Popes Renaissance Rome
Unit 4 Slides
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The Church and the Popes

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The papal states appear to be the largest agglomeration of territory in Italy, but control over them during the early Italian Renaissance was tenuous.  Local warlords and condottieri (mercenary warlords in the hire of local barons) ignored papal officials, and, more importantly, they impeded papal tax collectors.  It wasn't until the reign of Pope Julius II della Rovere (from 1503 to 1513) that control and revenue gathering was regularized.  And that's why Julius and succeeding popes had enough money to aggrandize and embellish Roman papal properties -- even after spending vast amounts on wars and ceremonies.

Definition: Pontifex maximus (Latin) = "greatest bridge-builder".  Pontifex maximus was the title of the high priest of the ancient pagan Roman religion.  According to legend, he, and only he, had the authority to destroy or rebuild bridges across the Tiber River.  The original ancient Roman bridges were made only of wood with no metal fasteners of any kind; they were held together with wooden pegs that could be removed to cause the bridge to collapse to prevent enemies (notably Etruscans) from crossing to the east side of the River where the city of Rome was situated inside its pomerium, its sacred boundary. 

Augustus and all later emperors took the title, but it was used by the popes long before the forging of the "Donation of Constantine" (probably between 750 and 775), which, if it were real, might have transferred the title from Constantine to the popes. 

It is often said that Pope Damasus I, Bishop of Rome from 366 to 384 and so for the whole of the reign of Gratian, was the first pope to use the title Pontifex Maximus, but no document is cited to support such statements.  Emperor Theodosius I's edict De fide catholica of 27 February 380 refers to Damasus as a "pontifex", not as the "Pontifex Maximus". It is at a much later stage in history that the title Pontifex Maximus appears on buildings, monuments and coins of a specific pope of Renaissance and modern times.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontifex_Maximus.

Renaissance Popes (See pope list at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12272b.htm starting a #209;  in 1447 the Western Schism was finally ended, and the anti-popes were no more.) 

(Note that this is the official list of popes and anti-popes.  The Catholic Church is a membership organization, and like others of this kind, it and only it gets to decide who its leaders are or were -- no credence should be given to outsiders, who might want to decide these things, regardless of their good or bad motivations.)

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Pope Nicholas V (Italian: Niccolò V; November 15, 1397 – March 24, 1455), born Tommaso Parentucelli, was Pope from March 6, 1447 to his death in 1455.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Nicholas_V and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11058a.htm.

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Pope Calixtus III (December 31, 1378 – August 6, 1458) (Catalan: Calixt III, Spanish: Calixto III), né Alfons de Borja, was Pope from April 8, 1455 to his death in 1458.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Callixtus_III and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03187a.htm.


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Pope Pius II, born Enea Silvio Piccolomini (Latin Aeneas Sylvius; October 18, 1405 – August 14, 1464) was Pope from August 19, 1458 until his death in 1464. Pius II, "whose character reflects almost every tendency of the age in which he lived", was born at Corsignano in the Sienese territory of a noble but decayed family. His longest and most enduring work is the story of his life, Commentaries, which is the only autobiography ever written by a reigning Pope.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_II and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12126c.htm.

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Pope Paul II (February 23, 1417 – July 26, 1471), born Pietro Barbo, was Pope from 1464 until his death in 1471.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Paul_II and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11578a.htm.

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Pope Sixtus IV (July 21, 1414 – August 12, 1484), born Francesco della Rovere, was Pope from 1471 to 1484. He founded the Sistine Chapel where the team of artists he brought together and introduced the Early Renaissance to Rome with the first masterpiece of the city's new artistic age.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Sixtus_IV and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14032b.htm and the entry for the Sistine Chapel below.

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Pope Innocent VIII (1432 – July 25, 1492), born Giovanni Battista Cybo (or Cibo), was Pope from 1484 until his death.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Innocent_VIII and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08019b.htm.

