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Pope John Xii

A synod of bish­ops once called this pon­tiff a “mon­ster with­out a sin­gle virtue to atone for his many vices”. It is per­haps no sur­prise then that he mu­ti­lated many of them for their treach­ery. The grand­son of Marozia, he as­cended to the pa­pacy around the age of

18 in 955. He lived a life of brazen im­moral­ity, mak­ing the sa­cred

Lat­eran Palace his brothel. Fit­tingly, he died in 964 af­ter be­ing caught in the act of adul­tery. As a ruler, he was cruel and du­plic­i­tous, but also fool­ish, turn­ing the Holy

Ro­man Em­peror

Otto I into an en­emy, and al­most be­ing de­throned by him in 963.

Fig.04

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