Pope John VII

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Pope

John VII
Byzantinischer Mosaizist um 705 002.jpg
Byzantine Mosaic of John VII, from about 705
Papacy began1 March 705
Papacy ended18 October 707
Predecessor John VI
Successor Sisinnius
Personal details
Born650
Rossano in Calabria, Byzantine Empire
Died(707-10-18)18 October 707
Other popes named John

Pope John VII (Latin : Ioannes VII; c. 650 – 18 October 707) was Bishop of Rome from 1 March 705 to his death in 707. [1] Like his predecessor, John VI, John VII was an ethnic Greek. [2] He is one of the popes of the Byzantine Papacy.

Pope John VI pope

Pope John VI was Bishop of Rome from 30 October 701 to his death in 705. John VI was a Greek from Ephesus who reigned during the Byzantine Papacy. His papacy was noted for military and political breakthroughs on the Italian peninsula. He succeeded to the papal chair two months after the death of Pope Sergius I, and his election occurred after a vacancy of less than seven weeks. He himself was succeeded by Pope John VII after a vacancy of less than two months. The body of the pope was buried in Old St. Peter's Basilica.

Byzantine Papacy Byzantine domination of the Roman papacy, 537 to 752

The Byzantine Papacy was a period of Byzantine domination of the Roman papacy from 537 to 752, when popes required the approval of the Byzantine Emperor for episcopal consecration, and many popes were chosen from the apocrisiarii or the inhabitants of Byzantine-ruled Greece, Syria, or Sicily. Justinian I conquered the Italian peninsula in the Gothic War (535–554) and appointed the next three popes, a practice that would be continued by his successors and later be delegated to the Exarchate of Ravenna.

Contents

Biography

John was a native of Rossano in Calabria. [2] [3] His father, Plato (c. 620 – 686), was imperial cura palatii urbis Romae, or curator of the Palatine Hill. This makes John the first pope to be the son of a Byzantine official. [4] His mother was called Blatta (c. 627 – 687). [4] His paternal grandfather was Theodorus Chilas (c. 600 – aft. 655), a Senator in 655. [5]

Rossano Frazione in Calabria, Italy

Rossano is a town and frazione of Corigliano-Rossano in the province of Cosenza, Calabria, southern Italy. The city is situated on an eminence c. 3. km from the Gulf of Taranto. The town is known for its marble and alabaster quarries.

Calabria Region of Italy

Calabria, known in antiquity as Bruttium, is a region in Southern Italy.

Palatine Hill hill in municipio I, Italy

The Palatine Hill, which is the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome, is one of the most ancient parts of the city and has been called "the first nucleus of the Roman Empire." It stands 40 metres above the Roman Forum, looking down upon it on one side, and upon the Circus Maximus on the other. From the time of Augustus Imperial palaces were built here. Prior to extensions to the Palace of Tiberius and the construction of the Domus Augustana by Domitian, 81-96 AD, the hill was mostly occupied by the houses of the rich. The perimeter measures 2,182 meters and the area is 255,801 square meters or 63 acres, with a circumference of 1,740 meters while the Regionary Catalogues of the fourth century give a perimeter of 11,510 feet or 3,402 meters (equals 131 acres.

John VII had good relations with the Lombards, who then ruled much of Italy. However, his relations with Justinian II, the Byzantine Emperor, were far from smooth. Papal relations with Byzantium had soured over the Quinisext (or Trullan) council of 692. [6] Scholarly debate contests John VII's stance on the Canons. [7] [8] [9] He did not ratify the Canons, which were deeply unpopular in Italy. Nonetheless, he was criticized, most unusually, by the Liber Pontificalis for not signing them:

Lombards Historical ethnical group

The Lombards or Longobards were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774.

Justinian II Byzantine emperor

Justinian II, surnamed the Rhinotmetos or Rhinotmetus, was the last Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian Dynasty, reigning from 685 to 695 and again from 705 to 711. Justinian II was an ambitious and passionate ruler who was keen to restore the Roman Empire to its former glories, but he responded poorly to any opposition to his will and lacked the finesse of his father, Constantine IV. Consequently, he generated enormous opposition to his reign, resulting in his deposition in 695 in a popular uprising, and he only returned to the throne in 705 with the help of a Bulgar and Slav army. His second reign was even more despotic than the first, and it too saw his eventual overthrow in 711, abandoned by his army who turned on him before killing him.

