Pope John XI

Pope John XI (Latin: Ioannes XI; d. December 935) was Pope from March 931 (at the age of 20) to his death in December 935.[1]


John XI
Pope John XI
Papacy beganMarch 931
Papacy endedDecember 935
PredecessorStephen VII
SuccessorLeo VII
Personal details
Birth nameJohannes
BornRome, Papal States
DiedDecember 935
Rome, Papal States


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,[2] Ernst Dümmler, Thomas Greenwood (Cathedra Petri: A Political History of the great Latin Patriarchate), Philip Schaff, and Rudolf Baxmann[3] agree with Liutprand that Pope Sergius III fathered Pope John XI.[4] 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]."[5] Reginald L. Poole,[6] Peter Llewelyn (Rome in the Dark Ages), Karl Josef von Hefele, August Friedrich Gfrörer,[7] Ludovico Antonio Muratori, and Francis Patrick Kenrick[8] 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.[9]

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.[9]

See also


  1. ^ George L. Williams, Papal Genealogy: The Families and Descendants of the Popes, (McFarland & Company Inc., 1998), 15.
  2. ^ Gregorovius, Ferdinand (1903), The History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages, III (2nd ed.), London: George Bell & Sons, p. 254, retrieved 2008-01-06
  3. ^ Baxmann, Rudolf (1869), Die Politik der Päpste von Gregor I. bis Gregor VII, II, Elberfeld, pp. 58–125
  4. ^ Platina, Bartolomeo (1479), The Lives of the Popes From The Time Of Our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Accession of Gregory VII, I, London: Griffith Farran & Co., pp. 248–249, retrieved 2013-04-25
  5. ^ Mann, Horace Kinder (1912), "Sergius III", The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York: Robert Appleton Company, XIII, retrieved 2008-01-06
  6. ^ Poole, Reginald L. (1917), "Benedict IX and Gregory VI", Proceedings of the British Academy, 8: 230.
  7. ^ Gfrörer, August Friedrich, Allgemeine Kirchengeschichte, III, Stuttgart: A. Krabbe, pp. 1133–1275, retrieved 2008-01-06
  8. ^ Kenrick, Francis Patrick (1855), The Primacy of the Apostolic See Vindicated, Baltimore: John Murphy & Co., p. 418, retrieved 2008-01-06
  9. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope John XI" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Stephen VII
Succeeded by

Year 931 (CMXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


Year 932 (CMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

Alberic II of Spoleto

Alberic II (912–954) was ruler of Rome from 932 to 954, after deposing his mother Marozia and his stepfather, King Hugh of Italy.

He was of the house of the Counts of Tusculum, the son of the notorious Marozia by her first husband, Alberic I, Duke of Spoleto. His half-brother was Pope John XI. At the wedding of his mother to King Hugh of Italy, Alberic and his new stepfather quarreled violently after Hugh slapped Alberic for clumsiness. Infuriated by this and perhaps motivated by rumors that Hugh intended to have him blinded, Alberic left the festivities and incited a Roman mob to revolt against Hugh. In December 932 Hugh fled the city, Marozia was cast into prison, and Alberic took control of Rome.

Alberic I of Spoleto

Alberic I (died c. 925) 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 of Tusculum, the most powerful man in Rome.

Baselius IV Simon

Baselius IV Simon was the Patriarch of Antioch and head of the Syriac Orthodox Church from 1422 until his death in 1444.

John XI

John XI may refer to:

Pope John XI, ruled in 931–935

John XI Yeshu, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch in 1208–1220

John XI of Constantinople, Ecumenical Patriarch in 1275–1282

Pope John XI of Alexandria, ruled in 1427–1452

John XI Helou, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch in 1809–1823

List of ages of popes

This is a list of ages of popes.


Marozia, born Maria and also known as Mariuccia or Mariozza (c. 890 – 937), 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.

Edward Gibbon wrote of her that the "influence of two sister prostitutes, Marozia and Theodora was founded on their wealth and beauty, their political and amorous intrigues: the most strenuous of their lovers were rewarded with the Roman tiara, and their reign may have suggested to darker ages the fable of a female pope. The bastard son, two grandsons, two great grandsons, and one great great grandson of Marozia—a rare genealogy—were seated in the Chair of St. Peter." Pope John XIII was her nephew, the offspring of her younger sister Theodora. From this description, the term "pornocracy" has become associated with the effective rule in Rome of Theodora and her daughter Marozia through male surrogates.

Pashons 9 (Coptic Orthodox liturgics)

8 Pashons - Coptic calendar - 10 Pashons

Patriarch John XI

Patriarch John XI may refer to:

John XI Yeshu, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch in 1208–1220

John XI of Constantinople, Ecumenical Patriarch in 1275–1282

Pope John XI of Alexandria, Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark in 1427–1452

John XI Helou, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch in 1809–1823

Pope John

Pope John may refer to:

Pope John I (523–526)

Pope John II (533–535)

Pope John III (561–574)

Pope John IV (640–642)

Pope John V (685–686)

Pope John VI (701–705)

Pope John VII (705–707)

Antipope John VIII (844)

Pope John VIII (872–882)

Pope John IX (898–900)

Pope John X (914–928)

Pope John XI (931–935)

Pope John XII (955–964)

Pope John XIII (965–972)

Pope John XIV (983–984)

Pope John XV (985–996)

Antipope John XVI (997–998) (no longer recognized as a legitimate pope)

Pope John XVII (1003)

Pope John XVIII (1003–1009)

Pope John XIX (1024–1032)

Pope John XX (not an actual pope)

Pope John XXI (1276–1277)

Pope John XXII (1316–1334)

Antipope John XXIII (1410–1415)

Pope John XXIII (1958–1963)Another 19 Popes John in the List of Coptic Orthodox Popes of Alexandria

Pope John XI of Alexandria

Pope John XI of Alexandria, 89th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.

