1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Calixtus

CALIXTUS, or Callistus, the name of three popes.

Calixtus I., pope from 217 to 222, was little known before the discovery of the book of the Philosophumena. From this work, which is in part a pamphlet directed against him, we learn that Calixtus was originally a slave and engaged in banking. Falling on evil times, he was brought into collision with the Jews, who denounced him as a Christian and procured his exile to Sardinia. On his return from exile he was pensioned by Pope Victor, and, later, was associated by Pope Zephyrinus in the government of the Roman church. On the death of Zephyrinus (217) he was elected in his place and occupied the papal chair for five years. His theological adversary Hippolytus, the author of the Philosophumena, accused him of having favoured the modalist or Patripassian doctrines both before and after his election. Calixtus, however, condemned Sabellius, the most prominent champion of that system. Hippolytus accused him also of certain relaxations of discipline. It appears that Calixtus reduced the penitential severities applied until his time to those guilty of adultery and other analogous sins. Under Calixtus and his two immediate successors, Hippolytus was the leader of a schismatic group, organized by way of protest against the election of Calixtus. Calixtus died in 222, in circumstances obscured by legends. In the time of Constantine the Roman church reckoned him officially among the martyr popes.  (L. D.*) 

Calixtus II. (d. 1124), pope from 1119 to 1124, was Guido, a member of a noble Burgundian family, who became archbishop of Vienne about 1088, and belonged to the party which favoured reform in the Church. In September 1112, after Pope Paschal II. had made a surrender to the emperor Henry V., Guido called a council at Vienne, which declared against lay investiture, and excommunicated Henry. In February 1119 he was chosen pope at Cluny in succession to Gelasius II., and in opposition to the anti-pope Gregory VIII., who was in Rome. Soon after his consecration he opened negotiations with the emperor with a view to settling the dispute over investiture. Terms of peace were arranged, but at the last moment difficulties arose and the treaty was abandoned; and in October 1119 both emperor and anti-pope were excommunicated at a synod held at Reims. The journey of Calixtus to Rome early in 1120 was a triumphal march. He was received with great enthusiasm in the city, while Gregory, having fled to Sutri, was delivered into his hands and treated with great ignominy. Through the efforts of some German princes negotiations between pope and emperor were renewed, and the important Concordat of Worms made in September 1122 was the result. This treaty, made possible by concessions on either side, settled the investiture controversy, and was confirmed by the Lateran council of March 1123. During his short reign Calixtus strengthened the authority of the papacy in southern Italy by military expeditions, and restored several buildings within the city of Rome. During preparations for a crusade he died in Rome on the 13th or 14th of December 1124.

See M. Maurer, Pabst Calixt II. (Munich, 1889); U. Robert, Histoire du pape Calixte II. (Paris, 1891); and A. Hauck’s Realencyklopädie, Band iii. (Leipzig, 1897).

Calixtus III. (c. 1378–1458), pope from 1455 to 1458, was a Spaniard named Alphonso de Borgia, or Borja. A native of Xativa, he gained a great reputation as a jurist, becoming professor at Lerida; in 1429 he was made bishop of Valencia, and in 1444 a cardinal, owing his promotion mainly to his close friendship with Alphonso V., king of Aragon and Sicily. Chosen pope in April 1455, he was very anxious to organize a crusade against the Turks, and having sold many of his possessions, succeeded in equipping a fleet. Neither the princes nor the people of Europe, however, were enthusiastic in this cause, and very little result came from the pope’s exertions. During his papacy Calixtus became involved in a quarrel with his former friend, Alphonso of Aragon, now also king of Naples, and after the king’s death in June 1458 he refused to recognize his illegitimate son, Ferdinand, as king of Naples, asserting that this kingdom was a fief of the Holy See. This pope was notorious for nepotism, and was responsible for introducing his nephew, Rodrigo Borgia, afterwards Pope Alexander VI., to Rome. He died on the 6th of August 1458.

See A. Hauck’s Realencyklopädie, Band iii. (Leipzig, 1897).