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VICTOR III

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 25 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VICTOR III  . (Dauferius Epifani), pope from the 24th of May io86 to the 16th of September 1087, was the successor of Gregory VII . He was a son of Landolfo V., prince of
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Benevento, and was born in 1027 . After studying in various monasteries he became provost of St Benedict at Capua, and in 1055 obtained permission from Victor II. to enter the cloister at
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Monte Cassino, changing his name to
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Desiderius . He succeeded Stephen IX. as abbot in 1057, and his
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rule marks the
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golden age of that celebrated monastery; he promoted
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literary activity, and established an important school of mosaic . Desiderius was created cardinal priest of Sta Cecilia by Nicholas II. in 1059, and as papal vicar in south Italy conducted frequent negotiations between the
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Normans and the pope . Among the four men suggested by Gregory VII. on his
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death-bed as most worthy to succeed him was Desiderius, who was favoured by the cardinals because of his
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great learning, his connexion with the Normans and his
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diplomatic ability . The abbot, however, declined the papal
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crown, and the
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year 1o85 passed without an election . The cardinals at length proclaimed him pope against his will on the 24th of May Io86, but he was driven from Rome by imperialists before his consecration was
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complete, and, laying aside the papal insignia at Terracina, he retired to his beloved monastery . As vicar of the
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Holy See he convened a synod at Capua on the 7th of March Io87, resumed the papal insigniaon the 21st of March, and received tardy consecration at Rome on the 9th of May . Owing to the presence of the antipope, Clement III . (Guibert of Ravenna), who had powerful partisans, his stay at Rome was brief .

He sent an

army to
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Tunis, which defeated the
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Saracens and compelled the sultan to pay tribute to the papal see . In August ro87 he held a synod at Benevento, which renewed the excommunication of Guibert; banned Archbishop Hugo of Lyons and Abbot Richard of
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Marseilles as schismatics; and confirmed the prohibition of
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lay investiture . Falling
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ill at the synod, Vicar returned to Monte Cassino, where he died on the 16th of September ro87 . He was buried at the monastery and is accounted a saint by the
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Benedictine order . His successor was Urban II . Victor III., while abbot of Monte Cassino contributed personally to the literary activity of the monastery . He wrote Dialogi de miraculis S . Benedicli, which, along with his Epistolae, are in J . P . Migne, Patrol .
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Lat. vol . 149, and an account of the miracles of Leo IX .

(in Acta Sanctorum, 19th of

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April) . The chief
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sources for his
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life are the " Chronica monasterii Casinensis," in the Mon . Germ. hist . Script. vii., and the Vitae in J . P . Migne, Patrol . Lat. vol . 149, and in J . M . Watterich, Pontif .
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Roman . Vitae .

See J .

Langen, Geschichte deriromischen Kirche von Gregor VII. bis Innocenz III . (
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Bonn, 1893) ; F . Gregorovius, Rome in the
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Middle Ages, vol . 4, trans. by Mrs G . W . Hamilton (
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London, 1900—2) ; K . J. von Hefele, Conciliengeschichte (2nd ed., 1873—90), vol . Hirsch, " Desiderius von Monte Cassino als Papst Victor III.," in Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, vol . 7 (
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Gottingen, 1867) ; H . H . Milman,
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History of Latin
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Christianity, vol .

3 (repub . London, 1899) .

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