Papal appointment is the oldest method for the selection of the pope. Papal selection before 1059 was often characterized by appointment by secular European rulers or by their predecessors. The later procedures of the papal conclave are in large part designed to constrain the interference of secular rulers which characterized the first millennium of the Roman Catholic Church, and persisted in practices such as the creation of crown-cardinals and the jus exclusivae. Appointment might have taken several forms, with a variety of roles for the laity and civic leaders, Byzantine and Germanic emperors, and noble Roman families. The role of the appointment vis-a-vis the general population and the clergy was prone to vary considerably, with the nomination carrying weight that ranged from near total to a mere suggestion or ratification of a prior election.
The institution has its origins in Ancient Rome, where on more than one occasion the emperor stepped in to resolve disputes over the legitimacy of papal contenders. An important precedent from this period is an edict of Emperor Honorius, issued after a synod he convoked to depose Antipope Eulalius. The power passed to (and grew with) the King of the Ostrogoths, then the Byzantine Emperor (or his delegate, the Exarch of Ravenna). After an interregnum, the Kings of the Franks and the Holy Roman Emperor (whose selection the pope also sometimes had a hand in), generally assumed the role of confirming the results of papal elections. For a period (today known as the "Pornocracy"), the power passed from the Emperor to powerful Roman nobles—the Crescentii and then the Counts of Tusculum.
In many cases, the papal coronation was delayed until the election had been confirmed. Some antipopes were similarly appointed. The practice ended with the conclusion of the Investiture Controversy (c.f. confirmation of bishops) due largely to the efforts of Cardinal Hildebrand (future Pope Gregory VII), who was a guiding force in the selection of his four predecessors, and the 1059 papal bull In Nomine Domini of Pope Nicholas II; some writers consider this practice to be an extreme form of "investiture" in and of itself. According to von Hase et al.:
- "All this, however, did not prevent the emperor who appointed the pope and the bishops, from prescribing laws for the church, and governing it according to his own views rather than theirs, whenever the empire was free from internal distractions."
Although the practice was forbidden by the Council of Antioch (341) and the Council of Rome (465), the bishops of Rome, as with other bishops, often exercised a great deal of control over their successor, even after the sixth century. Most popes from the fourth to twelfth century were appointed or confirmed by a secular power.
List of papal appointments 
Ancient Rome 
|Jesus, according to Catholic doctrine||Peter||30 to 67
(as Head of the Church)
post42/ante57 to 64/67(?)
(as Episcopus Romanus)
|c.f. Primacy of Simon Peter|
|None; chosen by dove according to tradition||Fabian||January 10, 236 to January 20, 250||"While the names of several illustrious and noble persons were being considered, a dove suddenly descended upon the head of Fabian, of whom no one had even thought. To the assembled brethren the sight recalled the Gospel scene of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Saviour of mankind, and so, divinely inspired, as it were, they chose Fabian with joyous unanimity and placed him in the Chair of Peter."|
|None; elected during interregnum||Cornelius||March 6/March 11, 251 to June 253||"About the beginning of March, 251 the persecution slackened, owing to the absence of the emperor, against whom two rivals had arisen. It was possible to assemble sixteen bishops at Rome, and Cornelius was elected though against his will (Cyprian, Ep. lv, 24), "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of almost all the clergy, by the vote of the people then present, by the consent of aged priests and of good men [...]"|
|Valerian*||Lucius I||June 25, 253 to March 5, 254||"Lucius also was sent into exile soon after his consecration, but in a short time, presumably when Valerian was made emperor, he was allowed to return to his flock."|
|Valentinian I*||Damasus I||October 1, 366 to December 11, 384||"Valentinian recognized Damasus and banished (367) Ursinus to Cologne [...]"|
|Valentinian III||Siricius||December 11, 384 to November 26, 399||"After the death of Damasus, Siricius was unanimously elected his successor (December, 384) and consecrated bishop probably on 17 December. Ursinus, who had been a rival to Damasus (366), was alive and still maintained his claims. However, the Emperor Valentinian III, in a letter to Pinian (23 Feb., 385), gave his consent to the election that had been held and praised the piety of the newly-elected bishop; consequently no difficulties arose."|
|Honorius||Boniface I||December 28/29, 418 to September 4, 422||"The emperor Honorius [...] declared Eulalius excluded from the Holy See, and Boniface at liberty to return to Rome and take up the government of the church [...] Boniface then wrote a letter to the emperor, beseeching him to make an edict which should prevent, in future, the intrigues and cabals which had taken place on the death of a pope, in order to seize upon the bishopric of Rome. Honorius replied to the wishes of the holy father by the following decree: 'If contrary to our desires, your holiness should quit the earth, let all the world know they must abstain from intrigues to be elevated to the papacy; thus, when two ecclesiastics shall be ordained contrary to the rules, neither of them shall be considered as bishop; but only he whose election shall be confirmed anew by the consent of all;' which shows us that the bishop of Rome was elected by the clergy and the people, and consecrated by a bishop, with the consent of the emperor"
"The emperor was deeply indignant at these proceedings and refusing to consider again the claims of Eulalius, recognized Boniface as legitimate pope (3 April, 418). The latter re-entered Rome 10 April and was acclaimed by the people [...]"
