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VOL. V. 



THE HISTORY OF THE POPES. Translated from 
the German of Dr. Lumvio PASTOR, and edited by the Rev. 
FkLi p .Riciv IGNATIUS ANTROBUS of the London Oratory. 

Yols. I. and II. A.D. 1305-1458. Demy Sve. 1891. 

Vols. III. and IV. A.D. 1458- 1483. 1894. 

Vols. \. ami VI. A.D. 1484-1513. ,, 1898. 

I2S. net per vol. 













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St, Michael s College 
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Tetri digiiitas etiani in indiyuo lierede nun deficit." 

-LEO I. 



Preface . . . vil 

List of complete Titles of Hooks frequently quoted in 

Vols. V. and VI. xi 

Table of Contents . xlvii 
List of Unpublished Documents in Appendix 

Introduction . . . 3-226 

HOOK I. INNOCENT VIII. , 1484-1492. 

Election of Innocent VIII. 227-248 

Quarrels between the Pope and Ferrante of Naples 249-270 

Troubles in the Romagna. Disputes and final Recon 
ciliation between Rome and Naples 271-287 
The Eastern Question. The Turkish Prince Dschem. 

Death of Innocent VIII, . 288-321 

The late Pope as Patron of Art and Scholarship . 3 2 -~333 

Defence of the Liberties and Doctrines of the Church : 

its Moral Condition ... 334~37 2 

BOOK II. ALEXANDER VI., 1492 1497. 

Election of Alexander VI. . 375-4*9 

Death of Ferrante of Naples. Alliance between Alfonso 

II. of Naples and the Pope. Invasion of Italy by 

Charles VIII. . . . 420-133 

Dismay and Helplessness of Alexander VI. 431 449 

Charles VIII. in Rome and Naples. Flight of the 

Pope. . . . 45-4Si 

Expulsion of the French from Naples. The Pope s 

Schemes of Reform . 4^- 5 2 3 

Appendix of Unpublished Documents 5-7 5^3 

Index of Names . 5^5~57" 

P R E F A C E. 

ACCORDING to my original plan the present Volume* shuiikl have 
extended to the close of the Lateran Council in 1517, but the 
amount of matter to be dealt with has proved so large that, in 
order to keep it within reasonable dimensions, I have been 
obliged to break off at the death of JULIUS II. in 1513. A 
cursory treatment of two such marked Pontificates as those of 
ALEXANDER VI. and JULIUS II. could not be satisfactory; and 
the wide divergencies of opinion in regard to their characters, as 
well as the extent and variety of the now available documents 
relating to them, make it necessary to enter into details as much as 
possible. Many of these documents, especially those in the Con- 
sistorial Archives, and the Dulls and Briefs of ALEXANDER VI. 
in the Secret Archives of the Vatican, have hitherto been inac 
cessible to modern historians. For the last three hundred years 
no one has been allowed to see the A t gesta of the latter Pope. 
In the spring of 1888, through the kind, good offices of the late 
lamented Cardinal HERGENROTHER, I obtained the necessary 
special permission from his Holiness 1 ,1:0 XI 11. to examine these 
documents, with full liberty to make use of them ; for which 
I again tender my devoted thanks to the noble Pontiff who 
has opened the Secret Archives of the Vatican to historical 

The Ambassadorial Reports in the Italian Archives, especially 
those in Mantua, Modena, and Milan, afford extremely valuable 

* The above-mentioned volume (Vol. III. of the original German) forms 
Vol*. V. and VI. of the English Truncation. l \ f. A. 


supplementary matter. Of course they have been used by 
Gregorovius and Balan, but by no means exhaustively. Thus, I 
found a document in the Gonzaga Archives in Mantua, which 
makes it impossible to represent Lucrezia Borgia s conduct as 
absolutely blameless. 

