EUGE'NIUS is the name of four popes, of whom the last is the most important. E. IV., a native of Venice, became pope in 1431. The great event in his career was the schism created in the church by the proceedings of the council of Basel, which had been convoked by E.'s predecessor, Martin V., and showed a strong tendency to ecclesiastical reform. E. was kept in perpetual trouble by this council, and at last, having been com pelled to flee from Rome, opened a new council at Ferrara in 1438, and issued a bull of excommunication against the bishops assembled at Basel, whom he pronounced to be "a satanic conclave, which was spreading the abomination of desolation into the bosom of the church." The result was, that the council of Basel formally deposed him from his pontifical office in 1439, and elected in his stead Amadeus VIII., duke of Savoy, under the title of Felix V. The conduct of France and Germany seemed to warrant this bold step, for Charles VII. had introduced into the former country the decrees of the council of Basel,
with some modifications, through the pragmatic sanction (1438), and the same thing happened in Germany by means of the deed of acceptance (1439). At the council of Ferrara, John Paleologus II., emperor of Constantinople, and upwards of 20 Greek bishops, presented themselves, and a union between the two great divisions of Christen dom—the Greek and Latin church—was for a moment effected in July, 1439. Discord, however, broke out almost immediately, and the two have ever since remained separate. E.'s rival, Felix, did not obtain much recognition, and after the death of the former at Rome, in 1447, he had to give way in favor of Nicholas V. E.'s pontificate was stormy and unhappy, and in his old age he is said to have regretted that be ever left his monastery.