Other references to the female pope are attributed to earlier writers, though none appears in manuscripts that predate the Chronicon. The one most commonly cited is Anastasius Bibliothecarius d. However, the story is found in only one unreliable manuscript of Anastasius. This manuscript, in the Vatican Library , bears the relevant passage inserted as a footnote at the bottom of a page.
It is out of sequence, and in a different hand, one that dates from after the time of Martin of Opava. This "witness" to the female pope is likely to be based upon Martin's account, and not a possible source for it. The same is true of Marianus Scotus 's Chronicle of the Popes , a text written in the 11th century. Some of its manuscripts contain a brief mention of a female pope named Johanna the earliest source to attach to her the female form of the name , but all these manuscripts are later than Martin's work.
Earlier manuscripts do not contain the legend. Some versions of the legend suggest that subsequent popes were subjected to an examination whereby, having sat on a so-called sedia stercoraria or "dung chair" containing a hole, a cardinal had to reach up and establish that the new pope had testicles , before announcing " Duos habet et bene pendentes " "He has two, and they dangle nicely" ,  or " habet " "he has them" for short. There were associated legends as well. Pope Joan has been associated with marvelous happenings. In France there appeared marvelous locusts, which had six wings and very powerful teeth.
They flew miraculously through the air, and all drowned in the British Sea. The golden bodies were rejected by the waves of the sea and corrupted the air, so that a great many people died. However, the attribution of this work to Petrarch may be incorrect. From the midth century onward, the legend was widely disseminated and believed. Joan was used as an exemplum in Dominican preaching. The book contains the following account of the female Pope:.
John, of English extraction, was born at Mentz Mainz and is said to have arrived at popedom by evil art; for disguising herself like a man, whereas she was a woman, she went when young with her paramour, a learned man, to Athens, and made such progress in learning under the professors there that, coming to Rome, she met with few that could equal, much less go beyond her, even in the knowledge of the scriptures; and by her learned and ingenious readings and disputations, she acquired so great respect and authority that upon the death of Pope Leo IV as Martin says by common consent she was chosen pope in his room.
Clement's her travail came upon her, and she died upon the place, having sat two years, one month, and four days, and was buried there without any pomp. This story is vulgarly told, but by very uncertain and obscure authors, and therefore I have related it barely and in short, lest I should seem obstinate and pertinacious if I had admitted what is so generally talked. I had better mistake with the rest of the world, though it be certain, that what I have related may be thought not altogether incredible.
References to the female Pope abound in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance. Giovanni Boccaccio wrote about her in De Mulieribus Claris This statue had never been mentioned by any earlier writer anywhere; presumably it was an actual statue that came to be taken to be of the female pope. A lateth-century edition of the Mirabilia Urbis Romae , a guidebook for pilgrims to Rome, tells readers that the female Pope's remains are buried at St. At his trial in , Jan Hus argued that the Church does not necessarily need a pope, because, during the pontificate of "Pope Agnes" as he also called her , it got on quite well.
Hus's opponents at this trial insisted that his argument proved no such thing about the independence of the Church, but they did not dispute that there had been a female pope at all. In , Florimond de Raemond , a magistrate in the parlement de Bordeaux and an antiquary , published his first attempt to deconstruct the legend, Erreur Populaire de la Papesse Jeanne also subsequently published under the title L'Anti-Papesse.
The tract applied humanist techniques of textual criticism to the Pope Joan legend, with the broader intent of supplying sound historical principles to ecclesiastical history, and the legend began to come apart, detail by detail.
Raemond's Erreur Populaire went through successive editions, reaching a fifteenth as late as The famous bust of her, inscribed Johannes VIII, Femina ex Anglia, which had been carved for the series of papal figures in the Duomo di Siena about and was noted by travelers, was either destroyed or recarved and relabeled, replaced by a male figure, that of Pope Zachary. The legend of Pope Joan was "effectively demolished" by David Blondel , a midth century Protestant historian, who suggested that Pope Joan's tale may have originated in a satire against Pope John XI , who died in his early 20s.
The 16th-century Italian historian Onofrio Panvinio , commenting on one of Bartolomeo Platina 's works that refer to Pope Joan, theorized that the story of Pope Joan may have originated from tales of Pope John XII ; John reportedly had many mistresses, including one called Joan, who was very influential in Rome during his pontificate. At the time of the Reformation , various Protestant writers took up the Pope Joan legend in their anti-Catholic writings, and the Catholics responded with their own polemic. According to Pierre Gustave Brunet , . Various authors, in the 16th and 17th centuries, occupied themselves with Pope Joan, but it was from the point of view of the polemic engaged in between the partisans of Lutheran or Calvinist reform and the apologists of Catholicism.