The papers preserved in the Milanese Archives which, besides 
the Despatches of the ducal Envoy, contain the whole of the 
correspondence (partly in cypher) between Cardinal ASCANIO 
SFORZA, who was completely in the confidence of the Borgia 
family, and his Brother, Duke LODOVICO MORO, are extremely 
important. Gregorovius purposely ignored this collection, in spite 
of its great value for the history of the Borgia, on account of its 
unarranged condition. Writing in the Allg. Zeitung (1876), No. 
76, Supplement, he says : " I found it impossible to pick out the 
Despatches of the Milanese Orators, which no doubt contain 
many valuable bits of information, from the mass of unclassified 
bundles of papers in which they are at present buried." I found 
myself amply rewarded for the labour of hunting through these 
documents by the treasures which I found in them. 

Thus, in the composition of this work, three most important 
sets of Archives have, for the first time, been thoroughly investi 
gated and used, together with other Archives and collections of 
MSS., and the very extensive printed literature relating to the 

Though therefore it is not impossible that some fresh docu 
ments bearing on the history of the Borgia Pope may yet still 
appear, it does not seem probable that anything new remains, in 
regard to essentials, to be discovered. In any case the documents 
produced and cited in these Volumes amply suffice to justify a 
conclusive judgment on the main points. In many matters of 
detail, of course, the last word has not yet been spoken, and there 
is plenty of room for further investigation. But from henceforth 
it is clear that the rehabilitation of ALEXANDER VI. is a hopeless 

For the Pontifirates of INNOCENT VIII. and JULIUS II. I 
found an equally rich mine of unprinted materials. I was more 

especially successful in finding much interesting imprinted matter 
bearing on JULIUS II. s artistic undertakings, and in particular on 
the history of the building of S. Peter s, and Bramante s relations 
with the Pope, in the Secret Archives of the Vatican, the Biblioteca 
Angelica in Rome, and the State Archives at Modena. I had the 
advantage of being permitted to discuss the: descriptions of the 
immortal works executed for this Pope by Raphael and Michael 
Angelo, some of which have not been described before, with my 
honoured friend the Prelate FRII DRICH SCHNEIDKR completely, and 
partially with JAKOI; BURCKHARDT, Both agree in endorsing the 
modern interpretation of Raphael s frescoes in the Stanza 
d Eliodoro. To both of these, and to all others who have kindly- 
helped me in my work, which was rendered more difficult by 
being out of reach of any large library, I desire in this place to 
repeat my heartfelt thanks. 


I5///. August , 1895. 


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/.citsclirift fiir Kirchengeschichte in A erl)indung mit W. (lass, II. 

Renter und A. Ritschl ; herausgeg. von Ph. Brieger. Bd. I. 

set/, (lotha, T.S77 set/. 
/.citschrift, //is/nrisc/ic, herausgeg. von Ileinrich von Sybel. IM. 

I. set/. Miinchen und Leip/ig, 1^59. 
/.c!lcr,J. Italic et Renaissance. Politique, LcUrcs, Arts. NCJU- 

velle edition. P. II. Paris, 1883. 
/AitSerle, A. Beitrage zur (leschichle der Philologie. Thcil I.: 

De carniinibus latinis saec. XV. ct xvi. ineditis. Innsbruck, 

ZinkciscHiJ. ^1- Geschichte dcs Osmanischen Reiches in ICuropa. 

2 Theile. (i(.)tha, 1840-54. 

Die Orientalische I "rage in ihrer Kindheit. Kine gcs- 
chichtliche Studic zur vergleichenden Politik, in " Rauniers 
Histor. Taschenbucli." Dritte l- olge A L, 461-61 i. Leipzig, 

Zurita, (/ . Anales de la Corona de Aragon. Vul. 1\". y V. 
Zaragoza, 16 jo. 




The Renaissance a period of transition, especially in Italy . 5 

(Ireat development in Literature and Art 

As also in material civilisation ... .j 

Corruption in political life. Worship of success 

Misery caused in Italy by the Condottieri . 

And by the wars resulting from the invasion of ( harles V 1 1 I. 5 

I he constant prevalence of pestilences and other natural 

calamities ........ 6 

Recourse to the intercession of the Saints Its effect on 

Art . ........ 7 

No common eflort made tor the protection of Italy from the 

Plague . 8 

Difficulty of appreciating the moral and religious character 

ot the time ........ o. 

