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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]; p. 263.

The Lives of the Popes,
B. Platina

Volume I.



A.D. 996.

JOHN the Sixteenth, a Roman, succeeded when Otho was Emperor, but had not yet been crowned. He was a man of great learning, and (as Martinus writes) was the author of several elegant things. He was so teased with seditions by Crescentius, the consul of Rome, who claimed to himself an absolute power in the city, that he gave place to the man’s ambition, and withdrew into Tuscany. But Crescentius, understanding that John was so extremely enraged that he had sent for Otho and his army into Italy, he despatched all the Pope’s kinsmen and friends that were left in Rome, to him, to desire him to lay by all thoughts of bringing Otho to his assistance, but to come to the city, there to exercise his most ample power, promising perfect obedience in all matters. John, being moved with the entreaties of his friends, and partly fearing lest if Otho should enter Italy with his army he might do more hurt than good, went to Rome, where Crescentius, with all the magistrates and a multitude of citizens, meeting him, he was brought to the palace of Lateran, in the porch whereof Crescentius and all the heads of the faction kissed his feet and begged his pardon; and thus matters being composed, they afterwards lived quietly together. At this time Henry, Abbot of Loby in Lorraine, Adolphus, Bishop of Utrecht, who wrote much in praise of the Blessed Virgin and of the Holy Cross, and Albo, Abbot of Fleury (who afterwards in Gascoigne suffered martyrdom for the faith of Christ), men famous for learning, religion, and sanctity, are said to have flourished.


 1  [He is an Anti-Pope, inasmuch as he was chosen by Crescentius as the opponent of Gregory V.]

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Previous Pope: 144. Gregory V. 145. John XVI. Next Pope: 146. Sylvester II.

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