Pope John XII

Pope John XII can also refer to Pope John XII of Alexandria.

John XII
Papacy began16 December 955
Papacy ended14 May 964
PredecessorAgapetus II
SuccessorBenedict V
Personal details
Birth nameOctavianus
Bornc. 930/937
Rome, Papal States
Died14 May 964
Rome, Papal States
Other popes named John

Pope John XII (Latin: Ioannes XII; c. 930/937 – 14 May 964) 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.

Birth and election as pope

John XII was born Octavianus, the son of Alberic II of Spoleto, Patrician and self-styled prince of Rome. His mother is believed to have been Alda of Vienne, Alberic's stepsister and the daughter of King Hugh of Italy. However, there is some doubt about this. Benedict of Soracte recorded that Octavianus was the son of a concubine (Genuit (Alberic) ex his principem ex concubinam filium, imposuit eis nomen Octabianus), but his Latin is unclear. If he was the son of Alda, he would have been 18 when he became pope, but if the son of a concubine he could have been up to 7 years older.[1] Born in the region of the Via Lata, the aristocratic quarter that was situated between the Quirinal Hill and the Campus Martius, he was given the name of Octavianus, a clear indicator of how the family saw themselves and the future destiny of the son of Alberic.[2]

Sometime before his death in 954, Alberic administered an oath to the Roman nobles in St. Peter's providing that the next vacancy for the papal chair would be filled by his son Octavianus, who by this stage had entered the Church.[3] With his father's death, and without any opposition, he succeeded his father as Princeps of the Romans, somewhere between the ages of 17 and 24.[4]

With the death of Pope Agapetus II in November 955, Octavianus, who was the Cardinal deacon of the deaconry of Santa Maria in Domnica, was elected his successor on 16 December 955.[5] His adoption of the apostolic name of John XII was the third example of a pontiff taking a regnal name upon elevation to the papal chair, the first being John II (533–535) and the second John III (561–574). Right from the start, in relation to secular issues, the new pope issued his directives under the name of Octavianus, while in all matters relating to the Church, he issued papal bulls and other material under his pontifical name of John.[6][7]

Early reign

In around 960, John personally led an attack against the Lombard duchies of Beneventum and Capua, presumably to reclaim parts of the papal states which had been lost to them. Confronted by the sight of John marching at the head of an army of men from Tusculum and Spoleto, the dukes of Beneventum and Capua appealed for help from Gisulf I of Salerno, who came to their aid.[8] John retreated north and entered into negotiations with Gisulf at Terracina. A treaty was secured between the two parties, and the price for Gisulf's non-interference was John agreeing that the papacy would no longer claim Salerno as a Papal patrimony.[9]

John soon found that he was unable to control the powerful Roman nobility as his father had so effortlessly done.[10] At around the same time, Berengar II, King of Italy, began to attack the territory of the pope. In order to protect himself against political intrigues in Rome and the power of Berengar II, in 960 John sent papal legates to the King of Germany Otto I, who had previously been granted the rank of Patrician, asking for his aid.[11] Agreeing to John's invitation, Otto entered Italy in 961. Berengar quickly retreated to his strongholds, and Otto proceeded to enter Rome on 31 January 962. There he met with John and proceeded to swear under oath that he would do everything to defend the pope:

"To thee, the Lord Pope John, I, King Otto, promise and swear, by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, by the wood of the life-giving cross, and by these relics of the saints, that, if by the will of God I come to Rome, I will exalt to the best of my ability the Holy Roman Church and you its ruler; and never with my will or at my instigation shall you lose life or limb or the honour which you possess. And without your consent never, within the city of Rome, will I hold a placitum (plea) or make any regulation which affects you or the Romans. Whatever territory of St. Peter comes within my grasp, I will give up to you. And to whomsoever I shall entrust the kingdom of Italy, I will make him swear to help you as far as he can to defend the lands of St. Peter."[12][13]