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Pope Alexander VI (1 January 1431 – 18 August 1503) (Spanish: Alejandro VI, Catalan: Alexandre VI), born Roderic Llançol, later Roderic de Borja i Borja (Italian: Rodrigo Borgia) was Pope from 1492 to 1503.  He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his surname (Italianized as Borgia) became a byword for the debased standards of the papacy of that era.  Ironically, he entered the papacy with strong credentials:  his official position in the Curia from 1457 to 1492 was that of Vice-Chancellor of the Roman Church, and, although many rivals envied him this lucrative office, he seems in his long administration of the Papal Chancery to have given general satisfaction.  Even Guicciardini, in his Storia d'Italia, which embraces the whole period from the death of Lorenzo de'Medici in 1492 to that of Clement VII in 1534, and in his preserved correspondence, admits that "in him were combined rare prudence and vigilance, mature reflection, marvelous power of persuasion, skill and capacity for the conduct of the most difficult affairs".  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Alexander_VI and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01289a.htm.

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Pope Pius III (May 29, 1439 – October 18, 1503), born Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini, was Pope from September 22 to October 18, 1503.   His coronation took place on October 8, 1503.  He at once took in hand the reform of the papal court and arrested Cesare Borgia; but after a brief pontificate of twenty-six days he died (October 18, 1503) of an ulcer in the leg, or, as some have alleged, of poison administered at the instigation of Pandolfo Petrucci, governor of Siena.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_III and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12128a.htm.

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Pope Julius II (c. 5 December 1443 – 21 February 1513), nicknamed "The Terrible Pope" (Il Papa Terribile) and "The Warrior Pope" (Il Papa Guerriero), was born Giuliano della Rovere. He was Pope from 1503 to 1513. His reign was marked by an aggressive foreign policy, ambitious building projects, and patronage for the arts (about which there will be greater detail later in this unit and in later units).  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Julius_II and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08562a.htm

This is the Pope that everyone knows from watching him as played by Rex Harrison in the 1965 movie The Agony and the Ecstasy and a few might know from reading the 1961 Irving Stone biographical novel of the same name, from part of which the movie was adapted.  The novel, of course, covers more ground and is much better than the movie.  (But both the novel and the movie are definitely fiction;  both, for example, portray Michelangelo as doing a solo paint job on the Sistine chapel ceiling
[while laying on his back!], whereas in reality, he always had assistants standing on the scaffold with him, and the assistants did much of the painting.  For an accurate description of the work and the relationship of Julius II and his staff with his artists, read Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King -- available new in paperback in bookstores for about $17 and on line from $7.23 [$4.21 used] including shipping.)  

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Pope Leo X (11 December 1475 – 1 December 1521) was Pope from 1513 to his death. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known primarily for the sale of indulgences to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 theses. He was the second son of Lorenzo de' Medici, the most famous ruler of the Florentine Republic, and Clarice Orsini. His cousin and adoptive brother, Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, would later succeed him as Pope Clement VII (1523–34).  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Leo_X and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09162a.htm.

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Pope Adrian VI (2 March 1459 – 14 September 1523), born Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens, served as Bishop of Rome from 9 January 1522 until his death some 18 months later. He was the last non-Italian pope,  a "pontefice barbaro", until John Paul II, 456 years later.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Adrian_VI and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01159b.htm.

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Pope Clement VII (26 May 1478 – 25 September 1534), born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was a cardinal from 1513 to 1523 and was Pope from 1523 to 1534.  At the death of 
Leo X de' Medici in 1521, Cardinal Giulio de' Medici was considered especially papabile in the protracted conclave.  Although unable to gain the Papacy for himself or for his ally Alessandro Farnese (both preferred candidates of Emperor Charles V (1519–58)), he took a leading part in determining the unexpected election of the short-lived Pope Adrian VI (1522–23), with whom he also wielded formidable influence. Following Adrian VI's death on 14 September, 1523, Giulio de' Medici finally was elected pope in the next conclave (19 November 1523).  He brought to the Papal throne a high reputation for political ability, and possessed in fact all the accomplishments of a wily diplomat.   Events overtook him when European big-power politics led to the Sack of Rome in 1527.  And it was during the Sack, when he had taken refuge in Castel Sant'Angelo, that he received the request for a divorce from Henry VIII of England.  Clement was considered worldly and indifferent to the Protestant reformation.See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Clement_VII and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04024a.htm.

