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Philip

(768)


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(antipope 31 July 768)

When the chief notary Christopher and his son Sergius, with the help of Lombard troops, seized Rome during the night of 30/31 July 768 and imprisoned the usurping pope Constantine, the priest Waldipert, acting apparently on the instructions of the Lombard king Desiderius (757–74), went with a band of Romans to the monastery of S. Vito, on the Esquiline, brought out its chaplain, the priest Philip, and, shouting ‘Holy Peter has chosen Philip for pope’, conducted him to the Lateran basilica, where a bishop was found to pronounce the appropriate prayers. Waldipert's object was to exploit the confused situation to the advantage of the Lombards by appointing a pope who would be their king's creature. He succeeded in installing Philip in the patriarchium, where he gave a blessing from the papal throne and presided at the banquet customarily given by a new pope to local notables. When Christopher heard what had happened, however, he swore publicly that he would never set foot in Rome while Philip remained in the palace. A group of his followers took the hint, went to the Lateran, and escorted Philip back to his monastery. No harm was done to him, for it was recognized that he was merely the innocent tool of Waldipert and the Lombards. Nothing is known about his earlier or subsequent history, but he should in all fairness be reckoned as neither a pope nor an antipope.

Further Reading

LP i. 470 f.JW i. 284Seppelt ii. 149 f.DCB iv. 357 (J. Barmby)Bertolini 629 f.Histoire iv. 701–3 (P. Riché)Levillain ii. 1162 (J.-C. Picard)NCE iv. 178–9 (P. Savage)Noble 112–19

Subjects: Christianity.


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