Chronological Lists of Popes

                         The historical lists of the popes, from those drawn up in the second century to
                         those of the present day, form in themselves a considerable body of literature. It
                         would be beyond the scope of the article to enter upon a discussion of these
                         catalogues. For an account of the most famous of them all, the article LIBER
                         PONTIFICALIS may be consulted. It appears, however, desirable to indicate very
                         briefly what are our authorities for the names and the durations in office of the
                         popes for the first two centuries of the Church's existence.

                         St. Irenaeus, writing between 175 and 190, not many years after his Roman
                         sojourn, enumerates the series from Peter to Eleutherius (Adv. Haer. 3:3:3;
                         Eusebius, "Hist. eccl." 5:6) . His object, as we have already seen, was to
                         establish the orthodoxy of the traditional doctrine, as opposed to heretical
                         novelties, by showing that the bishop was the natural inheritor of the Apostolic
                         teaching. He gives us the names alone, not the length of the various
                         episcopates. This need is supplied by other witnesses. Most important evidence
                         is furnished by the document entitled the " Liberian Catalogue " -- so called from
                         the Pope whose name ends the list. The collection of tracts of which this forms a
                         part was edited (apparently by one Furius Dionysius Philocalus) in 354. The
                         catalogue consists of a list of the Roman bishops from Peter to Liberius, with the
                         length of their respective episcopates, the consular dates, the name of the
                         reigning emperor, and in many cases other details. There is the strongest ground
                         for believing that the earlier part of the catalogue, as far as Pontian (230-35), is
                         the work of Hippolytus of Portus. It is manifest that up to this point the fourth
                         century compiler was making use of a different authority from that which he
                         employs for the subsequent popes: and there is evidence rendering it almost
                         certain that Hippolytus's work "Chronica" contained such a list. The reign of
                         Pontian, moreover, would be the point at which that list would have stopped: for
                         Hippolytus and he were condemned to servitude in the Sardinian mines -- a fact
                         which the chronographer makes mention when speaking of Pontian's episcopate.
                         Lightfoot has argued that this list originally contained nothing but the names of
                         the bishops and the duration of their episcopates, the remaining notes being
                         additions by a later hand. The list of popes is identical with that of Irenaeus, save
                         that Anacletus is doubled into Cletus and Anacletus, while Clement appears
                         before, instead of after, these two names. The order of Popes Pius and Anicetus
                         has also been interchanged. There is every reason to regard; these differences
                         as due to the errors of copyists. Another witness is Eusebius. The names and
                         episcopal years of the bishops can be gathered alike from his "History" and his
                         "Chronicle". The notices in the two works; can be shown to be m agreement,
                         notwithstanding certain corruptions in many texts of the "Chronicle". This
                         Eastern list in the hands of Eusebius is seen to have been identical with the
                         Western list of Hippolytus, except that in the East the name of Linus's
                         successor seems to have been given as Anencletus, in the original Western list
                         as Cletus. The two authorities presuppose the following list: (1) Peter, xxv; (2)
                         Linus, xii; (3) Anencletus [Cletus], xii; (4) Clement, ix; (5) Evarestus, viii; (6)
                         Alexander, x; (7) Sixtus, x; (8) Telesophorus, xi; (9) Hyginus, iv; (10) Pius, xv;
                         (11) Anicetus, xi;, (12) Soter, viii; (13) Eleutherius, xv; (14) Victor, x; (15)
                         Zephyrinus, xviii; (16) Callistus, v; (17) Urban, viii; (18) Pontian, v (Harnack,
                         "Chronologie", I, 152).

                         We learn from Eusebius (Hist. eccl. 4:22) that in the middle of the second
                         century Hegesippus, the Hebrew Christian, visited Rome and that he drew up a
                         list of bishops as far as Anicetus, the then pope. Eusebius does not quote his
                         catalogue, but Lightfoot sees ground for holding that we possess it in a passage
                         of Epiphanius (Haer. 27:6), in which the bishops as far as Anicetus are
                         enumerated. This list of Hegesippus, drawn up less than a century after the
                         martyrdom of St. Peter, was he believes, the foundation alike of the Eusebian
                         and Hippolytan catalogues (Clement of Rome I, 325 so.). His view has been
                         accepted by many scholars. Even those who, like Harnack (Chronologie, I, 184
                         sq.), do not admit that this list is really that of Hegesippus, recognize it as a
                         catalogue of Roman origin and of very early date, furnishing testimony
                         independent alike of the Eusebian and Liberian lists.

