Date of birth unknown; d. August, 974 (see Ricobaldi of Ferrara, Compil. Chron., in Rer. Ital. SS. IX). Benedict, Cardinal-Deacon of St. Theodore, a Roman and the son of Hildebrand, was elected as the successor of John XIII, who died 6 September, 972; but the necessity of waiting for the ratification of the Emperor Otho delayed his consecration till 19 January, 973. Nothing is known of his deeds, except that he confirmed the privileges of some churches and monasteries. The most striking event of his pontificate is the tragic close. He was seized and thrown into the Castle of Sant' Angelo by a faction of the nobility headed by Crescentius and the Deacon Boniface VII. There, after a confinement of less than two months, he was strangled by their orders, to prevent his release by Sicco, an imperial envoy, sent to Rome by Otho II.
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