Talk:Pope Gregory I

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Old stuff[edit]

Yes. No. --Wetman 20:33, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Did Pope Gregory write a letter to some king saying he thought the end of the world was going to happen "soon"? I am curious about this, if it has any historical backing or if it's one of those claims made about some Pope that turns out not to be a misquote or something. Someone told me of a book that allegedly contains the quote so I'm going to look it up and see what I can find out. But if anyone else knows, feel free to add that material, assuming it is documented. Thanks! (Anonymous)brooke
Everyone thought the world was going to end soon, that they were living in a "Last Age". It was a central concept of Christianity. --Wetman 21:05, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Wetman, that's a ridiculous generalisation. It is supportable to say that Gregory is in particular responsible for "shortening" the timescale in the way that Anon. alludes to.
Also, I think you mean a "middle age" (see: The Revelation to John for details of the "last age" in the context of the Christian belief system)
Ni, "Last Age" is what I said. Medieval historiography deserves a Wikipedia article: in the mean time see Historiography. The history of history-writing is not for everybody. would seem.

There certainly needs to be some documentation for the statement "Gregory declared himself to be a saint."

--Sophroniscus 7 July 2005 16:32 (UTC)

This article has quite a lot of information about Gregory the Great. ""

--—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:55, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

The statement in 'Works' about Gregory is over the top - a more balanced comment would be more appropriate perhaps? --—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


The Disinfobox for Gregory seems to have no way to add the information that this is an imaginary portrait by Carlo Saraceni or his studio, in the Museo Nazionale Romana. Meanwhile it "informs" us that we may address him in person, sdhould we run into him, as "Your Holiness", in a large Disinfobox. --Wetman 00:00, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion! When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the Edit this page link at the top. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes — they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. Gentgeen 02:04, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
I tried of course. --Wetman 06:52, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

There is another important error here in the info box:Catholicism is not a denomination, it is a church. The word denomination has Protestant connotations, and is not used by Catholics and Orthodox Christians when referring to their churches. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:59, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

You said it yourself. Catholicism is a denomination for Protestants (and others). Presumably a Protestant wrote the sentence, so it can stand. And remember it's supposed to be salutary to see yourself through the eyes of others as has often been said (e.g. by Robert Burns). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:27, 16 May 2012 (UTC)


On the left side of this section, there is a photo of a manuscript drawing of St Gregory with a dove. According to the German Wikipedia, this drawing depicts Venerable Bede (Beda Venerabilis) and not St Gregory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stefsaks (talkcontribs) 18:09, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

The German Wikipedia has an entirely different drawing. Both Bede and Gregory are shown with a bird nibbling on their ear, but you can tell this one is Gregory by the red clothes and the papal tiara sitting on the desk. Tb (talk) 18:12, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Excuse me, are we talking about the same photo? I am talking about the photo at the section Iconography. I just checked the filename of this photo, and it is "Beda Venerabilis.jpg" (!!!) Stefsaks (talk) 18:24, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, again the German one is wrong. Look at the discussion on the image itself and the one on the Bede page that it points to. Tb (talk) 18:59, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. According to this site of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the figure depicted is Jerome (as the author of the Life of St Paul which is accompanied by the illustration). Iblardi (talk) 20:00, 19 February 2010 (UTC)


Hey Wikipedia, Um... My name is Karen, and I'm is eighth grade. I had to research popes on the internet for my history, and we had been studying Pope Gregory today... HE DRESSED LIKE A MONK!!! Or at least my history book says so, the pictures you have of him are in flowing robes, and I researched monk's robes, and they are way more simple. What is going on. (I loved the article though! Thanx for it!)

Thank you for listening... Actually I guess you're reading, but thanx anyway!


It's an imaginary portrait, painted in the eighteenth-century, which the information box doesn't make clear but should. --Wetman 05:59, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

End of patristics?[edit]

The article says that Gregory was the last of the Latin church fathers. The same is claimed in the article for Isidore of Seville. Other sources seem to indicate that either Isidore, or even Beda was considered the last father. I will delete this part of the article. -- Zz 12:52, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

The "last" of an artificial category is uninformative to the general reader. A more useful question: are the qualities in Gregory's career that incurred such a title well expressed in the article? --Wetman 18:50, 24 November 2006 (UTC)


why is one of the headings "Servi servorum Dei"? This translates to "servants of the servants of God" as least as best as I can tell. Does this have some relation to Gregory, or am I wrong in translation? If bot are not, shouldn't we change this? 01:44, 1 June 2007 (UTC)Erik the Red 2

Mary Magdalene[edit]

Are we now saying that it was a myth that it was Pope Gregory who started the (well-intentioned) story that the Magdalene was a prostitute? The interpretation came from somewhere because it is nowhere in the New Testament! The question then becomes, if not Gregory, then who? People have spent a lot of time trying to counter this well-meant interpretation. It would be nice to have a smoking gun somewhere to point the finger at!

