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Pope Joan

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Icon of person Pope Joan

Pope Joan (Ioannes Anglicus, 855–857) was, according to legend, a woman who reigned as pope for two years during the Middle Ages. Her story first appeared in chronicles in the 13th century and subsequently spread throughout Europe. The story was widely believed for centuries, but most modern scholars regard it as fictional.Most versions of her story describe her as a talented and learned woman who disguised herself as a man, often at the behest of a lover. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Pope Joan has received more than 1,902,482 page views. Her biography is available in 48 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 47 in 2019). Pope Joan is the 227th most popular religious figure (down from 180th in 2019), the 154th most popular biography from Germany (down from 130th in 2019) and the 6th most popular German Religious Figure.

Pope Joan was a woman who disguised herself as a man and became pope. She was eventually found out and killed.

Memorability Metrics

  • 1.9M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 72.40

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 48

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 10.83

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.41

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Page views of Pope Joans by language


Among religious figures, Pope Joan ranks 227 out of 2,238Before her are Charles Borromeo, Pope Clement IV, Pope Pelagius I, Pope John XV, Joachim, and Pope Adeodatus I. After her are Pope Benedict XIII, Pope John VIII, Saint Patrick, Pope Eugene III, Pope Adrian I, and Pope Alexander I.

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In Germany

Among people born in Germany, Pope Joan ranks 154 out of 6,142Before her are Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet (1805), Frederick William III of Prussia (1770), Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714), Alois Alzheimer (1864), Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776), and Friedrich Ebert (1871). After her are Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900), Georg Simmel (1858), Max Müller (1823), Frederick William IV of Prussia (1795), Friedrich Wöhler (1800), and Hans Frank (1900).


Among religious figures born in Germany, Pope Joan ranks 6Before her are Martin Luther (1483), Pope Benedict XVI (1927), Hildegard of Bingen (1098), Albertus Magnus (1206), and Ambrose (340). After her are Philip Melanchthon (1497), Pope Clement II (1005), Pope Damasus II (1000), Thomas à Kempis (1380), Bruno of Cologne (1030), and Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774).