On September 8th 1276, the Portuguese cardinal Pedro Julião was elected Pope John XXI (r. 1276-77), making 1276 the year of four popes.
There have been a total of thirteen instances in which three popes have held office in a given calendar year, but only one instance of four popes. In addition to John XXII, there was Gregory X (r. 1271-76), Innocent V and Adrian V.
Pope John XXI, to date the only Portuguese pope, died less than a year later and was interred in the cathedral in Viterbo, a city 50 miles north of Rome.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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