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Adrian I

d.795. Pope from 772. A Roman of noble birth, he was an able diplomat, administrator, and builder. Following Stephen III's policy, he aligned himself with Charlemagne.* By persuading Charlemagne to conquer the Lombards and depose their king, Desiderius, he freed the papacy from a formidable threat. He also secured Charlemagne's help against Adoptianism. Adrian supplied the emperor with the Dionysio- Hadriana collection and a copy of the Gregorian sacramentary which were to provide the basis for Western church law and worship. Charlemagne failed to implement his promise to grant to the pope all the territory named in the Donation of Pepin, occasionally intervened in purely ecclesiastical matters, and at Frankfurt (794), apparently due to a misunderstanding, condemned a decision of the Council of Nicea (787). It was probably Adrian who first used the years of the pontificate and the pope's name and image on papal documents and Roman coins.

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