Portrait of a Pope: Introducing the Ostrogoths

"This son would one day be acclaimed by the Senate and People of Rome." Image: Raphael, The Meeting of Leo the Great and Attila, Wiki Commons (Source) In this article we continue our exploration of the historical context of the life of Pope St Gregory the Great. In the previous instalments of this series, we …

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Portrait of a Pope: The Reign of Odovacer in Italy

"For the great mass of the inhabitants of Italy, the old order of things remained unchanged." Image: The Consummation, Thomas Cole, (Wiki Commons CC). The city of Rome was still prosperous in the fifth century. In the previous part of this series on St Gregory the Great we looked briefly at the events leading up …

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Portrait of a Pope: St Gregory the Great and the End of Imperial Rome

"Where is the Senate? Where the People? The very buildings we behold crumbling around us." Image: The Favourites of Honorius, John William Waterhouse, (source). The city of Rome was still flourishing in the fourth century. In the autumn of AD 590, as a Lombard army marched on Rome and as the city tried to recover …

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Portrait of a Pope: St Gregory the Great, Apostle of the English

"He removed the error of filthy heathenism from our parents." “In the tenth year of [the reign of the emperor Maurice], Gregory, a man eminent in learning and in affairs, was elected pontiff of the Apostolic See of Rome; he ruled for thirteen years, six months, and ten days. In the fourteenth year of this …

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