Victor IV (born Octavian or Octavianus: Ottaviano dei Crescenzi Ottaviani di Monticelli) was elected as a Ghibelline antipope in 1159, following the death of Pope Adrian IV and the election of Alexander III. His election was supported by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. He took the name Victor IV, not accounting for Antipope Victor IV of 1138 because of that antipope's short tenure.
Following the death of Pope Adrian IV, the college of cardinals gathered to elect a new pope. During the Papal election of 4 - 7 September 1159 they elected the chancellor Rolando, who assumed the title of Alexander III. However, five cardinals, the clergy of St. Peter's, and the Roman populace refused to recognize him and elected their own candidate Octaviano at 7 September 1159. He was very popular on account of his liberality, accessibility, and splendour of living. He was considered a great friend of the Germans, and rested his hopes on the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Yet it is not to be assumed that the emperor, busy with the siege of Crema, had desired his election; Rolando was certainly not agreeable to him, yet neither was it to his interest to have an antipope.
Victor IV was consecrated on 4 October in the abbey of Farfa by Cardinal-Bishop Imar of Tusculum, dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, assisted by Ubaldo, bishop of Ferentino and Riccardo, bishop of Melfi. With the armed assistance of Otto von Wittelsbach and his own armed groups in relatively short time he took control over the City of Rome and the Patrimony of St. Peter, while Alexander III took refuge in the territory of the Kingdom of Sicily, and later in France.
All uncertainty came to an end on 20 April 1164. That day, while traveling with Rainald of Dassel, Victor IV died at Lucca. When Pope Alexander III learned of the death of his rival, he wept, and reprimanded his cardinals when they showed inappropriate delight. The clergy of the Lucca Cathedral and San Frediano would not allow Victor IV buried there because of his excommunication. Therefore, he was buried in a local monastery. When miracles were reported at his tomb, it was destroyed by Pope Gregory VIII in December 1187. His successor was Paschal III.
|Reigned as||In Country||From||To||Coins Issued|
|Papa Victor Quartus (Victor IV, Anti-pope)||Holy See||7 September 1159||20 April 1164|
|Papa Victor Quartus (Victor IV, Anti-pope)||Papal States||7 September 1159||20 April 1164|