Adrian II (also known as Hadrian II), (792–872), pope from December 14, 867 to December 14, 872, was a member of a noble Roman family, and became pope in 867, at an advanced age.
He maintained, but with less energy, the attitude of his predecessor Nicholas I. Lothar II, king of Lotharingia, who died in 869 leaving Adrian to mediate between the Frankish kings with a view to assuring to the Emperor, Louis II, the heritage of Lothar II, Louis's brother.
Photius, the Patriarch of Constantinople, shortly after the council in which he had pronounced sentence of deposition against Pope Nicholas I, was driven from the patriarchate by a new emperor, Basil the Macedonian, who favoured his rival Ignatius. An ecumenical council (called by the Latins the 8th Ecumenical Council) was convoked as the Fourth Council of Constantinople to decide this matter. At this council Adrian was represented by legates, who presided at the condemnation of Photius as a heretic, but did not succeed in coming to an understanding with Ignatius on the subject of the jurisdiction over the Bulgarian church.
Like his predecessor Nicholas I, Adrian was forced to submit, in temporal affairs, to the interference of the emperor, Louis II, who placed him under the surveillance of Arsenius, bishop of Orte, his confidential adviser, and Arsenius's nephew Anastasius, the librarian.
Adrian had in his youth married a woman named Stephania, by whom he had a daughter, and both were still living at his election, following which they lived with him in the Lateran Palace. They were carried off and assassinated by Anastasius's brother, Eleutherius, in 868.
Adrian died in 872 after exactly five years as pope.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). "Adrian". Encyclopædia Britannica (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1911_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica/Adrian_(popes).
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