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Pope Leo VII



Date of birth unknown; d. 13 July, 939. A Roman and priest of St. Sixtus, and probably a Benedictine monk, he was elected pope 3 January, 936. He seems to have been placed upon the Chair of Peter by the power of Alberic, prince and senator of the Romans. Alberic's authority in Rome was disputed by Hugo, who bore the title of King of Italy (Langobardia). The city was being besieged by Hugo when the famous Odo, Abbot of Cluny, reached it. He had been summoned by Leo, who knew his great influence with both Alberic and Hugo, to make peace between them. Odo accomplished the desires of the pope, and a marraige between Alberic and Hugo's daughter Alda effected at least a temporary understanding between the belligerents. The Bulls of Leo consist for the most part of grants of privilege to various monasteries, especailly to Cluny. One, however, is a letter to Frederick, Archbishop of Mainz. With a view to co-operating in the work of reform which was being accomplished in Germany by Henry I (the Fowler) and his son Otho I, Leo named Frederick his vicar throughout all Germany, with power to proceed against all erring clerics. He would not, however, allow the archbishop to baptize the Jews by force, though he did authorize their expulsion from the cities on their refusal to embrace Christianity.

Liber Pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, II (Paris, 1892), 244; Jaffé Reg. Pontif., I (Leipzig, 1888), 3597 sqq.; Mann, Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, IV (London, 1906), 205 sqq.

Horace K. Mann








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