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John VIII,d. 882, pope (872–82), a Roman; successor of Adrian II. John strenuously opposed the activities of St. Ignatius of ConstantinopleIgnatius of Constantinople, Saint,
c.800–877, Greek churchman, patriarch of Constantinople. A son of Byzantine Emperor Michael I, he was castrated and shut up in a monastery (813) by the man who deposed his father, Emperor Leo V, to prevent his succession to the throne.
..... Click the link for more information. in Bulgaria. When Ignatius died, John recognized PhotiusPhotius
, c.820–892?, Greek churchman and theologian, patriarch of Constantinople, b. Constantinople. He came of a noble Byzantine family. Photius was one of the most learned men of his time, a professor in the university at Constantinople and, under Byzantine Emperor
..... Click the link for more information. as patriarch and called the council (879–80) that momentarily reconciled the differences between East and West. John was deeply involved in imperial politics. He crowned Charles IICharles II
or Charles the Bald,
823–77, emperor of the West (875–77) and king of the West Franks (843–77); son of Emperor Louis I by a second marriage.
..... Click the link for more information. (Charles the Bald) emperor and excommunicated the future Pope Formosus for opposition to his policy. When Charles II lost his power, John favored Charles the Fat, who became emperor as Charles III. The pope had to bribe the Saracens to keep them from entering Rome. He did much to root out corruption in the church in Rome, and, except for Nicholas I, he was the strongest pope of the 9th cent. He was assassinated by his own relatives. Marinus I succeeded him.
John VIII(John Palaeologus), 1390–1448, Byzantine emperor (1425–48), son and successor of Manuel II. When he acceded, the Byzantine Empire had been reduced by the Turks to the city of Constantinople. John sought in vain to secure Western aid by agreeing at the Council of Florence (1439) to the union of the Eastern and Western churches. His brother, Constantine XI, succeeded him in 1449 and was the last Byzantine emperor.
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