|Papacy began||June 928|
|Papacy ended||February 929|
|Born||Rome, Papal States|
Rome, Papal States
|Previous post||Cardinal-Priest of Santa Susanna (916-928)|
|Other popes named Leo|
Pope Leo VI (880 – 12 February 929) was the bishop of Rome and nominal ruler of the Papal States for just over seven months, from June 928 to his death. His pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum .
Leo VI was born into a Roman family,and his father was Christophorus, who had been primicerius under Pope John VIII around the year 876. Tradition has it that he was a member of the Sanguini family. Before his pontificate, Leo served as the cardinal-priest of Santa Susanna.
Leo was elected pope around June 928, during a period of anarchy.He was chosen by the senatrix Marozia, who had gained control of Rome via the domination of her husband Guy, Margrave of Tuscany, and who had ordered the imprisonment and death of Leo’s predecessor, John X.
During his brief pontificate, Leo confirmed the decisions of the Synod of Spalato.He completed his predecessor’s investigations into the ecclesiastical situation in Dalmatia, and proceeded to give the pallium to Archbishop John of Salona, and ordered all the bishops of Dalmatia to obey him. He also ordered the bishop of Nona and others to limit themselves to the extent of their dioceses. Leo then banned castrati from marrying. He also issued an appeal for help against the Arab raiders who were threatening Rome, stating that:
”Whoever died faithful in this struggle will not see himself refused entry into the heavenly kingdom.”
The chronicler Flodoard said of him:
”Through the virtue of Peter, Leo the sixth was taken and received, he was preserved for seven months and five days, and like his predecessors, he joined the company of the prophets.”
Leo died in February 929, and was succeeded by Stephen VII. He was buried at St. Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Agapetus II was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 10 May 946 to his death. A nominee of the princeps of Rome, Alberic II of Spoleto, his pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.
Pope Marinus II was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 30 October 942 to his death. He has also been mistakenly called Martinus. He ruled during the Saeculum obscurum.
Pope Benedict VI was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 19 January 973 to his death in 974. His brief pontificate occurred in the political context of the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire, during the transition between the reigns of Otto I and Otto II, incorporating the struggle for power of Roman aristocratic families such as the Crescentii and Tusculani.
Pope Benedict VII was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from October 974 to his death.
Pope Gregory VI, born John Gratian in Rome, was bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 1 May 1045 until his abdication at the Council of Sutri on 20 December 1046.
Pope Stephen IV was Bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from June 816 to his death in 817.
Pope Stephen VI was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 22 May 896 to his death. He is best known for instigating the Cadaver Synod, which ultimately led to his downfall and death.
Pope Stephen VII was the bishop of Rome and nominal ruler of the Papal States from February 929 to his death in 931. A candidate of the infamous Marozia, his pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.
Pope Stephen VIII was the bishop of Rome and nominal ruler of the Papal States from 14 July 939 to his death. His pontificate occurred during the Saeculum obscurum, when the power of popes was diminished by the ambitious counts of Tusculum, and was marked by the conflict between his patron, Alberic II of Spoleto, and King Hugh of Italy.
Pope Sergius III was the bishop of Rome and nominal ruler of the Papal States from 29 January 904 to his death. He was pope during a period of 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, John XI, his pontificate has been variously described as "dismal and disgraceful", and "efficient and ruthless".
Pope Formosus was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States whose pontificate lasted from 6 October 891 to his death. His reign as pope was troubled, marked by interventions in power struggles over the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Kingdom of West Francia, and the Holy Roman Empire. Because he sided with Arnulf of Carinthia against Lambert of Spoleto, Formosus's remains were exhumed and put on trial in the Cadaver Synod. Several of his immediate successors were primarily preoccupied by the controversial legacy of his pontificate.
Pope Leo VIII was a Roman prelate who claimed the Holy See from 963 until 964 in opposition to John XII and Benedict V and again from 23 June 964 to his death. Today he is considered by the Catholic Church to have been an antipope during the first period and the legitimate pope during the second. An appointee of Holy Roman Emperor Otto I, Leo VIII's pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.
Pope Leo V was the bishop of Rome and nominal ruler of the Papal States from July 903 to his death in February 904. He was pope during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum, when popes wielded little temporal authority.
Pope Romanus was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from August to November 897. His short reign occurred during a period of partisan strife in the Catholic Church, amid the violence and disorder in central Italy. His pontificate ended when he was deposed and confined to a monastery.
Pope John X was the bishop of Rome and nominal ruler of the Papal States from March 914 to his death. 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.
Pope John VI was Bishop of Rome from 30 October 701 to his death in 705. John VI was a Greek from Ephesus who reigned during the Byzantine Papacy. His papacy was noted for military and political breakthroughs on the Italian peninsula. He succeeded to the papal chair two months after the death of Pope Sergius I, and his election occurred after a vacancy of less than seven weeks. He himself was succeeded by Pope John VII after a vacancy of less than two months. The body of the pope was buried in Old St. Peter's Basilica.
Pope John XVIII was the bishop of Rome and nominal ruler of the Papal States from January 1004 to his abdication in July 1009. He wielded little temporal power, ruling during the struggle between John Crescentius and Emperor Henry II for the control of Rome.
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.
The history of the papacy, the office held by the pope as head of the Catholic Church, according to Catholic doctrine, spans from the time of Peter to the present day.
Guy was the son of Adalbert II of Tuscany with Bertha, daughter of Lothair II of Lotharingia.
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