1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gregory (Popes)/Gregory II

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Gregory II., pope from 715 to 731, succeeded Constantine I., whom he accompanied from Constantinople in 710. Gregory did all in his power to promote the spread of Christianity in Germany, and gave special encouragement to the mission of St Boniface, whom he consecrated bishop in 722. He was a staunch adherent of the East Roman empire, which still exercised sovereignty over Rome, Ravenna and some other parts of Italy, and he impeded as far as possible the progress of the Lombards. About 726, however, he became involved in a conflict with the emperor Leo the Isaurian on account of the excessive taxation of the Italians, and, later, on the question of image worship, which had been proscribed by the government of Constantinople. Leo endeavoured to rid himself of the pope by violence, but Gregory, supported by the people of Rome and also by the Lombards, succeeded in eluding the emperor’s attacks, and died peacefully on the 11th of February 731.