The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Benedict VIII (1012-1024)
Creation at an unknown date (VII)


(20) 1. ROMANO (?-1032)

Birth. (No date or place found). Of the counts of Tusculum. Son of Count Gregorio I of Tusculum and Maria. Brother of Pope Benedict VIII (Teofilatto); his other siblings were Alberico III, Teodora and Marozia. Uncle of Pope Benedict IX; and of Cardinal Pietro, bishop of Silva Candida (1025).

Education. (No information found).

Early life. He was consul, dux and senator of Rome, and exercised the temporal power in the city, while Benedict VIII occupied the pontificate.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon at an unknown date, without having received any of the sacred orders (1). At the death of his brother the pope, the family had him elected supreme pontiff. He became the second of the three Tusculan popes.

Papacy. Elected pope on April 19, 1024 (2). Took the name John XIX (3). He received all the sacred orders between June 24 and July 15, 1024. The new pope was said to have obtained the office through bribery. He retained his civil posts becoming at the same time head of the city and of the church. He crowned Emperor Konrad II in St. Peter's basilica on March 26, 1027, in the presence of Kings Rodolphe III of Bourgogne and Knut II of Denmark and England. He created ten cardinals in ten promotions.

Death. 1032 (4), Rome. Buried in St. Peter's basilica; his very elegant tomb was destroyed in the 17th century during the demolition of the old basilica to construct the present one.

Bibliography. Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 284; Del Re, Niccolò. "Giovanni XIX, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 541-542; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1927. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1928, p. 131, no. 15; Herrmann, Klaus-Jürgen. Das Tuskulanerpapsttum (1012-1046): Benedikt VIII., Johannes XIX., Benedikt IX. Stuttgart : A. Hiersemann, 1973. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 4); Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 141-142; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 81; Sennis, Antonio. "Giovanni XIX." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, II, 135-137.

Links. Biography, in English; biography, in English (Britannica); his image and biography, in English; biography, in English, p. 200-201; biography, in English; biography, in English; biographies, in German; biography, in German; eight engravings, Bildarchiv Austria, Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his effigy on three medals, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; his portrait; and his effigy on another medal.

(1) This is according to "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIè siècle", Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1927, p. 131, no. 15, which says that without a doubt, he was created cardinal by his brother the pope; this source calls him Jean (Giovanni). Several sources do not mention his cardinalate and only indicate that he was a layman at the time of his election to the papacy.
(2) This is according to most of the sources consulted. "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1927. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1928, p. 131, no. 15, says that he was elected on June 6, 1024.
(3) In "Serie dei Sommi Pontifici", Annuario Pontificio per l'anno 2009 (Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2009), p. 13*, note 22, indicates that since the end of the twelfth century, catalogs and historical compilations of the Popes made the mistake of sharing between two Popes John the pontificate of John XIV (983-984), and then to compute within the range of legitimate popes, the ordinal number XVII for those of that name, however, as the XVI, was an antipope, John Filago (997-998), it was realized that there were two Popes John instead of the real; so that Romano of the counts of Tusculum, who was elected in 1024, assumed the name of Giovanni and would have carried, as in fact he did, the ordinal XVIII, which corresponded in the catalogs and compilations just mentioned, to number XX, but that was not counted; XXI continued in 1276); XXII in 1316 (they should have been XIX and XX), and XXIII (who was an antipope, Baldassare Cossa) in 1410. With these errors and, depending on whether one or two were adopted, it can be explained the strange historical nomenclatures that exist, such as that under the existing iconographic series of popes in the basilica of S. Paolo fuori le mura, in Rome, which has, "John XVI or XVII," "John XVII or XVIII," "John XVIII or XIX or XX" etc.
(4) There are many discrepancies among the sources, both printed and electronic, concerning the exact date of his death. Some of them clearly contradict the date of the election of his successor, Benedict IX, given by the same source.

Cool Archive

(21) 2. TEOFILATTO (ca. 1000/1021-1054/1056)

Birth. Ca. 1000/1021, Rome. Of the counts of Tusculum. Son of Count Alberico III of Tusculum and Ermilina. His brothers were Gregorio, Pietro and Ottaviano. Nephew of Popes Benedict VIII and John XIX. Cousin of Cardinal Pietro, bishop of Silva Candida (1025). Uncle of Cardinal Giovanni (1045). He is also listed as Theophylakt and as Teofilatto Conti di Segni.

