Sergius IV of Rome

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Pope Sergius IV was the Pope of the Church of Rome from 1009 to 1012. He served during the reign of the patrician Crescentius III as ruler of the city of Rome.


Little is known of the early life of Pietro Martin Buccoporci, his birth name. The date of his birth is unknown. Peter was the son of a shoemaker whose name was also Pietro (Peter). His name translates to "Peter Pig's Snout". He lived in the city of Rome.

Despite his coming from a poor family, after Peter entered the service of the Church he performed well and rose in rank. In 1004, he was named Bishop of Albano. After Pope John XVIII abdicated in 1009, Bp. Peter was elected his successor with the name Sergius, becoming Sergius IV. He was consecrated on July 31, 1009.

His position vis-a-vis the patrician John Crescentius III, who was titled Patricus Romanorum, is disputed. The Crescentius were a powerful Roman family that manipulated the papacy during the late tenth to early eleventh centuries. Some historians have claimed that Sergius IV was a puppet under Crescentius III, while others claimed that he resisted Crescentius III's power, and had strengthened those of the opposition party who favored the Germans.

Pope Sergius is credited with having shown himself a friend of the poor and to have taken measures to relieve famine in the city of Rome. He also issued exemptions for several monasteries from episcopal rule.

Sergius IV died on May 12, 1012, within a week of the death of Crescentius. After his death, speculation arose that he had been murdered. He was buried in the Lateran Basilica of St. John in Rome.

Succession box:
Sergius IV of Rome
Preceded by:
Bishop of Albano
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Pope of Rome
Succeeded by:
Benedict VIII
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