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Pope Zachary ( la, Zacharias; 679 – March 752) was the
bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Moravian Chu ...
from December 741 to his death. He was the last
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

pope
of the
Byzantine Papacy The Byzantine Papacy was a period of Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, wh ...
. Zachary built the original church of
Santa Maria sopra Minerva Santa Maria sopra Minerva is one of the major Church (building), churches of the Roman Catholic Order of Preachers (better known as the Dominican order, Dominicans) in Rome, Italy. The church's name derives from the fact that the first Christian ...

Santa Maria sopra Minerva
, forbade the traffic of slaves in Rome, negotiated peace with the
Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on ...
, and sanctioned
Pepin the Short Pepin the Short, also called the Younger (german: Pippin der Jüngere, french: Pépin le Bref, c. 714 – 24 September 768) was King of the Franks The Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was ...
's usurpation of the Frankish throne from
Childeric III Childeric III (c. 717 – c. 754) was King of Francia from 743 until he was deposed by Pope Zachary Pope Zachary ( la, Zacharias; 679 – March 752) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the C ...

Childeric III
. Zachary is regarded as a capable administrator and a skillful and subtle diplomat in a dangerous time.


Early career

Zachary was from the
Calabria it, Calabrese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demogr ...

Calabria
n town of
Santa Severina Santa Severina is a town and ''comune'' in the province of Crotone, in the Calabria region of southern Italy. Name The name derives from ancient Siberine (῾Αγία Σεβερίνη, Σεβεριάνη). There is no Saint named Severina in the G ...

Santa Severina
, either a native or of Balkan origins. He was most probably a
deacon A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christianity, Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the C ...

deacon
of the Roman Church and as such signed the decrees of the Roman council of 732. He was selected to succeed
Gregory III
Gregory III
as
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

pope
on 3 December or 5 December 741.


Pontificate

Gregory III's alliance with the
Lombard The term Lombard refers to members of or things related to Lombardy (man) it, Lombarda (woman) lmo, Lombard (man) lmo, Lombarda (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 ...
Duchy of Spoleto The Duchy of Spoleto (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional I ...
put papal cities at risk when the
dukes of Spoleto The Duke of Spoleto was the ruler of Duchy of Spoleto, Spoleto and most of central Italy outside the Papal States during the Early Middle Ages, Early and High Middle Ages (c. 500 – 1300). The first dukes were appointed by the Lombards, Lombard kin ...
and
Benevento Benevento (, , ; la, Beneventum; Beneventano: ''Beneviénte'') is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance ...
rebelled. Zachary turned to King
Liutprand the Lombard Liutprand was the king of the Lombards The Kings of the Lombards or ''reges Langobardorum'' (singular ''rex Langobardorum'') were the monarchs of the Lombard people from the early 6th century until the Lombardic identity became lost in the 9t ...
directly. Out of respect for Zachary the king restored to the church of Rome all the territory seized by the Lombards and sent back the captives without ransom. The contemporary history (''
Liber pontificalis The ''Liber Pontificalis'' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
'') dwells chiefly on Zachary's personal influence with Liutprand, and with his successor
Ratchis Ratchis (also spelled ''Rachis'', ''Raditschs'', ''Radics'', ''Radiks''; died after 757) was the Duke of Friuli The dukes and margraves of Friuli were the rulers of the Duchy of Friuli, Duchy and March of Friuli in the Middle Ages. The dates ...
. At the request of the
Exarchate of Ravenna The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy ( la, Exarchatus Ravennatis) was a lordship of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the R ...
, Zachary persuaded Liutprand to abandon a planned attack on Ravenna and to restore territory seized from the city. Zachary corresponded with Archbishop
Boniface Boniface ( la, Bonifatius; 675 – 5 June 754), born in the Crediton Crediton is a town and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government Local government is a generic ter ...
of
Mainz Mainz (; ) is the capital and largest city of Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland-Palatinate (german: Rheinland-Pfalz, ) is a western state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine ...

Mainz
, counseling him about dealing with disreputable prelates such as
Milo, bishop of Reims and Trier Milo of Trier (died 762 or 763) was the son of Leudwinus, St. Leudwinus and his successor as Archbishop of Trier and Archbishop of Reims. His great-uncle Saint Basinus had preceded his father as Archbishop of Trier. He was the great-grandson of ...
. "As for Milo and his like, who are doing great injury to the church of God, preach in season and out of season, according to the word of the Apostle, that they cease from their evil ways." At Boniface's request, Zachary confirmed three newly established the bishoprics of
Würzburg Würzburg (; Main-Franconian Main-Franconian (german: Mainfränkisch) is group of Upper German dialects being part of the East Franconian German, East Franconian group. The name is derived from the river Main (river), Main which meets the rive ...

Würzburg
,
Büraburg The Büraburg was a prominent hill castle A hill castle or mountain castle is a castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictiona ...
, and
Erfurt Erfurt ( , ; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller ...

Erfurt
. In 742 he appointed Boniface as papal legate to the
Concilium GermanicumThe Concilium Germanicum was the first major Catholic church, Church synod to be held in the eastern parts of the Franks, Frankish kingdoms. It was called by Carloman (mayor of the palace), Carloman on 21 April 742/743 at an unknown location, and pre ...
, hosted by
Carloman Carloman may refer to: * Carloman (fl. late 6th century), father of Pepin of Landen * Carloman (mayor of the palace) (ruled 741–47) * Carloman I, king of the Franks (768–71) * Carloman, birth name of Pepin of Italy (781–810) * Carloman, son of ...
, one of the Frankish mayors of the Palace. In a later letter Zachary confirmed the metropolitans appointed by Boniface to
Rouen Rouen (, ; or ) is a city on the River Seine in northern France. It is the prefecture of the Regions of France, region of Normandy (administrative region), Normandy and the Departments of France, department of Seine-Maritime. Formerly one of ...

