Laurentius (possibly Caelius) was Archpriest of Santa Prassede and later antipope of the Roman Catholic Church. Elected in 498 at the Basilica Saint Mariae (presumably Saint Maria Maggiore) with the support of a dissenting faction with Byzantine sympathies, who were supported by Eastern Roman Emperor Anastasius I Dicorus, in opposition to Pope Symmachus, the division between the two opposing factions split not only the church, but the senate and the people of Rome. However, Laurentius remained in Rome as pope until 506.
Archpriest of Santa Prassede, Laurentius was elected pope on 22 November 498, in opposition to Pope Symmachus, by a dissenting faction. If Theodore Lector can be trusted, he was picked by the former consul Rufius Postumius Festus as a candidate; Festus had secretly promised the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius that Pope Anastasius II would approve the Henotikon , but upon returning from Constantinople he found the Pope had died.
The groups supporting Laurentius and Symmachus split the clergy, Senate and common people, leading to violent clashes between rival groups of supporters. It was clear that some form of arbitration was needed, and both groups proceeded to Ravenna to present their arguments to king Theoderic the Great of the Ostrogoths. Jeffrey Richards observes that "it is a remarkable state of affairs when an Arian king has, for whatever reason, to choose a Catholic pope."Theodoric reviewed the facts, and found that Symmachus fulfilled his criteria for being duly consecrated pope. The "Laurentian Fragment", a document written by partisans of Laurentius, asserts that Symmachus obtained the decision by paying bribes, while deacon Magnus Felix Ennodius of Milan later wrote that 400 solidi were distributed amongst influential personages, whom it would be indiscreet to name.
Finding himself victorious, Symmachus proceeded to call a synod held at Rome on 1 March 499, which was attended by 72 bishops and all of the Roman clergy, with the aim of confirming that his congregation accepted the king's judgment, as well as ensuring in the future there would be no rioting or illegal canvassing at election time. He also tried to appease his opposition by offering Laurentius the Diocese of Nuceria, in Campania.According to the account in the Liber Pontificalis , Symmachus bestowed the see on Laurentius "guided by sympathy", but the "Laurentian Fragment" states that Laurentius "was severely threatened and cajoled, and forcibly despatched" to Nuceria. In either case, the subscription of Aprilis, bishop of Nuceria, to the acta of the synod of 502 suggests Laurentius either never took up the see, or was deposed from it soon after.
However, Laurentius' supporters sustained the schism. Led by Festus, a group of clerics and senators laid charges against Symmachus in an attempt to secure his deposition. Theodoric summoned Symmachus to Ariminum to answer these charges, but after arriving, Symmachus fled the city in the middle of the night, returning to Rome, where he took refuge in St. Peter's. His flight proved to be a major mistake, for it was widely seen as an admission of guilt. Many of the clergy withdrew from communion with Symmachus, and entered into communion with Laurentius.
A contentious synod held in 502 failed to resolve the schism. Laurentius returned to Rome later that year, and for the following four years, according to the "Laurentian Fragment", he held its churches and ruled as pope, with the support of Festus.Laurentius was only forced from his position when a diplomatic effort to convince Theodoric to intervene succeeded. Conducted chiefly by two non-Roman supporters, the Milanese deacon Ennodius and the exiled deacon Dioscorus, they convinced the king's personal physician, the deacon Helpidius, and then convinced Theodoric to instruct Festus to hand over the Roman churches to Symmachus.
Once news of Theodoric's decision reached Rome, Laurentius retired from the city to one of Festus's estates, according to the "Laurentian Fragment", because "he did not want the city to be troubled by daily strife", where he fasted constantly until his death.
Pope Agapetus I was the bishop of Rome from 13 May 535 to his death.
Pope Anastasius II was the bishop of Rome from 24 November 496 to his death. He was an important figure in trying to end the Acacian schism, but his efforts resulted in the Laurentian schism, which followed his death. Anastasius was born in Rome, the son of a priest, and is buried in St. Peter's Basilica.
The 500s decade ran from January 1, 500, to December 31, 509.
The 490s decade ran from January 1, 490, to
Year 506 (DVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Messala and Dagalaiphus. The denomination 506 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Pope Symmachus was the bishop of Rome from 22 November 498 to his death. His tenure was marked by a serious schism over who was legitimately elected pope by the citizens of Rome.
