Benedict VIII, pope

Theophylactus († 9 April 1024), a son to Gregory of Tuscolum, was probably consecrated on 20 April 1012. In Rome he crowned Henry II (14 February 1014), who in return acknowledged him as the legitimate pope against the antipope (Gregory) wanted by the Crescentii clan. He favoured the independence of monasteries and therefore supported them against the bishops and the nobility; he allied himself with Pisa and Genoa to repel Saracens led by al-Mugiāhid (1016). After unsuccessful attempts to sustain the anti-Byzantine revolt of Melo (1017-18) he conferred again with the emperor who renewed him (1020) the Ottonian privilege in favour of the Church; with the same emperor he took part in an expedition against Byzantines in 1022.

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