                         The "Liber Pontificalis", long accepted as an authority of the highest value, is
                         now acknowledged to have been originally composed at the beginning of the fifth
                         century, and, as regards the early popes, to be dependent on the "Liberian

                         In the numbering of the successors of St. Peter, certain differences appear in
                         various lists. The two forms Anacletus and Cletus, as we hare seen, very early
                         occasioned the third pope to be reckoned twice. There are some few cases,
                         also, in which it is still doubted whether particular individuals should be
                         accounted genuine popes or intruders, and, according to the view taken by the
                         compiler of the list, they will be included or excluded. In the accompanying list
                         the Stephen immediately following Zacharias (752) is not numbered, since,
                         though duly elected, he died before his consecration. At that period the papal
                         dignity was held to be conferred at consecration, and hence he is excluded from
                         all the early lists. Leo VIII (963) is included, as the resignation of Benedict V,
                         though enforced, may have been genuine. Boniface VII is also ranked as a pope,
                         since, in 984 at least, he would seem to have been accepted as such by the
                         Roman Church. The claim of Benedict X (1058) is likewise recognized. It cannot
                         be affirmed that his title was certainly invalid, and his name, though now
                         sometimes excluded, appears in the older catalogues. It should be observed that
                         there is no John XX in the catalogue. This is due to the fact that, in the " Liber
                         Pontificalis ", two dates are given in connexion with the life of John XIV (983).
                         This introduced confusion into some of the papal catalogues, and a separate
                         pope was assigned to each of these dates. Thus three popes named John were
                         made to appear between Benedict VII and Gregory V. The error led the pope of
                         the thirteenth century who should have been called John XX to style himself John
                         XXI (Duchesne, "Lib. Pont." 2:17). Some only of the antipopes find mention in the
                         list. No useful purpose would be served by giving the name of every such
                         claimant. Many of them possess no historical importance whatever. From
                         Gregory VII onward not merely the years but the precise days are assigned on
                         which the respective reigns commenced and closed. Ancient authorities furnish
                         these details in the case of most of the foregoing popes also: but, previously to
                         the middle of the eleventh century, the information is of uncertain value. With
                         Gregory VII a new method of reckoning came in. The papal dignity was held to be
                         conferred by the election, and not as previously by the coronation, and the
                         commencement of the reign was computed from the day of election. This point
                         seems therefore a convenient one at which to introduce the more detailed

                         For the full list of men who have held this office, see LIST OF POPES.

                         G.H. JOYCE
                         Transcribed by Gerard Haffner

                                           The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XII
                                        Copyright © 1911 by Robert Appleton Company
                                        Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight
                                      Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
                                     Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

