(11 Apr. 672–17 June 676)
A Roman, son of Jovinianus, he was from youth a monk of the community of S. Erasmo on the Caelian Hill. He was elected pope in old age at a time when there was an emotional revival of interest in Rome (stimulated by knowledge of the Hypomnesticon, written c.668 by the Greek monk Theodosius) in Martin I and Maximus the Confessor (c. 580–662), both martyrs for their resistance to the monothelite teaching favoured by the Byzantine government. Hence it is not surprising that, although his appointment was ratified after only a few weeks by the exarch at Ravenna, he himself rejected the synodical letters and profession of faith sent him by Constantine I, the new monothelite patriarch of Constantinople (675–7). As a result, his name was excluded from the diptychs in the imperial city. Apart from this, his reign is extremely obscure. Two letters are attributed to him, one addressed to Hadrian, abbot of St Peter's monastery, Canterbury, confirming its exemption from episcopal supervision, and the other to the bishops of Gaul informing them of privileges granted to the monastery of St Martin of Tours (its authenticity has been doubted). Nothing else is recorded of him, except that he was generous to all, compassionate to pilgrims, and kind to his clergy, raising their customary honoraria on the death of a pope, and also that he restored the basilica of S. Pietro at the eighth milestone of the Via Portuense and reconstructed the buildings of his former monastery, raising its status.
JW i. 237LP i. 364 f. (Davis 1: 74–5)PL 87: 1139–44, 129: 681–90 (text of Hypomnesticon)Caspar ii. 587DCB i. 44 (G. H. Moberley)DHGE i. 542 (A. Noyon)EC i. 304 (I. Daniele)DBI i. 272 f. (G. Arnaldi)Berolini 364 f.Levillain i. 6 (J. Durliat)Seppelt ii. 71JR 198, 201, 244, 266
Subjects: Christianity — Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).