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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. 123-124.

The Lives of the Popes,
B. Platina

Volume I.

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A.D. 530-532.

BONIFACE the Second, a Roman, son of Sigismund, was also in the time of Justinian, a prince whose vast parts and learning qualified him for that great work which, for the public good, he undertook, of collecting and methodising the scattered Roman laws, and retrenching those which were useless and superfluous. Yet herein he made use of the advice and assistance of John, a patrician, Trebonianus, Theophilus, and Dorotheus, men of great learning and authority. With their help an immense number of near two thousand volumes of decrees, made from the building of the city to this time, confusedly heaped together, were digested under their respective titles into fifty books, which are sometimes called Digests, and sometimes Pandects, because they contain the whole civil law. He made also an epitome of the laws in four books, which go under the name of Institutes, or Justinian’s Code. Moreover, some tell us that Justinian wrote certain books concerning the incarnation of our Lord, and that at his own charge he built the temple of St Sophia, than which there is not a more noble and magnificent pile of buildings in the world.

In his reign Boniface was made bishop of Rome, though not without some opposition; for the clergy being divided, one party of them chose Dioscorus into the place of Felix deceased. The contention about this matter lasted twenty-eight days, but the death of Dioscorus put an end to the 124 controversy. Things being quiet, Boniface applied himself to the settling of the Church, and decreed that no bishop should appoint his own successor, which was afterwards confirmed by several following bishops of Rome. He decreed also, that upon the decease of any bishop of Rome, another should be chosen to succeed him, if it might be, within three days, to prevent any bandying or dissension which might be occasioned by delay.1 He ordained likewise, that the clergy should be separated and placed distinct from the laity at the time of celebration. At the same time many of the Roman nobility were so wrought upon by the sanctity of Benedict, that they retired to Mount Cassino and became monks there; among whom the more eminent were Maurus and Placidius. Other men of note and esteem were Dionysius Exiguus, famous for the extraordinary skill and judgment which he showed in his Paschal Cycle; Facundus, whose writings against certain Eutychians then springing up, were very much commended; and Martin, who by his preaching and writings converted the people of Soissons from the Arian heresy to the truth. But Boniface having sat in the pontifical chair two years, two days, died, and was buried in St Peter’s Church. The see was then vacant two months.


 1  He went further, and arranged that each Pope, during his lifetime, should nominate his successor, and he carried out his extraordinary measure, for his successor was his nominee. — ED.

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Previous Pope:  56. Felix IV. 57. Boniface II. Next Pope: 10. John II.

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