Pope from 8 Apr. 1378. He was elected on the death of Gregory XI under pressure from the Roman populace, who demanded an Italian. Though he had previously been noted for his austerity and aptitude for affairs, his pontificate became a series of grave imprudences. In Aug. 1378 the French cardinals declared his election void as performed under duress, and in Sept. they elected the antipope Clement VII, thus beginning the Great Schism.