|Unknown||Simplicius||March 3, 468 to March 10, 483||"The elevation of the new pope was not attended with any difficulties."|
|None||Gelasius I||March 1, 492 to November 21, 496||"On his election to the papacy, Gelasius at once showed his strength of character and his lofty conception of his position by his firmness in dealing with the adherents of Acacius. Despite all the efforts of the otherwise orthodox patriarch, Euphemius of Constantinople, and the threats and wiles by which the Emperor Anastasius tried to obtain recognition from the Apostolic See, Gelasius, though hard-pressed by difficulties at home, would make no peace that compromised in the slightest degree the rights and honor of the Chair of Peter."|
|Roman Senate||Symmachus||November 22, 498 to July 19, 514||"Directly after the death of Pope Anastasius II, Symmachus was elected his successor by a majority of the Roman clergy at the Lateran Basilica on 22 November, 498. The election was approved by a part of the Roman senate and he was at once consecrated Bishop of Rome."|
On November 22, 498, both Pope Symmachus and Antipope Laurentius were elected pope; both Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I and the Gothic King Theodoric the Great originally supported Laurentius, who was installed in the Lateran Palace, but Symmachus prevailed when Theodoric expelled Laurentius from Rome, fearing that he was too influenced by the Byzantine ruler.
|Theodoric the Great/Athalaric||Felix IV||July 13, 526 to September 22, 530||"On Theodoric's recommendation, Felix was elected pope, and his election was confirmed by Athalaric, the successor of Theodoric"
Appointed "for all practical purposes" by Theodoric
|Pope Felix III/Athalaric||Boniface II||September 17, 530 to October 532||Appointment meant to avoid split between "Byzantine" and "Gothic" factions|
|Athalaric||John II||January 2, 533 to May 8, 535||During the sede vacante of over two months, "shameless trafficking in sacred things was indulged in. Even sacred vessels were exposed for sale. The matter was brought before the Senate, and before the Arian Ostrogothic Court at Ravenna" (c.f. Senatus Consultum)|
|Theodahad||Agapetus I||May 13, 535 to April 22, 536||"Theodahad was well placed to coerce the new pope Agapetus, for he had been elected with his support"|
|Silverius||June 8, 536 to June 20, 537||Legitimate son of Pope Hormisdas|
|Justinian I||Vigilius||March 29, 537 to 555|| Previously appointed by his successor Pope Boniface II|
|Pelagius I||April 16, 556 to March 4, 561||"Pelagius, as the nominee of Justinian, at once succeeded on his arrival in Rome, but most of the clergy, suspecting his orthodoxy, and believing him to have had some share in the unlooked-for removal of his predecessor, shunned his fellowship, and only two bishops and presbyter could be got to take part in his ordination to the pontificate"|
|John III||July 17, 561 to July 13, 574||"At the death of Pelagius I, Rome had been under Byzantine control for many years, and according to the procedure imposed by Constantinople, the name of the elected candidate had to be submitted to the emperor for approval. This explains the long vacancy [...]"|
|Justin II||Benedict I||June 2, 575 to June 30, 579||"The ravages of the Lombards rendered it very difficult to communicate with the emperor at Constantinople, who claimed the privilege of confirming the election of the popes. Hence there was a vacancy of nearly eleven months between the death of John III and the arrival of the imperial confirmation of Benedict's election, 2 June, 575."|
|Tiberius II Constantine||Pelagius II||November 26, 579 to February 7, 590||"He succeeded Benedict I, when the Lombards were besieging Rome, but his consecration was delayed in the hope of securing the confirmation of the election by the emperor. But the blockade of Rome by the Lombards, and their control of the great thoroughfares was effective and, after four months, he was consecrated (26 Nov., 579)."|
|Maurice||Gregory I||September 3, 590 to March 12, 604||"The choice of a successor lay with the clergy and people of Rome, and without any hesitation they elected Gregory [... Gregory] wrote personally to the Emperor Maurice, begging him with all earnestness not to confirm the election. Germanus, prefect of the city, suppresses this letter, however, and sent instead of it the formal schedule of the election. In the interval while awaiting the emperor's reply the business of the vacant see was transacted by Gregory [...] At length, after six months of waiting, came the emperor's confirmation of Gregory's election."|
