VICTOR IV. was a title taken by two antipopes. (i) Gregorio Conti, cardinal priest of Santi Dodici Apostoli, was chosen by a party opposed to Innocent II. in succession to the antipope Anacletus II., on the 15th of March 1138, but through the influence of Bernard of Clairvaux he was induced to make his submission on the 29th of May. (2) Octavian, count of Tusculum and cardinal deacon of St Nicola in carcere Tulliano, the Ghibelline antipope, was elected at Rome on the ?th of September 1159, in opposition to Alexander III., and supported by the emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Consecrated at Farfa on the 4th of October, Victor was the first of the series of antipopes supported by Frederick against Alexander III. Though the excommunication of Frederick by Alexander in March 1160 made only a slight impression in Germany, this pope was nevertheless able to gain the support of the rest of western Europe, because since the days of Hildebrand the power of the pope over the church in the various countries had increased so greatly that the kings of France and of England could not view with indifference a revival of such imperial control of the papacy as had been exercised by the emperor Henry III. He died at Lucca on the 20th of April 1164 and was succeeded by the antipope Paschal III. (1164-1168).
See M. Meyer, Die Wahl Alexanders III. und Victors IV. 1159 (Gottingen, 1871); and A. Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, Band iv. (C. H. HA.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)