The history of the Renaissance derived chiefly from the 

Humanists . . . . . . . .10 

Purity of family life during this period . . . .11 

The correspondence of Alessandra Macinghi-Strozzi . . u 
Her Christian piety and resignation . . . . . i^ 

The piety of Francesco Datini and Feo lielcari . . 1,5 

Belcari s letter on humility . . . . . .14 

The family note-book of Giovanni Moivlli . . *5 

The genuine pirty and faith of the age of the Renaissam e . i(> 
Giovanni Rueellai : his generosity as a citi/en of Florence . 17 
His note-book and its revelation of his inner life . iS 

I he monographs ot \ espasiano da !>isti< < i . i <j 

His relations \vith Nicholas V. and the Medi< i . .19 

The diary of Luca Landucci . .20 

His spirit (A charity and resignation .... Ji 

VOL. V. d 



Pious practices and the reading of Holy Scripture . . 21 
General observance of the precepts of the Church . . 22 
And the Liturgical spirit of the people . .22 

The fasts of the Church strictly kept 23 

Charitable contributions to religious houses . . 23 

Piety shewn in the forms used for drawing up wills . . 23 
The will of Giovanni da Empoli ... .24 

Giovanni Dominici on the government of the family . . 25 
His instructions to Bartolomea Alberti . 25 

On the careful training of children . . ,26 

The respect to be shewn by them to their parents . . 27 
The "Opera a ben vivere " by S. Antoninus . . .28 
Its piety and the practical wisdom of his advice . .29 

The true Renaissance in harmony with the reform of the 

Church .29 

The good influence of Vittorino da Leltre . . . .29 

Works on education by the Christian Hainan ists . 30 

Dangers of the spirit of the Renaissance in the education 

of women ..... ..31 

Successful combination of intellectual culture with purity 

of life . . . 3 2 

Description of the Court of Urbino by Baklassaro Castiglione 32 
The importance of the intellectual and literary training ot 

women .... .... 32 

Some famous women of the Renaissance . . . 33 

The religious manuals of the time ..... 34 

Questions for confession applied to different classes . . 34 
The religious spirit of the guilds and brotherhoods . . 35 
Their strict rule of life ..... -35 

The patron Saints of each guild ... . 36 

Their care for the poor and sick and prisoners . . 36 

Their charity to the dead . . . -37 

Confraternities for good works their patronage of Art . 37 
The Confraternity of the Mi>,ericordia founded in Florence 39 
Other associations for help in the time of the Plague . . 4 
The Confraternity of the Annunziata in aid of poor girls . 41 
The various Confraternities in Florence and in Rome . 4 2 
New associations founded in the 151)1 Century . . . 43 
The Confraternity of the Misericordia for the assistance of 

condemned criminals . .... -44 

The trade guilds of Rome their churches and hospitals 45 

The national brotherhoods and hospitals . . 46 

The development of religious poetry and drama in the i5th 

( Vntury . ... 4 6 

The Lauds or Hymns of 1 raise . . > 46 

Developed into mystery plays or " Divozioni " , . .4 s 



Their first beginning in Umbria --their connection with the 

guilds ......... 48 

The " devotions for Maundy Thursday and Good Lridav 49 

Their development into the religious drama . 51 

Which was essentially religious -with some secular touches 52 

Religious lyrics and dramas the Roman Passion Play . 53 

Performed in the Colosseum on Good Lriday night . 54 
Confraternities of the Rosary and of Tertiaries ". 
The institution of Third Orders in the Middle Ages . 
The Third Order of S. Francis . . . . . .56 

Widely spread in Italy, among the most distinguished men 

of the age . . . . . . . t -57 

Sanctioned and approved by the Holy See . 58 

Development of the Third Order of Regulars . . 58 

The Third Order of S. Dominic . . . . , 58 

The brethren of the Misericordia at Florence . . 59 

Their presence at funerals in the present day . . 59 

foundations for the relief of the poor -their variety . . 60 

The great hospitals of the 1 5th Century . . 61 
Especially in Florence and Rome . .62 

The care of the Popes for the sick and poor . . 6.? 

