Leo 16

Prosopography of the Byzantine Empire
FloruitM/L VII
Dates682 (taq) / 683 (ob.)
PmbZ No.4238*
Variant Namespope Leo II
LocationsRome (burialplace);
Rome (officeplace);
Rome (residence);
Sicily (birthplace)
TitlesArchbishop, Rome (office);
Bishop, Rome (office);
Patriarch, Rome (office);
Pope, Rome (office)
Textual SourcesConstantinople, Third Council of (Sixth Ecumenical Council), ed. R. Riedinger, Concilium Universale Constantinopolitanum Tertium, ACO II.2. 1 (Berlin, 1990-1992); also cited from Mansi XI passim (conciliar);
Liber Pontificalis, ed. L. Duchesne, Le liber pontificalis. Texte, introduction et commentaire, 2 vols. (Paris, 1886-92); re-issued with 3rd vol. by C. Vogel, (Paris, 1955-57) (chronicle);
Photius, Epistulae, ed. B. Laourdas and L. G. Westerink, 3 vols. (Leipzig, 1983-85) (letters)

Leo 16 was bishop of Rome from 17 August 682 to 3 July 683 as pope Leo II. A native of Sicily, he was the son of Paulus (Paulos 46): Lib. Pont. 82. 1 ("natione Sicula, de patre Paulo"). He succeeded Agatho 1 as bishop of Rome and occupied the see for ten months seventeen days: Lib. Pont. 82. 1. He was consecrated bishop of Rome by the bishops of Ostia, Portus and Velitrae (Andreas 6, Ioannes 21 and Plakentios 1): Lib. Pont. 82. 6, 84. 3 (who also consecrated pope John V (Ioannes 31) in 685). Addressee of a letter from the emperor Constantine IV (Konstantinos 2) after the conclusion of the Third Council of Constantinople (the Sixth Ecumenical Council): Riedinger, pp. 894-897 (= Mansi XI 712-717). The letter is addressed to him as pope (πρὸς Λέοντα τὸν ἁγιώτατον καὶ μακαριώτατον πάπαν τῆς πρεσβυτέρας Ῥώμης) but is dated 13 December 681 (indiction ten), which was before his ordination and also before the death of his predecessor (agatho 1) was known at Constantinople. It was carried by the clergy sent to the Council by Leo 16's predecessor, Agatho 1. The contents show that it was written after the death of Agatho 1; it was presumably addressed to Leo 16 after his election but before his ordination. Leo 16 subsequently wrote a reply to the emperor (Konstantinos 2) accepting the decisions of the Council: Riedinger, pp. 866-885 (= Mansi XI 725-736) (this bears the date of 7 May 682, indiction ten; May must be wrong because the papal representatives only arrived back from the Council in July 682, see Riedinger, p. 870, line 10 = Mansi XI 727-8).

Leo 16 received a text in Greek of the acts of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, and translated it into Latin ("quam et studiosissime in latino translatavit"): Lib. Pont. 82. 2. He restored to communion two of those accused with Makarios 1 of heresy (Anastasios 12 and Leontios 17) after they proclaimed the same faith as the council: Lib. Pont. 82. 3. He built a church at Rome near St Viviana where he placed the remains of SS Simplicius, Faustinus, Beatrix and others: Lib. Pont. 82. 5, and cf. Duchesne, Lib. Pont., p. 361, note 9. He was buried at St Peter's on 3 July (683): Lib. Pont. 82. 6. Described as a man of eloquence, well trained in the Scriptures, learned in both Greek and Latin, familiar with the psalms and a clever interpreter of their meanings; Leo 16 spoke like a man of learning and was a polished reader and a good teacher and preacher; he was generous to the poor in both prayer and deed: Lib. Pont. 82. 1 ("vir eloquentissimus, in divinis Scripturis sufficienter instructus, greca latinaque lingua eruditus, cantelena et psalmodia praecipuus et in earum sensibus subtilissima exercitatione limatus; lingua quoque scolasticus et eloquendi maiore lectione politam, exortator omnium bonorum operum plebique florentissime ingerebat scientiam; paupertatis amator et erga inopem provisione non solum mentis pietate sed et studii sui labore sollicitus") (on this description, see Lib. Pont. 92. 1 on pope Gregory III (Gregorios 7) with Duchesne, Lib. Pont., p. 361, note 1 and p. 421, note 1). Among those whom he ordained to the priesthood was Sergios 30 (bishop of Rome from 687 to 701): Lib. Pont. 86. 1. The second Leo to be bishop of Rome, Leo 16 was a champion of orthodoxy, according to the patriarch Photius (Photios 1): Photius, Ep. 291, lines 75ff. (III 141 Laourdas-Westerink).

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