The Antipope Victor IV started his reign in 1159 (where he is recorded on the Bible Timeline Poster with World History) and ended it upon his death in 1162. Some parts of Western Europe and the Roman Catholic Church went through upheavals during his 5-year reign as pope.
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The Antipope Victor was born Octaviannus or Octavian (Ottaviano dei Crescenzi Ottavianni dei Monticelli). He belonged to a powerful family that ruled Tusculum during the Medieval Period. Little was known of his early life except that he served as a cardinal priest at Santa Cecilia in Rome before his election as pope in 1159. The Ghibellines (Wibellingen) or the faction of the Hohenstaufen family of Swabia supported his election. He adopted the name Victor IV soon after his election.
The majority of the Roman bishops, however, rejected Victor IV and elected Alexander III as pope. In 1160, Victor’s supporter Frederick Barbarossa was forced to rule in his favor during a synod in Pavia. Alexander, meanwhile, answered this by excommunicating the Holy Roman Emperor and his chosen pope.
The majority of bishops and abbots from other European nations sided with Pope Alexander. However, the opposing faction was too powerful, so he had no choice but to flee to and seek refuge in France in 1162. He returned to Rome when the antipope Victor IV died in 1164.
Picture By 1881 young Persons’ Cyclopedia of Persons and Placeshttp://www.creatinghistory.com/frederick-i-barbarossa/, Public Domain, Link
Gurugé, Anura, and Matt Kirkland. The Next Pope. Alton, NH: WOWNH, 2011. Print.
Löffler, Klemens. “Victor IV.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 9 Nov. 2016<http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15411a.htm>.
Williams, George L. Papal Genealogy: The Families and Descendants of the Popes. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2004. Print.
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