(Dec. 928–Feb. 931)
A Roman by birth, though possibly with Germanic roots, his father's name being Teudemundus, he was priest of S. Anastasia when elected to succeed Leo VI, the deposed John X being still alive in prison. Like Leo, he owed his appointment to the all-powerful Marozia, now head of the house of Theophylact (d. c.920) and effective ruler of Rome; like Leo, too, he was a stopgap appointment pending the time when Marozia's own son John was ready to succeed. As pope under this dictatorial lady he had no power of independent initiative except in strictly ecclesiastical affairs. Through the absence of records the period is of exceptional obscurity, and his only recorded actions are the possibly forged confirmation or extension of privileges to religious houses in Italy and France.
LP ii. 242JW i. 453 f.ZPR 37–9Z2: 77PL 132: 1049–56EThC 141 (S. Scholz)Levillian iii. 1460 (H. Zimmermann)DHGE xv. 1197 f. (R. Aubert)Mann iv. 189 f.