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(15 Jan.–4 Feb. 708)

Nothing is known of his background and earlier career, except that he was a Syrian by birth, his father's name being John. Elected probably in Oct. 707, he was already an old man, and so crippled with gout that he could not use his hands to feed himself. There was an interval of almost three months before he could be consecrated while ratification of his appointment by the Byzantine exarch was awaited. He was greatly respected and was considered a man of resolute character, with a genuine care for the inhabitants of Rome. Although pope-elect and pope for less than four months, he had the foresight and energy (no action was forthcoming from the civil authorities) to order the preparation of lime for the restoration of the walls of Rome, dangerously exposed to hostile attack as events in John VI's reign had demonstrated. His sudden death prevented these orders from being carried out. His only recorded ecclesiastical act was the consecration of a bishop for Corsica.

Further Reading

JW i. 247LP i. 388 (Davis 1: 91)Caspar ii. 620, 624DCB iv. 705 (J. Barmby)Levillain iii. 1428 (J. Durliat)NCE xiii. 168 (M. A. Mulholland)Seppelt ii. 86

Subjects: Christianity.

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