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An important Italian political family descending from Theophylactus; it reached the peak of its importance in the 11th century. The first member of the family to call himself De Tusculana was Gregory, who, having become a partisan of the emperors, received the title and functions of praefectus navalis from Emperor otto iii. Gregory had three sons: Alberic, Theophylactus, and Romanus. Alberic was made Count Palatine. Theophylactus was created cardinal in 1012, after an abbreviated ecclesiastical career. Through his imperial and aristocratic ties he became Pope benedict viii. Romanus became senator and thus temporal governor of Rome. Despite the opposition of the crescentii (who defended Rome's independence), Romanus, backed by the Tusculani family, carried out imperial policy in Rome. In 1014 he was made patricius romanorum. From this time on the Tusculani ruled Rome completely in both the ecclesiastical and temporal spheres. In 1024 Romanus succeeded his brother as Pope john xix; the family now considered the papacy as its own dominion. The last of the Tusculani popes was a nephew, benedict ix (103245), who was "elected" by way of simony. Although its ecclesiastical role in Rome diminished after this, the family still exercised an enormous political influence, which it used to oppose both the gregorian reform and the restoration of papal independence. Only in 1170 did Pope alexander iii succeed in regaining Tusculum (southeast of Rome) for the states of the church. From then on the family transferred its political sphere of influence to southern Italy, but it never regained its former importance.

Bibliography: p. fedele, "Ricerche per la storia di Roma e del papato nel secolo X," Archivio della Società romana di storia patria 33 (1910) 177247. r. l. poole, "Benedict IX and Gregory VI," Proceedings of the British Academy 8 (191718) 199235. j. gay, Les Papes du XI e siècle et la chrétienté (2d ed. Paris 1926) 69120. w. kÖlmel, Rom und der Kirchenstaat im 10. und 11. Jahrhundert (Berlin 1935). a. fliche and v. martin, eds., Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours (Paris 1935) v.7, 8.

[w. m. plÖchl]