Their patronages of charitable foundations . . 63 

Charity of the smaller cities of Italy ... . 64 

Luther s praise of the Italian hospitals and foundling asylums 6^ 

List of charitable foundations in Italy in the 1 5th Century. (>f> 

Christian Art in Italy during the Renaissance . . 67 

The development of Architecture, Painting, and handicrafts 68 

Revival of the classical style in architecture and sculpture . 68 

Tin- antique forms inspired by Christian Art . . 69 

Magnificence of the new churches throughout Italy . . 69 
List of the principal works of Art executed during the 

Renaissance . ~ 
Danger of the revival of classical Art 

Comparison between Renaissance and Gothic Architecture 
Development of the Italian National School of Painting 
Its inspiration by the spirit of religion and devotion to the 

Mother of God ..... -7" 

Large- proportion of religious, compared to classical, pictures 80 

The advance in realism the cause of doubtful innovations . 81 

The spirit of the Dominican painters . . . 81 

Fhe Architecture of the Renaissance essentially Christian . 82 

Art, as displayed in the churches, the exponent of l- aith . S ^ 
Saintly Cardinals and Hishops of the Renaissance 
List of the Saints during the time of the Renaissance. 
J he devout spirit of the people as shewn in times o 

calamity ..... 

/ / 



Processions during the outbreak of Plague in Bologna , 89 
And also in Veniee after the defeat of Agnadello . 90 

Reverence felt for the office of the Pope as distinct from 

his personality ........ 90 

Trust felt in the Sacraments by great sinners . . 91 

Death-bed repentances edifying death of Lorenzo de : 

Medici . . . . . . . . ,92 

The punishment of the Church still dreaded . . 92 

Belief in the intercession of the Saints devotion shewn to 

their relics ........ 93 

Veneration of the Blessed Virgin universal devotion to her 94 
The magnificence of the festivals of the Church in Italy . 94 
The processions of Corpus Domini, in which the Popes took 

Part 95 

Growing veneration for the Blessed Sacrament . . -95 
The daily prayers of the period, including those for Mass 

and Confession ........ 96 

The public evening devotions of the guilds of workmen . 96 
Pilgrimages to famous shrines, especially those of the 

Madonna . . . . . . . . -97 

Attraction exercised by the preaching Friars . . -97 


The sharp contrast of the Christian and Pagan Renaissance 98 

The unrestrained individualism of the pseudo-renaissance . 98 
The Pagan ideal of life, as contrasted with that of 

Christianity ........ 98 

The craving for personal glory the Pagan Elysium restored 99 

The cultus of great men instituted. Spirit of vain-glory . 99 

Great crimes the result of the desire to achieve notoriety , 100 

Increase of luxury and immorality in Italy . . . 101 

Denunciations of Roberto da Lecce and other preachers . 101 

Municipal statutes against luxury and ostentation . . 102 

The taste for display stimulated by prosperity and Art . 103 

The great wealth of Italy especially Venice and Florence . 104 

Extravagance and prodigality of living in Florence . . 10=5 

Denunciation of usury by S. Bernardino of Siena . . 106 

Extortionate and fraudulent practices of usurers . . . 107 
Treatise of St. Antoninus against usury . . . .108 

Foundation of the Monti di Pieta by the Italians . .108 
First established in the Papal States by Pius II. . .109 

Denunciation of the Jews by S. Bernardino cla Feltre . TTO 

A Monte di Pieta established in Florence by Savonarola . 1 1 1 



Disputes as to the lawfulness of a percentage on loans by 

Monti di Pieta . . . . . . i i i 

Decision of Leo X. on the subject . . . . j j 2 

Prevalence of gambling in Italy . .112 

And of immorality during the age of the Renaissance . 113 

Most of the rulers of the day illegitimate . . . .114 
Cruelty and vindictiveness of many of the great Italian 

families ..... .114 

Tin- immorality and cruelty of the Courts of Milan, I-Vrrara, 

and Naples . 115 

Lorenzo cle -Medici, his cruelty and immorality . .116 

Joined with his patronage of Art and Literature . i 16 

Had example of the Doge and nobles of Venice . 117 

The sins of the great condoned by the disciples of culture . 117 
Immorality of the Humanists at the various Courts . . i 18 
Higher tone of morality in the bulk of the population . i iS 

Realism in Literature the cause of corruption . . .119 
The evil influence of the false Renaissance on family life . 120 
Had effect of the writings of Bojardo and Ariosto . . 121 
The revival of the Pagan Drama at Kerrara by Pomponius 

Laetus .122 

Classical plays acted in Rome before Cardinals . 

