Related Overviews

Formosus (c. 816—896)

St Sergius (d. 701)


More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Christianity


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

(antipope Sept. 903–Jan. 904: d. early 904)

A Roman by birth, priest of S. Damaso, one of the 25 ancient parish, or ‘title’, churches of Rome, he headed a coup which overthrew Leo V, flung him into gaol, and had himself proclaimed and consecrated pope. Nothing is known of his earlier career, but on the assumption that he, like Leo, was a supporter of the posthumously condemned Formosus, there must have been a split in the Formosan faction, perhaps caused by resentment against Leo as an outsider foisted on the Roman church. Christopher's triumph lasted only four months; early in 904*Sergius, elected in 898 but supplanted by John IX, moved on Rome with an armed force, seized power, and was acclaimed and consecrated pope. Christopher, of whom only one bull (confirming the privileges of the abbey of Corbie) survives, was rudely deposed, stripped of his insignia and robed as a monk, and sent to join his own victim Leo in gaol. A few months later Sergius, moved by pity (it was said) for their wretched plight, had them both executed. Although sometimes listed as a pope, Christopher is properly reckoned an antipope.

Further Reading

LP ii. lxix; 235JW i. 444 f.E. Dümmler, Auxilius und Vulgarius (Leipzig, 1866), 60 and 135Flodoard, De Chr. trium. 12. 7 (PL 135: 831)Herimannus Augiensis, Chron. a. 904 (MGSS 5: 111)Mariannus Scottus, Chron. (MGSS 5: 487)DHGE xii. 778 f. (G. Bardy)Levillian i. 312 (K. Herbers)

Subjects: Christianity.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.