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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. 234-235.

The Lives of the Popes,
B. Platina

Volume I.

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A.D. 884-885.

HADRIAN the Third, a Roman, son of Benedict, was a man of so great a spirit, that immediately upon his entrance on the Popedom he proposed to the Senate and people that a law should pass that no regard should hereafter be given to the authority of the Emperor in the creation of any Pope, but that the election of the clergy and people should be free. This institution was rather attempted than begun before by Nicolas I., as was said; but I believe Hadrian took now the opportunity, when the Emperor Charles was marching with his army out of Italy against the rebellious Normans. He went with a design utterly to extirpate that unquiet people; but perceiving that would be difficult, and not to be done without great slaughter of his own men, he granted them that part of France to live in which lies beyond the river Seine, and is still called, from the name of the people, Normandy. They were bound to pay a yearly tribute to the crown of France, to mind them that they stood possessed of the country, not by their own power, but by the bounty of the Emperor Charles. At this time William, surnamed the Godly, Duke of Aquitain and Earl of Auvergne, not having any heirs male, began magnificently to build the monastery of Clugny,1 in his father’s manor, in a village of Burgundy, and made Berno abbot of the place, having set out an income for the maintenance of the monks; but he dying left it unfinished, having constituted Ebbo, Earl of Poictou, his heir, who should take care, according to his last will, of the whole matter. And now Hadrian, of whom, for his courage and haughty spirit, 235 the clergy and people of Rome had conceived so great hopes, died in the first year and second month of his Popedom, and was buried in St Peter’s Church, with the general lamentation of the people for the unseasonable loss of such a father.


 1  This is an error. The monastery of Clugny was not founded until 912. — ED.

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Previous Pope: 111. Martin II. 112. Hadrian III. Next Pope: 113. Stephen VI.

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