Encouraged by Alexander VI. and Leo X. 

The plays of Machiavelli the "Mandnigola" . 

The sacred Drama gradually superseded by the classical 

1 )rama ..... . 1 2 5 

Disastrous consequences of the importation of slaves into 

Italy . .126 

And of their introduction into great families . . .127 
Increased numbers of courtesans in the towns . . .128 
The revival of the Hctajne their culture and social 

position ..... .129 

Efforts made by the Church and the mission preachers to 

check it 130 

liut with little success till the Catholic Reformation . . i 3 i 
Revival of the national vice of the Creeks . . . .132 
Guilt of the Humanists . . . 133 

Frequency of murders and of political assassination . . 13.1 
Irreligious tone of the literature of the day. . 35 

The resuscitation of Pagan thought and ethics . . 135 

Put actual atheism or formal heresy very rare . . 136 

Death repentances of many Humanists , 37 

The writings of Pontano and Calateus . . 138 

Christian thought disguised in Pagan language . . 139 

Passion of the Humanists for antiquity . .140 

Sannazaro s medley of Paganism and Christianity . 141 



Heathen terms used in Theology by Cortesius . . 143 

Corneto s work "On true Philosophy," in opposition to the 

Humanists .... ... 144 

Its extreme character . .146 

Difficulty of drawing the line between the true and false 

Renaissance .... . 147 

Spread of Oriental superstitions in the age of the Re 
naissance . . . . . . . .147 

Study of Astrology ; belief in the influence of the planets . 148 
Entertained by many of the Popes of the time . . 149 

Astrology believed by Pontano to be an experimental 

science . . . . . . . 15 

Astrological ideas expressed in Art ... . 150 

Astrology opposed by the mission preachers . . 1 5 1 

And most successfully by Pico della Mirandola . 151 

Subsequent decline of Astrology in Italy . . . 151 

Belief in demonology and magic . . . . 152 

The Platonism of Plethon and Ficino . . . 153 

The philosophy of Pico della Mirandola . . . 154 

The Aristotelians of Padua their dangerous doctrines 

concerning the soul . . . . . . 155 

Condemned by Leo X. at the Lateran Council of 1513 . 155 
Pomponazzi teaches the mortality of the soul . . 156 

Leo X. calls upon him to recant . . . . T 57 

His deliberate suicide ... . T 57 

His views refuted by Agostino Nifo and others . . 159 

Paganism of Niccol6 Machiavelli . . . . .160 

Coarseness and immoral principles of his writings . .161 
"The Prince." Politics severed from Christian principles . 162 
Its advocacy of fraud and cruelty ... .165 

Machiavelli s political heathenism 164 

His hatred of the Popes ... ... 165 

And of Christianity itself . . . . . . .166 

His attacks upon the Church . . . . . .167 

Corruption of the Italian Clergy of all ranks . , . i 69 
Beginning with the Popes and the Cardinals . . . 1 70 
Unpriestly lives among the religious orders and secular 

priests . . . . . . . . I 7 I 

Deplorable condition of many monasteries . . ,172 

Efforts for reform influence of the Benedictines . . 173 
Zeal and success of the preaching Friars . . 175 

Especially during the penitential seasons of the Church . i 76 
Their effect increased by dramatic representations , .178 
Social and moral reforms effected by the Friars . . 179 

Pagan philosophy introduced into the pulpit , .180 

As well as so-called prophecies and revelations . 181 


Fra Ciirolama Savonarola .... 
His poem on the decay of the Church 

Sent to oreach in Florein e, where lie is coldly r 

His belief in his divine mission . 

