In direct opposition to a decree of council, he was also at the instigation of Theodora promoted to the papal chair as the successor of Lando. Like John IX he endeavoured to secure himself against his temporal enemies through a close alliance with Theophylact and Alberic, marquis of Camerino, then governor of the duchy of Spoleto.
In December 915 he granted the imperial crown to Berengar, and with the assistance of the forces of all the princes of the Italian peninsula he took the field in person against the Saracens, over whom he gained a great victory on the banks of the Garigliano. The defeat and death of Berengar through the combination of the Italian princes, again frustrated the hopes of a united Italy, and after witnessing several years of anarchy and confusion John perished through the intrigues of Marozia, daughter of Theodora. His successor was Leo VI.
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