|Papacy began||March 931|
|Papacy ended||December 935|
|Born||Rome, Papal States|
Rome, Papal States
Pope John XI (Latin : Ioannes XI; died December 935) was Pope from March 931 (at the age of 20) to his death in December 935.
His mother was certainly Marozia, the most powerful woman in Rome. Yet the paternity of John XI became a matter of dispute. According to Liutprand of Cremona (Antapodosis, ii. c. 48) and the "Liber Pontificalis," his father was Pope Sergius III (904–911), ("Johannes, natione Romanus ex patre Sergio papa," "Liber Pont." ed. Duchesne, II, 243). Ferdinand Gregorovius,Ernst Dümmler, Thomas Greenwood (Cathedra Petri: A Political History of the great Latin Patriarchate), Philip Schaff, and Rudolf Baxmann agree with Liutprand that Pope Sergius III fathered Pope John XI. If that is true, John XI would be the only known illegitimate son of a Pope to have become Pope himself. (Silverius was the legitimate son of Pope Hormisdas).
On the other hand, Horace Kinder Mann states: "Sergius at once declared the ordinations conferred by Formosus null; but that he put his two predecessors to death, and by illicit relations with Marozia had a son, who was afterwards John XI, must be regarded as highly doubtful. These assertions are only made by bitter or ill-informed adversaries, and are inconsistent with what is said of him by respectable contemporaries [such as Flodoard]."Reginald L. Poole, Peter Llewelyn (Rome in the Dark Ages), Karl Josef von Hefele, August Friedrich Gfrörer, Ludovico Antonio Muratori, and Francis Patrick Kenrick also maintain that Pope John XI was sired by Alberic I of Spoleto, Count of Tusculum.
His mother Marozia was the de facto Roman ruler at the time, resulting in his appointment to the Papacy. Marozia was thus allegedly able to exert complete control over the Pope.
At the overthrow of Marozia around 932, John XI reportedly became subject to the control of Alberic II, his younger half brother. The only control left to the Pope was the exercise of his purely spiritual duties. All other jurisdiction was exercised through Alberic II. This was not only the case in secular, but also in ecclesiastical affairs.
It was at the insistence of Alberic II that the pallium was given to Theophylactus, Patriarch of Constantinople (935), and also to Artold, Archbishop of Reims (933). It was John XI who sat in the Chair of Peter during what some traditional Catholic sources consider its deepest humiliation, but it was also he who granted many privileges to the Congregation of Cluny, which was later on a powerful agent of Church reform.
Pope Agapetus II was Pope from 10 May 946 to his death in 955. A nominee of the Princeps of Rome, Alberic II, his pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.
Pope Benedict IX, born Theophylactus of Tusculum in Rome, was pope on three occasions between October 1032 and July 1048. Aged approximately 20 at his first election, he is one of the youngest popes in history. He is the only man to have been pope on more than one occasion and the only man ever to have sold the papacy.
Pope Stephen VIII was Pope from 14 July 939 to his death in 942.
Pope Sergius II was pope from January 844 to his death in 847.
Pope Sergius III was Pope from 29 January 904 to his death in 911. He was pope during a period of feudal violence and disorder in central Italy, when warring aristocratic factions sought to use the material and military resources of the Papacy. Because Sergius III had reputedly ordered the murder of his two immediate predecessors, Leo V and Christopher, and allegedly fathered an illegitimate son who later became pope, his pontificate has been variously described as "dismal and disgraceful", and "efficient and ruthless".
Pope Theodore II was Pope for twenty days in December 897. His short reign occurred during a period of partisan strife in the Catholic Church, which was entangled with a period of feudal violence and disorder in central Italy. His main act as pope was to annul the "Cadaver Synod" of the previous January, therefore reinstating the acts and ordinations of Pope Formosus, which had themselves been annulled by Pope Stephen VI. He also had the body of Formosus recovered from the river Tiber and reburied with honour. He died in office in late December 897.
Pope Leo IV was pope from 10 April 847 to his death in 855. He is remembered for repairing Roman churches that had been damaged during Arab raids on Rome, and for building the Leonine Wall around Vatican Hill. Pope Leo organized a league of Italian cities who fought and won the sea Battle of Ostia against the Saracens.
Marozia, born Maria and also known as Mariuccia or Mariozza, was a Roman noblewoman who was the alleged mistress of Pope Sergius III and was given the unprecedented titles senatrix ("senatoress") and patricia of Rome by Pope John X.
Pope John XII was head of the Catholic Church from 16 December 955 to his death in 964. He was related to the Counts of Tusculum and a member of the powerful Roman family of Theophylact which had dominated papal politics for over half a century. His pontificate became infamous for the alleged depravity and worldliness with which he conducted his office.
Pope John X was Pope from March 914 to his death in 928. A candidate of the Counts of Tusculum, he attempted to unify Italy under the leadership of Berengar of Friuli, and was instrumental in the defeat of the Saracens at the Battle of Garigliano. He eventually fell out with Marozia, who had him deposed, imprisoned, and finally murdered. John’s pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.
Saeculum obscurum was a period in the history of the Papacy during the first two-thirds of the 10th century, beginning with the installation of Pope Sergius III in 904 and lasting for sixty years until the death of Pope John XII in 964. During this period, the popes were influenced strongly by a powerful and allegedly corrupt aristocratic family, the Theophylacti, and their relatives.
Theophylact I was a medieval Count of Tusculum who was the effective ruler of Rome from around 905 through to his death in 924. His descendants would control the Papacy for the next 100 years.
Theodora was a senatrix and serenissima vestaratrix of Rome.
Alberic II (912–954) was ruler of Rome from 932 to 954, after deposing his mother Marozia and his stepfather, King Hugh of Italy.
The counts of Tusculum were the most powerful secular noblemen in Latium, near Rome, in present-day Italy between the 10th and 12th centuries. Several popes and an antipope during the 11th century came from their ranks. They created and perfected the political formula of noble-papacy, wherein the pope was arranged to be elected only from the ranks of the Roman nobles. The pornocracy, the period of influence by powerful female members of the family, also influenced papal history.
Alberic I was the Lombard Duke of Spoleto from between 896 and 900 until 920, 922, or thereabouts. He was also Margrave of Camerino, and the son-in-law of Theophylact I, Count of Tusculum, the most powerful man in Rome.
Guy was the son of Adalbert II of Tuscany with Bertha, daughter of Lothair II of Lotharingia.
The Tusculan Papacy was a period of papal history from 1012 to 1048 where three successive Counts of Tusculum installed themselves as pope.
The Synod of Rome (963) was a possibly uncanonical synod held in St. Peter’s Basilica from 6 November until 4 December 963, under the authority of the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I to depose Pope John XII. The events of the synod were recorded by Liutprand of Cremona.
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