His success at S. Cimignano and Presciu . 1^4 

His return to Florence, where lie achieves ;i triumph . 184 

The Scriptural character of his sermons . 1^5 

The severity of his denunciations . ^ 

His relations with Lorenzo de Medici the forbearance of 

Lorenzo . . s j 6 

His stringent reform at S. Marco . . 187 

His Advent sermons in 141)3 and in Lent 1494 . .18$ 

He denounces the corruption of the clergy 189 

His prediction of the triumph of Charles VIII. . .190 

Savonarola as Ruler of Florence during the exile ot the 

Medici ... .190 

His political reforms in Florence . .191 

Christ proclaimed as Kin- of Florence . 192 

Savonarola believes himself to be an inspired prophet 193 

His visions and revelations . 93 

His extravagant attacks upon the ancient philosophy . 193 

Though not really opposed to science itself . 94 

1 le denies that he is the enemy of poets and poetry . 194 

Savonarola s opposition to the Pagan false Renaissance in 

Art ... . 

And to naturalism and realism in religious Art . . 

Sensual tendency of Italian Art in the i5th Century 
Personal friends of the artist painted as Saints . 
Even when of notoriously immoral character . 
The use of the nude in religious Art . 
And the introduction of mythological subjects . 
The " Temple of Malatesta " at Rimini . . 

The influence exercised by Savonarola upon artists 
A certain unreality found in the works so produced 
The extravagance and violence of his social reforms . 
The religious excitement caused in Florence by his sermon 
The exaggeration and narrowness of his government . 
His inquisitorial proceedings 
And employment of children as inquisitors 
The peace of family life destroyed 
Theatrical character of the " burning of vanities " 
Extravagance of his political prophecies 
1 lis political fanaticism 

And attempt to establish a theocracy in Florence 
His claim to be a prophet the cause of his ruin . 
The shallowness of his reform in Florence. . 



Failure of his schemes of universal reform . . .212 

Which depended upon Charles \ III. . , . .212 

His defiance of Alexander VI. . . . . .212 

Its consequences, as shewn among his disciples. . 213 

The preaching of Martino di Brozzi . . . . -214 

The sectaries of Pietro Bernardino . . . . .215 

Who were either burnt or exiled . . . . .216 

Hieronymus of Bergamo and other prophesying friars . 217 
Regulation of preaching by the Lateran Council under 

Leo X. . 218 

The prophecies of Francesco da Montepulciano . , .219 

And of other monks and friars .... .220 

Savonarola s predictions long believed in Florence . 22 t 

Portentous prophecies Francesco da Meleto . . .221 

Whose book was condemned by Leo X. . . .222 

The lay preacher Hieronymus of Siena . . t 223 
Fra Bonaventura, the "Angelic Pope" .... 224 

Who is imprisoned by Leo X. . . . . . .225 

The ferment in men s minds and need of reform . .225 

The prestige of the Papacy seriously shaken .226 



1484 Disturbances in Rome during the vacancy of the 

Holy See . . . . . . .229 

Devastation of the palace of Girolamo Riario . . 229 
Caterina Riario holds the Castle of S. Angelo . .230 
Girolamo Riario arrives with his troops before Rome 230 
But shortly after retreats to Isola Farnese . . . 230 
Enthusiastic reception of Cardinal Colonna in Rome. 231 
Obsequies of Sixtus IV. Confusion in Rome . .231 
Order restored by the interference of Cardinal Marco 
Barbo ....... 

The Cardinals in Conclave large number of electors 
Preponderance of Italian Cardinals .... 

Deplorable consequences of the appointments of 

Sixtus IV. ...... 233 


484 The Election-capitulation drawn up l>v the Cardinals 233 

Prospects of the ek Ction ...... 23.) 

