|Papacy began||10 April 847|
|Papacy ended||17 July 855|
by Pope Sergius II
Rome, Papal States
|Died||17 July 855|
Rome, Papal States
|Venerated in||Catholic Church|
|Other popes named Leo|
|Papal styles of|
Pope Leo IV
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
Pope Leo IV (790 – 17 July 855) was pope from 10 April 847 to his death in 855. He is remembered for repairing Roman churches that had been damaged during Arab raids on Rome, and for building the Leonine Wall around Vatican Hill. Pope Leo organized a league of Italian cities who fought the sea Battle of Ostia against the Saracens.
A Roman by birth, Leo received his early education at Rome in the monastery of St. Martin, near St. Peter's. He attracted the notice of Pope Gregory IV, who made him a subdeacon; and was created Cardinal-Priest of Santi Quattro Coronati ("Four Crowned Martyrs") by Pope Sergius II.
In April 847, Leo was unanimously chosen to succeed Sergius II. As the attack of the Saracens on Rome in 846 caused the people to fear for the safety of the city, he was consecrated on 10 April, 847 without waiting for the consent of the emperor.
He immediately began to repair the damage done to various churches of the city by the Saracens during the reign of his predecessor. He restored and embellished the damaged Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura and St. Peter's. The latter's altar again received its gold covering (after being stolen), which weighed 206 lb. and was studded with precious gems. Following the restoration of St. Peter's, Leo appealed to the Christian kingdoms to confront the Arab raiders.
Leo also took precautions against further raids. He put the walls of the city into a thorough state of repair, entirely rebuilding fifteen of the great towers. He was the first to enclose the Vatican hill by a wall. Leo ordered a new line of walls encompassing the suburb on the right bank of the Tiber to be built, including St. Peter's Basilica, which had been undefended until this time. The district enclosed by the walls is still known as the Leonine City, and corresponds to the later rione of Borgo. To do this, he received money from the emperor, and help from all the cities and agricultural colonies (domus cultae) of the Duchy of Rome. The work took him four years to accomplish, and the newly fortified portion was called the Leonine City, after him.
In 849, when a Saracen fleet from Sardinia approached Portus, the Pope summoned the Repubbliche Marinare (or mariner cities of Italy) – Naples, Gaeta and Amalfi – to form a league. The command of the unified fleet was given to Cesarius, son of Duke Sergius I of Naples. Aided by a fierce storm, the Saracen fleet was destroyed off Ostia.The Battle of Ostia was one of the most famous in history of the Papacy of the Middle Ages and is celebrated in a famous fresco by Raphael and his pupils in his rooms of the Vatican Palace in the Vatican City.
A separate incident in Leo's life celebrated by Raphael's Incendio di Borgo, the fire in the pilgrims' district of Rome (the "Borgo"), which, according to legend, was stopped by Leo making the sign of the cross.
Leo IV held three synods, the one in 850 distinguished by the presence of Holy Roman Emperor Louis II, but the other two of little importance. In 863, he travelled to Ravenna to settle a dispute with the archbishop. As the archbishop was a good terms with Emperor Lothair I, the pope had little success.The history of the papal struggle with Hincmar of Reims, which began during Leo's pontificate, belongs properly to that of Nicholas I.
Leo IV died on 17 July 855 and was succeeded by Benedict III.
Leo IV was originally buried in his own monument in St. Peter's Basilica, however some years after his death, his remains were put into a tomb that contained the first four Pope Leos. In the 18th century, the relics of Leo the Great were separated from the other Leos and given their own chapel.
Leo IV had the figure of a rooster placed on the Old St. Peter's Basilica or old Constantinian basilicawhich has served as a religious icon and reminder of Peter's denial of Christ since that time, with some churches still having the cockerel on the steeple today. It is reputed that Pope Gregory I had previously said that the cock (rooster) "was the most suitable emblem of Christianity", being "the emblem of St Peter". After Leo IV, Pope Nicholas I, who had been made a deacon by Leo IV, decreed that the figure of the cock (rooster) should be placed on every church.
Pope Sergius II was pope from January 844 to his death in 847.
Year 848 (DCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar.
Nicholas I, called Nicholas the Great, was the Pope from 24 April 858 until his death. He is remembered as a consolidator of Papal authority, exerting decisive influence on the historical development of the Papacy and its position among the Christian nations of Western Europe. Nicholas I asserted that the Pope should have suzerain authority over all Christians, even royalty, in matters of faith and morals.
The Papal Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, commonly known as Saint Paul's Outside the Walls, is one of Rome's four ancient, papal, major basilicas, along with the basilicas of Saint John in the Lateran, Saint Peter's, and Saint Mary Major.
The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the pope, the head of the Catholic Church, located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Papal Palace, the Palace of the Vatican and the Vatican Palace. The Vatican itself refers to the building as the Palace of Sixtus V, in honor of Pope Sixtus V, who built most of the present form of the palace.