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Pope Paul III (29 February 1468 – 10 November 1549), born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Reformation. During his reign, and in the spirit of the Counter-Reformation, new Catholic religious orders and societies, such as the Jesuits, the Theatines, the Barnabites and the Congregation of the Oratory, attracted a popular following and he convened the Council of Trent in 1545. He was a significant patron of the arts and, as was usual for the time, employed nepotism to advance the power and fortunes of his family.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Paul_III and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11579a.htm on Paul II, and see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Trent and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15030c.htm and http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent.html on the Council of Trent, which issued condemnations of what it defined as Protestant heresies and defined Church teachings.

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Pope Julius III (10 September 1487 – 23 March 1555), born Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte, was Pope from 7 February 1550 to 1555.
In his early career in the Church Julius established a reputation as an effective and trustworthy diplomat, and was elected to the Papacy as a compromise candidate when the Papal Conclave found itself deadlocked between the rival French and German factions. As Pope he lost, or failed to show, any of the qualities which had distinguished his previous career, devoting himself instead to a life a personal pleasure and indolence, and the achievements of his incumbency were very few. His lasting fame, or notoriety, rests rather on his relationship with the 17 year old boy, Innocenzo del Monte (whom the Catholic Encyclopedia discretely calls "his unworthy favourite".  Julius raised the boy to the position of Cardinal-Nephew, and, it was said at the time, the Pope and the Cardinal Nepote shared a bed: the resulting scandal, whether it was based on fact or on rumor, did great harm to the reputation of the Church.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Julius_III and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08564a.htm, and for the sordid tale of Innocenzo Ciocchi Del Monte, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innocenzo_Ciocchi_Del_Monte.

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Pope Marcellus II (6 May 1501 – 1 May 1555), born Marcello Cervini degli Spannochi was Pope from 9 April 1555 to 1 May 1555, succeeding Pope Julius III. Before his accession as Pope he had been Cardinal-Priest of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. He was the last Pope not to change his name on his accession.  Marcellus II had a high reputation for integrity, tact and ability in his earlier church offices. Having reigned as pope for just 22 calendar days, Marcellus II ranks sixth on the list of 10 shortest-reigning popes.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Marcellus_II and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09641a.htm.

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Pope Paul IV (28 June 1476 – 18 August 1559), Giovanni Pietro Carafa, was Pope from 23 May 1555 until his death.  Early on, Carafa had held some minor church offices Carafa, but he resigned his benefices and joined the ascetic and newly founded Congregation of Clerks Regular, popularly called the Theatines, after Carafa's own see of Theate.  Following the sack of Rome in 1527, the order moved to Venice. But Carafa was recalled to Rome by the reform-minded Pope Paul III (1534–49), to sit on a committee of reform of the papal court, an appointment that forecast an end to a humanist papacy, and a revival of scholasticism, for Carafa was a thorough disciple of Thomas Aquinas. 

He was a surprise choice as pope to succeed Pope Marcellus II (1555).  He accepted the office apparently because Emperor Charles V was opposed to his accession despite his
rigid, severe and unbending character combined with his age and patriotism, which meant he might have declined the honor.  As pope his nationalism was a driving force; he used the office to preserve some liberties in the face of four-fold foreign occupation. The Habsburgs disliked Paul IV and he allied with France, possibly against the true interests of the Papacy.  He used the instruments of the Inquisition to suppress the Spirituali, a group of reform-minded Catholics.  Among his first acts as Pope was to cut off Michelangelo's pension, and he had fig leaves painted over the nudes of the Sistine Chapel. He also alienated Protestants in England and rejected the claim of Elizabeth I of England to the Crown.
Paul IV believed in extra ecclesiam nulla salus ("outside the Church there is no salvation").  The strengthening of the Inquisition continued under Paul IV, and few could consider themselves safe by virtue of position in his drive to reform the Church; even cardinals could be imprisoned
if he disliked them

In 1555 he issued a canon law, Cum nimis absurdum, by which the Roman ghetto was created. Jews were then forced to live in seclusion in a specified area of the rione Sant'Angelo, locked in at night, and he decreed that Jews should wear a distinctive sign, yellow hats for men and veils or shawls for women.  Jewish ghettos existed in Europe for the next 315 years.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Paul_IV and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11581a.htm.

