Pope Joan - Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

Donna Cross
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Chapter 21 Summary

The Day of the Ascension brings out every level of religious official, including Pope Sergius, in a gravely formal procession through Rome to the church. Sergius is sick again, having gone back to indulging in his bad diet and wine.

A messenger rushes in, interrupting the formalities, to tell them that the emperor Lothar is coming to avenge the fact that Sergius was consecrated as Pope without Lothar's approval. The messenger describes Lothar's army as savage, killing, plundering and ransacking farms and villages as they travel toward Rome.

At this news, Sergius faints with illness and dreams of being a child. He awakens and asks for his brother, but Benedict has taken money from the papal treasury, supposedly to pay Lothar in hopes of smoothing over the disagreement between them. However, Sergius knows Benedict has betrayed him.

To treat Sergius for his condition...

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This section contains 399 words
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Buy the Pope Joan Study Guide
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