Pope Lando

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Bishop of Rome
ChurchCatholic Church
SeeHoly See
Papacy beganAugust or September 913
Papacy endedFebruary or March 914
PredecessorAnastasius III
SuccessorJohn X
Personal details
Birth nameLando
BornSabina, Papal States
DiedMarch 914
Rome, Papal States
Previous post(s)Cardinal-Deacon of the Holy Roman Church (910–913)

Lando (also known as Landus)[a][1] was the pope from c. September 913 to his death c. March 914.[2][3][4] His short pontificate fell during an obscure period in papal and Roman history, the so-called Saeculum obscurum (904–964).

According to the Liber pontificalis, Lando was born in the Sabina (Papal States), and his father was a wealthy Lombard count named Taino[b] from Fornovo.[4][5][6] The Liber also claims that his pontificate lasted only four months and twenty-two days. A different list of popes, appended to a continuation of the Liber pontificalis at the Abbey of Farfa and quoted by Gregory of Catino in his Chronicon Farfense in the twelfth century, gives Lando a pontificate of six months and twenty-six days. This is closer to the duration recorded by Flodoard of Reims, writing in the tenth century, of six months and ten days.[5] The end of his pontificate can be dated to between 5 February 914, when he is mentioned in a document of Ravenna, and late March or early April, when his successor, John X, was elected.[5]

Lando is thought to have been the candidate of Count Theophylact I of Tusculum and Senatrix Theodora, who were the most powerful couple in Rome at the time.[7] The Theophylacti controlled papal finances through their monopoly of the office of vestararius, and also controlled the Roman militia and Senate.[5] During Lando's reign, Arab raiders, operating from their stronghold on the Garigliano river, destroyed the cathedral of San Salvatore in Vescovio in his native diocese.[8] No document of Lando's chancery has survived. The only act of his reign that is recorded is a donation to the diocese of Sabina mentioned in a judicial act of 1431.[5] Lando made the large personal gift in order to restore the cathedral of San Salvatore so that the clergy who were then living at Toffia could return.[6][4]


  1. ^ In the second declension. Although sometimes less common in Medieval Latin, names ending in -o in Latin tend to be written in third declension (e.g. Landonis, Platonis in genitive case).
  2. ^ Ferdinand Gregorovius, History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 1897), Vol. 3, p. 238, gives his father's name as Raino.


  1. ^ Platina, Bartolomeo (1479), The Lives of the Popes from the Time of our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Accession of Gregory VII, I, London: Griffith Farran & Co., p. 245, retrieved 2013-04-25
  2. ^ Pietro Fedele, "Ricerche per la storia di Rome e del papato al. sec. X", Archivo della Reale Società Romana di Storia Patria, 33 (1910): 177–247.
  3. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Lando" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  4. ^ a b c J. N. D. Kelly and Michael Walsh, "Lando", The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 120.
  5. ^ a b c d e Umberto Longo, "Landone, papa", Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 63 (2004).
  6. ^ a b Harald Zimmerman, "Lando", in Philippe Levillain, ed., The Papacy: An Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, Gaius–Proxies (New York: Routledge, 2002), p. 896.
  7. ^ "Lando", The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, ed. J. N. D. Kelly, (Oxford University Press, 1988), 121.
  8. ^ Roger Collins, Keepers of the Keys of Heaven: A History of the Papacy, (Basic Books, 2009), 175.

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