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Many Renaissance scholars say that Paul IV was the last pope of the Renaissance.  Many others carry their Renaissance studies into the Baroque and Rococo periods of Roman art and architecture.  It is clear, however that Paul IV tried very hard to end
humanism as a driving force of the Roman intellectual Renaissance.

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Humanism may have ended, but art continued to flourish, and whole new styles of architecture developed.  Popes, cardinals and city notables continued to patronize and to build.  An exemplar of important "post Renaissance" 17th century popes was Innocent X.

Pope Innocent X (6 May 1574 –7 January 1655), born Giovanni Battista Pamphili), was Pope from 1644 to 1655. Born in Rome of a family from Gubbio in Umbria who had come to Rome during the pontificate of Pope Innocent IX, he graduated from the Collegio Romano and followed a conventional cursus honorum, following his uncle Girolamo Pamphilj as auditor of the Roman Rota (a Catholic Church appeals court), and like him, attaining the dignity of Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Eusebio, in 1629.  Trained as a lawyer, he succeeded Pope Urban VIII (1623–44) on 15 September 1644, as one of the most politically shrewd pontiffs of the era, who much increased the temporal power of the Vatican.  His pontifical reign was blighted, however, by his relationship with Donna Olimpia Maidalchini, who had been married to his deceased brother. 
Because her influence with him in matters of promotion and politics was so complete, she was alleged to be Innocent X's mistress, although evidence of such a relationship is lacking.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Innocent_X and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08020b.htm
on Innocent X, and see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olimpia_Maidalchini on Donna Olimpia.  See http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13205c.htm on the Rota. 

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Today's Vatican is a multi-century agglomeration.  But almost all of the structures visible in satellite images date from the Renaissance.  The audience hall is modern, but the "new" St. Peter's basilica the Vatican Palace including the papal apartments and the gardens all took their present form in the Renaissance.  The "Leonine" Wall, which surrounds Vatican City, was constructed following the sack of Old St. Peter's Basilica by Saracens in 846.  Built from 848 to 852, it is the only extension ever made to the Aurelian wall of imperial Rome, which was itself built from 271 to 275 AD.  There have been many modernizations and improvements to building interiors, but they are mostly invisible from above.  Many structures, including the basilica, were cleaned and restored for the "Giubileo" of 2000.


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Some of the symbols of papal authority.  See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_regalia_and_insignia.

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The Catholic Church has never claimed to be democratic.  In fact, at the time of its its founding, "democracy" was universally deemed to be the most undesirable of all possible governing systems; the demos was the wild and uncontrollable mob, and democracy meant "mob rule" with no protection for individuals or minorities.  That's why the US was organized as a "democratic republic" -- the "republic" part implies individual and minority rights guaranteed by a constitution.
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The Sistine Chapel (Italian: Cappella Sistina) is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City.  It is famous for its architecture, evocative of Solomon's Temple of the Old Testament, and its decoration which has been frescoed throughout by the greatest Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini, and Sandro Botticelli.  Under the patronage of Pope Julius II della Rovere, Michelangelo frescoed 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) of the chapel ceiling between 1508 and 1512.  Michelangelo resented the commission, but today the ceiling and the Last Judgment fresco on the wall above the chapel altar are widely believed to be Michelangelo's crowning achievements in painting.

The chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere, who restored the old Cappella Magna between 1477 and 1480.  The Sistine chapel, built to the measurements of the Temple of Jerusalem (as given in the Bible) became the formal papal chapel, but it also had a defensive mission; the walls are thick, the (now roofed) cornice walkway, and the attic level Swiss Guard wardrooms and barracks (now disused) all were designed to make the chapel an impregnable structure.  During the Sixtus IV period a team of painters that included Pietro Perugino, Sandro Botticelli and Domenico Ghirlandaio created a series of frescoed panels depicting the life of Moses and the life of Christ, offset by papal portraits above and trompe l’oeil drapery below. These paintings were completed in 1482, and on August 15, 1483,[1] Sixtus IV consecrated the first mass in honor of Our Lady of the Assumption.

