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Marozia

Marozia also known as Mariuccia, Senatrix and Patria of Rome was born about 890, and died, imprisoned by her son, between 932 and 937; she was daughter of Theophylactus and of Theodora, whom Liutprand characterized as a "shameless whore..[who] exercised power on the Roman citizenry like a man".

Edward Gibbon (though confusing Theodora (the mother of Marozia) with Theodora (the sister of Marozia) wrote memorably of her that the "influence of two sister prostitutes, Marozia and Theodora, was founded on their wealth and beauty, their political and amorous intrigues. The most strenuous of their lovers were rewarded with the Roman mitre, and their reign may have suggested to darker ages the fable of a female pope. The bastard son, the grandson, and the great grandson of Marozia -- a rare genealogy -- were seated in the Chair of St. Peter." From this inaccurate description the term pornocracy[?] has become associated with the effective rule in Rome of Theodora and her daughter Marozia through male surrogates.

Her husbands were Alberico I, Duke of Spoleto; Guy of Tuscany; and Hugh of Provence. The latter two were half-brothers.

Marozia had the great misfortune of having eloquent detractors. The Liber Pontificalis recorded that by Pope Sergius III she was mother of Pope John XI[?], whose pontificate marked the complete supremacy in Rome of the house of Theophylactus. By her husband Alberico I she was mother of Alberic II, Prince of the Romans, who in his turn was father of Octavian, who became Pope John XII[?]. Pope John XIX was also her descendant.



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