I don't know about "undue weight." Considereing the outcome, I'm amazed at the paragraph's (former) restraint. It was perhaps the most annoying thing he did! Student7 11:34, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

It is indeed undue weight, as among the many sermons Gregory gave in his life, this is by far not the most important.
Once you give a short presentation of at least the more important sermons of Gregory we can include this as well.
"Considereing (sic) the outcome"? - Indeed scant importance.
As for the facts, on whether Gregory called her a prostitute, please read the article on Mary Magdalene. Str1977 (smile back) 08:13, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
For example: "According to Kripal, the identification of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute also goes back to the above mentioned sermon by Pope Gregory"? I don't see any conclusive evidence there that Pope Gregory wasn't the one. Instead of ignoring it here, or burying it in a footnote, why not write up a section that clearly lifts the blame from the shoulders of Gregory. Call it "Modern myth" or something. I get 18,000 hits for "Pope Gregory" and "Mary Magdalene" on google. The topic can hardly be avoided in this article somewhere, however it's presented. Student7 22:01, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
This whole section reads like a feminist shibboleth-of-the-week of a type that was fashionable a decade ago. If it belongs anywhere at all, it's in the Mary Magdalene article, not here. I don't see any conclusive evidence there that Pope Gregory wasn't the one, said an editor above. No conclusive evidence is necessary, possible, nor desirable. This sub-section should be deleted as a non-notable attempt to scapegoat one man for a very widespread trope. was not seen as a Church teaching..., says the article, which implies that it later came to be seen as magisterial, which is preposterous.
The Eastern Orthodox Church has never accepted Gregory's identification of Mary Magdalene with the sinful woman, says the article. Of course not, Gregory was not Eastern Orthodox. This is not notable.
Rwflammang (talk) 02:08, 31 January 2012 (UTC)


This statement is hard to pin down. Catholic Encyclopedia says Pope Leo I 440-61. No I haven't checked the Wikipedia article. There were a lot of false starts on chastity. The idiot article List of sexually active popes thinks since "the Middle Ages." Despite the superficiality of that article, a lot of work has gone into research there. Student7 (talk) 00:11, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

The Gregory who moved (in fits and starts) against clerics with mistresses and wives was Pope Gregory VII: see Herbert Edward John Cowdrey, 1998. Pope Gregory VII, 1073-1085, ch. 3.6.1 "The campaign against simony and clerical unchastity", p. 242ff.--Wetman (talk) 03:23, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

formatting answers[edit]

Most of these questions will just vanish if the article is put into proper format with proper notes on all the major ideas. I did a little work on the bottom rendering all those confusing foreign names into proper cite webs. I can't get that far right now but it needs the fairly routine dog work if anyone cares to take a hand. Quite often formatting is 90% of the problem but I guess it is easier to argue. Thanks.Dave (talk) 11:51, 10 August 2008 (UTC)


I'm thinking that the material on accounting just added by Botteville should be in a "higher level article" (no idea for an article name). We've all heard that the church "invented bureaucracy", at least in the West. This is factual data here. My thought is that this article would link to that higher level one, and both articles would include Gregory's contributions which were just inserted. Student7 (talk) 13:10, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

