Sergius III, Pope 844-847
Muntoni 1; Berman 24, Extremely Fine
Rome, with Lothair. + SCS PETRVS, ··/SER/·P·. Reverse: + HLOTHARIVS (IMP), monogram of PIVS.
In 898, Pope Sergius III was elected under the influence of the Roman nobility against the wishes of Lambert, the Holy Roman Emperor. This led to immediate conflict and the election of the rival Pope John IX, who excommunicated Sergius III and drove him out of Rome. After an obscure period of exile, during which several (Anti)popes reigned, Pope Sergius III returned to Rome in 904 with the armed support of Theophylact, the Count of Tusculum. The new Pope ordered the usurping Pope Leo V and Antipope Christopher to be strangled in their prison cells and spent much of his reign promoting the interests and family members of Theophylact.