|Phocas||Sabinian||September 13, 604 to February 22, 606||"[...] chosen to succeed Gregory soon after the death of that great pontiff; but as the imperial confirmation of his election did not arrive for some months, he was not consecrated till September."|
|Boniface III||February 19, 607 to November 12, 607||"[...] as apocrisiarius, or legate, to the court of Constantinople, where, by his tact and prudence, he appears to have gained the favourable regard of the Emperor Phocas"|
|Boniface IV||August 25, 608 to May 8, 615||"Boniface obtained leave from the Emperor Phocas [...]"|
|Heraclius||Severinus||October 638 to August 2, 640||"Severinus [...] was elected [...] and envoys were at once sent to Constantinople, to obtain the confirmation of his election (Oct., 638). But the emperor, instead of granting the confirmation, ordered Severinus to sign his Ecthesis [...] This the pope-elect refused to do [...] Meanwhile his envoys at Constantinople, [...] finally secured the imperial confirmation."|
Exarchate of Ravenna 
|Isaac the Armenian||John IV||December 24, 640 to October 12, 642||"As John's consecration followed very soon after his election, it is supposed that the papal elections were now confirmed by the exarchs resident at Ravenna."|
|Theodore I||November 24, 642 to May 14, 649||"His election as pope was promptly confirmed by the Exarch of Ravenna, perhaps because he was a Greek, and he was consecrated 24 Nov., 642."|
|None||Martin I||July 649 to September 16, 655||"After his election, Martin had himself consecrated without waiting for the imperial confirmation, and soon called a council in the Lateran [...] The Acts with a Greek translation were also sent to the Emperor Constans II."|
|Theodore I Calliopas||Eugene I||August 10, 654 to June 2, 657|||
|None||Vitalian||July 30, 657 to January 27, 672||"Like his predecessor, Vitalian sought to restore the connection with Constantinople by friendly advances to the Eastern Emperor Constans II (641-668) and to prepare the way for the settlement of the Monothelite controversy. He sent letters (synodica) announcing his elevation by envoys both to the emperor and to Patriarch Peter of Constantinople [...]"|
|Constantine IV||Leo II||December 681 to July 3, 683||"Though elected pope a few days after the death of St. Agatho (10 June, 681), he was not consecrated till after the lapse of a year and seven months (17 Aug., 682). Under Leo's predecessor St. Agatho, negotiations had been opened between the Holy See and Emperor Constantine Pogonatus concerning the relations of the Byzantine Court to papal elections. Constantine had already promised Agatho to abolish or reduce the tax which for about a century the popes had had to pay to the imperial treasury on the occasion of their consecration, and under Leo's successor he made other changes in what had hitherto been required of the Roman Church at the time of a papal election. In all probability, therefore, it was continued correspondence on this matter which caused the delay of the imperial confirmation of Leo's election, and hence the long postponement of his consecration."|
Exarchate of Ravenna 
|Theodore II*||Benedict II||683/June 26, 684 to May 8, 685||"To abridge the vacancies of the Holy See which followed the deaths of the popes, he obtained from the Emperor Constantine Pogonatus a decree which either abolished imperial confirmations altogether or made them obtainable from the exarch in Italy."|
|None||John V||July 12, 685 to August 2, 686||"The necessity of waiting for the imperial confirmation of papal elections having been abolished by Constantine Pognatus, John was straightway conducted to the Lateran palace as pope."|
|Theodore II*||Conon||October 21, 686 to September 22, 687||"He was consecrated (21 October, 686) after notice of his election had been sent to the Exarch of Ravenna, or after it had been confirmed by him."|
|None||Sergius I||December 15, 687 to September 8, 701||"While Pope Conon lay dying, the archdeacon Pascal offered the exarch a large sum to bring about his election as his successor. Through the exarch's influence the archdeacon was accordingly elected by a number of people; about the same time another faction elected the archpriest Theodore. The mass of clergy and people, however, set them both aside and chose Sergius, who was duly consecrated."|
