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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. 247-248.

The Lives of the Popes,
B. Platina

Volume I.

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A.D. 929-931.

STEPHEN the Eighth, a Roman (according to some authors), came to be Pope at the time when the Hungari, who were overrunning Germany and Saxony, were by Henry, King of Germany, overcome with a great slaughter near Mersburg.1 It is said also that at this time Rodulphus, King of Burgundy, made his descent into Italy with a great army against Berengarius II., who, by the treachery of his own men, was driven out of his kingdom and fled to the Hungarians for refuge, who taking up arms in his cause, the third year after his expulsion, under the conduct of one Salardus, invade Italy with huge forces, and take Pavia by storm, destroying the greatest part of it with fire and sword. The Italians hereupon finding Rodulphus to want strength and courage, call in Hugh, Count of Arles. It was not without contention that Rodulphus gave place to him, but his enemies bearing hard upon him, he retreated into Burgundy. After this, Hugh, finding occasion to mistrust those persons that called him in, banished many of them, who fled to Arnoldus, Duke of Bavaria, a man greedy of rule, and persuade 248 him to make war upon Italy. He passes the Alps, and is immediately received within the walls of Verona by the citizens with great kindness and friendship, but Hugh, marching against him, beats him in a pitched battle, and soon retakes Verona. Meanwhile Berengarius dies in Bavaria, or, as others say, in Hungary, and Berengarius III., grandson of Berengarius I. by his daughter, comes into Italy, and in the year 935 gets the Empire. Some there are that ascribe these actions that I have mentioned to the time of this Pope, but I would rather assign them to some of those Popes that preceded and succeeded; because, though I have set them down in short, yet they must needs require a long time to be brought about. But in so great a diversity of opinions concerning times, I chose rather to place them somewhere, than utterly to omit things, which were certainly once done, for the uncertainty of writers. For the sake of posterity we would not be so superstitious as to disbelieve that which various authors have here or there thought good to record. To the times of this Pope may justly also be ascribed St Ugibert, a noblemen of Loraine, who in a short time, at his own charge, built the monastery of Gemblours after a magnificent manner. At this time also it is said that Spireneus, Duke of Bohemia, first received the Christian faith; those that were then called dukes being now, upon the increase of their wealth and strength, entitled kings of Bohemia. But Stephen, having led a peaceable and religious life, died in the second year, first month, and twelfth day of his Popedom, and was buried in St Peter’s Church.


 1  This battle was not fought till 934. Most of these events belong to the next Popedom. — ED.

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Previous Pope: 127. Leo VI. 128. Stephen VIII. Next Pope: 129. John XI.

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