Pope Adrian I (772–95) was a Roman successor of Stephen IV. At Adrian’s urging, Charlemagne crossed the Alps and defeated the Lombard king, Desiderius, who had annexed papal territory. That defeat marked the end of the Lombard kingdom. Charlemagne, during the siege of Pavia, went to Rome (774) and there confirmed the donation of Pepin to the Papal States and joined additional provinces to it. Adrian in turn confirmed Charlemagne’s title of patrician of the Romans, thereby acknowledging Charlemagne’s protectorate over all Italy. Adrian supported Empress Irene in her struggle against iconoclasm, and he sent legates to the Second Council of Nicaea. The great Roman water systems were built during his rule. He was succeeded by St. Leo III.
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