At least in "History of the Roman Catholic Church" although that article could link to the proposed new one as well. Student7 (talk) 13:13, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm older than dirt too, although some have claimed I am the dirt. I hereby assert that I'm not, at least not yet. Anyway right now I'm thinking on keyboard about what you are saying. I have certain reservations. It wasn't really the church who invented the bureacracy. The Roman government kept very careful records of their business transactions, especially the military forts from which many towns grew. They recorded every transaction. I don't see registum in the unabridged Latin dictionary so maybe the church did invent it. But, it hardly seems fair to blame a universal phenomenon on the church. The administration of Gregory is most remarkable. He left no stone unturned to find or create revenue. He did insist on honest dealings. However, different popes are known for different things and I doubt if his genius was exercised by everyone. Sometimes the church were bad administrators. So, I doubt if we can really get a hold on such a higher-level article on church administration. When I think of the size required for such a topic I doubt even more. Moreover, aren't we really talking about doing an original work on church administration? If anything I would do a lower-level article on the admininistration of Gregory the great. There's more I could say on this topic but I've already said quite a few words. I just want to get to the point where we can know something about Gregory. Dropping in a few opinions with no detail is not really saying anything, is it? Some people generalize on the source's generalizations but by the time they squeeze that out the article really says nothing at all except "go look at this source if you can find it." To my way of thinking we should say something about what the source says. Gregory might well be worth a long article, you know? We don't want to sell him short. There he was dealing successfully with the murderous Lombards and taking steps to convert North Europe and saving people from famine and all we have to say are a few nearly incomprehensible phrases about some obscure liturgical changes. Well anyway that is that. I can't stay on this forever. I want to get through to the point where he ties in with the Benedictines if he does but meanwhile it should be accurate and the article when I started did not pass muster. Thanks. I think the previous pope could use some care. I got to get on to Gorgona and Saint Julia and get back to Corsica but as a baloney-buster I can't really leave these lies behind. Best wishes.Dave (talk) 03:45, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
PS. I did find regesta (not regista - which only underscores the need for vigilance - joke) and it is late; apparently it was used in COD. TH.; however, as a verb it is classical from re- and gerere, the idea being you are bringing something up into line - such as a list. To summarize, it seems to me at this point these are only the talents and skills of Gregory "the Great" and not some sort of daring church advancement in accounting. He encountered considerable resistance in effecting this charity. I got to finish this up now so I can make a getaway in good conscience.Dave (talk) 11:06, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I'll take your word on Gregory's contribution and drop this issue about him. Having said that, at least part of the Reformation "problem" was the fact that the church controlled all the reins and pushed the buttons. Easentially, when the economy finally improved, the lay wished to control this or some of it.
In Haiti today, the priest essentially runs the parish which is to say, everybody, in his jurisdiction outside of the big cities. Officials aren't interested. No money. Haiti is (as you recall) a place where if you see a cop you run ('cause he is there to bleed money from you!). And this is the way it was from very roughly 600-1400 in the Western world. And yes, I agree that we need a reference so it won't be WP:OR.Student7 (talk) 16:35, 30 August 2008 (UTC)


I left the one quote in. This section does not provide (as promised) a "varied" opinion on Gregory. It rather gives an opinion of an expert in medieval history but a biased observer IMO of religion. He is nearly anti-religious/anti-Christian in the opinions given here. So his opinion on Gregory's administration may be valid. Not at all sure about his opinion about Gregory's religious beliefs or theology. Student7 (talk) 22:35, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

The quote by Cantor is so bias as to give little insight into Gregory's writings. Instead of referring to Gregory as "a superstitious and credulous monk" he could have noted that Gregory had been a monk of great faith. In saying that Gregory was "...excessively devoted to saints, miracles, and relics" one has to wonder if Cantor had forgotten that the person he was talking about was a Catholic pope.Ranp (talk) 22:02, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Seems pretty accurate to me, and I'm a member of an order named for Gregory. It's a fair criticism. It's not isolated; the point is to show that, as it says, opinions vary. There's plenty of positive stuff, and Cantor isn't negative in fact, just trying to say that, by modern lights, Gregory's writings are mixed. Tb (talk) 23:21, 30 March 2010 (UTC)


There was nothing on this page about what is is a patron saint of. I find it hard to believe this was simply an omission and suspect it's the result of some lengthy Wiki-battle or revert war. I went ahead and added information about this (musicians, singers, students, teachers) since this is notable, verifiable, non-original research, and neutral point of view. However, to bring the article in line with other articles, I tried to add such a section to his info box, but was unable to do so. Interlingua 12:06, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was no consensus to move to either the proposed title or Pope Gregory the Great. Jafeluv (talk) 11:32, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Pope Gregory IGregory the Great — More common name by far. Srnec (talk) 17:42, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

  • Support Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:52, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. He is quite commonly known as "Gregory I," and I see no reason to prefer a less standardized form. john k (talk) 06:52, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Cavila (talk) 19:39, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Support Johnbod (talk) 20:31, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Gregory the Great redirects here, so he has that visibility at least. Having a pope "out of sequence" disturbs my karma! Particularly when it is being done for "visibility" purposes. Smacks of WP:PR somehow IMO.  :) Mercifully we don't get into this with English kings except for Alfred. People maintaining French articles must go nuts with Pepin the Short, William the Good, George the Bold, Mary the Fat, John the Nosebleeder, and lord knows what else! We can avoid some of that with just a little care! Student7 (talk) 22:12, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
    Actually, the Carolingian kings and Emperors use only the conventional names, thus following the literature; it's just as simple, really. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:31, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. All the articles for Popes are in the form Pope N. The only exception are the Saints Peter and Hyginus. I see no reason to depart from this for those with the appendage of Great. As a compromise, maybe Pope Gregory the Great? Snappy (talk) 19:13, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Done - I don't think a debate is needed in such a clear case of duplication. Pope Gregory the Great would be fine with me. Johnbod (talk) 16:55, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I support the move I proposed, but I oppose a move to "Pope Gregory the Great". The only reason "Pope" stands in front of the name is because "Gregory I" is ambiguous. "Gregory the Great" is not. I would prefer to either keep the consistency wholly (i.e. the current title) or break with it wholly as an exceptional case (the proposal), and not to go halfway. Srnec (talk) 23:39, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

