Benedict IX (ca. 1021–ca. 1054)
During the tenth and eleventh centuries, when the papacy
was much abused, the papal crown was more than once offered
for sale. Thus the office fell into the hands of a high and ambitious
family who held it for a boy of 12—Benedict IX—who became
pope from 1033 to 1048. As he grew older the boy lost
no opportunity to disgrace his position by his depraved mode
of life.
But, according to legends, he excelled in sorcery and various
forms of magic. One story tells how he made the Roman
matrons follow him over hill and dale, through forests and
across rivers, by the charm of his magic, as though he were a
sort of Pied Piper.
Benedict was finally driven from Rome by the Marquis of
Tuscany in July 1048. He died a few years later.