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Pope Gregory IV

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Gregory IV
Pope Gregory IV (in the middle) receives a book from Rabanus Maurus (on the right)
Papacy began 20 December 827
Papacy ended 11 January 844
Predecessor Valentine
Successor Sergius II
Personal details
Birth name ???
Born ???
Rome, Papal States
Died 11 January 844(844-01-11)
Other Popes named Gregory

Pope Gregory IV (20 December 827 – 11 January 844) was chosen to succeed Pope Valentine in December 827, on which occasion he recognized the supremacy of the Frankish emperor Louis the Pious in the most unequivocal manner.

Papal dependence on the Holy Roman Emperor loosened through the quarrels of Louis the Pious and his sons, the future Lothair I, Pepin I of Aquitaine and Louis the German. During the rebellion of the sons against their father, Gregory supported Lothair in hopes that his intervention would promote peace, but in practice this action annoyed the Frankish bishops. Gregory's response was to insist upon the primacy of St Peter's successor, the papacy being superior to the Emperor.

The armies of Louis and two of his sons met at Rotfeld, near Colmar, in the summer of 833. The sons persuaded Gregory to go to Louis's camp to negotiate, but he then found he had been duped by Lothair. Louis was deserted by his supporters and was forced to surrender unconditionally; he was deposed and humiliated. This sequence of events is known as the Campus Mendacii ("field of lies"). Louis was subsequently restored, and after his death, Gregory made unsuccessful attempts to mediate in the conflict that ensued between the brothers.

Gregory contributed to the architectural development of Rome (he rebuilt the Basilica di San Marco) and promoted the celebration of the feast of All Saints.

He is also known for his appointment of Ansgar as Archbishop of Hamburg and Bremen, and a missionary delegate for northern and eastern parts of Europe. He fortified the port of Ostia against the attacks of Saracens.


  • Partially from the 9th edition (1880) of an unnamed encyclopedia

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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Sergius II