Pope Benedict III
English name=Benedict III
September 29, 855
April 17, 858
Benedict III was
Popefrom September 29, 855to April 17, 858.
Little is known of Benedict's life before his papacy. He was educated and lived in Rome and was cardinal
priestof S. Callistoat the time of his election. [J. N. D. Kelly, "Benedict III" in "The Oxford Dictionary of Popes," (2006).] Benedict had a reputation for learning and piety. He was elected upon the refusal of Hadrian, the initial choice of clergy and people. A group of important people preferred a different candidate, Anastasius. This latter group had Benedict's election disavowed and Anastasius installed. However, popular opinion was so strong that Benedict's consecrationwas allowed. The Emperor Louis II's envoys forced Benedict to handle Anastasius and his adherents leniently.The schism helped to weaken the hold of the emperors upon the popes, especially upon their elections.
Benedict intervened in the conflict between the sons of
Lothair I(the future Lothair II, Louis II and Charles) on the latter's death. He was active in other cases and adopted a firm position towards Constantinople. Aethelwulfof Wessexand his son, the future Alfred the Greatvisited Rome in Benedict's reign.
If a three-year-term of the legendary (and probably fictional)
Pope Joanhad existed between the reigns of Pope Leo IVand Benedict, Benedict's term would only have consisted of a few months.
*9th edition (1880s) of the
*Cheetham, Nicolas, "Keepers of the Keys", New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1983. ISBN 0-684-1863-X
* [http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/01_01_0855-0858-_Benedictus_III.html Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Latina with analytical indexes]
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