Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Pope Benedict VI

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)
Pope Benedict VI

by Horace Kinder Mann

Date of birth unknown; d. August, 974 (see Ricobaldi of Ferrara, Compil. Chron., in Rer. Ital. SS. IX). Benedict, Cardinal-Deacon of St. Theodore, a Roman and the son of Hildebrand, was elected as the successor of John XIII, who died 6 September, 972; but the necessity of waiting for the ratification of the Emperor Otho delayed his consecration till 19 January, 973. Nothing is known of his deeds, except that he confirmed the privileges of some churches and monasteries. The most striking event of his pontificate is the tragic close. He was seized and thrown into the Castle of Sant' Angelo by a faction of the nobility headed by Crescentius and the Deacon Boniface VII. There, after a confinement of less than two months, he was strangled by their orders, to prevent his release by Sicco, an imperial envoy, sent to Rome by Otho II.

The most important source for the history of the first nine popes who bore the name of Benedict is the biographies in the Liber Pontificalis, of which the most useful edition is that of Duchesne, Le Liber Pontificalis (Paris, 1886-92), and the latest that of Mommsen, Gesta Pontif. Roman. (to the end of the reign of Constantine only, Berlin, 1898). Jaffé, Regesta Pont. Rom. (2d ed., Leipzig, 1885), gives a summary of the letters of each pope and tells where they may be read at length. Modern accounts of these popes will be found in any large Church history, or history of the City of Rome. The fullest account in English of most of them is to be read in Mann, Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages (London, 1902, passim).

Horace K. Mann.