Tag Archives: formosus

A painting created in 1870 by Jean-Paul Laurens, depicting the…

A painting created in 1870 by Jean-Paul Laurens, depicting the infamous Cadaver Synod of January, 897.

Pope Stephen ordered that the corpse of one of his predecessors, Pope Formosus, be disinterred and brought to the papal court, propped up on a throne, and tried on a number of charges. The deceased pope was ultimately found guilty. Stephen cut three fingers from the corpse’s right hand and, ultimately, had the remnants thrown into the Tiber, where they eventually washed up later on.

Things didn’t work out so well for Stephen, however. A revolt against Stephen began in Rome and ultimately he was deposed and imprisoned, where he was strangled to death by the summer of that year.

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