Encyclopedia Britannica – Pope Adrian II

detail of a 9th century portrait of Pope Adrian II, artist unknown; Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, Rome, ItalyArticle

Pope from 867 to 872, was a member of a noble Roman family, and became pope in 867, at an advanced age. He maintained, but with less energy, the attitude of his predecessor. Rid of the affair of Lothair, king of Lorraine, by the death of that prince (869), he endeavoured in vain to mediate between the Frankish princes with a view to assuring to the emperor, Louis II, the heritage of the king of Lorraine. Photius, shortly after the council in which he had pronounced sentence of deposition against Pope Nicholas, was driven from the patriarchate by a new emperor, Basil the Macedonian, who favoured his rival Ignatius. An oecumenical council (called by the Latins the 8th) was convoked at Constantinople to decide this matter. At this council Adrian was represented by legates, who presided at the condemnation of Photius, but did not succeed in coming to an understanding with Ignatius on the subject of the jurisdiction over the Bulgarian converts. Like his predecessor Nicholas, Adrian II was forced to submit, at least in temporal affairs, to the tutelage of the emperor, Louis II, who placed him under the surveillance of Arsenius, bishop of Orta, his confidential adviser, and Arsenius’s son Anastasius, the librarian. Adrian had married in his youth, and his wife and daughter were still living. They were carried off and assassinated by Anastasius’s brother, Eleutherius, whose reputation, however, suffered but a momentary eclipse. Adrian died in 872.

MLA Citation

  • “Pope Adrian II”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 January 2020. Web. 27 January 2021. <>