Pope Benedict VIII

Benedict VIII actually Theophylact II of Tusculum (c. 980 in Rome or Tusculum, † April 9, 1024 in Rome) was Pope from 20 or May 21, 1012 until his death. Its name is Latin for " the Blessed ".


Benedict VIII was born the son of the Count and Imperial Admiral Gregory of Tusculum from the family of Tusculans that Rome had much power at that time. The future Pope was a brutal, but gifted Condottiere. Pope Sylvester II appointed him in 1001 to Cardinal Bishop of Porto. He was raised as his brother and him following the subsequent nephew of the two as a layman as Pope. Thus the papacy for three pontificates was like a hundred years before the private property of a family again. After his election, Pope Benedict gave the title of Count of Tusculum, which he had inherited from his father, to his brother Alberich. He appointed to consolidate his power this and his other brother Romanus of Tusculum consul and duke of Rome and endowed both with the relevant powers.

First, Benedict had with the antipope Gregory VI. deal from the hitherto dominant family of Crescentii, although these were related to the Counts of Tusculum. Benedict but managed to quickly outmaneuver the anti-pope to King Henry II. He crowned King Henry II and his wife Gwendolyn finally, on February 14, 1014 to the Emperor and Empress.

After Pope Benedict consolidated the Papal States. In 1016 the set up by his army defeated the now northern Italy ravaging North African Saracens at Luni. When they occupied Sardinia, Benedict allied with the sea powers of Genoa and Pisa and drove with his newly built fleet and the support of its allies, the Saracens of the island. Sardinia was then handed over to Pisa fief. However, another campaign against the Byzantines in southern Italy remained unsuccessful. 1020 he went to the emperor in Bamberg and asked for help against the expansion of the Byzantines in southern Italy, where the Normans were felt as a new political force since 1017. A synod, which together in 1022 were holding the pope and the emperor at Pavia, decided decrees for the reform of the Church, which also included a tightening of the celibacy requirement. Together with Henry II, he fought in several synods against simony and celibacy.

In cooperation with this emperor also the final addition of the filioque addition went back to the Creed.

In the years 1017 and 1020, the Pope in Rome beheaded or burned, their blasphemy was the trigger for a hurricane and an earthquake have been Jews on charges. In 1020 he visited Germany in the towns of Fulda and Bamberg, and consecrated in Bamberg, part of the Old Court Thomas Chapel, and St. Stephen Church.

He died on April 9, 1024 in Rome. New Pope was his brother Romanus as John XIX.

Pictures of Pope Benedict VIII