|None||John VI||March 1, 705 to October 18, 707||"Some time during his reign there came to Rome from Sicily Theophylactus, "chamberlain, patricius, and exarch of Italy". After the treatment which some of his predecessors in the exarchate had meted out to the popes, [...] local militias hurriedly marched to Rome [...] To avoid bloodshed, John sent a number of priests to them, and succeeded in pacifying them; as far at least as the exarch himself was concerned. [...] Taking advantage of this [...] the Lombards renewed their attacks [...] Several towns belonging to the Duchy of Rome were seized, Gisulf advanced as far as "Horrea" Puteoli - or perhaps the "fundus Horrea" at the fifth milestone on the Via Latina. As "there was no one who had power to resist him by force of arms", the pope [...] sent a number of priests furnished with money into the camp of the Lombard duke."|
|Eutychius*||Gregory III||March 18, 731 to November 28, 741||"[...] the Romans elected him pope by acclamation, when he was accompanying the funeral procession of his predecessor, 11 February, 731. As he was not consecrated for more than a month after his election, it is presumed that he waited for the confirmation of his election by the exarch at Ravenna."|
|None||Zachary||December 3, 741 to March 14/March 22, 752||"After the burial of his predecessor Gregory III on 29 November, 741, he was immediately and unanimously elected pope and consecrated and enthroned on 5 December. [...] Soon after his elevation he notified Constantinople of his election; it is noticeable that his synodica (letter) was not addressed to the iconoclastic Patriarch Anastasius but to the Church of Constantinople."|
Frankish interregnum 
|None||Stephen II||March 26, 752 to April 26, 757||"He had at once to face the Lombards who were resolved to bring all Italy under their sway. With the capture of Ravenna (751), they had put an end to the power of the Byzantine exarchs and were preparing to seize the Duchy of Rome. In vain did Stephen apply for help to Constantinople [...] He accordingly [...] endeavoured to obtain assistance from Pepin and the Franks. [...] he went himself to Gaul to plead his cause before the Frankish king. Receiving a most favourable reception, he crowned Pepin as King of the Franks [...]"|
|None||Paul I||May 29, 757 to June 28, 767||Brother of Stephen II; "While Paul was with his dying brother at the Lateran, a party of the Romans gathered in the house of Archdeacon Theophylact in order to secure the latter's succession to the papal see. However, immediately after the burial of Stephen (died 26 April, 757), Paul was elected by a large majority, and received episcopal consecration on the twenty-ninth of May. Paul continued his predecessor's policy towards the Frankish king, Pepin, and thereby continued the papal supremacy over Rome and the districts of central Italy in opposition to the efforts of the Lombards and the Eastern Empire."|
|None||Stephen III||August 1, 767 to January 24, 772||"Paul I was not dead when trouble began about the election of his successor. Toto of Nepi with a body of Tuscans burst into Rome, and, despite the opposition of the primicerius Christopher, forcibly intruded his brother Constantine, a layman, into the chair of Peter (June, 767). In the spring of 768, however, Christopher and his son Sergius contrived to escape from the city, and with the aid of the Lombards deposed the usurper. They were also able to overthrow the monk Philip, whom some of their Lombard allies had clandestinely elected pope. By their efforts Stephen [...] was at length canonically elected and consecrated (7 August, 768). [...] Through Stephen's support the archdeacon Leo was enabled to hold the See of Ravenna against a lay intruder, and in turn through the support of the brothers Charlemagne and Carloman, Kings of the Franks, Stephen was able to recover some territories from the Lombards. But their king, Desiderius [...] brought about a marriage between his daughter and Charlemagne, and in some mysterious manner effected the fall of the pope's chief ministers, Christopher and Sergius."|
|None||Adrian I||August 1, 767 to December 26, 795||C.f. Desiderius
"Pavia fell into the hands of Charles; the kingdom of the Lombards was extinguished, and the Papacy was forever delivered from its persistent and hereditary foe."
Kings of the Franks/Holy Roman Empire 
|Charlemagne*||Leo III||December 26, 795 to June 12, 816||"Pope Adrian died in 795 and Leo III was chosen to fill his place. This election Charlemagne confirmed, sending Angilbert, Abbot of St. Regnier, to Rome to carry to the new Pope admonitions about the proper filling of his office."
"He was elected on the very day his predecessor was buried (26 Dec., 795), and consecrated on the following day. It is quite possible that this haste may have been due to a desire on the part of the Romans to anticipate any interference of the Franks with their freedom of election."
