The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Marinus II (942-946)
At an unknown date between 942 and 946 (I)


(1) 1. AGAPITO (?-955)

Birth. (No date found), Rome. He is also listed as Agapet, Agapitus and Agapetus.

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Deacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church in a promotion celebrated at an unknown date between 942 and 946. He was elected to the papacy due to the influence of Alberico II, princeps romanorum and effectively ruler of the city.

Papacy. Consecrated pope on Sunday May 10, 946. Took the name Agapetus II. During his pontificate, he did not exercise his temporal power. King Otto I of Germany, who had crowned himself king of Italy, with the iron crown, in Pavia, wanted to go to Rome to receive the imperial crown but the pope, who was inclined to accede to the king's wishes, had to decline because of Alberico's opposition. The pope granted the monarch his request of complete authority to establish dioceses in Saxony. Concerned for the monastic life, the pope invited some monks from Metz to come to Rome to reestablish the discipline in the monastery of S. Paolo fuori le mura; and granted the monastery of Cluny its privileged status. In the Roman Council of 949, celebrated in St. Peter's basilica, Pope Agapitus II confirmed the decision of the Synods of Ingelheim and Trier in favor of Artaud, who had been replaced in the see of Reims by Hugues de Vermandois, forcibly imposed by his father, Hugues le Grand, count of Paris, in spite of being only five years of age. When Alaberico in his deathbed summoned the Roman nobles and clergy and made them promise that they would elected his son Ottaviano as pope on the death of Pope Agapitus II, the pontiff consented although it went against the regulation on papal elections stipulated in the constitution Ut si quis papa superstite issued by the Synod of Rome of March 1, 499, presided over by Pope Symmachus, which prohibited discussing the succession of the pontiff while he was still alive. He created five cardinals in three promotions.

Death. December (before the 15th), 955, Rome. Buried (retro sub abside) behind the apse of the Lateran basilica. His tomb was destroyed in the fire of either 1308 or 1361. His remains were collected and placed in a polyandrum, a community tomb, near the lesser door of the basilica, which is the entrance near the tomb of Pope Innocent II, on the right side of the nave.

Bibliography. Arnaldi, Girolamo. "Agapito II." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, II, 77-78; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 77-80; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 711-714; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XL; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1926, p. 156, no. 1; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 125-126; Le Liber pontificalis. Paris : E. de Boccard, 1981, 1955. 3 v. : facsims. (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome). Notes: Reprint of the 1955 edition./ Includes indexes./ Vol. 3: "Additions et corrections de L. Duchesne publiées par Cyrille Vogel ... avec L'Histoire du Liber pontificalis dupuis l'édition de L. Duchesne une bibliographie et des tables générales. "Introduction bibliographique" : v. 3, p. 23-42. Responsibility: texte, introduction et commentaire par L. Duchesne, II, LXX, LXXVI, 245; Morello, Giovanni. "Agapito II, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 33; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 71-72; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 459-463.

Links. Biography, in English; biography, in English (Britannica); biography, in English; biographies, in German; biography, in Hungarian; biography, in French; his image and biography, in Italian; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek; his engraving, Bildarchiv Austria, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek; and another engraving from the same source.

Cool Archive

(2) 2. BONIFAZIO (?-?)

Birth. (No date found), Segni, a Roman. Of the counts of Tusculum. Son of Adeodato (or Deusdedit), bishop of Segni.

Education. (No information found).

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Sutri in 882. Consecrated (no information found).

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of an unknown title at an unknown date between 942 and 946.

Death. (No date or place found). Buried (no information found).

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, ; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 711, no. II; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1926, p. 156, no. 2; Gams, Pius Bonifatius. Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae. 3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957, p. 729.

Links. His arms as bishop of Sutri; and the bishops of Sutri.

Cool Archive

(3) 3. OTTAVIANO (ca. 937-964)

Birth. Ca. 937, in the region of Via Lata, Rome. Of the family of the Teofilatti of the counts of Tusculum. Son of Alberico II di Spoleto, who had proclaimed himself princeps atque omnium Romanorum senator, and Alda (or Adda) de Provence, daughter of Hugues d'Arles, king of Provence and Italy (1). Great-grandnephew of Popes John XI and Sergius III.

Education. (No information found).

Early life. Succeeded his father as ruler of Rome on August 31, 954. Of a dissolute and lascivious life, which continued during his years as pontiff.

Cardinalate. Deacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church at an unknown date between 942 and 946. When his father was in his deathbed, he gathered the Roman nobles and clergy and made them promise that at the death of Pope Agapitus II, they would elect his son Ottaviano, as the next pope.

