Benedict III, Pope 855-858
Muntoni 4; Berman 31, About Very Fine
Rome, with Louis II, 855-858. + SSS P[ET]RVS, ·B·/NED/·(PA)·. Reverse: * LVDOVVICVS (IMP), monogram of PIVS.
On September 29, 855, Benedict III was elected Pope, but a plot by his by Arsenius, the Bishop of Horta, caused him to be arrested and replaced by Arsineus’ son, Anastasius, a favorite of the Holy Roman Emperor. However, shortly after Anastasius took up his place on the Throne of St. Peter, public outcry in Rome forced Imperial recognition of Pope Benedict III. He deposed Anastasius but otherwise treated him leniently. This incident served to weaken the influence of the Emperors on papal elections, but probably not as much as the growing conflict between members of the Carolingian dynasty. Despite his ill treatment by the Emperor, Pope Benedict III notably rebuked the Frankish bishops for doing little to ease the disputes of their rulers.