|Louis the Pious*||Stephen IV||June 12, 816 to January 24, 817||"[...] he was elected pope and consecrated immediately after Leo's death, about 22 June, 816. He at once caused the Romans to take an oath to the Emperor Louis the Pious as their suzerain, and he sent notice of his election to him. He then went to France and crowned Louis."|
|Paschal I||January 25, 817 to February 11, 824||"On the death of Stephen IV (24 January, 817) Paschal was unanimously chosen as his successor. On the following day he was consecrated and enthroned. He entered into relations with Emperor Louis, sending him several ambassadors in rapid succession. In 817 he received from the emperor a document, "Pactum Ludovicianum", confirming the rights and possessions of the Holy See. This document with later amendments is still extant [...]"|
|Eugene II||May 8, 824 to August 827||"[...] Pascal I [...] had turned for support to the Frankish power. [...] nobles [...] secured the consecration of Eugene [...] The election of Eugene II was a triumph for the Franks [...] Emperor Louis the Pious accordingly sent his son Lothair to Rome to strengthen the Frankish influence. [...] A concordat or constitution was then agreed upon between the pope and the emperor (824). [...] By command of the pope and Lothair the people had to swear that, saving the fidelity they had promised the pope, they would obey the Emperors Louis and Lothair; [...] and would not suffer the pope-elect to be consecrated save in the presence of the emperor's envoys."|
|Gregory IV||827 to January 844||"This man [...] was raised to the chair of Peter [...] mainly by the instrumentality of the secular nobility of Rome who were then securing a preponderating influence in papal elections. But the representatives in Rome of the Emperor Louis the Pious would not allow him to be consecrated until his election had been approved by their master. This interference caused such delay that it was not, seemingly, till about March, 828, that he began to govern the Church."|
|None||Sergius II||January 844 to January 7, 847||"As Sergius was, after a disputed election, consecrated without any reference to the Emperor Lothaire, the latter was indignant, and sent his son Louis with an army to examine into the validity of the election. But Sergius succeeded in pacifying Louis, whom he crowned king, but to whom he would not take an oath of fealty."|
|None||Leo IV||January 847 to July 17, 855||"[...] he was consecrated (10 April, 847) without the consent of the emperor."|
|None*||Benedict III||855 to April 7, 858||"On the death of Leo IV (17 July, 855) Benedict was chosen to succeed him, and envoys were despatched to secure the ratification of the decree of election by the Emperors Lothaire and Louis II. But the legates betrayed their trust and allowed themselves to be influenced in favour of the ambitious and excommunicated Cardinal Anastasius. The imperial missi, gained over in turn by them, endeavoured to force Anastasius on the Roman Church."|
|Louis II of Italy||Nicholas I||April 24, 858 to November 13, 867||
"In 858 Louis had come to Rome for the Easter celebrations; he had already begun his return journey, when he was greeted with the news of Pope Benedict's demise (17 April). He immediately went back to Rome, and by his influence decided the election of the deacon Nicholas. The clergy were in favour of another candidate, but as the emperor's choice had fallen on a man of worth, the election was confirmed without much ado."
"After Benedict's death (7 April, 858) the Emperor Louis II, who was in the neighbourhood of Rome, came into the city to exert his influence upon the election. On 24 April Nicholas was elected pope, and on the same day was consecrated and enthroned in St. Peter's in the presence of the emperor."
|Unknown||Adrian II||December 14, 867 to December 14, 872||"He strove to maintain peace among the greedy and incompetent descendants of Charlemagne."|
|None*||Marinus I||December 16, 882 to May 15, 884||"There is reason for believing that Marinus I was elected on the very day of the death of John VIII (16 Dec., 882), and that he was consecrated without waiting for the consent of the incompetent emperor, Charles the Fat."|
|None||Stephen V||885 to September 14, 891||"He was consecrated in September, 885, without waiting for the imperial confirmation; but when Charles the Fat found with what unanimity he had been elected he let the matter rest."|
|Lambert II of Spoleto*||Romanus||August 897 to November 897||"His coins bear the name of the Emperor Lambert, and his own monogram with 'Scs. Petrus'"|
|John IX||January 898 to January 900||"At this period factions filled the city of Rome, and one of them tried to force their candidate, Sergius, afterwards Sergius III, on the papal throne in opposition to John. Perhaps because he was favoured by the ducal House of Spoleto, John was able to maintain his position, and Sergius was driven from the city and excommunicated. [...] The Synod of Rome [...] decided that the pope-elect was not to be consecrated except in the presence of the imperial envoys."|
|Unknown||Leo V||July 903 to September 903||"Very little is known of him. We have no certainty either as to when he was elected or as to exactly how long he reigned."|
Counts of Tusculum 
|Marozia, Senatrix of Rome||Sergius III||January 29, 904 to April 14, 911||Mistress of Marozia|
|John X||March 914 to May 928||Appointed and then deposed by Marozia|
|Leo VI||May 928 to December 928|||
|Stephen VII||December 928 to February 931|||
|John XI||February/March 931 to December 935||Illegitimate son of Pope Sergius III and Marozia, and half-brother of Alberic II|
|Alberic II of Spoleto, Senator of Rome||Leo VII||3 January 936 to 13 July 939||Cooperated with Henry I and Otto I|
|Marinus II||October 30, 942 to May 946||"[...] he was one of the popes placed on the throne of St. Peter by the power of Alberic, Prince of the Romans [...]"|
|Agapetus II||May 10, 946 to December 955||"The temporal power had practically vanished and Rome was ruled by the vigorous Princeps and Senator Albericht, who was the prototype of the later Italian tyrants."|
|John XII||December 16, 955 to May 14, 964||Son of Alberic II
"During his lifetime, his successor was virtually appointed in the person of Albericht's notorious son Octavian, later John XII, whose father forced the Romans to swear that they would elect him as their temporal and spiritual lord upon the demise of Agapetus."
