BENEDICT VIII., pope from 1012 to 1024, was called originally Theophylactus. He was a member of the family of the count of Tusculum, and was opposed by an anti-pope, Gregory, but defeated him with the aid of King Henry II. of Saxony, whom he crowned emperor in 1014. In his pontificate the Saracens began to attack the southern coasts of Europe, and effected a settlement in Sardinia. The Normans also then began to settle in Italy. In Italy Benedict supported the policy of the emperor, Henry II., and at the council of Pavia (1022) exerted himself in favour of ecclesiastical discipline, then in a state of great decadence.
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