Rouen
,
Reims Reims ( , , ; also spelled Rheims in English) is the most populous city in the French Departments of France, department of Marne (department), Marne. The city lies northeast of Paris on the Vesle river, a tributary of the Aisne (river), Aisn ...

Reims
, and
Sens Sens () is a commune An intentional community is a voluntary residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of group cohesiveness, social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold ...

Sens
. In 745 Zachary convened a synod in Rome to discourage a tendency toward the worship of angels. Zachary corresponded with temporal rulers as well. Answering a question from the Frankish Mayor of the Palace
Pepin the Short Pepin the Short, also called the Younger (german: Pippin der Jüngere, french: Pépin le Bref, c. 714 – 24 September 768) was King of the Franks The Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was ...
, who planned to usurp the Frankish throne from the puppet-king
Childeric III Childeric III (c. 717 – c. 754) was King of Francia from 743 until he was deposed by Pope Zachary Pope Zachary ( la, Zacharias; 679 – March 752) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the C ...

Childeric III
, Zachary rendered the opinion that it was better that he should be king who had the royal power than he who had not. Shortly thereafter, the Frankish nobles decided to abandon Childeric, the last
Merovingian The Merovingian dynasty () was the ruling family of the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the ...
king, in favor of Pepin. Zachary remonstrated with the
Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse ...
Constantine V Copronymus Constantine V ( gr, Κωνσταντῖνος, Kōnstantīnos; July, 718 AD – 14 September 775 AD) was Byzantine emperor from 741 to 775. His reign saw a consolidation of Byzantine security from external threats. As an able military leader, Con ...
on his iconoclastic policies. Zachary built the original church of
Santa Maria sopra Minerva Santa Maria sopra Minerva is one of the major Church (building), churches of the Roman Catholic Order of Preachers (better known as the Dominican order, Dominicans) in Rome, Italy. The church's name derives from the fact that the first Christian ...

Santa Maria sopra Minerva
over an ancient temple to
Minerva Minerva (; ett, Menrva) is the Roman goddess Roman mythology is the body of of as represented in the and . One of a wide variety of genres of , ''Roman mythology'' may also refer to the modern study of these representations, and to ...

Minerva
near the
Pantheon Pantheon may refer to: * Pantheon (religion), the set of gods belonging to a particular religion, mythology or tradition * Pantheon (mythical creature), a mythical or imaginary creature used in heraldry, particularly in Britain Computing *Pant ...

Pantheon
. He also restored the decaying
Lateran Palace The Lateran Palace ( la, Palatium Lateranense), formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran ( la, Palatium Apostolicum Lateranense), is an ancient palace A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence, or the home of a head of s ...
, moving the relic of the head of
Saint George Saint George (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxi ...

Saint George
to the church of San Giorgio al Velabro. After Venetian merchants bought many slaves in Rome to sell to the Muslims of
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
, Zachary forbade such traffic and then paid the merchants their price, giving the slaves their freedom.


Death and legacy

Pope Zachary died around 15 March 752 (it may also have been the 12th or 14th) and was buried in
St. Peter's Basilica The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican ( it, Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano), or simply Saint Peter's Basilica ( la, Basilica Sancti Petri), is a Church (building), church built in the Renaissance architecture, Renaissanc ...

St. Peter's Basilica
. His elected successor,
Stephen Stephen or Steven is a common English first name First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever rec ...

Stephen
, died within days, and Zachary was finally succeeded by . The letters and decrees of Zachary are published in
Jacques Paul Migne Jacques Paul Migne (; 25 October 1800 – 24 October 1875) was a French priest who published inexpensive and widely distributed editions of theological Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of rel ...
, '' Patrolog. lat.'' lxxxix. p. 917–960. Church historian
Johann Peter Kirsch Johann Peter Kirsch (3 November 1861 – 4 February 1941) was a Luxembourgish ecclesiastical historian and biblical archaeologist. Life Johann Peter Kirsch was born in Dippach, Luxembourg, the son of Andreas and Katherine Didier Kirsch. H ...
said of Zachary: "In a troubled era Zachary proved himself to be an excellent, capable, vigorous, and charitable successor of Peter." Peter Partner called Zachary a skilled diplomat, "perhaps the most subtle and able of all the Roman pontiffs, in this dark corridor in which the Roman See hovered just inside the doors of the Byzantine world."Partner, Peter. ''The Lands of St. Peter: The Papal State in the Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance'', University of California Press, 1972, p. 17


References


Further reading

* * *Delogu, Paolo (2000).
Zaccaria, santo
, Enciclopedia dei papi Treccani. *Duchesne, Louis
''Le Liber Pontificalis
texte, introduction et commentaire par L. Duchesne'' Tome I (Paris: E. Thorin 1886), pp. 426–439. (in Latin) * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Zachary 679 births 752 deaths People from the Province of Crotone Byzantine saints Medieval Italian saints Popes of the Byzantine Papacy Greek popes 8th-century archbishops Popes Papal saints 8th-century Christian saints 8th-century popes