Holy Roman Empire 
|None*||Benedict V||May 22, 964 to June 23, 964||"Benedict V was elected pope (May, 964) in very critical circumstances. The powerful emperor, Otho I, had forcibly deposed [...] John XII, and had replaced him by a nominee of his own who took the title of Leo VIII. But [...] the Romans expelled Leo, and on the death (14 May, 964) of [...] John XII, elected [...] Benedict [...] Otho [...] marched on Rome, seized Benedict, and put an end to his pontificate [...] After reinstating Leo, Otho left Rome and carried Benedict with him to Germany."|
|Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor||Leo VIII||July 964 to March 1, 965||Sometimes considered an antipope for the first year of his papacy|
|John XIII||October 1, 965 to September 6, 972||Brother of Crescentius the Elder
"In presence of the imperial envoys, Liutprand, Bishop of Cremona, and Otgar, Bishop of Speyer, the emperor's candidate, John, Bishop of Narni, was elected pope, and crowned on 1 October, 965, as John XIII."
|Benedict VI||January 19, 973 to June 974||Deposed and strangled by Crescentius the Elder
"[...] the necessity of waiting for the ratification of the Emperor Otho delayed his consecration till 19 January, 973."
|Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor||Benedict VII||October 974 to July 10, 983||Elected by the Roman clergy through the influence of Siccio, envoy of Otto II
Related to Alberic II of Spoleto, the Count of Tusculum and the Crescentii
|John XIV||December 983 to August 20, 984||"After the death of Benedict VII, Bishop Peter Campanora of Pavia, earlier imperial chancellor of Italy, was elected pope with the consent of Emperor Otto II [...]"|
|Unknown; existence is disputed||John XV||August 985 to March 996||Crescentius the Younger as Patricius Romanorum likely interfered in the succession of John XV, if, in fact, it occurred
"John remained throughout his pontificate under the influence of the powerful patricius, though he maintained friendly relations with the German court and with both empresses-Adelaide, widow of Otto I, and Theophano, widow of Otto II."
|Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor||Gregory V||996 to 999||Cousin of Otto III; Crescentius the Younger and the Roman clergy did not choose a successor to John XV immediately, but rather deferred to Otto III to select one.|
|Sylvester II||April 2, 999 to May 12, 1003|||
Crescentius the Elder, the brother of Pope John XIII, had previously deposed and had strangled Pope Benedict VI, and helped install Antipope Boniface VII in Rome in opposition to the imperial candidates, Pope Benedict VII and Pope John XIV, the latter of which perished in the Castel Sant'Angelo like Benedict V. Crescentius the Younger, the son of Crescentius the Elder, likely had a strong hand in the election of Pope John XV, although the details of that papacy are incomplete and disputed. However, it is known that Crescentius the Younger deferred to Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor for the choice of the successor of John XV: Pope Gregory V, Otto III's cousin. Yet, not long afterward, disputes with the emperor and Gregory V caused Crescentius the Younger to support Antipope John XVI, who was deposed with some difficulty by Otto III, who proceeded to have John XVI mutilated and Crescentius the Younger killed.
Three years later, after a revolt in Rome involving John Crescentius, the son of Crescentius the Younger, Otto III and Pope Sylvester II were expelled from Rome; the three successors of Sylvester II (who was later permitted to return to Rome) were appointed by John Crescentius before he died in the spring of 1012, nearly simultaneously with Sergius IV, allowing the Counts of Tusculum to displace the Crescentii.
|John Crescentius||John XVII||June 1003 to December 1003||Began in opposition to Gregory V|
|John XVIII||December 25, 1003 to July 1009||"He, too, owed his elevation to the influence of Crescentius."|
|Sergius IV||July 31, 1009 to May 12, 1012|||
Counts of Tusculum 
Unlike the Tusculan popes during the "Pornocracy", Benedict VIII, John XIX, and Benedict IX were the Count of Tusculum themselves immediately prior to their becoming pope. Benedict VIII subjugated the Crescentii and made peace with the Holy Roman Empire, crowning Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor on February 14, 1014, nearly two years after his accession to the papacy.
|Counts of Tusculum||Benedict VIII||May 18, 1012 to April 9, 1024||Count of Tusculum immediately prior to becoming pope
"[...] though a layman, imposed on the chair of Peter by force (18 May 1012)"
|John XIX||April/May 1024 to October 20, 1032||Count of Tusculum immediately prior to becoming pope; brother of Benedict VIII|
|Benedict IX||1032 to 1044||Count of Tusculum immediately prior to becoming pope; nephew of his two immediate predecessors as the son of their brother, Alberic III, Count of Tusculum
"Regarding it as a sort of heirloom, his father Alberic placed him upon [the Chair of Peter] when a mere youth, not, however, apparently of only twelve years of age [...]"
