Pontificate: July 31, 768. Philip was chaplain of the monastery of St. Vito on the Esquiline in Rome; nothing else is known of his earlier life. In the confusion after the antipope Constantine II (767–68) had been taken captive, a Lombard priest named Waldipert attempted to install Philip as pope. Constantine had represented the interests of the military elite, and the former papal chancellor, Christophorus, had approached the Lombards to help depose Constantine. Waldipert, serving as a personal envoy of the Lombard king Desiderius (757–74), accompanied Christophorus' brother Sergius in an attack on Rome that ended Constantine's papacy. Upon entering Rome, Waldipert found Philip, managed to have him acclaimed pope by some citizens, and took him to the Lateran. When Christophorus heard of this, he appeared outside the city and swore he would not enter until Philip was removed. At this, one of Christophorus' partisans, a military official named Gratiosus (who would later become duke of Rome), forced Philip to return to his monastery. Then Christophorus entered the city and soon oversaw the election of Pope Stephen III (IV)(768–72). No harm appears to have come to Philip, and nothing more is known of him.
Bibliography: l. duchesne, ed. Liber Pontificalis (Paris 1886–92; repr. 1955–57) 1.470–71. p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum Romanorum (Leipzig 1885–88; repr. Graz 1956) 1.284. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages (London 1902–32) 1 (2).367–74. t. f. x. noble, The Republic of St. Peter (Philadelphia 1984). j. n. d. kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 94–95.
[p. m. savage]