I made some small changes. Small improvements. I hope I will be welcome. --Davide41 (talk) 12:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Gregor: grex, gregis "flock"[edit]

Gregor is the leader of the flock (grex, "of the flock, gregis), similar to pastor and vigilant in that particular sense. An Etymology section that doesn't note this is incomplete. I'd add it myself but some RandyInBoise will tag it [citation needed].--Wetman (talk) 21:42, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Servant of Servants[edit]

The following was deleted for lack of reference.

"In line with his predecessors such as Dionysius, Damasus, and St. Leo the Great, Gregory reasserted the primacy of the office of the Bishop of Rome. Although calling the bishop of Rome the "Pope" was not yet a widespread custom, he summed up the responsibilities of the papacy in his official appellation, as "servant of the servants of God". As Benedict of Nursia had justified the absolute authority of the abbot over the souls in his charge, so Gregory expressed the hieratic principle that he was responsible directly to God for his ministry.

Gregory's pontificate saw the development of the notion of private penance as parallel to the institution of public penance. He explicitly referred to the ancient Christian doctrine of Purgatory, where a soul destined to undergo purification after death because of certain sins, could begin its purification in this earthly life, through God-graced good works, obedience and Christian conduct, making the travails to come lighter and shorter.

Gregory's relations with the Emperor in the East were a cautious diplomatic stand-off. He concentrated his energies in the West, where many of his letters are concerned with the management of papal estates. His relations with the Merovingian kings, encapsulated in his deferential correspondence with Childebert II, laid the foundations for the papal alliance with the Franks that would transform the Germanic kingship into an agency for the Christianization of the heart of Europe—consequences that remained in the future.

More immediately, Gregory undertook the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, where inaction might have encouraged the Celtic missionaries already active in the north of Britain. Sending Augustine of Canterbury to convert the Kingdom of Kent was prepared by the marriage of the king to a Merovingian princess who had brought her chaplains with her. By the time of Gregory's death, the conversion of the king and the Kentish nobles and the establishment of a Christian toehold at Canterbury were established.

Gregory's chief acts as Pope include his long letter issued in the matter of the schism of the Three Chapters of the bishops of Venetia and Istria. He is also known in the East as a tireless worker for communication and understanding between East and West. He is also credited with increasing the power of the papacy."

I do not have the time to research this material now, but I suspect it is based on truth. Anyone else having the resources is welcome to restore it with the reference. Thanks. Student7 (talk) 14:19, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Eutychius or Eutychian?[edit]

Both occur in article... AnonMoos (talk) 14:42, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

rivalry of Jews in the exarchate of ravenna?[edit]

under "papacy" there is a mention of rivalry of the jews in the exarchate of Ravenna, is this rivalry between jews, or between jews and other parties, and how does this "rivalry" fit into the picture of a papacy being "beset". And what happend in "the south" at the endo of this sentence that points in the same direction..

"in Italy the territories which had de facto fallen under the administration of the papacy were beset by the violent Lombard dukes and the rivalry of the Jews in the Exarchate of Ravenna and in the south."

This sentence needs a reference!

As below i found some text that is not easy to understand in the light of what is mentioned in the article currently;

In Epp., I, xiv, he expressly deprecates the compulsory baptism of Jews, and many instances appear in which he insists on their right to liberty of action, so far as the law permitted, both in civil affairs and in the worship of the synagogue (Epp., I, xxxiv; II, vi; VIII, xxv; IX, xxxviii, cxcv; XIII, xv). He was equally strong, however, in preventing the Jews from exceeding the rights granted to them by the imperial law, especially with regard to the ownership by them of Christian slaves (Epp., II, vi; III, xxxvii; IV, ix, xxi; VI, xxix; VII, xxi; VIII, xxi; IX, civ, ccxiii, ccxv). We shall probably be right, therefore, in attributing Gregory's protection of the Jews to his respect for law and justice, rather than to any ideas of toleration differing from those current at the time.

