The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Benedict VII (974-983)
981 (II)


(2) 1. CANEPANOVA, Pietro (?-984)

Birth. (No date found), Pavia, Lombardy. He is also listed as Petrus II; and his last name as Campanora and as Canevanova.

Education. (No information found).

Sacred orders. Received the diaconate.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Pavia ca. 978. Consecrated (no information found). Archchancellor for Italy of Emperor Otto II in 981.

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of an unknown title or deacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church in 981. When Pope Pope Benedict VII died on July 10, 983, Emperor Otto II offered the papal throne to Abbot Mayolo of Cluny, who declined it. The emperor then nominated the former archchancellor for Italy, Bishop Pietro Canepanova of Pavia, to the papacy; the bishop was imposed without consulting the Roman clergy and people; there is no evidence of a regular election. As a result, the new pope had no allies in the Roman society and was dependent totally on the emperor's protection.

Papacy. Appointed pope by decision of Emperor Otto II in November or December 983. Took the name John XIV. He created one cardinal in one promotion. The emperor died of malaria on December 7, 983. Antipope Boniface VII, who had been excommunicated by Pope Benedict VII and was exiled in Constantinople, learned of the emperor's death and returned to Rome to reclaim the papacy. Pope John XIV was imprisoned in Castello Sant'Angelo, Rome, by orders of Antipope Boniface VII; he was severely beaten, with his eyes, nose, lips, tongue and hands cut.

Death. August 20, 984, of starvation or poisoned, Castello Sant'Angelo, Rome. Buried in the portico of the Vatican basilica, near the tomb of Pope John VIII. His epitaph was written while Antipope Boniface VII was still alive, and, therefore, it contains no details of his gruesome death (1).

Bibliography. "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p.159, no. 2; Gams, Pius Bonifatius. Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae. 3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957, p. 800; Gregorovius, Ferdinando. Le tombe dei papi.. Roma : Edizioni del Centauro, 1931. Seconda edizione italiana riveduta e ampliata da C. Huelsen, p. 28; Huschner, Wolfgang. "Giovanni XIV." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, II, 100-102; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 132-133; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 162, no. 137; Petruzzi, Caterina. "Giovanni XIV, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 538; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 485; Schwartz, Gerhard. Die Besetzung der Bistümern Reichsitaliens unter den sächsischen und salischen Kaisern mit den listen der Bischöfe 951-1122. Leipzig und Berlin : Verlag von B. G. Teubner, 1913, p. 142.

Links. Biography, in English; biography, in English (Britannica); biography, in English; biography, in German; biographies, in German; his image and biography, in French; his image and biography, in Italian; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; another engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; four engravings, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; another engraving; and his effigy on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic.

(1) This is the text of his epitaph, taken from Montini, Le tombe dei papi, p. 162, no. 137:

PRAESVLIS EXIMII REQVIESCVNT MEMBRA IOHANNIS
QVI PETRVS ANTEA EXTITERAT
QVIPPE SEDEM PAPIAE BLANDO MODERAMINE REXIT
IMPERATORI OCTONI DVLCIS FVIT ATQVE PRECLARVS
COMMISSVM POPVLVM ROM. IN OMNIBVS INSTRVENS
DVLCIS IN ELOQVIO CVNCTIS PRAECLARVS AMICIS
SVBIECTIS PLACIDVS PAVPERIBVSQVE PIVS
DEFVNCTVS EST IOANNES PP ROMANVS M. AVG. D. XX


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