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John I Born c. 470 in Tuscany, John was a supporter of anti-pope Lawrence and reconciled with Symmachus in 506. A friend of Boethius, John was a senior deacon before his election to the papacy in 523. Two years later, the Arian Theodoric send the pope to Constantinople to ask Emperor Justin to lighten his edicts against the Arians, whose churches Justin had closed in 520 and whom he had fired from all government posts. The first pope to travel to Constantinople, John was well-received and celebrated both Christmas and Easter in the eastern imperial capital. He failed, however, to persuade the emperor revoke the laws against Arianism. Legends say that John was imprisoned on his return to Rome in 526 and died of starvation.
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