A Dialogue between a Protestant and a Papist , which purported to prove the existence of Pope Joan by reference to Catholic traditions. Even in the 19th century, authors such as Ewaldus Kist and Karl Hase discussed the story as a real occurrence. Most modern scholars dismiss Pope Joan as a medieval legend. The Catholic Encyclopedia elaborated on the historical timeline problem:. Coins exist which bear both the image of Benedict III and of Emperor Lothair , who died 28 September ; therefore Benedict must have been recognized as pope before the last-mentioned date.
All these witnesses prove the correctness of the dates given in the lives of Leo IV and Benedict III, and there was no interregnum between these two Popes, so that at this place there is no room for the alleged Popess. It has also been noted that enemies of the papacy in the 9th century make no mention of a female pope.
For example, Photios I of Constantinople , who became Patriarch in and was deposed by Pope Nicholas I in , was an enemy of the pope. He vehemently asserted his own authority as patriarch over that of the pope in Rome, and would have made the most of any scandal of that time regarding the papacy; but he never mentions the story once in any of his voluminous writings. Indeed, at one point he mentions "Leo and Benedict, successively great priests of the Roman Church".
The Mystery of Pope Joan , theorize that if a female pope did exist, a more plausible time frame is and , when there were several antipopes; during this time the reign of the legitimate popes Victor III , Urban II , and Paschal II was not always established in Rome , since the city was occupied by Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor , and later sacked by the Normans.
De Mailly's "account" was acknowledged by his companion Stephen of Bourbon. In Search of the Truth , concluded, "Weighing all th[e] evidence, I am convinced that Pope Joan was an historical figure, though perhaps not all the details about her that have been passed on down the centuries are true". The Last Acceptable Prejudice suggests that the periodic revival of what he calls this "anti-papal legend" has more to do with feminist and anti-Catholic wishful thinking than historical accuracy. The sede stercoraria , the throne with a hole in the seat, now at St.
John Lateran the formal residence of the popes and center of Catholicism , is to be considered. This and other toilet-like chairs were used in the consecration of Pope Pascal II in The reason for the configuration of the chair is disputed. It has been speculated that they originally were Roman bidets or imperial birthing stools, which because of their age and imperial links were used in ceremonies by Popes intent on highlighting their own imperial claims as they did also with their Latin title, Pontifex Maximus. The pope sat briefly on two "pierced chairs" at the Lateran: Medieval popes, from the 13th century onward, did indeed avoid the direct route between the Lateran and St Peter's, as Martin of Opava claimed.
However, there is no evidence that this practice dated back any earlier. The origin of the practice is uncertain, but it is quite likely that it was maintained because of widespread belief in the Joan legend, and it was thought genuinely to date back to that period.
Due to the Dark Ages' lack of records, confusion often reigns in the evaluation of events. It is said this reflects a renumbering of the popes to exclude Joan from history. Historians have known since Louis Duchesne 's critical edition of the Liber Pontificalis that the "renumbering" was actually due to a misunderstanding in the textual transmission of the official papal lists. In the course of the 11th century, in the time after John XIX , the entry for John XIV had been misread as referring to two different popes of this name. When Petrus Hispanus was elected pope in and chose the papal name John, he decided to correct this error by skipping the number XX.
Pope Joan has remained a popular subject for fictional works. The American Donna Woolfolk Cross 's historical romance , Pope Joan , was recently made into a German musical as well as the movie described below. In the book Joan has practically white-blonde hair, deep set eyes of a grry-green color and a thick fringe of eyelashes.
Look at the cover on my book! How can you put this cover on this book? It is a fun read, but I feel the primary message is feministic. On every page you are confronted with how horribly and unjustly women are treated. I know this is an accurate description of the times, but the message doesn't have to be pounded into our skulls. So far the characters are rather simplistic.
Buy Die Päpstin: Roman (German Edition): Read 3 Kindle Store Reviews - linawycatuzy.gq Im bitterkalten Winter des Jahres bringt die heidnische Frau des Dorfpriesters ein Mädchen zur Welt: Johanna. Sie wächst in einer Welt düsteren .
Joan is so curious and intelligent. John, her older brother is so unscholarly. Joan's father is such a missguided religious fanatic and her Mom, such a "Mom", loving her child deeply but also rather selfishly. I planned to just read this for fun. Stop being so critical, Chrissie! Maybe I shoule read Mistress of the Vatican: The True Story of Olimpia Maidalchini: The Secret Female Pope next. View all comments. I was so torn while reading this book. It was decent writing, the characters were strong--but there were a few problems for me. Everyone was a caricature with the exception of Joan.