The personal ambition of the Cardinals . . . 235 
Kfforts of Alfonso of Calal>ria and Ludovico Slor/.a to 

influence the election ..... 2^6 
Parties among the Cardinals intrigues of Cardinal 

Borgia .... ... 237 

Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere promotes the election 

of Cardinal Cibu ...... 238 

Election of Cardinal Cibo ..... 23^ 

\\ ho lakes the name of Innocent VIII. . . . 231; 

The appearance and family of Innocent A III. . . 239 
His previous career and friendship with Cardinal 

Ciuliano ........ 240 

His gentle and amiable character .... 241 

The un hounded influence of Cardinal Ciuliano on 

Innocent VII]. . . . . . .242 

Tlii : coronation of Innocent VIII. .... 243 

The difficulties of the Holy See, and good intentions 

of the Pope ....... 245 

The Pope s desire for peace, and efforts to preserve it 246 

Appointment of the Cardinal Legates . . . 247 
Illness of the Pope . . . . . . .247 

Disputes between the Colonna and Orsini . . 248 



1484 Alfonso of Calabria demands the annexation of 

Benevento ....... 240 

Which is refused by the Pope ..... 249 

1485 Innocent VIII. withdraws the canonical penalties 

imposed on Venice ...... 250 

Kerrante refuses to pay tribute and despoils the 

<^rgy 251 

Commencement of the Harons war at Naples . 251 

The Parons appeal to tin: Pope for aid . . .252 
Ferrante sends Cardinal Oiovanni d Aragona to Rome 2^3 
Who dies there of the Plague ..... 253 
The Holy See declares war against the King of 

Naples ........ 

Fcrrante declares himself the protector of the Orsini . 

1486 And with Mathias Corvinus threatens a general 

Council ...... 



i.\"d Hungary and Milan declare for the King of Naples 
And are followed by Lorenzo de Medici . 
The Pope concludes an alliance with Genoa 
Roberto Sanseverino enters tin.; Papal service . . 256 
The enemy before Rome-- disorders in the city 
Violence of Virginio Orsini .... 
Successes of Roberto Sanseverino 
Cardinal Orsini is reconciled to the Pope . . . 258 
False report of the Pope s death sufferings in the 

Papal States . . . . . . 259 

Efforts of Ferdinand and Isabella and the Duke of 

Brittany on behalf of peace . . . .260 
The Pope turns to the Duke of Lorraine disputes in 

the Sacred College . . . . . .260 

The Pope determines to apply to the French for help 260 
Roberto Sanseverino defeated by Alfonso of Calabria 261 
Who marches on Rome. The Papal States in danger 261 
Intrigues of Florence against the Pope . . . 262 
Mathias Corvinus prepares to invest Ancona . . 262 
Arrival of the Envoys of Charles VIII. and Duke 

Rene in Rome ....... 263 

The Pope makes peace with Ferrante . . -263 
Favourable terms granted by Ferrante . . .264 
Who violates the treaty in a few months . . -265 
The revenge taken by Ferrante upon the Barons . 265 
He refuses to pay tribute to the Holy See . .265 

Irresolution of Innocent VIII. ..... 265 

1487 Negotiations with Lorenzo de Medici . . . 265 
Who assists the Pope against the rebel Boccolino . 266 
Ferrante formally repudiates the Treaty with the Holy 

See . 267 

His insolence to the Nuncio, Pietro Vincentino . 268 
Ferrante appeals to a Council . . . . .269 
The marriage of Lorenzo s daughter Maddalena with 

Franceschetto Cibo . 260 



T 488 Troubles in the Romagna murder of Girolamo 

Riario at Forli . . . . . . .271 

The citizens desire to plarv themselves under the 

Holy See. 272 



1488 The Pope abstains from interference . 272 

( )n account of the opposition ol Lorenzo de Medici . 273 
Further disturbances in the Romagna . 273 

Mauri/io Cibb appointed Governor ol Perugia . . 274 

Conilicts between tin- ( )ddi and the Baglioni 

expulsion of the Oddi . J 74 

Cardinal 1 iecolouiini pacifies the Baglioni . 274 

1489 Insolent hostility of Ferrante to the Tope . . 275 
A foreign invasion averted by Loren/o de Medici . 275 
The King of Hungary supports Ferrante and seizes 

Ancona ... 2 75 

Innocent VIII. hopes for assistance from France and 

Spain . 

The Pope proclaims Ferrante s deposition 

1490 Obstinacy and insolence of Ferrante, who refuses the 

tribute .... .278 

Distress of the Pope, who threatens to leave Italy . 279 
Illness of the Pope and report of his death . 281 

Franceschetto Cibo endeavours to seize Prince Dschem 282 

1491 Isolation of the Pope in Italy . 

The Pope makes overtures of peace to Ferrante 

1492 Conditions of peace arranged . 

The imprisoned Barons to be tried by the Pope 284 

Complete transformation of Ferrante s behaviour to 

the Pope ... 

