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Eyewitness Travel Family Guide Rome by DK Publishing

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< Introducing Rome

Badly Behaved Popes

Family Guide
Portrait of Julius II Della Rovere
The pope is believed to be Christ’s representative on earth, following in the footsteps of St Peter, the first bishop of Rome. Although there have been some great spiritual leaders, for much of its two millennia of history power seems to have been far more important to the papacy than religion. Many popes behaved as badly as the Roman emperors, others as extravagantly as princes, using their power to amass great fortunes and promote the interests of their families.

Stephen VI

Furious with his predecessor, Formosus, Pope Stephen (r.896–897) had his rotting corpse ...

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