Victor III, pope (24th May 1086 to 16th September 1087), was the successor of Pope Gregory VII. Son of Landolfo V, prince of Benevento, he was born in 1027; in his thirtieth year he entered monastic life at Monte Cassino, changing his name of Dauferius to Desiderius. He soon became abbot of the monastery, and in 1059 Nicolas I raised him to the cardinalate.
He rendered many important services to Gregory VII, who accordingly on his deathbed indicated him to the cardinals of south Italy as his worthiest successor. He was elected on 24th May 1086, but showed genuine reluctance to accept the embarrasing honour thus thrust upon him, and after his tardy consecration, which did not take place till 9th May 1087, he withdrew at once to Monte Cassino. The countess Matilda of Tuscany soon afterwards induced him to return to Rome; but, owing to the presence of the antipope Clement III, (Guibert of Ravenna), who had powerful partisans, his stay there was short. In August he held at Benevento a synod of some importance, at which Clement II was excommunicated, lay-investiture forbidden, and a kind of crusade proclaimed against the Saracens in Africa. During the synod Victor fell ill, and withdrew to Monte Cassino, where he died on 16th September 1087. His successor was Urban II