Date of birth unknown; died in the summer of 903.
The Popes Benedict from the fourth to the ninth inclusive belong to the darkest period of papal history. The reigns of several of them were very short, and very little is known about their deeds. The dates of their accession to the See of Peter and of their deaths are largely uncertain.
Benedict IV, a Roman and the son of Mammalus, became pope in the first half of 900. His high birth, his generosity, his zeal for the public good are loudly commended by the contemporary historian Frodoard, who gives him the title of "Great". The principal historic act of his reign was his crowning Louis the Blind as emperor. He supported the decision of Pope Formosus, who had ordained him priest, in favour of Argrim's claim to the See of Langres (Jaffé, "Regesta", 3527, 3528), upheld the cause of Stephen, Bishop of Naples (Auxilius ap. Dümmler, "Auxilius und Vulgarius", 96 sqq.), excommunicated the assassin of Fulk, Archbishop of Reims ( Frodoard, Hist. Remensis, IV, 10), and offered practical sympathy to Malacenus, Bishop of Amasia, who had been driven from his see by the advances of the Saracens (Jaffé, loc. cit., 3530). Fulda and other monasteries received privileges from him. He was buried in front of St. Peter's near the gate of Guido.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online