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From The Lives of the Popes from the Time of our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Accession of Gregory VII. Written Originally in Latin by B. Platina, Native of Cremona, and translated into English (from an anonymous translation, first printed in 1685 by Sir Paul Rycaut), Edited by William Benham, Volume I, London: Griffith, Farran, Okeden & Welsh, [1888, undated in text]; pp. 212-213.

The Lives of the Popes,
B. Platina

Volume I.

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A.D. 824-827.

EUGENIUS the Second, a Roman, son of Boemundus, was for his sanctity, learning, humanity, and eloquence, unanimously1 chosen into the pontificate, at that time particularly when Lotharius, coming into Italy, made choice of a magistrate for the administration of justice, and execution of the laws among the people of Rome, who after a long and heavy servitude, had enjoyed some liberty under the Emperor Charles and his sons. In the meantime Louis, after he had for forty days been spoiling and laying waste the country of Bretagne with fire and sword, having received hostages, he goes to Rouen, and there gives audience to the ambassadors of Michael, Emperor of Constantinople, who came to consult what his opinion was concerning the images of the saints, whether they were to be utterly abolished and destroyed, or kept up and restored again. But Louis referred them to the Pope, who was principally concerned to determine in the matter. After this he marched against the Bulgarians, who were now making inroads into the Pannonias, and at first repelled them; but Haydo, governor of Aquitain, upon confidence of auxiliary forces from Abderamann, king of the Saracens, having rebelled, he was obliged to quit this war, and so the Bulgarians, in a hostile manner, marched without control through the middle of the Pannonias into Dalmatia. 213 But before Louis advanced against Haydo, a great part of Spain had revolted to Haydo, who sent out a fleet which annoyed the sea-port towns all about. Only Bernardus, Earl of Barcelona, though he had disturbance given him both by sea and land, yet continued firm to the emperor. Our Eugenius, excelling in the gifts of body and mind, and despising the goods of fortune, applied himself to works of bounty and munificence, and particularly took so much care in the matter of provision, that all sorts of it, and especially grain, was nowhere cheaper than at Rome. Moreover, he supported the lives and defended the cause of the poor, the fatherless, and widow, in such a manner that he deservedly gained the name of the Father of the Poor. The same course of living he also took before his pontificate, both while he was a priest of St Sabina in the Aventine, which church, when he came to be Pope, he beautified, and also while he was arch-priest of the Lateran Church, from which place he was afterwards for his great merit by an unanimous choice advanced to the papal chair. By his procurement and intercession likewise, all the prisoners and exiles in France returned at length to Rome, who, being stripped of all they had, were relieved and supported by his charity. Nor was it his fault that Sico, Duke of Beneventum, did not quit the siege of Naples, which he at this time reduced to great straits, and carried from thence the body of St Januarius to Beneventum, where he honourably deposited it in the great church with Desiderius and Festus. For the Pope endeavoured to persuade Sico to undertake an expedition against the Saracens, who had already possessed themselves of Palermo in Sicily. The good man, having after this manner continued four years in the pontificate, died lamented of all, who grieved for themselves rather than for him, to whom death was a welcome passage into happiness, and was buried in St Peter’s.


 1  Hardly unanimously. There was the imperialist party, comprising the nobles and the plebeians, more papal than the Popes themselves, who, scorning the subservience of the Popes to the German Emperor, were anxious for an independent pontiff. They put up one Zinzinnus, but the imperialist legate, by astute management, caused Eugenius to be elected, though he had to repress the popular voice with some sternness. — ED.

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Previous Pope: 100. Paschal I. 101. Eugenius II. Next Pope: 10. Valentine I.

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