Since the time of Sixtus IV, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today it is the site of the Papal conclave, the process by which a new Pope is selected.

For more on the Sistine Chapel, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sistine_Chapel and links on that page including http://www.christusrex.org/www1/sistine/0-Tour.html, which has good images of all the Sistine Chapel frescoes.

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A Renaissance view of a Sistine Chapel ceremony.  The pope is enthroned on the raised platform to the left, and the cardinals are ranked in front of the transverse wall.  Other members of the curia are seated on risers inside the wall, and spectators stand outside the wall.  The chapel choir is in the choir balcony in the wall opposite the pope's throne.  The painting on the wall behind the altar at the far end is Michelangelo's Last Judgment.

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Although the library was founded by Nicholas V Parentucelli, it was Sixtus IV della Rovere who made it the repository for ancient and humanist works.

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Calixtus III was the first of the Borgia popes, and the Spaniard is acknowledged by most historians to have been a man of lofty ideals and of boundless courage, energy, and perserverance.  He did nothing that the people viewed as unusually bad.  His heirs were well taken care of both in terms of wealth and continued employment.  It was Callixtus who had, as a Cardinal, negotiated the end of the Western Schism.  Not all Borgias were bad.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Callixtus_III and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03187a.htm and http://www.mmdtkw.org/VBorgias.html.

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But some Borgias were definitely bad, and Roderigo -- Pope Alexander VI Borgia -- was one of those.  His corruption and immorality was legendary (although even that was exagerated by his enemies and thier toady historians like Steffano Infessura.) Alexander VI did patronize artists, but his biggest project was to have Pinturicchio paint Alexander's own apartments in the Vatican.  After the Reign of Alexander, Julius II della Rovere refused to live in the Vatican apartment which was the scene of Alexander's debauchery.  Instead, he had Raphael design a completely new set of apartments, which are now known as the Raphael Vatican Stanze.

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The two most famous Borgias were Cesare and Lucrezia, a son and the only daughter of Pope Alexander VI.  They were both, of course, illegitimate, but popes have often claimed the right to "legitimize" bastards including their own.  Alexander first made Cesare a Cardinal, but, when Cesare's older brother died, Cesare gave up his red hat and became Alexander's military commander and hatchet-man.  Poor little Lucrezia, not much more than a child, was made the pawn od Alexander and Cesare in a series of political engagements and marriages.  Her first betrothal, to a Spaniard, was annulled.  Her first husband died suddenly, shortly after becoming a political non-entity. Her second husband was killed by Cesare after an earlier botched attempt which left him wounded on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica.  Her third marriage, to the D'Este Duke of Ferrara before she was 20, was long and happy, but only because her father had died and Cesare had been chased out of Italy by the succeeding Popes.  Lucrezia became the much admired matron of the Ferarra duchy where she kept her salon for almost 20 years, becoming the patroness of Ariosto and becoming known as the Duchess of Music for her patronage of Renaissance composers and musicians.  Her false reputation as a poisoner was made up by later literary hacks and scandal mongers.  It's still used by similar folks to make a buck.

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That famous bare-breasted picture of Lucretia (see above), by the way, is another girl entirely.  It is used, however, by the modern city fathers of Ferarra to attract tourists.   We will look into Lucrezia again in the last unit of this course.

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As we have seen, there were good and bad Borgias, and, later, this late 16th century Borgia became the head, or
"the General", of the Jesuits.  The last notable Borgia was another one of the good ones.


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Sixtus V, Felix Peretti, reigned from 1585 to 1590 and is considered an "Early Baroque" pope.  He had been a Franciscan monk and was already old -- but still vigorous -- when elected.  In his short five years as pope, he remodeled Rome by opening up wide straight avenues connecting the city's great pilgrimage churches.  At each church he erected on of the fallen obelisks that the ancient Romans had looted from Egypt.  The idea was that pilgrims would be able to look down the new roads and see the next church on the pilgrimage route, a circumstance that rendered redundant the crooked "Cicerone" guides, who had been swindling the pilgrims. 