First term; abdicated twice for financial reward (c.f. Pope Sylvester III and Pope Gregory VI)
Holy Roman Empire 
|Henry III||Clement II||December 25, 1046 to October 9, 1047||Proceeded to crown Henry III; first "German Pope"|
|Damasus II||July 17, 1048 to August 9, 1048||With the concurrence of Boniface III of Tuscany|
|Leo IX||February 12, 1048 to April 19, 1054||Selected by the emperor at an assembly in Worms with the concurrence of Roman nobles, with the subsequent assent of the Roman clergy; Cousin of the emperor; brought Hildebrand (future Pope Gregory VII) to Rome with him.|
|Victor II||April 13, 1055 to July 28, 1057||"After the death of Leo IX (19 April 1054) Cardinal-subdeacon Hildebrand came to the emperor at the head of a Roman legation with the urgent request to designate Gebhard as pope. At the Diet of Mainz, in September, 1054, the emperor granted this request, but Gebhard refused to accept the papal dignity. At a court Diet held at Ratisbon in March, 1055, he finally accepted the papacy, but only on condition that the emperor restored to the Apostolic See all the possessions that had been taken from it. The emperor consented to this condition and Gebhard accompanied Hildebrand to Rome, where he was formally elected and solemnly enthroned on Maundy Thrusday [sic], 13 April 1055, taking the name of Victor II."|
|None||Stephen IX||August 2, 1057 to March 29, 1058||"He was made cardinal-priest of St. Chrysogonus by Victor II, and, on the latter's death, he was freely chosen his successor, and consecrated on the following day (3 August 1057)."|
|None||Nicholas II||December 6, 1058 to July 27, 1061||Promulgated In Nomine Domini (1059)
"As soon as the news of the death of Stephen X at Florence reached Rome (4 April 1058). the Tusculan party appointed a successor in the person of John Mincius, Bishop of Velletri, under the name of Benedict X. His elevation, due to violence and corruption, was contrary to the specific orders of Stephen X that, at his death, no choice of a successor was to be made until Hildebrand's return from Germany. Several cardinals protested against the irregular proceedings, but they were compelled to flee from Rome. Hildebrand was returning from his mission when the news of these events reached him. He interrupted his journey at Florence, and after agreeing with Duke Godfrey of Lorraine-Tuscany upon Bishop Gerhard for elevation to the papacy, he won over part of the Roman population to the support of his candidate. An embassy dispatched to the imperial court secured the confirmation of the choice by the Empress Agnes. At Hildebrand's invitation, the cardinals met in December, 1058, at Siena and elected Gerhard who assumed the name of Nicholas II. On his way to Rome the new pope held at Sutri a well-attended synod at which, in the presence of Duke Godfrey and the imperial chancellor, Guibert of Parma, he pronounced deposition against Benedict X."
|Burchard II, Bishop of Halberstadt*||Alexander II||September 30, 1061 to April 21, 1073||"Alexander's election was confirmed by an envoy"|
|Henry IV*||Gregory VII||April 22, 1073 to May 25, 1085||"Last pope whose election was confirmed by the Emperor"|
|Lothair III*||Innocent II||February 14, 1130 to September 24, 1143||"[...] the election of Innocent was ratified at a synod assembled at Würzburg at the request of the German king [...]"|
List of anti-papal appointments 
|Constantius||Felix II||355 to 358||Opposed to Pope Liberius|
|Exarchate of Ravenna||Theodore||687||"While Pope Conon lay dying, the archdeacon Pascal offered the exarch a large sum to bring about his election as his successor. Through the exarch's influence the archdeacon was accordingly elected by a number of people; about the same time another faction elected the archpriest Theodore. The mass of clergy and people, however, set them both aside and chose Sergius, who was duly consecrated."|
|Godfrey III, Duke of Lower Lorraine||Clement III||1080 to 1100||Bishop of Ravenna at the time Rome was captured from the Countess Matilda of Tuscany|
|Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor||Gregory VIII||March 10, 1118 to April 22, 1121|||
|Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor||Nicholas V||May 12, 1328 to July 25, 1330||Opposed to Pope John XXII|
- Christian Chronicler. "The Medieval Papacy".
- Greeley, 2005, p. 20.
- Brauer, Jerald C., and Gerrish, Brian Albert. 1971. The Westminster Dictionary of Church History. Westminster Press. ISBN 0-664-21285-9. p. 216.
- Karl August von Hase, Karl von Hase, Charles Edward Blumenthal, Conway Phelps Wing. 1870. A History of the Christian Church. D. Appleton and company. p. 184.
- Josep M. Colomer and Iain McLean. (1998). "Electing Popes: Approval Balloting and Qualified-Majority Rule". The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 1-22.
- Bennett, Clinton. 2001. In Search of Jesus: Insider and Outsider Images. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8264-4916-6. p. 78.
