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Pope Benedict VIII
|Papacy began||18 May 1012|
|Papacy ended||9 April 1024|
9 April 1024|
Rome, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
|Other Popes named Benedict|
Pope Benedict VIII (died 9 April 1024), born Theophylactus, was Pope from 1012 to 1024. He was of the noble family of the counts of Tusculum (son of Gregory, Count of Tusculum, and brother of future Pope John XIX), descended from Theophylact, Count of Tusculum, just as was his predecessor Pope Benedict VI (973–974).
Benedict VIII was opposed by an antipope, Gregory VI, who compelled him to flee Rome. He was restored by Henry II of Germany, whom he crowned Emperor on 14 February 1014. He remained on good terms with Henry for his entire pontificate. In Benedict VIII's pontificate the Saracens renewed their attacks on the southern coasts of Italy. They also burned Pavia and effected a settlement in Sardinia. The Normans also then began to settle in Italy. The Pope promoted peace in Italy by allying himself with the Normans, orchestrating the defeat of the Saracens in Sardinia and subjugating the Crescentii. In 1022, he held a synod at Pavia with the Emperor to restrain simony and incontinence of the clergy. The reformation sponsored by Cluny Abbey was supported by him, and he was a friend of its abbot, St. Odilo.
In 1020, Benedict VIII travelled to Germany to confer with Henry II about the renewed Byzantine menace in the Mezzogiorno. Arriving at Bamberg at Eastertide, he consecrated the new cathedral there, obtained a charter from Henry II confirming the donations of Charlemagne and Otto the Great, and visited the monastery of Fulda. He convinced the Emperor to lead an expedition into the south of Italy and subordinate his vassals who had defected to Greek authority.
- Johann Lorenz Mosheim, James Murdock, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, (A.H.Maltby, 1832), 181-182.
- Peter Lasko, Ars Sacra: 800-1200, (Yale University Press, 1994), 111.
- Ferdinand Gregorovius, Annie Hamilton, History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages, (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 25.
- Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church, (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921), 218.
- Knud Ottosen, The Responsories and Versicles of the Latin Office of the Dead, (BoD, 2008), 263.
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