Papacy. Elected pope on December 16, 955. Took the name John XII (2). In spite of his deplorable conduct, the pope carried on an efficient administrative activity and took every opportunity to establish his authority. Apparently, his standing in the Church was not affected. In Spain, where the Church was under Muslim domination, its prelates sought his counsel; he presented in person the pallium to the newly appointed Archbishops Oskytel of York, in 957; and Dunstan of Canterbury, in 960. He had the same interest as his father in monastic reform; he materially assisted the abbeys of Farfa and Subiaco, and went on a pilgrimage to the latter in May 958. When the pope tried in 958 to expand the papal state and attack Capua and Benevento, he failed and his dominions in northern Italy were attacked by King Berengario II of Italy, who conquered the duchy of Spoleto in 959. Pope John XII sent two legates late in 960 to King Otto I of Germany asking for help and offering him the imperial crown, in which the monarch had been interested since 951. The pope probably acted under pressure from the Roman opposition, which was influenced by reforming ideas and outraged by his deplorable behavior. The German king made an agreement with the legates promising to protect the pontiff and the patrimony of Saint Peter, and to abstain from interfering in Rome's internal affairs. Then the king went to Lombardy in late summer 961, and easily restored his sovereignty there. King Otto and Queen Adelaide arrived in Rome on January 31, 962. Two days later, on February 2, the pope anointed and crowned them in St Peter's basilica (3); Pope John, together with the Roman nobles, took an oath of loyalty to the new emperor, and promised not to support King Berengario. After the coronation, a synod was celebrated; the assembly asked the pope mend his way of life, and decided several matters concerning the church in Germany, particularly, the pope granted the emperor's wishes of elevating the see of Magdebourg to the rank of archbishopric assigning it the oversight of missionary work among the Slavs. Lastly, on February 13, 962, the emperor published the 'Ottonian privilege', which confirmed the donations of Pepin and Charlemagne, with significant additions which extended the papal state to about two-thirds of Italy; the document also bound the emperor to defend the church's rights and possessions, and restored the rules for free papal elections subject to imperial approval of the man elected, his obligation to swear fealty to the emperor, and the recognition of the emperor as overlord in the papal state, as laid down in the Constitution of King Lothair I of 824. After the emperor left, the pope made overtures to Adalberto, son of King Berengario. Emperor Otto I went back to Rome on November 1, 963 and the pope fled. Pope John XII was deposed on December 4, 963, during the Roman Council of November 6, 963, which had been convoked by Emperor Otto I without the support of the pontifice, which made the assembly illegal. In that council, the emperor had Leone, a layman, elected as Leo VIII (4). Pope John XII, who had escaped Rome, threatened with excommunication all who had participated in his deposition. After the installation of Leo VIII, the emperor with most of the imperial troops left Rome. Pope John XII's supporters rebelled against Emperor Otto I and were bloodily suppressed in January, 964. In February 964, a new rebellion took place in Rome against the imperial party. Leo VIII escaped the city and Pope John XII entered Rome; he took violent vengeance against his enemies (Cardinal-deacon Giovanni had his right hand cut off; Bishop Otgar of Speyer was scourged; a high palatine official lost his nose and ears). The pope convoked the Roman Council of February 6, 964 in St. Peter's basilica. The assembly declared the decrees of the Roman Synod of November 6, 963 repealed; Leo VIII and all who had participated in his election were excommunicated; his ordination to the sacred orders was pronounced invalid; and Bishop Siccone of Ostia, who had been one of his consecrators, was deprived forever of his dignities. When the emperor returned to Rome, the pope fled the city for Campagna. He created thirty cardinals in five promotions.

Death. May 14, 964, Campagna, strangled by the husband of Stefanetta, when he surprised the pope with her in bed; his body was tossed out the window (5). Buried in the Lateran basilica. In the fire of either 1308 or 1361, his tomb was destroyed. His remains were collected and placed in a polyandrum, a community tomb, near the lesser door of that basilica, which is the entrance near the tomb of Pope Innocent III, situated on the right side of the nave.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 77; and 81-83; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 712, no. III; and col. 715-720; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XL; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1926, p. 156-157, no. 3; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 126-127; Le Liber pontificalis. Paris : E. de Boccard, 1981, 1955. 3 v. : facsims. (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome). Notes: Reprint of the 1955 edition./ Includes indexes./ Vol. 3: "Additions et corrections de L. Duchesne publiées par Cyrille Vogel ... avec L'Histoire du Liber pontificalis dupuis l'édition de L. Duchesne une bibliographie et des tables générales. "Introduction bibliographique" : v. 3, p. 23-42. Responsibility: texte, introduction et commentaire par L. Duchesne, II, LXX, LXXVI, 246-249; Pauler, Roland. "Giovanni XII." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, II, 79-83; Petruzzi, Caterina. "Giovanni XII, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 537-538; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 72; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 463-467.

Links. Biography, in English; biography, in English (Britannica); biography by Roland Pauler, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani , Treccani; his image and biography, in English; biography, in English; biographies, in German; his image and biography, in French; his image and biography, in Italian; Otto I the Great, Emperor (962-973), confirms to John XII (955-964) the donations of his predecessors and returns to the Holy See the territories previously occupied by Berengario II, Marquis of Ivrea, fresco at the Vatican Archive; Privilegium Ottonianum, parchment, solemn specimen, contemporary to the original diploma, Vatican Archive; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; another engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; five engravings, Bildarchiv Austria, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek; and his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic.

(1) Some sources indicate that Ottaviano was an illegitimate son of Alberico and a concubine.
(2) "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux du XIè siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926, p. 157, indicates that he was the first pope to change his name when promoted to the papacy, while Kelly, Oxford History of Popes, p. 126, points out that the first one to do so was Pope John II in 533.
(3) With Otto's coronation as emperor, the Holy Roman Empire was reestablished and lasted until the abdication of Emperor Francis II in 1806, forced by Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte.
(4) Leo was a layman, chief notary (protoscrinarius) of the Church. He was installed at the Lateran and received all the lower sacred orders in one day, which was un canonical. On December 6, he was consecrated by the cardinal bishops of Ostia, Porto, and Albano. The legitimacy of his pontificate, at least until Pope John XII's death, has been debated. It depends on the validity of that pope's deposition. He may have been an antipope until May of that year, when John XII's death occurred.
(5) This is according to Reardon, The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs, p. 72. Most sources just give the date of his death without including any details. Other sources say that he died of a stroke while in bed with a married woman.


Top Consistories Catalogs Home

©1998-2014 Salvador Miranda.