Antipope Constantine II
YooniqImages 102028851-1-
Historical Figure
Nationality: Italy
Date of Birth: 8th century
Date of Death: 769 (presumed)
Cause of Death: Unknown
Religion: Catholicism
Occupation: Clergy
Political Office(s): Claimed to be Pope (title not recognized)
Turtledove Appearances:
"Islands in the Sea"
POD: 717 CE
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference (as "Pope Constantine")
Political Office(s): Pope
Antipope Constantine II (d. 769?) was an Italian man who claimed the title of Pope in Rome in 767. The most powerful Lombard authorities considered his papacy invalid, and in spring 768 they deposed and imprisoned him. He was blinded in August after a rebellion attempted to restore him to power. In April 769, the Lateran Council had Constantine's tongue cut out for perjury. He was returned to prison, but the manner of his death is unknown.

Constantine II in "Islands in the Sea"Edit

In AD 769, at the request of the heathen Bulgar Khan Telerikh, Pope Constantine sent Fathers Niketas and Theodore, and Brother Paul to describe the merits of Christianity. Telerikh was trying to decide whether to adopt Christianity or Islam for his people.[1]

Literary commentEdit

As "Pope Constantine" (no numeral given in the text) is not described in any detail, it is uncertain whether he is the historical "antipope". Harry Turtledove often "reverses the fortunes" of historical figures, so Constantine is being treated as such for convenience.


  1. See e.g. Departures, pg. 68.
Religious titles
Preceded by
Paul I
(reign unrecognized, claim declared invalid as "Antipope")

Succeeded by
Stephen III
Religious titles
(Fictional Work)
Preceded by
last known is
Gregory II
("Islands in the Sea")

Succeeded by
Incumbent at story's end, 769