Benedict VIII

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17th century mosaic from the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls

Benedict VIII (previously Theophylact II of Tusculum ; * around 980 in Rome or Tusculum ; † April 9, 1024 in Rome) was Pope from May 20 or 21, 1012 until his death.


Benedict VIII was born the son of the count and imperial admiral Gregory of Tusculum from the Tusculan family, who at the time held great power in Rome . The future Pope was a brutal and gifted condottiere . Pope Silvester II appointed him Cardinal Bishop of Porto in 1001. Like his successor brother and the following nephew of the two, he was raised to the rank of Pope as a layman. After his election, Pope Benedict handed over the title of Count of Tusculum, which he had inherited from his father, to his brother Alberich. To consolidate his power, he appointed this brother and his other brother Romanus of Tusculum as consul and duke of Rome and endowed both of them with the appropriate powers.

First Benedict had met the antipope Gregory VI. from the Crescentier family, which had dominated until then , even though they were related to the Counts of Tusculum. Benedict quickly managed to outmaneuver the antipope with King Heinrich II . He finally crowned King Heinrich II and his wife Kunigunde as Emperor and Empress on February 14, 1014 .

Then Pope Benedict consolidated the papal state . In 1016 the army he raised defeated the North African Saracens, who were now also devastating northern Italy, near Luni . When they occupied Sardinia, Benedict allied himself with the sea powers Genoa and Pisa and drove the Saracens from the island with his newly built fleet and the support of his allies. Sardinia was then given to Pisa as a fief . Another campaign against the Byzantines in southern Italy was unsuccessful. In 1020 he visited the emperor in Bamberg and asked for help against the expansion of the Byzantines in southern Italy, where the Normans had become noticeable as a new political force since 1017 . The Council of Pavia , which the Pope and the Emperor held jointly in Pavia in 1022 , passed decrees for church reform: for example, to tighten the duty of celibacy, marriage of priests was forbidden under threat of deposition and the children of clergy were declared unfree ( church slaves ). Together with Henry II, he fought against simony and for celibacy in several synods .

The final addition of the addition filioque to the creed was based on the collaboration with this emperor .

In 1017 and 1020, the Pope had Jews beheaded or burned in Rome on the charge that their blasphemy was the trigger for a hurricane and an earthquake . 1020 he visited Germany in the cities of Fulda and Bamberg , and consecrated in Bamberg for the Old Court belonging Thomas Chapel and St. Stephen's Church one.

He died on April 9, 1024 in Rome. The new Pope was his brother Romanus as John XIX .


Web links

Commons : Benedict VIII.  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ So Miranda, Tellenbach and Schieffer do not name any place of birth.
  2. August Franzen, Remigius Bäumer: Papstgeschichte , p. 143, Herder 1974, ISBN 3-451-01924-8
predecessor Office successor
Sergius IV Pope
John XIX.