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John XI, Pope


Pontificate: March 931 to Jan. 936; d. Rome. Upon the death of stephen vii in 931, marozia, of the House of theophylactus, obtained the papacy for her son John, a youth in his early twenties and a cardinal priest at the church of Santa Maria in the Trastevere. The Liber pontificalis and liutprand of cremona assert that John XI was the son of Marozia and sergius iii but this is open to question. Undoubtedly John was Marozia's son, possibly by her first marriage with Alberic of Spoleto by whom she had another son, Alberic II. As pope, John was dominated by his mother. When Marozia married her third husband, Hugh of Provence, King of Italy, in 932, John XI witnessed the ceremony. As a result of the Roman revolt (932) led by Alberic, King Hugh sought refuge in Pavia. Marozia was taken prisoner, and Alberic, master of the city, had himself proclaimed Prince of Rome. He ruled the city effectively for the next 20 years. John XI became Alberic's prisoner and exercised spiritual duties only. Even in these Alberic interfered, as is evidenced by the creation of Artold, Archbishop of Rheims (933) and Theophylactus, Patriarch of Constantinople. At the request of St. odo of cluny, John granted many privileges to cluny and its dependent daughterhouses. His pontificate was marked by cordial relations with the Byzantine Emperor. John was buried in St. John Lateran.

See Also: crescentii.

Bibliography: p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198, ed. s. lÖwenfeld 1:454455; 2:706, 746747. Liber pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne 2:243. l. duchesne, The Beginnings of the Temporal Sovereignty of the Popes, A.D. 7541073 (London 1908). h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304 4: 191204. j. haller, Das Papsttum 2:201204. f. x. seppelt, Geschichte der Päpste von den Anfängen bis zur Mitte des 20. Jh. 2:355357, 434435. g. schwaiger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 5:990. r. aubert, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques 26 (Paris 1997), s.v. "Jean XI, pape." r. benericetti, La cronologia dei Papi dei secoli IXXI secondo le carte di Ravenna (1999), 39. j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986), 123.

[m. a. mulholland]

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