Constantinople, the dockside crowd yelled abuse and threw stones as the boat pulled away.
    When the pontiff eventually returned,  he  was discredited after Justinian released letters which revealed hia hypocrisy and condemned non sedem, sed sedentem  ("not the See but the one who sits in it") "Broken in spirit he published a series of humiliating restractions" says  S&S, describing Justinian as "not only an imperial but a priestly soul". Justinian restored Rome's unquestioned authority as "the head of all the holy churches". After his death in Sicily, the pope's body was brought back to Rome but denied burial in St Peter's "in view of his unpopularity" (ODP).

60. Pelagius I. b. Rome;elected 16 April, 556; d. 4 March, 561. Previously while sering as Vigilius' deacon,  he had  led the opposition to Justinian's condemnation of The Three Chapters  (the writings of three authors with Nestorian sympathies) but either from conviction or opportunism he changed sides and became the emperor's choice to succeed Vigilius. ("self-seeking treachery"-- S&S) His vacillating opinions  made him unpopular with fellow churchmen, only two of whom could be found willing to consecrate him, and caused a split between Rome and bishops in other regions. "Rumor implicated him in Vigilius' death" says ODP.  Pelagius reorganized Vatican finances, worked hard at relieving poverty and improving monastic life and condemned simony.
6th c. mosaic, S. Lorenzo fuori de Mura.

61. John III.  b. Rome; elected 17 July, 561; d. 13 July, 574. Born Catelinus as the son of a Roman senator and provincial governor.  The emperor ratified his pontificate four months after his election. He tried to rally the Italians to defend themselves from the Lombard invasions but courted unpopularity by inviting his friend, the aged general Narses, to live in Rome. John left, eventually retiring to a church on Via Appia, two miles outside the city, from which he ran papal affairs.

62. Benedict I. b. Rome; elected 2 June, 575; d. 30 July, 579.  The necessary imperial ratification of his election took 11 months to arrive from Constantinople. In the course of his papacy, the Lombards laid siege to Rome, during which time he died. ODP records that almost nothing is known about his pontificate.

63. Pelagius II. b. Rome. elected 26 Nov, 579; d. 7 Feb, 590. Elected during the siege, he sent his deacon Gregory to Constantinople unsuccessfully seeking help from Emperor Tiberius II. He contended with the Constantinople bishops who sought more autonomy. Flooding of the Tiber in Nov 589 breached the city walls, flooded churches, destroyed winter food supplies and caused widespread plague of which he was an early victim. Gregory, who had been recalled from his monastery to help solve the Istrian schism, was acclaimed to succeed him.
6th c. mosaic in S. Lorenzo fuori de Mura.

64. St. Gregory I ("The Great"). b. Rome; elected 3 Sept, 590; d. 12 March, 604, aged about 64. Great-grandson of Pope Felix III he came from an aristocratic family and was prefect (mayor) of Rome before resigning to become a monk in a monastery financed by the sale of his family home. He was the first monk to become pope and "his early letters as pope graphically portray his unhappiness at being dragged from the contemplative life to shoulder his heavy burden" (ODP). He instituted the Gregorian Chant and his Book of Pastoral Rule  listed the duties and qualifications of a bishop. By denouncing the taxes imposed on Italians by the Byzantine authorities, he became the first to claim both political as well as spiritual powers for the papacy.  Describing himself as the "unworthy servant" of  Emperor Mauritius  Gregory nevertheless told him: "I will not yield to any creature on this earth. I am the successor of Peter".
    In pursuit of the true faith he burned any ancient books found in Rome from pagan days and remarked that many Constantinople bishops "have fallen into the whirlpool of heresy". Uz charges that his influential book of forty sermons, Dialogues "reveal unlimited ignorance and credulity". (S&S described them as "a set of miracle-encrusted lives of the early Italian monks" and calls Gregory "arguably the greatest pope ever"). In his desire for "an increase of the faithful", Gregory sent St Augustine to Britain to convert the heathens and  missions throughout Europe to entice pilgrims to Rome whose supremacy over all other churches he fiercely defended. "The day I do not give bread to the poor" said Gregory, " is a lost day".
Portraits in  S. Andrea; Palermo's Galleria Nazionale and the Ducal Palace at Urbino.

65. Sabinian. b. Tuscany; elected 13 Sept 604; d. 22 Feb 606. He had served as Gregory's papal nuncio to Constantinople. Reflecting the increasing subordination of the papacy to imperial rule, he was obliged to wait six months for consecration by the emperor. Sabinian regulated bell ringing in churches to announce hours for prayer and decreed sanctuary lights should burn therein (ISPR). He consecrated 26 bishops in his short reign. Because of his policy of alleviating famine by selling grain rather than giving it away like his predecessor, ODP says that "in order to avoid hostile demonstrations his funeral procession had to make a detour outside the city walls". "His reputation suffered somewhat (says tP) in comparison with his illustrious predecessor". While treating him with great brevity, LP commended him for "filling the church with clergy" (rather than promoting monks, unlike his predecessor).

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Index of References

OTHER BOOKS consulted or quoted from include:

The Golden Legend (GL);
Butler's Lives of the Saints  (B);
A Catholic Dictionary
(ACD);
The Popes' Rights & Wrongs
  (PRW);
History of the Popes
  (HP);
The Dictionary of Sects, Heresies
&c (DSH);
History of the Popes
  by Leonard Van Renke (LVR);
A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints  (BDS);
The Book of Popes
(BP);
A Source Book 
(SB) for Ancient Church History;
Saints & Their Emblems in English Churches
 (StE);
A Catholic Dictionary
-(CD);
The Popes, a concise biographical history
, (tP);
The Bad Popes
  (TBP);
The Penguin Dictionary of the Saints  (PDS);
New Catholic Encyclopedia (NCE);
The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire  (D&F);
the Oxford Dictionary of Popes (ODP);
Somni Pontifici Romani
  (ISPR);
the Book of Saints  (BS);
Saints & Sinners (S&S).

For a complete list of references, click here.