|Later depiction of Pope Felix V|
|Papacy began||12 April, 744|
|Papacy ended||30 October, 758|
|Predecessor||John Francis II|
|13th Archbishop of Buteridava|
|Time in office||735 -744|
|13th Leader of the Assembly|
|Time in Office|| 721-726
|Predecessor|| Munderic Aric
|Successor|| Sigeric Bessas
|Time in Office||708-721|
|Issue|| Vidimir Hunigild|
|Languages||Gepid, Greek, Latin|
|Born|| Witiric Hunigild |
Buteridava, Gepid Republic
|Died|| 30 October, 758 |
Rome, Papal States
Historians point out many controversies in Felix V's election. First of all, he was at the time married and had four children, which was seen by many as an insult to the office. Also, he was never appointed Cardinal by John Francis, and was actually elected archbishop by the Gepid Senate rather than chosen by the Pope. Finally, his election was mainly due to the pressure and intimidation of the Gepid Consul Hermenigild Valomer, who was keeping his men into Rome after the conquest of the city. However, due to the Gepid being favorable to both Franks and Byzantines, none of them opposed the election, and five years vacancy proved the necessity of electing a Pope soon.
Early Life Edit
Born Witiric Hunigild, he is a member of one of the Five Founding Families of the Gepid Republic. Because of this, he was raised in opulence and power, but was also promised to a political career at adult age.
His father, Hiderid Hunigild, became archbishop in 694, and kept the title until he was replaced in 700. However, Hiderid was elected Consul five years later. He tried to continue the policy of peace and neutrality. But the fear of invasion from the Senate resulted in his downfall, and he lost the next election to Recimer Valomer, and died three years later.
By that time, Witiric was already Suspectant and aged 33 years old, having a wife and children. He was twice the Leader of the Assembly, occupying the position during the first years of the War for the Ashes of Rome. Because his wife was member of House Bessas (who controlled the Senate at the time), he was able to be elected Archbishop in 735.
In 739, Pope John Francis II died during his captivity by the Visigoths. By the time, Rome had been conquered, but the Franks lost their king during the fight, leaving the city into the hands of the Gepid Consul, Hermenigild Valomer. Because of this, the Senate sent Witiric to be elected as Pope in Rome, and with the help of the Consul's intimidation skills, he was elected Pope in 744 after five years of vacancy, taking the name Felix V.
One of his first actions as pope was to declare his predecessor John Francis II a Servant of God, claiming he would continue his goal of creating a Papal State, and that he would respect the deal made at the Christian Meeting of Buteridava by organizing a Council. He also divorced his wife, as he thought staying married would not help his papacy.
Under Gepid Senate's suggestion, he agreed to attempt the Conference of Toulouse with the Kingdom of Hispania, formerly the Visigothic Kingdom, in hope of finally ending the War for the Ashes of Rome.
He gained control of Rome as part of the Papal States in 755 after the difficult division of Italy between the Coalition members. His iconoclast views led to the destruction of many pieces of arts in the Vatican, which made him unpopular among the religious officials.
He died from old age in October 30, 758. After his death, a Frankish cardinal named Karl Adering was elected pope under the name of Vitalian II. Felix V's successor promptly restored the icons and artworks in the Vatican. Because of the fear of Felix V's iconoclast views, no Gepid Pope would be elected during the following century.