Benedict VI, Pope

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Pontificate: Dec. 972 to July 974. A Roman by birth and a member of the clergy, he was chosen as pope by otto i. When Otto died, May 7, 973, and while his son otto ii was fully occupied with German affairs, the nobility of Rome rose against Benedict. Under the leadership of Crescentius I (see crescentii) they made Benedict a prisoner (June 974) and chose as antipope a deacon named Franco, who called himself Boniface VII. All the evidence indicates that it was he who ordered Benedict to be strangled in prison, June 974. Surviving documents of Benedict's pontificate concerning the dispute between Archbishop Frederick of Salzburg and Bishop pilgrim of passau over the jurisdiction in Noricum and Pannonia (Hungary) are forgeries.

Bibliography: p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natur 1198 (Graz 1956) 1:331, 2:707. Liber pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne (Paris 18861958) 2:255256, 568. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304 (London 190232) 4:305314. f. baix, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 8:3843. j. haller, Das Papsttum (Stuttgart 195053) 2:217255. j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 130.

[s. mckenna]