Marinus II, Pope

views updated


Pontificate: Oct. 30, 942 to April or May 946. The cardinal priest Marinus was one of several popes designated by Alberic II, a member of the family of Theophylactus, who in 932 had seized control of Rome and the Papal State from his mother, Marozia, and her son, Pope john xi, said by some to have been fathered by Pope sergius iii. Alberic II, "glorious Prince and Senator of all the Romans," ruled the Papal State with an iron hand until his death in 954. Of Marinus II it was said by a contemporary chronicler that he did nothing except by order of Alberic II.

Despite his dictatorial actions, Alberic II did select a succession of popes whose activities were inspired by genuine religious motives. Marinus II was one of them. He devoted his brief pontificate to promoting discipline among the Roman clergy and monks, restoring churches, and helping the poor. He was especially concerned with protecting monasteries against depredations by bishops and nobles, thereby helping to provide the proper setting for monastic reforms, already under way at such places as Cluny, that would transform the Church by the end of the tenth century. His concerns for reform reached beyond Rome, as demonstrated by his appointment of Frederick, archbishop of Mainz, as papal vicar charged with rooting out the abuses of clergy and monks in France and Germany.

Bibliography: Sources: Le Liber Pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne, 3 v., 2nd ed. (Paris 19551957) 2: 245. Regesta Pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum MCXCVIII, ed. p. jaffÉ, 2 v., 2nd ed. (Leipzig 18851888) 2: 458459. Papsturkunden, ed. h. zimmermann, v. 1, 896996, 2nd ed. rev., Denkschriften, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaft, PhilosophischHistorische Klasse 174 (Vienna 1989) 172191. Literature. a. fliche, in vol. 2, L'Europe occidentale de 888 à 1125, in Histoire générale: Histoire du Moyen Age (Paris 1941) 4159, 110131. É. amann and a. dumas, L'Église au pouvoir des laïques (8881037), in vol. 7 of Histoire de la Église depuis les origines jusqua nos jours, ed. a. fliche and v. martin (Paris 1948) 41. p. llewellyn, Rome in the Dark Ages (London 1993) 286315.

[r. e. sullivan]