                         The List of Popes

                            1.St. Peter (32-67)
                            2.St. Linus (67-76)
                            3.St. Anacletus (Cletus) (76-88)
                            4.St. Clement I (88-97)
                            5.St. Evaristus (97-105)
                            6.St. Alexander I (105-115)
                            7.St. Sixtus I (115-125) -- also called Xystus I
                            8.St. Telesphorus (125-136)
                            9.St. Hyginus (136-140)
                           10.St. Pius I (140-155)
                           11.St. Anicetus (155-166)
                           12.St. Soter (166-175)
                           13.St. Eleutherius (175-189)
                           14.St. Victor I (189-199)
                           15.St. Zephyrinus (199-217)
                           16.St. Callistus I (217-22)
                           17.St. Urban I (222-30)
                           18.St. Pontain (230-35)
                           19.St. Anterus (235-36)
                           20.St. Fabian (236-50)
                           21.St. Cornelius (251-53)
                           22.St. Lucius I (253-54)
                           23.St. Stephen I (254-257)
                           24.St. Sixtus II (257-258)
                           25.St. Dionysius (260-268)
                           26.St. Felix I (269-274)
                           27.St. Eutychian (275-283)
                           28.St. Caius (283-296) -- also called Gaius
                           29.St. Marcellinus (296-304)
                           30.St. Marcellus I (308-309)
                           31.St. Eusebius (309 or 310)
                           32.St. Miltiades (311-14)
                           33.St. Sylvester I (314-35)
                           34.St. Marcus (336)
                           35.St. Julius I (337-52)
                           36.Liberius (352-66)
                           37.St. Damasus I (366-83)
                           38.St. Siricius (384-99)
                           39.St. Anastasius I (399-401)
                           40.St. Innocent I (401-17)
                           41.St. Zosimus (417-18)
                           42.St. Boniface I (418-22)
                           43.St. Celestine I (422-32)
                           44.St. Sixtus III (432-40)
                           45.St. Leo I (the Great) (440-61)
                           46.St. Hilarius (461-68)
                           47.St. Simplicius (468-83)
                           48.St. Felix III (II) (483-92)
                           49.St. Gelasius I (492-96)
                           50.Anastasius II (496-98)
                           51.St. Symmachus (498-514)
                           52.St. Hormisdas (514-23)
                           53.St. John I (523-26)
                           54.St. Felix IV (III) (526-30)
                           55.Boniface II (530-32)
                           56.John II (533-35)
                           57.St. Agapetus I (535-36) -- also called Agapitus I
                           58.St. Silverius (536-37)
                           59.Vigilius (537-55)
                           60.Pelagius I (556-61)
                           61.John III (561-74)
                           62.Benedict I (575-79)
                           63.Pelagius II (579-90)
                           64.St. Gregory I (the Great) (590-604)
                           65.Sabinian (604-606)
                           66.Boniface III (607)
                           67.St. Boniface IV (608-15)
                           68.St. Deusdedit (Adeodatus I) (615-18)
                           69.Boniface V (619-25)
                           70.Honorius I (625-38)
                           71.Severinus (640)
                           72.John IV (640-42)
                           73.Theodore I (642-49)
                           74.St. Martin I (649-55)
                           75.St. Eugene I (655-57)
                           76.St. Vitalian (657-72)
                           77.Adeodatus (II) (672-76)
                           78.Donus (676-78)
                           79.St. Agatho (678-81)
                           80.St. Leo II (682-83)
                           81.St. Benedict II (684-85)
                           82.John V (685-86)
                           83.Conon (686-87)
                           84.St. Sergius I (687-701)
                           85.John VI (701-05)
                           86.John VII (705-07)
                           87.Sisinnius (708)
                           88.Constantine (708-15)
                           89.St. Gregory II (715-31)
                           90.St. Gregory III (731-41)
                           91.St. Zachary (741-52)
                           92.Stephen II (752)
                           93.Stephen III (752-57)
                           94.St. Paul I (757-67)
                           95.Stephen IV (767-72)
                           96.Adrian I (772-95)
                           97.St. Leo III (795-816)
                           98.Stephen V (816-17)
                           99.St. Paschal I (817-24)
                          100.Eugene II (824-27)
                          101.Valentine (827)
                          102.Gregory IV (827-44)
                          103.Sergius II (844-47)
                          104.St. Leo IV (847-55)
                          105.Benedict III (855-58)
                          106.St. Nicholas I (the Great) (858-67)
                          107.Adrian II (867-72)
                          108.John VIII (872-82)
                          109.Marinus I (882-84)
                          110.St. Adrian III (884-85)
                          111.Stephen VI (885-91)
                          112.Formosus (891-96)
                          113.Boniface VI (896)
                          114.Stephen VII (896-97)
                          115.Romanus (897)
                          116.Theodore II (897)
                          117.John IX (898-900)
                          118.Benedict IV (900-03)
                          119.Leo V (903)
                          120.Sergius III (904-11)
                          121.Anastasius III (911-13)
                          122.Lando (913-14)
                          123.John X (914-28)
                          124.Leo VI (928)
                          125.Stephen VIII (929-31)
                          126.John XI (931-35)
                          127.Leo VII (936-39)
                          128.Stephen IX (939-42)
                          129.Marinus II (942-46)
                          130.Agapetus II (946-55)
                          131.John XII (955-63)
                          132.Leo VIII (963-64)
                          133.Benedict V (964)
