Pope Victor II

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Victor II, pope (1055-1057). One of the series of German popes, was consecrated in St. Peter's, Rome on 13th April 1055. His father was a Swabian baron, Count Harwig von Calw, and his own baptismal name was Gebhard. At the insistence of Gebhard, bishop of Ratisbon, uncle of the emperor Henry III, he had been appointed while still a young man to the see of Eichstädt; in this position his great talents soon enabled him to render important services to Henry, whose cheif adviser he ultimately became. His nomination to the Papacy by Henry at Mainz, in September 1054, was made at the instance of a Roman deputation headed by Hildebrand, later Pope Gregory VII, whose policy doubtless was to detach from the imperial interest one of its ablest supporters.

In June 1055 Victor met the emperor at Florence, and held a council, which anew condemned clerical marriages, simony, and the alienation of the property of the church. in the following year he was summoned to Germany to the side of the emperor, and was with him when he died at Botfeld in the Harz on 5th October 1056. As guardian of Henry's infant son, and adviser of the empress Agnes, Victor now wielded enormous power, which he began to use with much tact for the maintainance of peace throughout the empire and for strengthening the papacy against the aggressions of the barons. He died shortly after his return to Italy, at Arezzo, on 28th July 1057, His successor was Stephen IX (Frederick of Lorraine)


from the 9th edition (1888) of an unnamed encyclopedia

preceded by Pope Leo IX (1049-1054)
succeeded by Pope Stephen X (1057-1058)