What I really hated, though, was how the author took a great possibility of a story and turned it into flaming feminist rhetoric. Every favorite feminist theme was there, from rape and abuse to abortion. Why can't smart girls sew and cook as well as dumb ones? And why isn't it OK to be dumb, for that matter, if you'r I was so torn while reading this book.
And why isn't it OK to be dumb, for that matter, if you're a girl? The book showed with John Joan's brother that you can still be valiant and dumb. I found the love story completely crazy as well. It put Joan in the worst light; she was willing to sleep with the guy but not commit. Isn't that what our society deplores so much, but with men?
I felt it was one of those books which seeks to take history and Oprah-ize it, put modern thoughts and feelings in characters from a real period in history. A dangerous game, if you ask me! I was disappointed because it was engaging and very descriptive. I have to admit that being a woman during the dark ages is always something I have shuddered to think about.
I could go on, but you get the idea View all 5 comments. Maybe I should NOT try to claim that I have actually and indeed finished reading Donna Woolfolk Cross' Pope Joan , as I have now tried to peruse this here novel a total of four times and not been able or even in any way all that willing to proceed past page 90 or so always giving up in both despair and often even anger. However, and my sincere apologies to those of you who have actually loved Pope Joan and there does seem to be quite a large number of fans , if I am unable to get past page 9 Maybe I should NOT try to claim that I have actually and indeed finished reading Donna Woolfolk Cross' Pope Joan , as I have now tried to peruse this here novel a total of four times and not been able or even in any way all that willing to proceed past page 90 or so always giving up in both despair and often even anger.
However, and my sincere apologies to those of you who have actually loved Pope Joan and there does seem to be quite a large number of fans , if I am unable to get past page 90 four times and counting, I do think that it is definitely the truth of the matter that I personally despise either the content or the author's writing style or perhaps even a combination of both to such an extent that I can and will only consider a one star ranking at best and really, if I could, I would be giving even a lower score than one star to Pope Joan.
But my in many ways glowing appreciation of the author's research on the topic of Pope Joan and how Donna Woolford Cross has organised and penned her supplemental notes quite and utterly notwithstanding, what has definitely and yes ALWAYS defeated me and majorly annoyed me every time I have tried to unsuccessfully peruse Pope Joan is simply and utterly that the author's writing style and mode of expression are simply and utterly NOT AT ALL for me and that at least in my opinion, Pope Joan reads like pure and unadulterated cinematic trash, with history, cultural descriptions, with all that would make a historical fiction novel of interest to and for me being drowned out by one-dimensional stock-like characters, and a textual wallowing in sex, violence and mystery.
And while this might well make Pope Joan interesting and engaging to and for some readers, for me, it has only made me cringe, grind my teeth and with frustration and exasperation cast Pope Joan aside every time I have attempted a perusal with the last time grudgingly trying again because certain family members were continuously pontificating about how wonderfully and expressively Donna Woolfolk Cross supposedly writes, and I kind of wanted to at least make a fourth effort, as my family already thinks I am a total and much too academic book nerd and snob.
View all 22 comments. Well, I liked it to start with, but I've decided not to finish it, even though I own the book. That's rare for me. It's a case of the bad people being so evil, and the good people being so wonderful, that I'm giving up. Joan starts out as this feisty young girl intent on learning to read, and being so severely punished for it that she is almost killed. Obviously her father is one of the baddies. She is too precocious to believe, even though I have a pretty precocious granddaughter myself, so I k Well, I liked it to start with, but I've decided not to finish it, even though I own the book.
She is too precocious to believe, even though I have a pretty precocious granddaughter myself, so I know they exist. Joan is about thirteen now, and she is sexually attracted to her very nice foster father. It's starting to read like a romance novel. I've read other reviews just to see if I should finish. Most people love it, but enough of them have the same reaction that I'm having, that I've decided to pack it in.
View all 4 comments. Could a book be more cliched and ridiculous yet still get published?
Probably, but it'd be very difficult. I'm sure there is actually a decent story to the history here, but this was not it. Just not well written, and way, way too contrived. What I really mean by "one star" here is "zero. This adds to the overall generic feel that plagues every character in the book. The dialogue is horrible; the narrative is clunky; characters get introduced for convenience and are never seen again. The most irritating thing, to me, and perhaps the straw that broke the camel's back, was the sectio Okay.
