Tag Archives: Holy Roman emperor Frederick II

What about Pope Joan?

What about Pope Joan?


Sadly, pope Joan – lovely idea though she is – is entirely fictional. According to legend, after the death of Pope Leo IV in 855 (some sources say after Pope Victor III in 1087) a pope was elected, who took the title John Anglicus. His reign was to be so short, however, as during an Easter procession between St Peter’s and the Lateran palace an excitable crowd pushed him from his horse.

An Islamic Army of Frederick II

An Islamic Army of Frederick II

Archeologists and historians are shedding new light on how medieval Holy Roman emperor Frederick II created an Islamic army to attack the pope. The German Historical Institute in Rome – together with universities of Foggia (Italy), Trier and Kiel (both in Germany) are investigating the southern Italian city of Lucera which, in the 13th century, was a major centre of Islamic culture and learning – and the cause of considerable papal anger.