Pope Joan

Said to have succeeded Leo IV. Gibbon says, “Two Protestants, Blondel and Bayle, annihilated her;” but Mosheim seems half-inclined to believe there was such a person. The vulgar tale is that Joan conceived a violent passion for the monk Folda, and in order to get admission to him assumed the monastic habit. Being clever and popular, she got to be elected pope.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Pope Joan from Fact Monster:

  • Pope Joan - Biography of Pope Joan, Female pope who may or may not have existed

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