Saeculum Obscurum

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Date: 0904 to 0964
Location: Papal Statesmap
Surnames/tags: Catholic_Popes Papal States
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The Saeculum Obscurum lasted for sixty years between 904 and 964. This was the time known as the dark age of the Papacy when the popes were strongly influenced by the Theophylacti family and their allies.[1]

Pope Sergius III’s ties with the family of Theophylact, the leading Roman Senator and Count of Tusculum, were made even closer by Sergius’ supposed affair with Theophylact’s daughter, Marozia. This relationship was promoted by Marozia’s mother, Theodora, and the result of this affair was a male child who became Pope John XI (931–935).

It was a time of great immorality in the papacy and was so named by the historian Cardinal Caesar Baronius in his Annales Ecclesiastici, written in the 16th Century. Among his primary sources was Bishop Liutprand of Cremona who wrote Antapodosis sive Res per Europam gestae (958-962).

Popes during the Saeculum Obscurum

The following were popes during the Saeculum Obscurum.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wikipedia
  2. Dr Taylor Marshall
  3. Medieval Church History

Images: 1
Counts of Tusculum
Counts of Tusculum

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