1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Leo (popes)/Leo VIII

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Leo VIII., pope from 963 to 965, a Roman by birth, held the lay office of protoscrinius when he was elected to the papal chair at the instance of Otto the Great by the Roman synod which deposed John XII. in December 963. Having been hurried with unseemly haste through all the intermediate orders, he received consecration two days after his election, which was unacceptable to the people. In February 964, the emperor having withdrawn from the city, Leo found it necessary to seek safety in flight, whereupon he was deposed by a synod held under the presidency of John XII. On the sudden death of the latter, the populace chose Benedict V. as his successor; but Otto, returning and laying siege to the city, compelled their acceptance of Leo. It is usually said that, at the synod which deposed Benedict, Leo conceded to the emperor and his successors as sovereign of Italy full rights of investiture, but the genuineness of the document on which this allegation rests is more than doubtful. Leo VIII. was succeeded by John XIII.

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