- "Pope St. Fabian" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Cornelius" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Lucius I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Damasus I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Siricius" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- ouis Marie DeCormenin, vicomte de Louis-Marie de Lahaye. 1857. A Complete History of the Popes of Rome. James L. Gihon. p. 78.
- "Pope St. Boniface I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Simplicius" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Gelasius I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Symmachus (498-514)" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- DeCormenin and de Lahaye, 1857, p. 98.
- Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. 1842. Penny cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. C. Knight. p. 320.
- Holland, David. 1989. The Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Incorporated. ISBN 0-7172-0120-1. p. 87.
- Coulombe, 2003, p. 96.
- "Pope John II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Evans, James Allan Stewart. 2002. The Empress Theodora: Partner of Justinian. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-72105-6. p. 65.
- Coulombe, 2003, p. 99.
- William Francis Barry. 1902. The Papal Monarchy from St. Gregory the Great to Boniface VIII. T.F. Unwin. p. 73.
- Coulombe, 2003, p. 101.
- Baynes, Thomas Spencer. 1888. "Pelagius I". The Encyclopaedia Britannica. H. G. Allen. p. 473.
- Sotinel, Claire. 2003. "John III" in Levillain. p. 833.
- "Pope Benedict I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pelagius II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Gregory I ("the Great")" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Sabinianus" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Boniface III" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Boniface IV" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Severinus" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope John IV" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Theodore I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Martin I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Andreas Nikolaou Stratos, Marc Ogilvie-Grant. 1968. Byzantium in the Seventh Century. Adolf M. Hakkert. ISBN 90-256-0852-3. p. 55.
- "Pope St. Vitalian" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Leo II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Benedict II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope John V" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Conon" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Sergius I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope John VI" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Gregory III" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope St. Zachary" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Stephen (II) III" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Paul I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Stephen (III) IV" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Adrian I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Landone, Brown. 1917. Civilization: An Appreciation of the Victories of Scholarship, Science and Art. I. Squire. p. 102.
- "Pope Leo III" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Stephen (IV) V" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Paschal I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Eugene II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Gregory IV" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Sergius II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Leo IV" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Benedict III" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Hill, 1905, p. 161.
- Duchesne, Louis. 1907. The Beginnings of the Temporal Sovereignty of the Popes: A. D. 754-1073. K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & co., ltd. p. 155.
- "Pope St. Nicholas I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Adrian II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Marinus I" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Stephen (V) VI" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Romanus" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope John IX" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Leo V" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Graboïs, 1980, p. 448.
- Dahmus, 1984, p. 432.
- "Pope Marinus II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Agapetus II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope John II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Phillimore, Robert. 1855. Commentaries Upon International Law. T. & J. W. Johnson. p. 201.
- "Pope Benedict V" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Newman, Albert Henry. A Manual of Church History. American Baptist publication society. p. 501.
- Bryce Johnston, John Johnstone. 1807. A Commentary on the Revelation of St. John. Printed for William Creech. p. 136.
- "Pope John XIII" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Benedict VI" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope John XIV" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope John XV (XVI)" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Graboïs, 1980, p. 372.
- André Maurel, Helen Gerard. 1913. Little Cities of Italy. G. P. Putnam's sons. p. 398.
- Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Penny cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. p. 129.
- "Pope John XVIII (XIX)" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope John XIX (XX)" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Benedict VIII" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Benedict IX" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Clement II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Graboïs, 1980, p. 214.
- The Historians' History of the World. p. 608.
- Doran, John. Monarchs Retired from Business. Redfield. p. 104.
- Hill, 1905, p. 204.
- Kuiper, B. K. 1988. The Church in History. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-1777-7. p. 100.
- "Pope Victor II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Stephen (IX) X" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Pope Nicholas II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- A Manual of Church History. 1939. B. Herder. p. 264.
- Chetham Society. 1865. Remains historical and literary connected with the Palatine counties. Oxford University. p. 279.
- Watkin Wynn Williams. 1953. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Manchester University Press. p. 109.
- "Pope Innocent II" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Coulombe, 2003, p. 71.
- Victor Duruy, Louis Edwin Van Norman. 1912. A General History of the World. The Review of Reviews Co. p. 231.
- J. Willoughby Rosse, John Blair. 1858. An Index of Dates. H. G. Bohn. p. 108.
- Dahmus, 1984, p. 581.
- Coulombe, Charles A. 2003. Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes. Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-2370-0.
- Dahmus, Joseph Henry. 1984. Dictionary of medieval civilization. Macmillan. ISBN 0-02-907870-9.
- Graboïs, Aryeh. 1980. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Medieval Civilization. Octopus.
- Greeley, Andrew M. 2005. The Making of the Pope. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-32560-0.
- Hill, David Jayne. 1905. A history of diplomacy in the international development of Europe. Longmans, Green, and co.