Quinisext Council synod

The Quinisext Council was a church council held in 692 at Constantinople under Justinian II. It is known as the "Council in Trullo" because, like the Sixth Ecumenical Council, it was held in a domed hall in the Imperial Palace. Both the Fifth and the Sixth Ecumenical Councils had omitted to draw up disciplinary canons, and as this council was intended to complete both in this respect, it took the name of Quinisext, i.e. the Fifth-Sixth Council. It was attended by 215 bishops, all from the Eastern Roman Empire. Basil of Gortyna in Crete, however, belonged to the Roman patriarchate and called himself papal legate, though no evidence is extant of his right to use that title.

He [Emperor Justinian II] despatched two metropolitan bishops, also sending with them a mandate in which he requested and urged the pontiff [John VII] to gather a council of the apostolic church, and to confirm such of them as he approved, and quash and reject those which were adverse. But he, terrified in his human weakness, sent them back to the prince by the same metropolitans without any emendations at all. [10]

Several monuments in Rome are connected with John. The most notable is the Church of St. Maria Antiqua at the foot of the Palatine Hill. [6] Traces of an episcopal palace Episcopium associated with John have been discovered upon the Palatine. [11] John VII also constructed an Oratory dedicated to the Theotokos, located within the old basilica of St. Peter. Fragments of the mosaic decoration can be found in the Vatican grottoes. Furthermore, a sizeable icon, known as the Madonna della Clemenza and housed in Santa Maria in Trastevere, is believed to have been commissioned under the patronage of John. [12] He also restored the monastery of Subiaco, destroyed by the Lombards in 601.

Rome Capital of Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

An Episcopium is an ecclesiastical figure and their administration. Episcopium emphasizes “an essential unity between his [the bishop’s] person, power and place.” In medieval Italy Episcopium were frequently part of a complex connected to the Baptistery and Cathedral.

<i>Theotokos</i> Title given to Mary in Eastern Christianity

Theotokos is a title of Mary, mother of Jesus, used especially in Eastern Christianity. The usual Latin translations, Dei Genetrix or Deipara, are "Mother of God" or "God-bearer".

John VII died 18 October, 707 and was buried in the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary which had been added on to St. Peter's. [13] He was succeeded by Sisinnius. [6]

Pope Sisinnius pope

Pope Sisinnius was Bishop of Rome from 15 January 708 to his death in February of that year.

Notes

  1. Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope John VII"  . Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  2. 1 2 Murzaku, Ines Angeli (2009). Returning home to Rome: the Basilian monks of Grottaferrata in Albania. Analekta Kryptoferris. p. 47. ISBN   9788889345047. Rossano, a town in southern Italy, which is probably the birthplace of another well-known Greek figure, Pope John VII who reigned in the See of St. Peter for two years (705–707)
  3. Hare, Augustus J. C. (2007). Cities of Southern Italy and Sicily. READ BOOKS. pp. 344–345. ISBN   9781406782127. Pope John VII. (705–707) was a native of Rossano.
  4. 1 2 Kelly, J. N. D. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 84.
  5. Bernd Josef Jansen Genealogy. RootsWeb.com.
  6. 1 2 3 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "John VII (pope)". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  7. Breckenridge, J. D. "Evidence for the Nature of Relations between Pope John VII and the Byzantine Emperor Justinian II". Byzantinische Zeitschrift, Vol. 65, 1972.
  8. Nordhagen, P. J. "Constantinople on the Tiber".
  9. Smith, J. M. H. (ed.). Early Medieval Rome and the Christian West. Leiden, 2000.
  10. Davis, R. The Book of Pontiffs: the ancient biographies of the first ninety Roman bishops to AD 715. Liverpool University Press, 2000, p. 91.
  11. Augenti, A. Il Palatino nel Medioevo. Roma, 1996.
  12. Nordhagen, J. P. "Icons designed for the display of sumptuous votive gifts". Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Vol. 41, 1988.
  13. Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, (HarperCollins, 1997), 117.

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References

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John VI
Pope
705–707
Succeeded by
Sisinnius