Laurentius (antipope)

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Laurentius († 506/507) was an antipope 498–499.

After the death of Pope Anastasius II , two successors were elected on November 22, 498 after a five-day vacancy . One was Symmachus , a former deacon , the other the former Archipresbyter Laurentius. Although he was only elected by a minority of the clergy, the nobility and the Senate of Rome supported Laurentius.

Laurentius wanted to settle the Akakian schism , which had lasted since 484, and therefore sought a compromise with Constantinople . Symmachus, on the other hand, was adamant about Byzantium. Because they could not find a unified policy, both parties called King Theodoric to Rome as their arbiter.

The Ostrogoth king had Symmachus recognized as bishop of Rome in 499 and ensured that Laurentius received the diocese of Nuceria Alfaterna in Campania . The now unambiguous bishop was embroiled in a court scandal two or three years later, which damaged his reputation, Theodoric initially fell away from him and Laurentius rushed back to Rome. From around 502 to 506 both parties fought violent street battles in Rome, which prompted the citizens to turn to Theodoric. Again he stood up for Symmachus because, in contrast to Laurentius, with his strict attitude to the Akakian schism, he supported the king's anti-Byzantine policy.

Laurentius then withdrew to his estate near Rome and died as an ascetic around the year 506.


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