Bishop of Rome
ChurchCatholic Church
Papacy began2 November 676
Papacy ended11 April 678
PredecessorAdeodatus II
Personal details
Died(678-04-11)11 April 678
Rome, Byzantine Empire

Pope Donus (died on 11 April 678) was the bishop of Rome from 676 to his death. Few details survive about him or his achievements beyond what is recorded in the Liber Pontificalis.


Donus was the son of a Roman named Maurice.[1] He became pope on 2 November 676, having been selected to succeed Adeodatus II.[2] By that time, Donus was already elderly.[1]


Donus expanded the clergy of Rome with twelve new priests and five deacons. He also consecrated six bishops for various sees.[3] One of these may have been Vitalianus of Arezzo.[4] He had the atrium of Old St. Peter's Basilica paved with large blocks of white marble, and restored other churches of Rome, notably the church of St. Euphemia on the Appian Way and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.[5] Donus was shocked to discover a colony of Nestorian monks in Boetianum, a Syrian monastery in Rome. He gave their monastery to Roman monks and dispersed them through the various religious houses of the city in the hope that they would accept Chalcedonian Christianity. The Nestorians were possibly refugees fleeing the Muslim conquest of the Levant.[6]

During the pontificate of Donus, Archbishop Reparatus of Ravenna returned to the obedience of the Holy See, thus ending the schism created by Archbishop Maurus, who had aimed at making Ravenna autocephalous.[7] Donus' relations with Constantinople tended towards the conciliatory. On 10 August 678 Emperor Constantine IV addressed him as "the most holy and blessed archbishop of our ancient Rome and the universal pope," hoping to attract him to engage in negotiations with the patriarch of Constantinople and the Monothelites.[8] He ordered that Pope Vitalianus' name be put back in the diptychs of those bishops in communion with Constantinople, an act which caused him a great deal of trouble from the Monothelites and Patriarch Theodore I of Constantinople.[9]

Donus died on 11 April 678 and was buried the same day in Old St. Peter's Basilica. He was succeeded by Agatho.[10]


  1. ^ a b Attwater, Aubrey (1939). A Dictionary of Popes: From Peter to Pius XII. p. 74.
  2. ^ John Moorhead. The Popes and the Church of Rome in Late Antiquity. p. 198.
  3. ^ Duchesne, p. 348.
  4. ^ Jacopo Burali d'Arezzo (1638). Vite de'vescovi Aretini ... dall'anno CCCXXXVI sino all'anno MDCXXXVIII, etc (in Italian). Arezzo: Ercole Gori. p. 19.
  5. ^ Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis I, p. 348, who conjectures in note 2 that the church in question was not the Basilica, but instead a small church commemorating the parting of Peter and Paul on their way to execution. Mann, pp. 20-21.
  6. ^ John Moorhead (27 Nov 2014). The Popes and the Church of Rome in Late Antiquity. Routledge. ISBN 9781317578260. ...the advances of Persians and then Arabs in the middle east that were responsible for the coming of Maximos to Africa and, presumably, Theodore of Tarsus to Rome, could easily have brought many more, such as the Syrian monks whom pope Donus discovered were Nestorians.
  7. ^ Oestereich, Thomas. "Pope Donus." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 12 September 2017]
  8. ^ Delogu, p. 61 note 14: Dono sanctissimo ac beatissimo archiepiscopo antiquae nostrae Romae et universali papae...." J.P. Migne, ed. (1863). *Patrologiae latinae: 87: Scriptorum ecclesiasticorum qui in 7. saeculi secunda parte floruerunt opera omnia ... juxta memoratissimas editiones D. Mabillonii ... (in Latin and Greek). Migne. pp. 1147–1153.
  9. ^ Baronius (ed. Theiner), p. 600 (year 677, no. 2). The restoration was ordered by the VI Ecumenical Council.
  10. ^ Duchesne, p. 348.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Donus". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.


Catholic Church titles Preceded byAdeodatus II Pope 676–678 Succeeded byAgatho