Death of Pope Gregory II

Death of Pope Gregory II

Pope Gregory II
Source: Wikipedia

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Pope Gregory II dies. He had chosen the name "Gregory" out of a desire to emulate the policies and success of Pope Gregory the Great.

Gregory II managed to hold off Lombard encroachments on Rome then use the peaceful time to expand the reach of Christianity in German lands to the north. It was a costly effort, though — Charles Martel in France had refused Gregory's plea for help so he simply had to buy off the Lombards.

Pope Gregory II also excommunicated Byzantine emperor Leo III because of his attempts to impose massive taxes on Italy. Leo was an Iconoclast, a "breaker of images" who opposed the presence of images and statues during Christian worship. He ordered all such images destroyed and tried to force Gregory II to agree, but Gregory refused, leading to many years of civil wars and revolts between East and West.

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