Pope John XII (955Ė64) was a Roman count of Tusculum, named Octavian and born on 937; successor of Agapetus II and predecessor of either Leo VIII or Benedict V. His father, Alberic, secured Johnís election before the latter was 20 years old. Johnís life was notoriously immoral and his pontificate a disgrace. He called on Otto I to help him against Berengar II of Italy. John crowned (962) Otto the first German emperor, and the two, in the famous Privilegium Ottonis, pledged loyalty to each other. Disliking the emperorís new influence in papal affairs, John sided with Berengarís party against Otto. In retaliation, Otto invaded Rome and called a synod that deposed John and elected Leo VIII as pope. John was restored by Roman insurrectionists shortly before he was mysteriously murdered. Scholars differ on the legitimacy of Leo VIIIís reign, as they do on the brief pontificate of Benedict V, elected upon Johnís death and deposed by Otto shortly thereafter, again in favor of Leo. Leo died in 965.
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