1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Innocent/Innocent I
Innocent I., pope from 402 to 417, was the son of Pope Anastasius I. It was during his papacy that the siege of Rome by Alaric (408) took place, when, according to a doubtful anecdote of Zosimus, the ravages of plague and famine were so frightful, and help seemed so far off, that papal permission was granted to sacrifice and pray to the heathen deities; the pope was, however, absent from Rome on a mission to Honorius at Ravenna at the time of the sack in 410. He lost no opportunity of maintaining and extending the authority of the Roman see as the ultimate resort for the settlement of all disputes; and his still extant communications to Victricius of Rouen, Exuperius of Toulouse, Alexander of Antioch and others, as well as his action on the appeal made to him by Chrysostom against Theophilus of Alexandria, show that opportunities of the kind were numerous and varied. He took a decided view on the Pelagian controversy, confirming the decisions of the synod of the province of proconsular Africa held in Carthage in 416, which had been sent to him. He wrote in the same year in a similar sense to the fathers of the Numidian synod of Mileve who, Augustine being one of their number, had addressed him. Among his letters are one to Jerome and another to John, bishop of Jerusalem, regarding annoyances to which the first named had been subjected by the Pelagians at Bethlehem. He died on the 12th of March 417, and in the Roman Church is commemorated as a confessor along with Saints Nazarius, Celsus and Victor, martyrs, on the 28th of July. His successor was Zosimus.