Sixtus V also knocked the bottom out of the local "indulgence" racket by declaring that anyone could get a plenary indulgence -- remission of all purgatorial punishment for him or herself of for a deceased friend or relative -- by uttering a few simple prayers in any one of Rome's numerous churches. 

Finally, Sixtus V permanently destroyed the ability of any one Roman family to get control of the papal establishment.  He did this by establishing the Church's 15 "congregations" -- bureaucratic divisions -- and handing them out piecemeal to those same families.  Each family thereafter rigourously guarded its own piece of the action, and thereafter no single family could get control of enough congregations to monopolize curial patronage. 

The Peretti family was extremely poor, and Felix was said to have been born in a hut so poorly thatched that sunlight streamed through to the inside.  Sixtus later joked that he had therefore come from an "illustrious family".

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Sixtus_V and http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14033a.htm and http://romeartlover.tripod.com/Sisto.html.

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The Florentine bankers, including the Medici, opened branches on the Via dei Banchi in Rome and fairly quickly the center of their operations shifted from Florence to Rome.  There were two reasons for this shift:  there were bigger profits to be made in Rome after the Vatican regained control of and regularized taxation in the Papal States; and Rome was more secure as nascent European states started to push down into Italy.  The Medici went for "the full monty" and moved thier whole establishment south even winning the papacy.  There were four medici popes, but only the first two amounted to anything.  Villa Medici on the Pincian Hill is now the French Academy in Rome. 

"The full monty" comes from an Italian card gambling term "tutti il monte".  A "monte" was any "heap" or "mound" or "amount" of money with a purpose.  There were "montes secularis" and, later, "montes pietatis" -- funds set aside or "piled up" for secular or "pious" purposes.  Some of the "montes" were endowed, some were supported by governments (either by taxes or from general funds), and some by organizations (e.g., guilds, fraternities, or confraternities.  Fraternities, by the way, were set up to benefit their own members, while confraternities were membership organizations that were supposed to benefit persons other than the members.)

In gambling you could bet against part of the "monte" (the total that all players had piled in the middle of the table) or against "tutti il monte", i.e., "the full monty".

Similar terminology was involved in the governance of tontines, some of which provided for division of the "monte" among survivors after a certain number of years, others for decisions on whether to divide after a certain number of years had elapsed, and finally, some which continued until only one of the contracting members survived to receive "tutti il monte".

Monte, mountain, mound, amount (= Latin: ad montis) are, of course, all cognates.

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Julius II, as mentioned above, is mostly remembered from Irving Stone's fiction The Agony and the Ecstasy and from the movie of the same name.  He should really be remembered as the warrior pope who finally regained control of enough of the papal states to raise papal revenues (although he did spend a lot on military adventures).  Like other art patrons, he liked to see himself in pictures.

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Julius had Michelangelo repaint the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and among the images surrounding the central biblical panels, Michelangelo painted Old Testament prophets and pagan Roman and Greek sibyls (prophetesses).  The Sibyls were included, because, by careful if sometimes corkscrew interpretation, Renaissance humanists had convinced themselves that the pagan Sibyls had somehow been inspired to predict the arrival of Jesus and the rise of Christianity.  It was akin to modern belief that Nostradamus predicted an airplane attack on the pentagon.  (Of course, belief in Biblical prophecy much less dubious.)  Accurate or not, because of their proto-Christian prophecy the sibyls became a feature of Renaissance art.  The prophets and siblyls in the Sistine Chapel have been the inspiration for art ever since they were painted.  As seen in the image above, Norman Rockwell's famous World War II Rosie the Riveter is closely modeled on Michelangelo's Sistine Prophet Isaiah.

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Michelangelo's "agony " did not end when he finished the ceiling for Julius.  His arm was later twisted to do the Last Judgment above the Sistine chapel alter and to provide the two major frescoes in the adjacent "Pauline" chapel.  He did manage to insert himself into both of the "Paolino" frescoes as he had done with his earlier frescoes.  The Paolino, which serves as the Vatican parish church has not been open to tourists.  Its multi-year restoration was completed in 2009.