                          134.John XIII (965-72)
                          135.Benedict VI (973-74)
                          136.Benedict VII (974-83)
                          137.John XIV (983-84)
                          138.John XV (985-96)
                          139.Gregory V (996-99)
                          140.Sylvester II (999-1003)
                          141.John XVII (1003)
                          142.John XVIII (1003-09)
                          143.Sergius IV (1009-12)
                          144.Benedict VIII (1012-24)
                          145.John XIX (1024-32)
                          146.Benedict IX (1032-45)
                          147.Sylvester III (1045)
                          148.Benedict IX (1045)
                          149.Gregory VI (1045-46)
                          150.Clement II (1046-47)
                          151.Benedict IX (1047-48)
                          152.Damasus II (1048)
                          153.St. Leo IX (1049-54)
                          154.Victor II (1055-57)
                          155.Stephen X (1057-58)
                          156.Nicholas II (1058-61)
                          157.Alexander II (1061-73)
                          158.St. Gregory VII (1073-85)
                          159.Blessed Victor III (1086-87)
                          160.Blessed Urban II (1088-99)
                          161.Paschal II (1099-1118)
                          162.Gelasius II (1118-19)
                          163.Callistus II (1119-24)
                          164.Honorius II (1124-30)
                          165.Innocent II (1130-43)
                          166.Celestine II (1143-44)
                          167.Lucius II (1144-45)
                          168.Blessed Eugene III (1145-53)
                          169.Anastasius IV (1153-54)
                          170.Adrian IV (1154-59)
                          171.Alexander III (1159-81)
                          172.Lucius III (1181-85)
                          173.Urban III (1185-87)
                          174.Gregory VIII (1187)
                          175.Clement III (1187-91)
                          176.Celestine III (1191-98)
                          177.Innocent III (1198-1216)
                          178.Honorius III (1216-27)
                          179.Gregory IX (1227-41)
                          180.Celestine IV (1241)
                          181.Innocent IV (1243-54)
                          182.Alexander IV (1254-61)
                          183.Urban IV (1261-64)
                          184.Clement IV (1265-68)
                          185.Blessed Gregory X (1271-76)
                          186.Blessed Innocent V (1276)
                          187.Adrian V (1276)
                          188.John XXI (1276-77)
                          189.Nicholas III (1277-80)
                          190.Martin IV (1281-85)
                          191.Honorius IV (1285-87)
                          192.Nicholas IV (1288-92)
                          193.St. Celestine V (1294)
                          194.Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
                          195.Blessed Benedict XI (1303-04)
                          196.Clement V (1305-14)
                          197.John XXII (1316-34)
                          198.Benedict XII (1334-42)
                          199.Clement VI (1342-52)
                          200.Innocent VI (1352-62)
                          201.Blessed Urban V (1362-70)
                          202.Gregory XI (1370-78)
                          203.Urban VI (1378-89)
                          204.Boniface IX (1389-1404)
                          205.Innocent VII (1406-06)
                          206.Gregory XII (1406-15)
                          207.Martin V (1417-31)
                          208.Eugene IV (1431-47)
                          209.Nicholas V (1447-55)
                          210.Callistus III (1455-58)
                          211.Pius II (1458-64)
                          212.Paul II (1464-71)
                          213.Sixtus IV (1471-84)
                          214.Innocent VIII (1484-92)
                          215.Alexander VI (1492-1503)
                          216.Pius III (1503)
                          217.Julius II (1503-13)
                          218.Leo X (1513-21)
                          219.Adrian VI (1522-23)
                          220.Clement VII (1523-34)
                          221.Paul III (1534-49)
                          222.Julius III (1550-55)
                          223.Marcellus II (1555)
                          224.Paul IV (1555-59)
                          225.Pius IV (1559-65)
                          226.St. Pius V (1566-72)
                          227.Gregory XIII (1572-85)
                          228.Sixtus V (1585-90)
                          229.Urban VII (1590)
                          230.Gregory XIV (1590-91)
                          231.Innocent IX (1591)
                          232.Clement VIII (1592-1605)
                          233.Leo XI (1605)
                          234.Paul V (1605-21)
                          235.Gregory XV (1621-23)
                          236.Urban VIII (1623-44)
                          237.Innocent X (1644-55)
                          238.Alexander VII (1655-67)
                          239.Clement IX (1667-69)
                          240.Clement X (1670-76)
                          241.Blessed Innocent XI (1676-89)
                          242.Alexander VIII (1689-91)
                          243.Innocent XII (1691-1700)
                          244.Clement XI (1700-21)
                          245.Innocent XIII (1721-24)
                          246.Benedict XIII (1724-30)
                          247.Clement XII (1730-40)
                          248.Benedict XIV (1740-58)
                          249.Clement XIII (1758-69)
                          250.Clement XIV (1769-74)
                          251.Pius VI (1775-99)
                          252.Pius VII (1800-23)
                          253.Leo XII (1823-29)
                          254.Pius VIII (1829-30)
                          255.Gregory XVI (1831-46)
                          256.Blessed Pius IX (1846-78)
                          257.Leo XIII (1878-1903)
                          258.St. Pius X (1903-14)
                          259.Benedict XV (1914-22)
                          260.Pius XI (1922-39)
                          261.Pius XII (1939-58)
                          262.Blessed John XXIII (1958-63)
                          263.Paul VI (1963-78)
                          264.John Paul I (1978)
                          265.John Paul II (1978—)

                                            Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight