19th century depiction of Pope Donus
|Papacy began||2 November 676|
|Papacy ended||11 April 678|
|Created cardinal||2 February 673|
by Adeodatus II
Rome, Byzantine Empire
|Died||11 April 678|
Rome, Byzantine Empire
|Previous post||Cardinal-Deacon (673-76)|
Pope Donus (610 – 11 April 678) was Bishop of Rome from 2 November 676 to his death in 678. He was the son of a Roman named Mauricius. Few details survive about the person or achievements of Donus, beyond what is recorded in the Liber Pontificalis.
While Donus was Pope, he had the atrium, the enclosed forecourt 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.
During the pontificate of Donus, Reparatus, the Archbishop 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 (independent).
During the reign of Donus, a colony of Nestorian monks was discovered in a Syrian monastery at Rome — the Monasterium Boetianum. They were possibly refugees fleeing the Muslim conquest of the Levant. Donus is reported to have dispersed them through the various religious houses of the city and to have given their monastery to Roman monks.
Relations with Constantinople at the time of Donus' reign tended towards the conciliatory. On 10 August 678 the Emperor Constantine IV Pogonatus wrote to Pope Donus, "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. 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 the Patriarch Theodoros.
Donus' pontificate lasted one year, five months, and ten days. He died and was buried in Old St. Peter's Basilica on 11 April 678.
...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.
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