Benedict IV, Pope

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Pontificate: Jan.April 900 to July 903. A Roman, ordained by Pope formosus, Benedict summoned a Lateran synod (900), which validated the consecrations and ordinations of Formosus. His generosity toward those in distress was praised by Frodoard the historian. This is evident in his support of Stephen, unjustly deprived of his see at Sorrento, Italy, and of an eastern prelate, Malacenus, who had been driven into exile by the Saracens. He formally excommunicated the murderer of Fulk, the Archbishop of Reims, and ordered the French bishops to promulgate this decree throughout the country. In February 901 he crowned Louis III, the Blind, King of Provence and Emperor of Italy. But Louis was defeated by berengar i in 902 and forced to take an oath to leave Italy forever. At Benedict's death, the papacy became the object of party strife.

Bibliography: p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198 (Graz 1956) 1:306. Liber pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne (Paris 18861958) 2:233. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304 (London 190232) 4:103110. f. baix, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 8:2731. w. kÖlmel, Rom und der Kirchenstaat im 10. Und 11. Jahrhundert (Berlin 1935). j. haller, Das Papsttum (Stuttgart 195053) 2:193, 546. r. benericetti, La cronologia dei Papi dei secoli IXXI secondo le carte di Ravenna, (1999) 3132. j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 117118.

[s. mckenna]