His concern with justice for Jews was limited. While he insisted in his letters that Jewish creditors were not to be defrauded, oppressed, or vexed unreasonably because they were protected by Roman law, he nevertheless believed that biblical prophecy foretold their conversion, and he adopted polices of “persuasion” that harmed Jews economically. A synagogue was moved because its services could be heard by Christians; slaves of Jews could claim freedom if they converted to Christianity—their masters could not sell them, and escaped slaves could not be returned to Jewish owners. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marc47 (talkcontribs) 12:07, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Gregorian chant[edit]

I'm not a music historian, and am pretty ignorant of the subject, despite being a fan of early music and Gregorian chant. So I was surprised to learn not only that the traditional ascription to Pope Gregory is untrue, but that it's the result of a campaign "propaganda" (by whom or why, we're not told). And there's no source cited. I cleaned up the passage a little bit, removing a nasty passive and at least mentioning the traditional ascription in a positive sense -- but the tone of this is negative and inappropriate for an article about Gregory. If these statements about Gregorian chant's later origins are true, someone in the know needs to cite a source. LonelyPilgrim (talk) 22:26, 4 September 2012 (UTC)[edit]

Dear all Users of Wikipedia,

I think it has become apparent that the picture that I am trying to protect for this article, Pope Gregory I, is being reverted by many of you. Many of say that it's not what he really looked like, or that a simple drawing is better than a beautiful renaissance painting. I will just want everyone to think first before they go straight to reverting this picture. Who wants to read an article about one of the greatest popes ever, with the main picture a simple medieval cartoon. But if your feelings are that strong, and you are going to monitor this article 24/7 and be on wikipedia all day long just to win a battle over a picture, than fine. You can have your cartoon. All I ask is that you think about it first.

Sincerely, 24. 146. 185.201 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:50, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

I for one have thought about it. It's misleading to have a renaissance painting that cannot possibly depict him correctly (the dress is probably wrong, the tiara is renaissance, not medieval, etc). A medieval illustration (which is in its own way just as beautiful) makes it clear that we don't know what he looked like, and is more likely to be closer to a correct depiction of his dress. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:56, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
The historical inaccuracies alone kibash the image in my view. There may be other depictions closer to the period that are more colorful than the one presented, but I agree that an imaginary image from a later time, with historical inaccuaracies should be replaced by a better image. Now please, IP24, stop edit-warring over this. Or log in under your user name so we know who you actually are. Montanabw(talk) 21:56, 29 March 2013 (UTC)
We've thought about it. The Saraceni is Baroque, not Renaissance, by the way, and the miniature is in no sense a "cartoon". Johnbod (talk) 22:27, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

IP 24[edit]

I see from the comments of users who read my message still don't agree with me. I understand many of you think that the picture I chose is inaccurate, and made in a different era. I am just saying that it fits the article better than the medieval drawing. The medieval drawing is not detailed, and although it was made in the period gregory lived in and shows him wearing the clothes he might have worn, it doesn't mean it's going to make the article look better. There is already enough medieval drawings in the article. I'm just asking that the first one that everybody sees when they first come to this article is the one I'm trying to keep there. I will like that everyone please rethink this.

24. 146. 185.201 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:46, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Should "head of the Catholic Church" be used?[edit]

I edited this article with the comment, 'Removed phrase that is POV or anachronistic or both, "head of the Catholic Church".'

My edit was quickly reverted with the comment "Please see WT:CATHOLIC#Papal article consistency and discuss on the talk page if necessary"

The cited policy contains:

Point 2: There is consensus that the construction "Pope {name} was the head of the Catholic Church from ..." can be used to address the issue of redundancy.

I note the modal auxiliary "can"; this is quite different from "shall" and certainly does not mandate that the construction be used.

I stand by my contention that the construction is "POV or anachronistic or both" because it projects a modern Roman Catholic interpretation of the jurisdiction of the Pope of Rome, but that matter was not resolved at the time that Gregory held the office. Vincent J. Lipsio (talk) 20:05, 11 September 2013 (UTC)


I would like to add to the name of this Article Page, the full title as it is truly needed: "Pope Saint Gregory the Great"....... His full title...... All 7 of the Gregorys I specialised in ....... and I would like the opportunity of making the page/ s..... MacOfJesus (talk) 19:46, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

I do not want to alter the Article Page Name, just to add to the "disambiguation" name, so that viewers can easy find it... MacOfJesus (talk) 21:54, 8 February 2015 (UTC)