John then proceeded to crown Otto as Roman Emperor, the first in the west since the death of Berengar I of Italy almost 40 years before. The pope and the Roman nobility swore an oath over the buried remains of Saint Peter to be faithful to Otto, and not to provide aid to Berengar II or his son Adalbert.[14] Eleven days later, the pope and emperor ratified the Diploma Ottonianum, under which the emperor became the guarantor of the independence of the Papal States, which ran from Naples and Capua in the south to La Spezia and Venice in the north. This was the first effective guarantee of such protection since the collapse of the Carolingian Empire nearly 100 years before. He also confirmed the freedom of papal elections, but retained the imperial right to agree to the election before the papal consecration, whilst at the same time retaining the clauses of the Constitutio Romana which restricted temporal papal power.[15][16]

Church affairs

Although Pope John XII was condemned for his worldly ways, he still managed to devote some time towards church affairs. In early 956 he wrote to William of Mayence, the papal legate in Germany, urging him to continue in his work there, especially against those who would “devastate the churches of God”. He asked William to inform him of the goings on both in West Francia and Germany. John also wrote to Henry, the new Archbishop of Trier, granting him the pallium and encouraging him to lead a good life.[7] In 958, he granted privileges to Subiaco Abbey, on condition that:

"every day by priests and monks should be recited, for the good of our soul and the souls of our successors, a hundred Kyrie-eleisons and a hundred Christe-eleisons, and that thrice each week the priests should offer the Holy Mass to Almighty God for the absolution of our soul and those of our successors."[17]

In 960 John confirmed the appointment of Saint Dunstan as Archbishop of Canterbury, who travelled to Rome to receive the pallium directly from John XII's hands.[18]

On 12 February 962, John convened a synod in Rome at the behest of the emperor Otto. In it, John agreed to establish the Archbishopric of Magdeburg and the Bishopric of Merseburg, bestowed the pallium on the Archbishop of Salzburg and Archbishop of Trier, and confirmed the appointment of Rather as Bishop of Verona. It also passed a resolution excommunicating Hugh of Vermandois, who had attempted to reclaim his former position as Archbishop of Reims.[19] This excommunication was reconfirmed by John at another synod held at Pavia later that same year.[20]

Nevertheless, it is clear, in the words of Horace K. Mann, that "ecclesiastical affairs did not seem to have had much attraction for John XII."[21]

Conflict with Otto and death

Otto left Rome on 14 February 962 in order to bring Berengar II to heel. Before leaving he suggested that John, "who passed his whole life in vanity and adultery", give up his worldly and sensual lifestyle. John ignored this advice and watched with increasing anxiety as Otto quickly drove Berengar out of the Papal States. Growing ever more fearful of the emperor's power, he sent envoys to the Magyars and the Byzantine Empire to form a league against Otto. He also entered into negotiations with Adalbert.[21]

His ambassadors were captured by Otto I, who sent a deputation to Rome to discover what was happening behind his back.[22] John in the meantime sent his own envoys to Otto, including the future Pope Leo VIII, who tried to reassure the emperor that John was seeking to reform the papal court.[23] However, in 963, Otto next learned that Adalbert had been allowed to enter Rome for discussions with John. With Berengar effectively defeated and imprisoned, Otto returned to Rome, besieging it in the summer of 963. He found a city divided; supporters of the emperor who had reported Adalbert's arrival in Rome had dug themselves in at Joannispolis, a fortified section of Rome centred on the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. John and his supporters meanwhile retained the old Leonine City. At first John prepared to defend the city; appearing in armour, he managed to drive Otto's forces across the Tiber River.[24] However, he quickly decided that he could not continue to defend the city, and so taking the papal treasury with him, he and Adalbert fled to Tibur.[25][26]

Otto I subsequently summoned a council which demanded that John present himself and defend himself against a number of charges. John responded by threatening to excommunicate anyone who attempted to depose him.[27] Undeterred, the emperor and the council uncanonically deposed John XII, who by this time had gone hunting in the mountains of Campania,[28] and elected Pope Leo VIII in his stead.[29]