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon at an unknown date; his deaconry is not known. At the death of his uncle the pope, the family had him elected supreme pontiff by bribing the Romans; he had not received the sacred orders. He became the third of the three Tusculan popes.

Papacy. Elected Pope Benedict IX in 1032 (1). He is the only pontiff who has occupied the see of Peter three times: 1032 to September 1044, when he was expelled from Rome and replaced by Pope Sylvester III, whom he excommunicated in February 1045; March 10, 1045 to May 1, 1045, when he retired to his estate and was deposed by the Synod of Sutri on December 23-24, 1046; and October 1047 to July 1048, when he was expelled from Rome for the last time. From his home in Tusculum, Benedict continued to see himself as the legitimate pope and to defy Pope Damasus II first, and Pope Leo IX later. A Lateran Synod celebrated in April 1049 summoned Benedict to answer the charges of simony, but he declined and was excommunicated. It is said that Pope Leo IX later lifted the sentence and in his deathbed prayed for Benedict to repent. On September 19, 1055, Benedict is recorded making a donation, together with his three brothers (Gregorio, Pietro and Ottaviano), to the monastery of Ss. Cosma e Damiano in Rome; he signed the document as if he still were the pope. On January 9, 1056, his brothers arranged for masses to be said for his eternal repose. He created thirty nine cardinals in seven promotions, all in his first pontificate.

Death. 1055/1056, probably in the abbey Grottaferrata, in the Alban hills (2). Buried in that abbey. On March 4, 1739, a tomb slab was found under the pavement of the abbey with a mosaic with the arms of Conti , which was from a 12th century monument to the pope. It was placed in the wall of the abbey, but it was destroyed during the bombardment by the Allies during the Second World War. Also destroyed was the tomb inscription, in white marble, that had been found near the third column on the right side of the central nave of the abbey, which read: Sepulchrum / Benedicti IX / IX (3).

Bibliography. Capitani, Ovidio. "Benedetto IX." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, II, 138-147; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 93; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, I, col. 770, no. II; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 282; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1927. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1928, p. 131-132, no. 16; Hägermann, Dieter. Das Papsttum am Vorabend des Investiturstreits : Stephan IX. (1057-1058), Benedikt X. (1058) und Nikolaus II. (1058-1061). Stuttgart : Hiersemann, 2008. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 36); Herrmann, Klaus-Jürgen. Das Tuskulanerpapsttum (1012-1046): Benedikt VIII., Johannes XIX., Benedikt IX. Stuttgart : A. Hiersemann, 1973. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 4); Ilari, Annibale. "Benedetto IX, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 129-130; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 142-144; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 81-82.

Links. Biography, in English; biography, in English (Britannica); his image and biography, in English; biography, in English, p. 40-41; biography. in English; his image and biography, in Italian; biographies, in German; biography, in German; his engraving, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his engraving, by Cavallieri; four engravings, Bildarchiv Austria, Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his effigy on a medal; his tombstone, abbey of Grottaferrata; and Benedict IX and Gregory VI, by Reginald L. Poole (London : Published for the British Academy by H. Milford, Oxford University press, 1917).

(1) There are many discrepancies among the sources, both printed and electronic concerning the exact date of his election. Some of them clearly contradict the date of death of his immediate predecessor, John XIX, given by the same source.
(2) According to Reardon, The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs, p. 81, there is a tradition, passed on by Abbot Luca of Grottaferrata, which says that a youthful pope abandoned his sinful ways and went to the saintly Abbot of that monastery, Bartolomeo, to change his life; Bartolomeo told him to resign his pontificate, which he did, and he then lived a penitential life at the abbey. Most sources disregard this tradition.
(3) This is the text of the inscription in his tomb, taken from Reardon, The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs, p. 81-82:

LAPIS SEPULCHRALIS
BENEDICTI IX. PONT. MAX.
GENTILITIO STEMMATE ET SACRIS EMBLEMATI
INSIGNIS
NE PENE DETRITUS ABSUMERETUR OMNINO
ET VENDICATUMEJUSD. PONT. NOMEN OBLIVIONI DARETI
E TUMULO AREAEVERMICULATAE PROXIMO
AD LAEVAM TEMPLI
UBI MARMOR SIGNATUM CONSPICITUR
ANNO JUBILAEI MDCCL
HOC TRANSLATUS JUSSU
EMI D. CARD. GUADAGNI COMMENDATARII
URBIS VIC. ET EPISC. TUSCULAM

Top Consistories Catalogs Home

©1998-2013 Salvador Miranda.