Pope Hormisdas was the bishop of Rome from 20 July 514 to his death. His papacy was dominated by the Acacian schism, started in 484 by Acacius of Constantinople's efforts to placate the Monophysites. His efforts to resolve this schism were successful, and on 28 March 519, the reunion between Constantinople and Rome was ratified in the cathedral of Constantinople before a large crowd.
Pope John I was the bishop of Rome from 13 August 523 to his death. He was a native of Siena, in Italy. He was sent on a diplomatic mission to Constantinople by the Ostrogoth King Theoderic to negotiate better treatment for Arians. Although relatively successful, upon his return to Ravenna, Theoderic had the Pppe imprisoned for allegedly conspiring with Constantinople. The frail pope died of neglect and ill-treatment.
Dioscorus was a deacon of the Alexandrian and the Roman church from 506. In a disputed election following the death of Pope Felix IV, the majority of electors picked him to be pope, in spite of Pope Felix's wishes that Boniface II should succeed him. However, Dioscurus died less than a month after the election, allowing Boniface to be consecrated pope and Dioscurus to be branded an antipope.
Magnus Felix Ennodius was Bishop of Pavia in 514, and a Latin rhetorician and poet.
There was no uniform procedure for papal selection before 1059. The bishops of Rome and supreme pontiffs (popes) of the Catholic Church were often appointed by their predecessors or by political rulers. While some kind of election often characterized the procedure, an election that included meaningful participation of the laity was rare, especially as the popes' claims to temporal power solidified into the Papal States. The practice of papal appointment during this period would later result in the jus exclusivae, i.e., a right to veto the selection that Catholic monarchs exercised into the twentieth century.
The Ostrogothic Papacy was a period from 493 to 537 where the papacy was strongly influenced by the Ostrogothic Kingdom, if the pope was not outright appointed by the Ostrogothic King. The selection and administration of popes during this period was strongly influenced by Theodoric the Great and his successors Athalaric and Theodahad. This period terminated with Justinian I's (re)conquest of Rome during the Gothic War (535–554), inaugurating the Byzantine Papacy (537-752).
The Symmachian forgeries are a sheaf of forged documents produced in the papal curia of Pope Symmachus (498–514) in the beginning of the sixth century, in the same cycle that produced the Liber Pontificalis. In the context of the conflict between partisans of Symmachus and Antipope Laurentius the purpose of these libelli was to further papal pretensions of the independence of the Bishops of Rome from criticisms and judgment of any ecclesiastical tribunal, putting them above law clerical and secular by supplying spurious documents supposedly of an earlier age. "During the dispute between Pope St. Symmachus and the anti-pope Laurentius," the Catholic Encyclopedia reports, "the adherents of Symmachus drew up four apocryphal writings called the 'Symmachian Forgeries'. ... The object of these forgeries was to produce alleged instances from earlier times to support the whole procedure of the adherents of Symmachus, and, in particular, the position that the Roman bishop could not be judged by any court composed of other bishops."
Inportunus was a Roman aristocrat who lived during the reign of Theodoric the Great. He held the consulship without colleague in 509.
Flavius Agapitus was a Roman politician during the reign of Theodoric the Great. He held the consulship with Flavius Anastasius Paulus Probus Sabinianus Pompeius Anastasius as his colleague in 517.
Albinus, or Caecina Decius Faustus Albinus, was a Roman politician during the reign of Theodoric the Great. He held the consulship with Flavius Eusebius in 493. Albinus is best known for being identified with the senator whom Boethius defended from accusations of treasonous correspondence with the Eastern Roman Empire by the referandarius Cyprianus -- only to have Cyprianus then accuse Boethius of the same crime.
Lawrence I was Archbishop of Milan from 490 to c. 511. He is honoured as a saint in the Catholic Church and his feast day is July 25.
Rufius Magnus Faustus Avienus was a politician of the Western Roman Empire. He was appointed consul for 502 with Flavius Probus as his colleague.
Anicius Probus Faustus was a politician of the Western Roman Empire who served as consul in 490 and as Praetorian prefect of Italy from 509 to 512.
Rufius Postumius Festus was a Roman aristocrat who lived during the Late Roman Empire. Festus was the last consul appointed by an Emperor in the West. The next consul appointed in the West was Caecina Decius Maximus Basilius, whom king Odoacer appointed in 480, eight years after Festus.