Jump to content

List of tombs of antipopes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The tomb of Antipope John XXIII in Florence
The martyrdom of Hippolytus of Rome
Christopher, who was regarded as a legitimate pope until the 19th century, was buried among the papal tombs in Old St. Peter's Basilica.
Benedict X's corpse is still intact in Sant'Agnese in Agone.
Innocent II demolished and rebuilt Santa Maria in Trastevere to smite the tomb of Anacletus II.
La Trinità della Cava was a prison to several antipopes, including Innocent III.[citation needed]
Only the head of the effigy from the tomb of Clement VII (originally in the Avignon Cathedral) survived the French Revolution.
The tomb of Alexander V in San Francesco (Bologna)
The tomb of Clement VIII in La Seu
Felix V was buried alongside his predecessors as Count of Savoy in Hautecombe Abbey.

An antipope is a historical papal claimant not recognized as legitimate by the Catholic Church. Unlike papal tombs, the tombs of antipopes have generally not been preserved, with a few notable exceptions.

Several tombs of antipopes were desecrated and destroyed, often by their rival claimants, shortly after their creation.[1] For example, Pope Innocent II razed Santa Maria in Trastevere (one of the main Marian basilicas and one of the oldest churches of Rome) to the ground and was eventually buried over the spot once occupied by the tomb of his rival, Pope Anacletus II.[2] Others survived centuries, only to be destroyed during conflicts such as the French Revolution and the War of the Spanish Succession, a fate common to some non-extant papal tombs.[3][4] Such was the case with the tomb of Antipope Felix V (the last historical antipope), who was buried with most of his predecessors as Count of Savoy in Hautecombe Abbey.[5]

Others are obscure because of the damnatio memoriae surrounding the lives of antipopes,[6] or because they were refused burial due to excommunication.[1][7] Some of those can be presumed to have been buried unceremoniously in the monasteries to which the antipopes were confined after submitting or losing power.[1] The exception is Hippolytus of Rome, the first antipope, who was translated to Rome by his former rival Pope Fabian following his martyrdom, and is regarded as a saint.[8]

Various antipopes, however, received prominent burials, including one among the papal tombs in Old St. Peter's Basilica (which were destroyed during the sixteenth/seventeenth century demolition).[9] In particular, the conciliar claimants of the Western Schism were entombed in elaborate tombs in important churches by famous sculptors. The tomb of Antipope John XXIII typifies political iconography of antipapal burial, subtly arguing for the legitimacy of the entombed.[10]