The most irritating thing, to me, and perhaps the straw that broke the camel's back, was the section where Joan is about to get "promoted" within the monastery where she has taken shelter, posing as a boy. In the refectory, when her honor is announced, we suddenly meet a rival monk--whom we've not seen previously in the book. During the years that Joan has already been there. This monk hates her, for reasons that are not explained, and plots her downfall during a swearing, sour interior monologue.
Then after that scene? On the hunt for some non-fiction about Joan, now. I thought it started out with a great idea. Miss Cross did her research which was something that I loved about the writing, but then it contasted with the soap opera story that she gave Joan. It seemed like two different styles that wouldn't mesh. The beginning was actually pretty interesting as we see how Christianity of the time affected the world. In it's "conversion" of the heathens and stance on women. I loved seeing Joan torn between the heathen gods of her mother and her fathers prevailan I thought it started out with a great idea.
I loved seeing Joan torn between the heathen gods of her mother and her fathers prevailant Christian beliefs. The theme seemed to be religious philosphy and women in society After that point it turned into a total soap opera. There were way to many random coincidences and everything became way to over dramatic. The chatacters all seemed to be victims of circumstance, rather than their own person.
Even with the passing of time and the opportunities to learn I never really saw the characters progress and change. All in all, not a book I'd ever read again or recommend others to read. Pope Joan follows a premise, WhatIf there was a female who, briefly, was Pope of the Catholic Church during the 9th century? What could have her upbringing been? What societal attitudes would she have faced? How would she have lived through the age? It is a fascinating look at 9th century European life. Especially the role of women as of low worth. We see Joan's father being utterly disappointed at her birth, as a daughter instead of a third son.
The view that girls should not be educated. A teacher who thought otherwise and nutured her talent. Her escape from her domineering father. And fleeing to a school where her teacher gave opportunity. But always surrounded by both those who encourage her, and those who dispise her for being a girl who is educated. Then she gets her chance, and disappears, taking on the identity of a boy.
She continues being educated, and eventually becomes Pope, surrounded in the politics, corruption and intrigue of a 9th century Rome that is physically threatened from outside and within. As a historical fiction, the depiction of 9th century life is one that is nasty and brutish. Of women who are held in low esteem, and where violent and painful death is common. Of corruption and superstition, and a church that is overrun with this. This cultural and historical section comes across vividly. As a story, it gets somewhat unbelievable. The early part of the book suffers from having a Joan that is, frankly, too smart and too good.
Always doing the right thing at least in the eyes of a 21st century American , and always smarter and more virtuous than the superstitious and corrupt people around her. The writing is canned.
Gerold is too much hero for me and even more irritating is Joan. The history could be interesting but because the story is so ridiculous is makes the context difficult to swallow as well. I'd classify this book as a romance-bodice-ripper novel. This book was compelling and enjoyable until the last few chapters wherein I was sick of the feminist plot and the completely retarded main character.
Can I say that about a Pope? Well I thought she was retarded! For a girl who loves happy ending this was the epitome of disappointment and when I finished the last chapter I wanted to throw the book! View all 3 comments. Turning history into bodice-ripper rarely works and Pope Joan is a prime example. The novel is based on the suspect notion that women are powerful when they pretend to be men or when they are in touch with the "Old Ways. I found the author used the book as a vehicle to disparage the Roman Catholic church's traditions and teachings. A disgrunteled priest supposedly erased all mention of Pope Joan from the line of popes which dates back to St Peter.
Add to this her decision to self induce an abortion when she learns that she is pregnant by her lover. What a waste of time. Absolutely hated this book. Harlequin crap masquerading as historical fiction. If you love History channel If I could give this less than a 0, I would.
It is even worse than a daytime soap opera and listening to it at 3x on Audible was still too long. Everything works out way too conveniently and every conceivable threat or disaster is thrown at Joan. My biggest complaint is that Joan and Gerald are the only characters using modern knowledge in a medieval story. I read this novel on recommendation by a good friend and had expectations of liking it.
I learned about the legend of Pope Joan in college and thought the author did a great job bringing that era of the Dark Ages to life, as gritty and unpalatable as it was! There are some scenes of violence, one rape, and the over-arching persecution of women you'd expect in a novel based on the times. But what unsettled me the most was the lack of faith, the open deception of a woman infiltrating the church's I read this novel on recommendation by a good friend and had expectations of liking it.
But what unsettled me the most was the lack of faith, the open deception of a woman infiltrating the church's hierarchy, and the hopelessness of the love story. I did read all the way to the end, but after putting it down, I wouldn't recommend it to others. This is not a Virtus story, but it was a fascinating one.