Pope Lando

For other uses, see Lando.
Papacy began July or August 913
Papacy ended February or March 914
Predecessor Anastasius III
Successor John X
Personal details
Birth name Lando
Born Unknown
Sabina, Papal States
Died February or March 914
Rome, Papal States

Lando (also known as Landus[1]) was Pope from either July or November 913 to his death in 914.[2][3] His short pontificate fell during an obscure period in papal and Roman history, the so-called Saeculum obscurum (904–64). He was the last pope to use a papal name (in his case, his birth name) that had not been used previously until the election of Pope Francis in 2013.[lower-alpha 1]

According to the Liber pontificalis, Lando was born in the Sabina, and his father was a wealthy man named Taino from Fornovo.[5][6] The Liber also claims that his pontificate lasted only four months and twenty-two days. A different list of popes, appended to a continuation of the Liber pontificalis at the Abbey of Farfa, was quoted by Gregory of Catino in his Chronicon Farfense in the twelfth century. It gives Lando a pontificate of six months and twenty-six days. This is closer to the duration recorded by Flodoard of Reims of six months and ten days.[5] The end of his pontificate can be dated to between 5 February 914, when he is mentioned in a document of Ravenna, and late March or early April, when his successor, John X, was elected.[5]

Lando is thought to have been a candidate of Theophylact I, Count of Tusculum, who was the powerful man in Rome at the time.[7] His family controlled papal finances through their monopoly of the office of vestararius, and also controlled the Roman militia and Senate.[5] During his reign, Arab raiders, operating from their stronghold on the Garigliano river, destroyed the cathedral of Vescovio in Sabina.[8] No document of Lando's chancery has survived. The only act of his reign that is recorded is a donation to his native diocese mentioned in a judicial act of 1431.[5] Lando made a large personal gift to the diocese to restore the cathedral of San Salvatore at Vescovio so that the clergy who were then living at Toffia could return.[6]


  1. Pope John Paul I, elected in 1978, took a new combination of already used names, in honour of his two immediate predecessors, John XXIII and Paul VI.[4]


  1. Platina, Bartolomeo (1479), The Lives of the Popes from the Time of our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Accession of Gregory VII, I, London: Griffith Farran & Co., p. 245, retrieved 2013-04-25
  2. Pietro Fedele, "Ricerche per la storia di Rome e del papato al. sec. X", Archivo della Reale Società Romana di Storia Patria, 33 (1910): 177–247.
  3.  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Lando". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  4. The Conclave: August 25–26, 1978. Accessed 2013-03-18.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Umberto Longo, "Landone, papa", Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 63 (2004).
  6. 1 2 Harald Zimmerman, "Lando", in Philippe Levillain, ed., The Papacy: An Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, Gaius–Proxies (New York: Routledge, 2002), p. 896.
  7. "Lando", The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, ed. J. N. D. Kelly, (Oxford University Press, 1988), 121.
  8. Roger Collins, Keepers of the Keys of Heaven: A History of the Papacy, (Basic Books, 2009), 175.
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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Anastasius III
Succeeded by
John X
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