Pope Agapetus I

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Pope Saint Agapetus I (died April 22, 536) reigned as pope from 535 to 536.

Contents

Biography

Agapetus was born in Rome, although his exact date of birth is unknown. He was the son of Gordianus, a Roman priest who had been slain during the riots in the days of Pope Symmachus.

He collaborated with Cassiodorus in founding at Rome a library of ecclesiastical authors in Greek and Latin, and helped Cassiodorus with the project of translating the standard Greek philosophers into Latin.[citation needed]

He was elevated from archdeacon to pope in 535. His first official act was to burn, in the presence of the assembled clergy, the anathema which Boniface II had pronounced against the latter's deceased rival Dioscurus, on a false charge of Simony, and had ordered to be preserved in the Roman archives.[1]

He confirmed the decrees of the council of Carthage, after the retaking of North Africa from the Vandals, according to which converts from Arianism were declared ineligible to Holy Orders and those already ordained were merely admitted to lay communion. He accepted an appeal from Contumeliosus, Bishop of Riez, whom a council at Marseilles had condemned for immorality, and he ordered Caesarius of Arles to grant the accused a new trial before papal delegates.

Meanwhile the Byzantine general Belisarius was preparing for an invasion of Italy. King Theodahad of the Ostrogoths, begged Agapetus to proceed on an embassy to Constantinople, and use his personal influence to appease Emperor Justinian I following the death of Amalasuntha.[2] To defray the costs of the embassy, Agapetus pledged the sacred vessels of the Church of Rome. He set out in midwinter with five bishops and a large retinue. In February, 536, he appeared in the capital of the East. Agapetus's attempt failed and Justinian reestablished the rights of the Empire in Italy.

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