Sisinnius, Pope

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Pontifcate: Jan. 15 to Feb. 4, 708; b. Syria, date unknown; d. Rome. His exact birthplace is unknown, but the Liber pontificalis states that he was a native of Syria, the "son of John." There is no information on his education. He seems to have been a man of both practical ability and noble generosity. In January 708 Sisinnius was elected successor to john vii by the clergy and nobility of Rome, as was the custom. His pontificate of 20 days was complicated by the exactions of the Byzantine exarch at Ravenna, the encroachment of the lombards, and the menace of the Moslem advance from the south. As pope, his first act was to order the reinforcement of the walls of Rome. He held one ordination and consecrated a bishop for Corsica. He was buried in St. Peter's.

Bibliography: l. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198, ed. p. ewald 1:247. Liber pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne, (Paris, 1958) 1:388. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Midlle Ages from 590 to 1304 (London 193032) 1.2:124126. e. caspar, Geschichte de Papsttums von den Anfängen bis zur Höhe der Weltherrschaft (Tübingen 193033) 2:620. g. h. baudry, Catholicisme hier aujourd'hui demain, 14 (Paris 1994). j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 8586.

[m. a. mulholland]