An attempt at a revolt in support of John was mounted by the inhabitants of Rome even before Otto I left the city, but was put down with a large loss of life. However, upon the emperor's departure, John XII returned at the head of a large company of friends and retainers, causing Leo VIII to flee to the emperor for safety.[30] Entering Rome in February 964, John proceeded to summon a synod which pronounced his deposition as uncanonical. After mutilating some of his enemies, he again was the effective ruler of Rome.[31][32] Sending Otgar, Bishop of Speyer to the emperor, he attempted to come to some accommodation with Otto, but before anything could come of it, John XII died on 14 May 964. According to Liudprand of Cremona, John died whilst enjoying an adulterous sexual encounter outside Rome, either as the result of apoplexy, or at the hands of an outraged husband.[33]

John was buried in the Lateran. Pope Benedict V soon succeeded him, but he was successfully deposed by Leo VIII.

Character and reputation

John's dual role as the secular prince of Rome and the spiritual head of the church saw his behaviour lean towards the former rather than the latter.[34] He was depicted as a coarse, immoral man in the writings which remain about his papacy, whose life was such that the Lateran Palace was spoken of as a brothel, and the moral corruption in Rome became the subject of general disgrace. His lifestyle suited the secular prince he was, and his political enemies would use these accusations to blacken his reputation not only to justify, but to obscure the political dimensions of his deposition.

It is for this purpose that Liudprand of Cremona, a partisan of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto I, gives an account of the charges levelled against him at the Synod of Rome in 963:

Then, rising up, the cardinal priest Peter testified that he himself had seen John XII celebrate Mass without taking communion. John, bishop of Narni, and John, a cardinal deacon, professed that they themselves saw that a deacon had been ordained in a horse stable, but were unsure of the time. Benedict, cardinal deacon, with other co-deacons and priests, said they knew that he had been paid for ordaining bishops, specifically that he had ordained a ten-year-old bishop in the city of Todi ... They testified about his adultery, which they did not see with their own eyes, but nonetheless knew with certainty: he had fornicated with the widow of Rainier, with Stephana his father's concubine, with the widow Anna, and with his own niece, and he made the sacred palace into a whorehouse. They said that he had gone hunting publicly; that he had blinded his confessor Benedict, and thereafter Benedict had died; that he had killed John, cardinal subdeacon, after castrating him; and that he had set fires, girded on a sword, and put on a helmet and cuirass. All, clerics as well as laymen, declared that he had toasted to the devil with wine. They said when playing at dice, he invoked Jupiter, Venus and other demons. They even said he did not celebrate Matins at the canonical hours nor did he make the sign of the cross.

However, other contemporaries also accused John of immoral behaviour. For example, Ratherius of Verona wrote:

What improvement could be looked for if one who was leading an immoral life, who was bellicose and perjured, and who was devoted to hunting, hawking, gaming, and wine, were to be elected to the Apostolic See?[35]

In the end though, much of the subsequent extreme condemnation of John XII is derived from the accusations recorded by Liudprand of Cremona. So according to fiercely anti-Catholic Louis Marie DeCormenin:

John XII was worthy of being the rival of Elagabalus ... a robber, a murderer, and incestuous person, unworthy to represent Christ upon the pontifical throne ... This abominable priest soiled the chair of St. Peter for nine entire years and deserved to be called the most wicked of popes.[36]

The historian Ferdinand Gregorovius was somewhat more sympathetic:

John's princely instincts were stronger than his taste for spiritual duties, and the two natures—that of Octavian and that of John the Twelfth—stood in unequal conflict. Called as he was in the immaturity of youth to a position which gave him claims on the reverence of the world, his judgment deserted him, and he plunged into the most unbridled sensuality. The Lateran palace was turned into an abode of riot and debauchery. The gilded youths of the city were his daily companions ... The son of the glorious Alberic thus fell a sacrifice to his own unbridled passion, and to the anomalous position which he held as Prince and Pope at the same time. His youth, the greatness of his father, the tragic discords of his position, claim for him a lenient judgment.[37][38]

Even a papal apologist like Horace Mann was forced to acknowledge:

There cannot be a doubt that John XII was anything but what a Pope, the chief pastor of Christendom, should have been.[39]

Link to Pope Joan legend

Onofrio Panvinio, in the revised edition of Bartolomeo Platina's book about the popes, added an elaborate note indicating that the legend of Pope Joan may be based on a mistress of John XII: "Panvinius, in a note to Platina's account of pope Joan, suggests that the licentiousness of John XII, who, among his numerous mistresses, had one called Joan, who exercised the chief influence at Rome during his pontificate, may have given rise to the story of 'pope Joan'."[40]

See also


  1. ^ Mann 1910, pp. 243–244.
  2. ^ Gregorovius 1895, pp. 328–329.
  3. ^ Kirsch, Johann Peter. "Pope John XII." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 4 Jan. 2016
  4. ^ Mann 1910, p. 230.
  5. ^ Mann 1910, pp. 244–245.
  6. ^ Norwich 2011, p. 76.
  7. ^ a b Mann 1910, p. 245.
  8. ^ Gregorovius 1895, p. 330.
  9. ^ Mann 1910, pp. 246–247.
  10. ^ Gregorovius 1895, p. 331.
  11. ^ Mann 1910, p. 247.
  12. ^ Mann 1910, p. 248.
  13. ^ Gregorovius 1895, pp. 332–333.
  14. ^ Mann 1910, p. 250.
  15. ^ Mann 1910, p. 252.
  16. ^ Gregorovius 1895, p. 338.
  17. ^ Mann 1910, p. 246.
  18. ^ Mann 1910, pp. 265–266.
  19. ^ Mann 1910, pp. 253–254.
  20. ^ Mann 1910, p. 235.
  21. ^ a b Mann 1910, p. 254.
  22. ^ Gregorovius 1895, p. 340.
  23. ^ Mann 1910, pp. 255–256.
  24. ^ Gregorovius 1895, pp. 341–342.
  25. ^ Norwich 2011, p. 79.
  26. ^ Mann 1910, p. 256.
  27. ^ Gregorovius 1895, p. 347.
  28. ^ Norwich 2011, p. 80.
  29. ^ Luttwak 2009, p. 150.
  30. ^ Gregorovius 1895, pp. 349–350.
  31. ^ Norwich 2011, pp. 80–81.
  32. ^ Mann 1910, pp. 262–264.
  33. ^ Mann 1910, p. 264.
  34. ^ Gregorovius 1895, p. 329.
  35. ^ Mann 1910, p. 242.
  36. ^ DeCormenin & Gihon 1857, pp. 296–298.
  37. ^ Gregorovius, Ferdinand (1895). History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages, Volume 3. G. Bell & sons. pp. 330, 351, 352. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  38. ^ Gregorovius 1895, pp. 329–330; 351–352.
  39. ^ Mann 1910, pp. 241–242.
  40. ^ Freeman, Thomas S., The Myth of the Female Pope in Early Modern England in Religious Politics in Post-Reformation England: Essays in Honour of Nicholas Tyacke, Boydell & Brewer (2006), p. 69.


  • Chamberlin, Russell (2003). The Bad Popes. Sutton Publishing. pp. 955–963.
  • DeCormenin, Louis Marie; Gihon, James L (1857). A Complete History of the Popes of Rome, from Saint Peter, the First Bishop to Pius the Ninth.
  • Gregorovius, Ferdinand (1895). The History of Rome in the Middle Ages, Vol. III.
  • Luttwak, Edward (2009). The Grand Strategy of the Byzantine Empire. Harvard University Press.
  • Mann, Horace K. (1910). The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages, Vol. IV: The Popes in the Days of Feudal Anarchy, 891-999.
  • Norwich, John Julius (2011). The Popes: A History.

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Agapetus II
Succeeded by
Benedict V

Year 960 (CMLX) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

Adalbert of Italy

Adalbert (Latin Adalbertus; born 932×936, died 971×975) was the King of Italy from 950 until 961, ruling jointly with his father, Berengar II. After his deposition, he continued to claim the Italian kingdom until his defeat in battle in 965. Since he was the second Adalbert in his family, the Anscarids, he is sometimes numbered Adalbert II. It is occasionally, especially in older works, shortened to Albert (Latin Albertus), which has the same roots.

Adalbert was born between 932 and 936, the son of Berengar, then margrave of Ivrea, and Willa, daughter of Boso, margrave of Tuscany. In 950, he and his father were simultaneously elected by the high nobility to succeed Lothar II of Italy. They were crowned together in the basilica of Saint Michael in Pavia on 15 December. Berengar tried to force Adelaide, widow of Lothair, to marry Adalbert and cement their claim to joint kingship. Although later traditions speak of a marriage, in fact Adelaide refused to be married and fled to Canossa. She was tracked down and imprisoned for four months at Como.In 951, King Otto I of Germany invaded Italy, forcing the release of Adelaide and marrying her himself. He made no effort to depose the kings of Italy, however. Instead, Adalbert and Berengar were compelled to attend the Diet of Augsburg in Germany in August 952, where Otto formally invested them with the kingdom of Italy, thus subjecting the kingdom to Germany. Between 953 and 956, Adalbert and Berengar besieged Count Adalbert Azzo of Canossa in his castle, where Adelaide had taken refuge in 951. In 956, Duke Liudolf of Swabia, Otto's son, entered Italy with a large army to re-assert his father's authority. Adalbert gathered a large force to oppose him. He defeated Liudolf, but before the latter could return to Germany he died in September 957. Following this victory, Adalbert, assisted by Duke Hugh of Tuscany, campaigned against Duke Theobald II of Spoleto. During this campaign his forces even encroached on Roman territory in 960.Thus threatened, Pope John XII asked the king of Germany for help. Otto entered Italy in 961, while Adalbert assembled a large army at Verona. According to contemporary sources it was 60,000 strong, although this is an obvious exaggeration. Many of the leading noble families refused to join in the defence of Italy except on the condition that Berengar abdicate in favour of his son. This the elder king refused to do, and thus Adalbert was unable to effectively oppose the German invasion. Otto proceeded unopposed to Milan, where he was crowned king by Archbishop Walbert in November, and from there to Rome, where he was crowned Emperor by the pope on 3 February 962. Adalbert and Berengar went into hiding.After his imperial coronation, Otto besieged the various fortresses loyal to Adalbert and Berengar. In the fall of 962, Adalbert left Italy and took refuge with the Arabs of Fraxinetum in southern Burgundy. From there he went to Corsica. From Corsica he opened negotiations with John XII, proposing a joint action against Otto. He sailed to Italy, landing in Civitavecchia. There he was met by the pope's representatives, who escorted him to Rome. Otto, who had forced Berengar to surrender, then marched against Rome. After a perfunctory defence, Adalbert and the pope fled.Adalbert returned to Corsica in his second exile. He did not try to regain Italy again until after Otto had returned north of the Alps. When he finally returned in 965, he tried to take Pavia, the Italian capital, but was defeated by another Swabian army, this time under Duke Burchard III. On 25 June, Burchard defeated him in battle between Parma and Piacenza. Fighting alongside Adalbert were his brothers: Conrad, count of Milan, who had initially made his peace with Otto, and Guy, margrave of Ivrea, who died in the fighting.

Failing in his second attempt to regain his kingdom, Adalbert began a long series of negotiations with the Byzantine Empire, which was threatened by Otto's designs on southern Italy. When these fell through, he retired with his wife Gerberga to her family's estates in Burgundy. Adalbert died at Autun, either on 30 April 971 or between 972 and 975. He had been married to Gerberga, eldest daughter of Count Lambert of Chalon, around 956, and they had one son, Otto-William, who succeeded to the county of Mâcon through marriage to the widow of the previous count. This has led some scholars to mistakenly conclude that Gerberga must have been related to the counts of Mâcon. After Adalbert's death, Gerberga married Henry I, Duke of Burgundy. Henry adopted Otto-William and left him the county of Burgundy. Otto-William was even offered the Italian crown after the death of Arduin in 1015, although he did not accept.Sixteen diplomas issued jointly with his father and three issued by himself alone have survived from Adalbert's reign. They have been edited and published. Berengar and Adalbert had silver denarii minted at Pavia.

Adelaide of Italy

Adelaide of Italy (931 – 16 December 999 AD) (German: Adelheid von Burgund; Italian: Adelaide di Borgogna), also called Adelaide of Burgundy, was a Holy Roman Empress by marriage to Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great; she was crowned as the Holy Roman Empress with him by Pope John XII in Rome on 2 February 962. She was regent of the Holy Roman Empire as the guardian of her grandson in 991-995.

Diploma Ottonianum

The Diploma Ottonianum (also called the Pactum Ottonianum, Privilegium Ottonianum or simply Ottonianum) was an agreement between Pope John XII and Otto I, King of Germany and Italy. It confirmed the earlier Donation of Pippin, granting control of the Papal States to the Popes, regularizing Papal elections, and clarifying the relationship between the Popes and the Holy Roman Emperors.

Gregory I, Count of Tusculum

Gregory I was the Count of Tusculum sometime between 954 and 1012. Consul et dux 961, vir illustrissimus 980, praefectus navalis 999. He was the son of Alberic II (son of Alberic I of Spoleto and Marozia), and Alda of Vienne (daughter of Hugh, King of Italy and his second wife, Alda (or Hilda)). His half-brother was Pope John XII.

He held the cities of Galeria, Arce, and Preneste and the title count palatine, the palace referred to being that of the Lateran. He was the first to carry the title "Count of Tusculum" and he passed it to all his descendants. They also received the titles of excellentissimus vir' (most excellent man) and apostolic rector of Sant'Andrea, which Gregory received in 980. In 981, Gregory bore the title Romanorum consul, dux et senator: "Consul, duke, and senator of the Romans."

As well as being an intimate and ally of the popes, especially Sylvester II, Gregory also served as praefectus navalis of Holy Roman Emperors Otto I and Otto II. However, on 6 February 1001, he was named "Head of the Republic" by the Romans for leading the revolt against Otto III and expelling the Crescentii. In 1002, the latter returned to power and he had to renounce his title.

His death is attested before the 11 June 1012, when his successor, Theophylact, was elected Pope.

Hugh of Vermandois (bishop)

Hugh of Vermandois (920 – 962) was the Archbishop of Reims from 925 to 931, when he was removed from office by the actions of Hugh the Great and others, his father Herbert II, Count of Vermandois who had been the power behind his episcopate was driven out of Reims and the bishopric was then assumed by Artoldus.

Hugh had been made bishop at the age of five, which makes him one of the youngest bishops ever. Abbo, bishop of Soissons, administered the spiritual affairs of the diocese during Hugh's minority.

From 940 to 946 Hugh again served as bishop of Reims, making him a full 26 years old when he ended his time as bishop. He was again ousted by war and replaced by Artoldus in 946.

In 961 after Artoldus' death there was an attempt to restore Hugh to his episcopal office, however Pope John XII decided against this and instead made Odelricus the new bishop. At this point Hugh was also excommunicated. He died at Meaux in 962.

John XII

John XII may refer to:

Pope John XII, ruled in 955–964

John XII bar Maʿdani, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch in 1252–1263

John XII of Constantinople, Ecumenical Patriarch in 1294–1303

Pope John XII of Alexandria, ruled in 1480–1483

John XII Peter El Hajj, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch in 1890–1898

List of popes who died violently

A collection of popes who have had violent deaths through the centuries. The circumstances have ranged from martyrdom (Pope Stephen I) to war (Lucius II), to a beating by a jealous husband (Pope John XII). A number of other popes have died under circumstances that some believe to be murder, but for which definitive evidence has not been found.

Pactum Hludowicianum

The (Pactum) Ludovicianum (also spelled Ludowicianum or Hludowicianum) was an agreement reached in 817 between the Emperor Louis the Pious (“Ludovicus Pius”) and Pope Paschal I concerning the government of central Italy and the relation of the Papal States to the Carolingian Empire. The text of the Ludovicianum is preserved mainly in eleventh- and twelfth-century manuscripts of canon law and has been reconstructed by modern editors. Certain sections of the Ludovicianum are thought to be confirmations of agreements made between Louis's father, Charlemagne, and Pope Hadrian I during the former's trips to Rome in 781 and 787.

The negotiations which resulted in the Ludovicianum began during the pontificate of Stephen IV, but the agreement was only concluded shortly after the election of his successor, Paschal I, in January 817. Stephen had anointed and crowned Louis and his wife, Irmingard, at Reims in October 816. In return Louis had granted the Pope everything he had requested, as recorded both in Stephen's biography in the Liber Pontificalis and Louis's biography, the Vita Hludovici imperatoris. Paschal, immediately after his election, sent an embassy to Louis requesting a confirmation of the pactum (agreement) that had been arranged with Stephen.The earliest text purporting to be a complete version of the Pactum made between emperor and pope in 817 is found in late eleventh-century canon law texts, but based on a collection compiled by Cardinal Deusdedit to serve as a preliminary to his Collectio Canonum, finished in 1087. Both Anselm of Lucca and Bonizo of Sutri copied the Ludovicianum into their collections of canon law. The text of the Ludovicianum closely resembles the later Pactum Ottonianum between Emperor Otto the Great and Pope John XII (962). A manuscript fragment that also closely resembles the Ludovicianum and may in fact be a copy of it survives from the ninth or early tenth century, and was first published by Angelo Mercati in 1926. It was written in Caroline minuscule on papyrus, a writing material only regularly in use in the scriptoria of the Papacy at the time.

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 XII of Alexandria

Pope John XII of Alexandria, was the 93rd Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.

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 VIII

Pope Leo VIII (died 1 March 965) was the head of the Catholic Church from 23 June 964 to his death in 965; before that, he was an antipope from 963 to 964, in opposition to Pope John XII and Pope Benedict V. An appointee of the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I, his pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.

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.

Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio a Trevi

Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio a Trevi ("Saints Vincent and Anastasius at Trevi") is a Baroque church in Rome, the capital of Italy. Built from 1646 to 1650 to the design of architect Martino Longhi the Younger and located in close proximity to the Trevi Fountain and the Quirinal Palace, for which it served as parish church, it is notable as the place where the precordia and embalmed hearts of 22 popes from Sixtus V to Leo XIII are preserved.Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio a Trevi lies on the location of a medieval church, mentioned in 962 in a bull by Pope John XII as a branch of the San Silvestro in Capite basilica as well as in 15th century records. Known as Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio since the 16th century, it was rebuilt in the Baroque style and completed in 1650. Two entablatures superimposed over the main one, all three with arched, angled or broken pediments, concentrate attention on the richly sculptural central bay of the façade's two storeys, in a theatrical composition "more curious than exemplary" that found few imitators. Its dense massing of Corinthian columns, ten in the lower order and six above make a total, with the columns flanking the finestrone of the upper tier, eighteen fully disengaged Corinthian columns, causing Roman wags to dub the façade il canneto, "the canebrake".The church was reconstructed on the order of Cardinal Mazarin, whose triumphantly presented coat of arms and cardinal's hat, supported by angels, is the focus of the façade composition. It is rumored that Mazarin's niece, Marie Mancini, a mistress of Louis XIV of France, is also portrayed on the facade, in the central female mascaron. The sculptural portrayal of a laywoman and the support of the cardinal's ecclesiastical coat of arms by the sculptures of two barechested women make the church unique among churches in Rome.

Until the 1820s, Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio a Trevi was known as the "Pontifical Parish" (Parrocchia Pontificia). The church's interior features a single nave; the altar is decorated by the painting Martyrdom of Saints Vincent and Anastasius by Francesco Pascucci. Prolific Italian illustrator and engraver Bartolomeo Pinelli (1771–1835) was buried in Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio a Trevi.

Its travertine facade has proved porous; restoration with liquid hydraulic mortar and other materials was undertaken in 1989–90 to arrest deterioration.

Synod of Rome (963)

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.

The Bad Popes

The Bad Popes is a 1969 book by E. R. Chamberlin documenting the lives of eight of the most controversial popes (papal years in parentheses):

Pope Stephen VI (896–897), who had his predecessor Pope Formosus exhumed, tried, de-fingered, briefly reburied, and thrown in the Tiber.

Pope John XII (955–964), who gave land to a mistress, murdered several people, and was killed by a man who caught him in bed with his wife.

Pope Benedict IX (1032–1044, 1045, 1047–1048), who "sold" the Papacy.

Pope Boniface VIII (1294–1303), who is lampooned in Dante's Divine Comedy.

Pope Urban VI (1378–1389), who complained that he did not hear enough screaming when Cardinals who had conspired against him were tortured .

Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503), a Borgia, who was guilty of nepotism and whose unattended corpse swelled until it could barely fit in a coffin.

Pope Leo X (1513–1521), a spendthrift member of the Medici family who once spent 1/7 of his predecessors' reserves on a single ceremony.

Pope Clement VII (1523–1534), also a Medici, whose power-politicking with France, Spain, and Germany got Rome sacked.

Theobald II of Spoleto

Theobald II (923/925 – July 957/961 or 964) was the Duke of Spoleto and Margrave of Camerino from 953. He was the son of Boniface II of Spoleto and Waldrada. He married a woman also named Waldrada and was the father of Adalbert, Count of Bologna, and possibly of Willa, the wife of Tedald of Canossa.

In 959, Berengar and Guy of Ivrea led an expedition against Theobald. They defeated him and captured both Spoleto and Camerino. Duke Theobald was deposed by Emperor Otto I around the year 964 because of his support for the deposed Pope John XII. The Chronicles of Farfa suggest that he was succeeded by Count Transmond of Camerino, but there are no documents attesting to this succession. Instead it seems likely that Theobald was succeeded by Otto's loyal supporter Prince Pandulf I (Pandulf Ironhead).

Translatio imperii

Translatio imperii (Latin for "transfer of rule") is a historiographical concept, originating in the Middle Ages, in which history is viewed as a linear succession of transfers of an imperium that invests supreme power in a singular ruler, an "emperor" (or sometimes even several emperors, e.g., the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Holy Roman Empire). The concept is closely linked to translatio studii (the geographic movement of learning). Both terms are thought to have their origins in the second chapter of the Book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible (verses 39–40).

1st–4th centuries
During the Roman Empire (until 493)
including under Constantine (312–337)
5th–8th centuries
Ostrogothic Papacy (493–537)
Byzantine Papacy (537–752)
Frankish Papacy (756–857)
9th–12th centuries
Papal selection before 1059
Saeculum obscurum (904–964)
Crescentii era (974–1012)
Tusculan Papacy (1012–1044/1048)
Imperial Papacy (1048–1257)
13th–16th centuries
Viterbo (1257–1281)
Orvieto (1262–1297)
Perugia (1228–1304)
Avignon Papacy (1309–1378)
Western Schism (1378–1417)
Renaissance Papacy (1417–1534)
Reformation Papacy (1534–1585)
Baroque Papacy (1585–1689)
17th–20th centuries
Age of Enlightenment (c. 1640-1740)
Revolutionary Papacy (1775–1848)
Roman Question (1870–1929)
Vatican City (1929–present)
21st century
History of the papacy
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By country
of the faithful
Early Church
Late antiquity
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21st century

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