Bishop of Rome
ChurchCatholic Church
Papacy began25 February 468
Papacy ended2 or 10 March 483
SuccessorFelix III
Personal details
Died(483-03-10)10 March 483
Rome, Kingdom of Odoacer
Feast day10 March
Venerated inOrthodox, Catholic

Pope Simplicius (died 2 or 10 March 483) was the bishop of Rome from 468 to his death. He combated the Eutychian heresy, ended the practice of consecrating bishops only in December, and sought to offset the effects of Germanic invasions.


Simplicius was born in Tivoli, Italy, the son of a citizen named Castinus.[1] After a vacancy of 10 days following the death of Pope Hilarius, Simplicius was consecrated on 25 February 468.[2]


Simplicius defended the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon against the Eutychian heresy. When the Eutychians rose up in Antioch and installed Petrus Mongus, Simplicius made repeated complaints for action to Basiliscus and Leo I, emperors of the Eastern Roman Empire, for the restoration of the Catholic bishop; he did the same when Petrus Fullo usurped the seat of the patriarch of Alexandria. He rehabilitated Patriarch Timotheos Solofaciolus.[3] In 478, Simplicius held a synod in Rome, which pronounced anathemas against eastern heretical bishops Peter Fullo, John of Apamea, and Paul of Ephesus.[4] Simplicius worked to maintain the authority of Rome in the West.[1] He named Zeno, Bishop of Hispalis (Seville) as Papal Vicar in Spain.[5]

In 482, Bishop Gregory of Modena was consecrated a bishop against his will by Archbishop Joannes I of Ravenna. This brought the archbishop a sharp rebuke from Pope Simplicius.[6]

According to the Carolingian liturgist Amalarius of Metz, Pope Simplicius was the first pope to carry out consecrations at any other time than in December before Christmas. He began to confer holy orders in February as well.[7]

Simplicius is credited with the construction of a church named Santa Bibiana, in memory of the virgin and martyr St. Bibiana. He also dedicated the Church of San Stefano Rotondo on the Celian Hill, the church of S. Andrea near S. Maria Maggiore, and a church dedicated to Saint Lawrence in the Campo Verano.[8] He labored to help the people of Italy against the marauding raids of barbarian invaders. He saw the Heruliian mercenaries revolt, depose Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, and proclaim Odoacer king of Italy in 476.[9] Odoacer made few changes in the administration in Rome, leaving the city firmly in the hands of its bishop, Simplicius.

Death and aftermath

He was buried in the Basilica of St. Peter on 2 March 483. Rome was without a pope for six days.[10] Since 1971,[11] St. Simplicius's feast day is celebrated on 10 March.[12][1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c J. P. Kirsch, "Simplicius, Pope St." Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. XIV. New York: Appleton. 1912. pp. 2–3.
  2. ^ Thiel, p. 174 §1. Jaffḗ, Regesta pontificum Romanorum, p. 77. The date is calculated, from his date of death and the length of his reign, fifteen years and seven days.
  3. ^ Thiel, p. 174 §2. Loomis, pp. 97-99; 106 note 2.
  4. ^ Karl Joseph von Hefele (1895). W. R. Clark (ed.). A History of the Councils of the Church, from the Original Documents. Vol. IV. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. pp. 26–29. In a letter which Thiel (pp. 189-192) dated to October 477, Pope Simplicius wrote to the Patriarch Acacius about what he thought should be done about the heretic bishops.
  5. ^ Thiel, pp. 213-214.
  6. ^ Thiel, pp. 201-202. Kehr, Paul Fridolin (1906), Italia Pontificia Vol. V: Aemilia, sive Provincia Ravennas (Berlin: Weidmann), pp. (in Latin). p. 301 no. 1. Lanzoni, Francesco (1927). Le diocesi d'Italia dalle origini al principio del secolo VII (an. 604) (Faenza: F. Lega), p. 793, no. 4. (in Italian)
  7. ^ Thiel, p. 175. Edmond Martḕne pointed out that this was the beginning of the custom of the Quattuor Temporum.
  8. ^ Duchesne, p. 249-250. Loomis, p. 106.
  9. ^ Butler, Alban.Lives of the Saints, Benziger Bros. 1894[page needed]
  10. ^ Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, p. 249. "Hic sepultus est in basilica beati Petri apostoli, vi non. martias. Et cessavit episcopatus dies vi." Thiel, p. 174 §1. Jaffé, Regesta pontificum Romanorum I, p. 80. Loomis, p. 107.
  11. ^ Pennacchio, Maria Cristina (2000). "Simplicio, santo": "La sua memoria liturgica, indicata dal Martyrologium Romanum al 2 marzo, dal 1971 viene celebrata il 10 marzo."
  12. ^ Martyrologium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2001 ISBN 88-209-7210-7)[page needed] The date of 10 March is also a calculated one; it begins with a calculated date for the death of Pope Hilarius (29 February), and then adds the ten days of the Sede Vacante reported in the Liber Pontificalis. See Duchesne, pp. 247-248.


Catholic Church titles Preceded byHilarius Pope 468–483 Succeeded byFelix III