Pontificate Common English name Sculptor Location Notes
a217–235 Hippolytus
Saint Hippolytus
Unknown Cemetery of Hippolytus Remains translated to Rome by his rival Pope Fabian; inscription by Pope Damasus I recorded in Orazio Marucchi's Christian Epigraphy[8]
b251–258 Novatian Unknown Unknown Tombstone discovered in 1932 on the Via Tiburtina in Rome with the inscription "blessed martyr Novation"; considered unverified by scholars because the inscription lacks the word "bishop"[11]
c355–365 Felix II
Saint Felix
Unknown Church on Via Aurelia Martyred and sainted; buried in a church of his making on the Via Aurelia according to Liber Pontificalis[12]
d366–367 Ursicinus Unknown Gaul [12]
e418–419 Eulalius Unknown Unknown Nothing known of death but year[13]
f498–499 Laurentius Unknown Unknown Died on the farm of his patron Festus[14]
g530 Dioscorus Unknown Unknown Memory was officially condemned by Pope Boniface II but reinstated by Pope Agapetus I[6]
h687 Theodore Unknown Unknown Nothing known of him after his concession to Pope Sergius I[15]
i687 Paschal Unknown Unknown Imprisoned in an unknown monastery until his death and buried in an unknown location[15]
j766–768 Constantine II Unknown Unknown Died in an unknown monastery after much corporal mortification at the hands of the followers of Pope Stephen III[16]
k768 Philip Unknown Unknown No historical references after his return to his Monastery of St. Vito (Rome)[16]
l844 John VIII Unknown Unknown Nothing more known after he was confined to a monastery[17]
m855 Anastasius Unknown Unknown [18]
n903–904 Christopher Unknown Old St. Peter's Basilica Interred in Old St. Peter's by his overthrower, Pope Sergius III; destroyed in the seventeenth century demolition of Old St. Peter's; fragment of epitaph recorded by Peter Mallius[9]
o984–985 Boniface VII Unknown Unknown Roman mob seized his corpse, stripped him of his vestments, dragged him through the streets, and deposited it at the feet of a statue of Marcus Aurelius on horseback, at which point he was trampled and stabbed; carried away by clerics at night and buried in an unknown location[19]
p997–998 John XVI Unknown Unknown Bodily mutilated by Pope Gregory V and Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor and confined to a Roman monastery until his death[20]
q1012 Gregory VI Unknown Hamburg, Germany Died in Hamburg; no documentation of funeral or monument exist[21]
r1058–1059 Benedict X Unknown Sant'Agnese in Agone Sarcophagus in the crypt (not open to public) still contains his corpse[22]
s1061–1064 Honorius II Unknown Unknown Died in Parma[22]
t1080 Clement III Unknown Unknown Died in Civita Castellana[23]
u1100–1101 Theodoric Unknown Cava de' Tirreni Died at La Trinità della Cava but buried in the local cemetery; tombstone contains the words "Theodoric, 1102"[24]
v1101 Adalbert Unknown Benedictine Abbey of San Lorenzo (Aversa) [24]
w1105–1111 Sylvester IV Unknown Unknown Died under the care of his patron, Count Werner of Ancona; nothing of death or burial known[24]
x1118–1121 Gregory VIII Unknown Unknown Imprisoned in many places; last known to have been kept in Cava de' Tirreni, but it is unknown if he died there[24]
y1124 Celestine II Unknown Unknown Not an antipope sensu stricto, because his election was legitimate; he was forced to resign a papacy a day after and subsequently submitted to the Pope Honorius II, who was elected in his place.[25] Died from beating inflicted during the election.[26]
z1130–1138 Anacletus II Unknown Santa Maria in Trastevere Destroyed by Pope Innocent II along with much of the church; Innocent II arranged for his own burial, in the rebuilt church, on the site of his former rivals'[2][27]
za1138 Victor IV Unknown Unknown
(perhaps priorate of S. Eusebio in Fontanella[28])
Nothing known of his biography after his resignation[2]
zb1159–1164 Victor IV Unknown Monastery in Lucca The clergy of the Lucca Cathedral and San Frediano would not allow him buried there because of his excommunication; tomb destroyed by Pope Gregory VIII in December 1187[1]
zc1164–1168 Paschal III Unknown Unknown Died in Castel Sant'Angelo[1]
zd1168–1178 Callixtus III Unknown Unknown Died in Benevento[1]
ze1179–1180 Innocent III Unknown La Trinità della Cava (Cava de' Tirreni) [1]
zf1328–1330 Nicholas V Unknown Avignon Died in the Church of the Franciscans, Avignon[29]
zg1378–1394 Clement VII Perrin Morel Musée du Petit Palais, Avignon Original canopied tomb in the Avignon Cathedral moved on September 8, 1401 to the chapel of the Celestines, and in 1658 to the choir of the church; almost completely destroyed during the French Revolution, only the head of the effigy remains[3]
zh1394–1417 Benedict XIII Unknown Castle of Illueca, Spain Originally buried in the chapel crypt in Peñíscola; translated to Illueca, Spain and mummified under glass, attracting pilgrims; smashed by an Italian prelate Porro in 1537, after which the room was sealed by the archbishop of Saragossa; destroyed and desecrated by the French during the War of the Spanish Succession; skull recovered and put on display at the castle; buried in the palace of the Counts of Argillo y Morata at Sabinan in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War; skull stolen on August 23, 2000 by the Mayor of Illueca, Javier Vicente Inez, who attempted to ransom it; Spanish police recovered the skull and returned it to the Castle at Illueca on September 3, 2000[4]
zi1409–1410 Alexander V Niccolò di Piero Lamberti and Sperandio Savelli San Francesco (Bologna) Wall tomb[30]
zj1410–1415 John XXIII Donatello and Michelozzo Florence Baptistry See Tomb of Antipope John XXIII
zk1423–1429 Clement VIII Unknown La Seu (Mallorca) Buried in the Cappella de la Piedad in the Cathedral of Palma, Spain[7]
zl1424–1429 Benedict XIV None Under a rock in Armagnac, France Refused burial in a church because of his excommunication[7]
zm1430–1437 Benedict XIV Unknown Unknown Died imprisoned in Château de Foix[7]
zn1439–1449 Felix V
Amadeus VIII, Count of Savoy
Unknown Hautecombe Abbey (Ripaille, France) Destroyed during the French Revolution; name listed on an extant memorial plaque that commemorates him and the other Counts of Savoy, whose tombs were also destroyed in the same Abbey[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Reardon, 2004, p. 95.
  2. ^ a b c Reardon, 2004, p. 92.
  3. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 138.
  4. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, pp. 140–141.
  5. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 153.
  6. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 43.
  7. ^ a b c d Reardon, 2004, p. 150.
  8. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 27.
  9. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 69.
  10. ^ Lightbown, R.W. 1980. Donatello & Michelozzo. London: Harvey Miller. ISBN 0-905203-22-4. p. 16l; Caplow, Harriet McNeal. 1977. Michelozzo. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8240-2678-3. p. 107.
  11. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 29.
  12. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 37.
  13. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 39.
  14. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 42.
  15. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 56.
  16. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 59.
  17. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 62.
  18. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 64.
  19. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 75.
  20. ^ Reardon, 2004, pp. 76–77.
  21. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 81.
  22. ^ a b Reardon, 2004, p. 85.
  23. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 87.
  24. ^ a b c d Reardon, 2004, p. 89.
  25. ^ I. S. Robinson, The Papacy. Continuity and innovation, Cambridge University Press 1990, p. 66
  26. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 90.
  27. ^ Prinz, Joachim. 1966. Popes of the Ghetto. Horizon. p. 237.
  28. ^ Miranda, S. 1998. "The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church: Biographical Dictionary: Pope Callistus II (1119–1124): Consistory of December 1122 (VII)". Florida International University. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
  29. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 127.
  30. ^ Reardon, 2004, p. 269.


  • Reardon, Wendy J. 2004. The Deaths of the Popes. Macfarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-1527-4