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While Michelangelo was busy in the Sistine Chapel, Julius II kept Raphael at work in what are now known as the Vatican Stanze.  Raphael's Battle of the Milvian Bridge (the defeat and death of Constantius and the triumph of Constantine) was painted to look like a tapestry, and it features muscular almost nude male figures, a convention adopted by Raphael and later mannerists after Raphael had seen Michelangelo's nude and semi-nude male and female figures in the Sistine chapel ceiling.  (many of Michelangelo's and Raphael's ignudi were later clothed by painters working on the orders of Pope Paul IV and later prudish popes.  That desecration has only recently been corrected during the recent restorations.

Papal Ceremonies
What the ancient Romans had done with "bread and circuses" the Renaissance popes did with papal ceremonies and carnivals.  A large part of the expression of papal authority was the progression of papal ceremonies.  To a great extent, this satisfied the Roman underclasses and provided spectacles for visiting dignitaries and pilgrims.  This still works today.

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One of the important annual ceremonial spectacles on the papal calendar in the Renaissance was the Corpus Christi procession celebrated usually on the second Thursday in June in Rome (the feast is often moved to the Next Sunday in English speaking countries.)  Pictures of modern Roman Corpus Christi spectacles are below.

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Popes received diplomatic missions and visiting dignitaries with royal pomp.  Papal dignitas always had to overshadow visitors -- even royal visitors.  If the visitor was (is!) important or rich enough he or she would be greeted on arrival inside the Porta del Popolo at the northern edge of the Aurelian walled city (and, more rarely, even outside the gate).  Santa Maria del Popolo church, just inside the gate, benefited from all the ceremony on its doorstep -- all the big Roman families wanted somehow to endow the church, and, if enough wealth was available. they wanted to enlarge the church with a family chapel.  The most famous of the S. Maria del Popolo was designed and partially decorated by Raphael for his friend and patron Agostino Chigi, a Sienese banker (while he was simultaneously working on the Vatican Stanze for Julius II.)  The entrance fresco features those pagan sibyls again.  See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chigi_Chapel for the Chigi Chapel and the Popolo Project starting on page 690 (http://rubens.anu.edu.au/popolo/database/new/00690.html) for other S. M. del Popolo art and architecture in detail.  

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There's always something to celebrate -- or "any excuse for a party".  Exposure of the Shroud of Turin, Leo X Medici on his first trip home to Florence, and a piece of the True Cross arrives in Venice.

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Benedict XVI at Xmas, 2008.

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The pope is still carried for short distances by man-power, but for longer distances his chair and canopy are motorized as in the images of his modern cross town Corpus Christi procession.

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Papal foreign travel with accompanying pomp has become a commonplace in recent years.  Here the Pope visits Lourdes in France.

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Not all Renaissance spectacles were papal, although all certainly would have had papal sanction.  Above is an image of a bull fight in front of the Palazzo Farnese (now the French Embassy in Rome).  There were also horse races
during the pre-Lenten Roman Carnivale from Piazza del Popolo to Piazza Venezia on the Via del Corso (= "Race Street") and, at various times prostitutes, Jews, cripples, and little people were made to run the same course (= corso) -- all in "good fun" for the edification of the people and the enjoyment of the Popes, who watched the ends of the races from the Palazzo Venezia.

What happened if you raised your head?

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We will look into the burning of Giordano Bruno and the house arrest of Galileo in Unit 10.  Suffice it to say, for now, that it was very dangerous to get crosswise of the popes and the Holy Inquisition.

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Papal kibitzing was probably no worse than what all patrons have always done.

definition:  kib·itz  (kbts)
intr.v. kib·itzed, kib·itz·ing, kib·itz·es {Informal}
1. To look on and offer unwanted, usually meddlesome advice to others.
2. To chat; converse.
[Yiddish kibitsen, from German kiebitzen, from Kiebitz, pewit, kibitzer, from Middle High German gbitz, pewit, of imitative origin.]