St. Peter's Square is a large plaza located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, the papal enclave inside Rome, directly west of the neighbourhood or rione of Borgo. Both the square and the basilica are named after Saint Peter, an apostle of Jesus considered by Catholics to be the first Pope.
The Lateran Palace, formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran, is an ancient palace of the Roman Empire and later the main papal residence in southeast Rome.
The four Raphael Rooms form a suite of reception rooms, now part of the Vatican Museums in Vatican City. They are famous for their frescoes, painted by Raphael and his workshop. Together with Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes, they are the grand fresco sequences that mark the High Renaissance in Rome.
Leonine City is the part of the city of Rome around which the ninth-century Pope Leo IV commissioned the construction of the Leonine Wall. It is located on the opposite side of the Tiber from the seven hills of Rome and was not enclosed within the ancient city's Aurelian Walls, built between 271 and 275. Vatican City is within the enclosed area, but the Leonine City, containing also the Roman rione of Borgo, is much more extensive than the Vatican.
Borgo is the 14th historic district (rione) of Rome, Italy. It lies on the west bank of the Tiber, within Municipio I, and it has a trapezoidal shape. Its coat of arms shows a lion, lying in front of three mounts and a star. These – together with a lion rampant – are also part of the coat of arms of Pope Sixtus V, who annexed Borgo as the 14th rione of Rome.
The naval Battle of Ostia took place in 849 in the Tyrrhenian Sea between Muslim pirates and an Italian league of Papal, Neapolitan, Amalfitan, and Gaetan ships. The battle ended in favor of the Italian league, as they defeated the pirates. It is one of the few events to occur in southern Italy during the ninth century that is still commemorated today, largely through the walls named after Leo and for the Renaissance painting Battaglia di Ostia by Raphael.
A major basilica is one of the four highest-ranking Roman Catholic church buildings, all of which are also papal basilicas: the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran, St. Peter's Basilica, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, and the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. All of them are located within the diocese of Rome: St. Peter's Basilica is located in Vatican City and thus within the territory and sovereign jurisdiction of the Holy See. The other three are geographically located in Italian territory, but enjoy extraterritorial status under the Lateran Treaty. The Archbasilica of Saint John in the Lateran is the seat of the Pope and the site of the Papal Cathedra, and is the oldest and first in rank of the major basilicas.
The Arab raid against Rome took place in 846. Muslim raiders plundered the outskirts of the city of Rome, sacking the basilicas of Old St Peter's and St Paul's-Outside-the-Walls, but were prevented from entering the city itself by the Aurelian Walls.
Old St. Peter's Basilica was the building that stood, from the 4th to 16th centuries, where the new St. Peter's Basilica stands today in Vatican City. Construction of the basilica, built over the historical site of the Circus of Nero, began during the reign of Emperor Constantine I. The name "old St. Peter's Basilica" has been used since the construction of the current basilica to distinguish the two buildings.
Sergius I was the first duke of Naples of his dynasty, often dubbed the "Sergi," which ruled over Naples for almost three centuries from his accession in 840 until the death of his namesake Sergius VII in 1137.
The Fire in the Borgo is a painting created by the workshop of the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael between 1514 and 1517. Though it is assumed that Raphael did make the designs for the complex composition, the fresco was most likely painted by his assistant Giulio Romano. The painting was part of Raphael's commission to decorate the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. It depicts Pope Leo IV halting a fire in 847 with a benediction from a balcony in front of the Old St. Peter's Basilica. The mural lends its name to the Stanza dell'incendio del Borgo.
The Battle of Ostia is a painting by the workshop of the Italian renaissance artist Raphael. The painting was part of Raphael's commission to decorate the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. It is located in the room that was named after The Fire in the Borgo, the Stanza dell'incendio del Borgo and was inspired by the naval battle fought in 849 between the Saracens and a Christian League of Papal, Neapolitan and Gaetan ships. In the painting Pope Leo IV, with the features of Pope Leo X, is giving thanks after the Arab ships were destroyed by a storm.
This is an index of Vatican City–related topics.
The Renaissance in Rome occupied a period from the mid-15th to the mid-16th centuries, a period which spawned such masters as Michelangelo and Raphael, who left an indelible mark on Western figurative art. The city had been a magnet for artists wishing to study its classical ruins since the early 1400s. A revived interest in the Classics brought about the first archaeological study of Roman remains by the architect Filippo Brunelleschi and sculptor Donatello. This inspired a corresponding classicism in painting and sculpture, which manifested itself in the paintings of Masaccio and Uccello. Pisanello and his assistants also frequently took inspiration from ancient remains, but their approach was essentially cataloguing, acquiring a repertoire of models to be exploited later.
From 756 to 857, the papacy shifted from the orbit of the Byzantine Empire to that of the kings of the Franks. Pepin the Short, Charlemagne, and Louis the Pious had considerable influence in the selection and administration of popes. The "Donation of Pepin" (756) ratified a new period of papal rule in central Italy, which became known as the Papal States.
|Catholic Church titles|
| Pope |