1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Marcellus (popes)

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9821461911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 17 — Marcellus (popes)Theodore Freylinghuysen Collier

MARCELLUS, the name of two popes.

Marcellus I. succeeded Marcellinus, after a considerable interval, most probably in May 308, under Maxentius. He was banished from Rome in 309 on account of the tumult caused by the severity of the penances he had imposed on Christians who had lapsed under the recent persecution. He died the same year, being succeeded by Eusebius. He is commemorated on the 16th of January.

Marcellus II. (Marcello Cervini), the successor of Julius III., was born on the 6th of May 1501, and was elected pope on the 9th of April 1555. He had long been identified with the rigorist party in the church, and as president of the Council of Trent had incurred the anger of the emperor by his jealous defence of papal prerogative. His motives were lofty, his life blameless, his plans for reform nobly conceived. But death removed him (April 30, 1555) before he could do more than give an earnest of his intentions. He was followed by Paul IV.

Contemporary lives are to be found in Panvinio, continuator of Platina, De vitis pontiff, rom.; and Ciaconius, Vitae et res gestae summorum pontiff. rom. (Rome, 1601–1602). P. Polidoro, De gestis, vita et moribus Marcelli II. (Rome, 1744), makes use of an unpublished biography of the pope by his brother, Alessandro Cervini. See also Brilli, Intorno alla vita e alle azioni di Marcello II. (Montepulciano, 1846); Ranke, Popes (Eng. trans., Austin), i. 284 seq.; A. von Reumont, Gesch. der Stadt Rom, iii. 2, 512, seq.  (T. F. C.)