Member of the family of counts of Tusculum; his father's name was David.
Bishop of Sutri.
He was opposed by the anti-pope Boniface VII, and had to call upon emperor Otho II for help in defeated Boniface's supporters.
He had a relatively quiet and uneventful papacy, something rare in the period.
He opposed simony, supported monasticism and the preservation of knowledge in monasteries, and appointed the first archbishop of Carthage.