Pope John XIV

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Pope John XIV can also refer to Pope John XIV of Alexandria.
John XIV
Pope John XIV Illustration.jpg
Papacy began December 983
Papacy ended 20 August 984
Predecessor Benedict VII
Successor John XV
Personal details
Birth name Pietro Canepanova
Born Pavia, Italy
Died (984-08-20)20 August 984
Rome, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
Other popes named John

Pope John XIV (Latin: Ioannes XIV; died 20 August 984) was Pope from December 983 to his death in 984. He was the successor to Pope Benedict VII.

John XIV was born at Pavia, and before his elevation to the papal chair was imperial chancellor of Emperor Otto II,[1] yet still only the latter's second choice for pope.

His original name was Pietro Canepanova,[2] but he took the name John XIV to avoid being linked to St. Peter himself.

Otto II died shortly after his election, his heir Otto III, being only 3 years old and unable to protect John's position as Pope. Antipope Boniface VII (974, 984–985), on the strength of the popular feeling against the new Pope, returned from Constantinople and placed John XIV in prison in the Castel Sant'Angelo, where he died either from starvation or poison.[3]

There has been considerable confusion of the number of Popes John. There was only the one John XIV. However, by the 13th century, clerical authorities in the Vatican came to wrongly believe that there were two John XIVs and began to double-count John XIV accordingly. This led to a pope calling himself John XXI, instead of John XX, in 1276.


  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "John XIV.". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 435. 
  2. ^ George L. Williams, Papal Genealogy: The Families And Descendants Of The Popes, (McFarland & Company, 1998), 232.
  3. ^ Eleanor Shipley Duckett, Death and Life in the Tenth Century, (University of Michigan Press, 1967), 110.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Benedict VII
Succeeded by
John XV
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