Archpriest of Santa Prassede, Laurentius was elected pope on 22 November 498, against Symmachus, by a dissenting faction with Byzantine sympathies. Laurentius was, in fact, supported by Emperor Anastasius.
With the support of Gothic King Theodoric the Great, he was installed in the Lateran Palace as a Pope, starting a schism, called the Laurentian schism, that lasted four years.
Symmachus tried to recompose the fraction, by offering to Laurentius the Diocese of Nuceria, in Campania, but Laurentius' supporters, among whom was Senator Festus, sustained the schism. It was Theodoric, fearing a Byzantine influence on Laurentius, who withdrew his support from Laurence, removing him from Rome.
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