Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Liber pontificalis
(3,750 words)

The Liber pontificalis, or Book of the Popes, is a series of papal biographies arranged in chronological order, beginning with Peter and ending in 886 CE, during the first year of the pontificate of Stephen V (885–891 CE). The text is prefaced by a forged exchange of letters between Jerome and Pope Damasus, a parallel to their collaboration on the Vulgate (Bible, 11: Vulgate). Its purpose may have been simply to provide authority for the papal history. The Vitae (“Lives”), regardless of…

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Franklin, Carmela Vircillo, “Liber pontificalis”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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