Before his enthronement as Pope, his name was Farag. After his enthronement, he became known as John El-Maksi because he was from El-Maksa district in Cairo.

He was contemporary to Al-Ashraf Sayf-ad-Din Barsbay, Al-Aziz Jamal-ad-Din Yusuf, Az-Zahir Sayf-ad-Din Jaqmaq, and Al-Mansur Fakhr-ad-Din Uthman, the Burji sultans of Egypt. During his Papacy, the Copts encountered many hardships that the kings of Ethiopia threatened the Burji Mamluks to cut the flow of the Nile because of their persecution of the Christians. John XI was forbidden to communicate with the kings of Ethiopia and Nubia without the permission and knowledge of the sultans.

John XI was enthroned on 16 Pashons, 1143 A.M. (May 11, 1427 A.D.). He occupied the Throne of Saint Mark for 24 years, 11 month, and 23 days. He departed on 9 Pashons, 1168 A.M. (May 4, 1452). He was buried in the tomb of the Monastery of El-Khandak. The Papal Throne remained vacant after his departure for 4 months and 6 days.

Pope John of Alexandria

John has been the papal name of several Coptic Popes.

Patriarch John II (I) of Alexandria (496–505)

Patriarch John III (II) of Alexandria (505–516)

Pope John III of Alexandria (677–688)

Pope John IV of Alexandria (776–799)

Pope John V of Alexandria (1147–1166)

Pope John VI of Alexandria (1189–1216)

Pope John VII of Alexandria (1261–1268, 1271–1293)

Pope John VIII of Alexandria (1300–1320)

Pope John IX of Alexandria (1320–1327)

Pope John X of Alexandria (1363–1369)

Pope John XI of Alexandria (1427–1452)

Pope John XII of Alexandria (1480–1483)

Pope John XIII of Alexandria (1483–1524)

Pope John XIV of Alexandria (1573–1589)

Pope John XV of Alexandria (1621–1631)

Pope John XVI of Alexandria (1676–1718)

Pope John XVII of Alexandria (1727–1745)

Pope John XVIII of Alexandria (1769–1796)

Pope John XIX of Alexandria (1928–1942)

Pope Leo VII

Pope Leo VII (Latin: Leo VII; d. 13 July 939) was Pope from 3 January 936 to his death in 939. He was preceded by Pope John XI and followed by Pope Stephen VIII. Leo VII's election to the papacy was secured by Alberic II of Spoleto, the ruler of Rome at the time. Alberic wanted to choose the pope so that the papacy would continue to yield to his authority. Leo was the priest of the church of St. Sixtus in Rome, thought to be a Benedictine monk. He had little ambition towards the papacy, but consented under pressure.

As pope, Leo VII reigned for only three years. Most of his bulls were grants of privilege to monasteries, especially including the Abbey of Cluny. "Pope Leo VII"] Leo called for Odo of Cluny to mediate between Alberic and Hugh of Italy, Alberic's stepfather, the King of Italy. Odo was successful in negotiating a truce after arranging a marriage between Hugh's daughter Alda and Alberic. Leo VII also appointed Frederick, Archbishop of Mainz, as a reformer in Germany. Leo allowed Frederick to drive out Jews that refused to be baptized, but he did not endorse the forced baptism of Jews.After his death in July 939, Leo VII was interred at St. Peter's Basilica.

Pope Sergius III

Pope Sergius III (c. 860 − 14 April 911) 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 (John XI), his pontificate has been variously described as "dismal and disgraceful", and "efficient and ruthless".

Saeculum obscurum

Saeculum obscurum (Latin: the Dark Age) is a name given to 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 corrupt aristocratic family, the Theophylacti, and their relatives.

Theodora (senatrix)

Theodora (circa 870 – 916) was a senatrix and serenissima vestaratrix of Rome.

She was the mother of Marozia, alleged concubine to Pope Sergius III, and the mother of Pope John XI, fathered by—according to Liutprand of Cremona and the Liber Pontificalis— Sergius. A third contemporary source, however—the annalist Flodoard (c. 894–966)—says John XI was the brother of Count Alberic II of Spoleto, the latter being the offspring of Marozia and her husband Count Alberic I of Spoleto. Hence John too was probably the son of Marozia and Alberic I.

Theodora was characterized by the aforementioned Liutprand as a "shameless whore ... [who] exercised power on the Roman citizenry like a man". Liutprand, a bishop of Cremona, was described by the Catholic Encyclopedia as frequently being unfair to adversaries and could be partial in his judgments.

Theophylact I, Count of Tusculum

Theophylact I (before 864 – 924/925) 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.

Theophylact of Constantinople

Theophylact Lekapenos (or Lecapenus) (Greek: Θεοφύλακτος Λακαπηνός, Theophylaktos Lakapenos) (917 – 27 February 956) was Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 2 February 933 to his death in 956.

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