John X, Pope

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Pontificate: March or April 914 to May or June 928;b. John of Tossignano, Romagna. Bishop of Bologna and archbishop of Ravenna, c. 905 to 914. John owed his office to the family of theophylactus; but the account of liutprand of cremona, suggesting an affair with the influential theodora, wife of Theophylactus, as the cause of John's preferment, is improbable. John was determined to rid southern Italy of the Saracens, and to this end formed an alliance between the Byzantine Emperor constantine vii, Berengar I (whom he crowned as emperor December 915), and other Italian princes. In the campaign that followed, the pope himself took part, and by August 915 the Saracens had been driven from their stronghold on the Garigliano River. During the difficult years of his pontificate, John strove to establish the temporal authority of the Holy See. He approved the strict rule of cluny, which had just been founded (910), and promoted the conversion of the Normans and the interests of the Church in Spain and the Slavic areas. He sent legates to the Synod of Hohenaltheim (916), which prepared the way for the close union of Church and State in Germany. He unfortunately approved of Hugh, the fiveyearold son of Count Heribert, as archbishop of Reims in order to secure the release of King Charles the Simple, whom Heribert held in prison. A schism between Rome and Constantinople over the allowing of marriage for the fourth time ended during his pontificate. Whether John conferred the imperial title on Simeon, Czar of Bulgaria (893927), is uncertain. John's pontificate ended in tragedy. After the murder of Berengar in 924, the pope formed an alliance with King Hugh of Italy, thus arousing the enmity of marozia, daughter of Theophylactus and Theodora. John was deposed and imprisoned in April 928, and afterward smothered by order of Marozia.

See Also: crescentii.

Bibliography: p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198, ed. s. lÖwenfeld, 882-1198. Liber pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne 2:240241. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304 4:149187. c. j. von hefele, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux, tr. h. leclercq4.2:734750. a. fliche and v. martin, eds., Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours 7:3438. j. haller, Das Papsttum 2:199, 546549. r. aubert, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 26 (Paris 1997), s.v. "Jean X, pape."h. fuhrmann, "Die Synode von Hohenaltheim (916) quellenkundlich betrachtet, " Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters (KönWien 1987), 44068. r. katÎÎ, "Methodii doctrina, " Slovo (Zagreb 1986), 1144. i. nicholas patriarch of constaniople, Letters [91325] (Washington, DC 1973). r. savigni, "Sacerdozio e regno in età postcarolingia: l'episcopato di Giovanni X, arcivescovo di Ravenna (905914) e Papa (914928), " Rivista di Storia della Chiesa in Italia (Roma 1992), 129. h. wolter, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 3d. ed. 5 (Freiburg 1996) s.v. "Hohenaltheim, Synode v. [916]." h. zimmermann, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 3d ed. 5 (Freiburg 1996), s.v. "Johannes X." j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986), 121122.

[s. mckenna]