Arrival of Ferdinand of Capua in Rome . 
Betrothal of Luigi of Aragon to Battistina Cibo 
Negotiations concerning the marriage of Charles \ III. 

to Anne of Brittany . . 
Charles VIII. attempts to hinder the investiture of 

Ferdinand ... 
The Neapolitan succession regulated by a Papal Bull 



148}. Turki>h progress. Encyclical of the Pope to the 

( hristian States 
Personal efforts of the Pope; indifference of Florence 289 

1485 The Pope appeals to Spain 289 
But the disputes in Italy interfi re with the Turkish 

war ... . -90 

1486 The Pope proposes a Crusade, and levies a lav on 

ecclesiastical benefices . . 201 

A-l">. PAGE 

1486 To be collected by Raymond Peraudi and Gratiano 

da Yillanova . . . . . . .291 

Noble character of Peraudi his xeal for the Crusade 292 
Resistance to the tax in Germany .... 292 

1487 [ he. Pope turns to France, and sends Cheregato and 

Florex as Nuncios . . . . . 293 

1488 Lionello Cheregato s address to Charles VIII. . . 294 
Difficulties created in France by the Interdict laid on 

Flanders . . . . . . -295 

Raymond Peraudi sent to France . . 295 

1489 Convocation of the States-General at Frankfort . 295 
Brief sent by the Pope its success . . . .296 
A truce arranged between the Emperor and the 

King of Hungary . . . . . .296 

The Pope obtains possession of Prince Dschem . 297 

Who was in the hands of the Knights of S. John . 297 
Concessions made by the Pope in order to obtain 

possession of the Prince ..... 298 

Anger of the King of Naples ..... 298 

Arrival of Prince Dschem in Rome .... 299 

His reception by the Pope 300 

Impression made by Prince Dschem in Rome . .301 

Preparations for the Crusade ..... 303 

1490 The Sultan attempts to poison the Belvedere fountain 303 
Failure of the plot and execution of Magrino . . 304 
The Pope proposes a Congress .... 304 
Which meets in Rome Venice taking no part in it . 305 
Address to the Congress by the Pope . . . 306 
Reply of the Envoys, who thank the Pope for his 

exertions ........ 307 

The constitution of the army ..... 307 

Reply of the Pope, who insists on the importance of 

immediate action ...... 308 

Death of Mathias Corvinus, King of Hungary . -310 
Maximilian of Austria disputes the succession with 

King Ladislaus . . . . . .310 

Revival of the quarrel between Maximilian and 

Charles VIII 3IT 

Hopelessness of the Crusade faithlessness of 

Venice . . . . . . . -311 

Bajazet makes proposals to the Pope, who accepts a 

pension for Dschem . . . . . .312 

The Sultan a tributary of the Pope . . . 3 3 

1492 The fall of Granada faithlessness of Ferrante . . 314 

Rejoicings in Rome, both religious and secular . 315 

Ferrante takes counsel with the Pope against the Turks 3 1 5 



i.|c,2 Baja/et sends tin: head of the Spear of Lon-ii 
Ronu. ..... 

Reception of the Holy Spear in koine 

Death of Lorenzo de Medici 

Illness of the I ope his state dei lared hopeless 

1 Disorders in Rome . 

Death of Innocent VI [I. ... 

His tomb by Antonio Pollajuolo 


1492 Few works of Art executed in his reign 

Innocent VIII. continues the work of Paul II. in the 

Vatican ........ 

Restorations effected in Rome ..... 

And in other parts of the Papal Stales 

The Vatican Belvedere decorated by Pinturicchio 

and Mantegna ...... 

Whose works have been almost entirely destroyed 
Other artists employed by Innocent \ III. 
His encouragement of Art manufactures . 
Innocent VIII. compares unfavourably with Si\tu* IV. 

in Literature . . . . . . .32^ 

But gives encouragement to scholars . . . 32^ 

The secretaries of Innocent VIII. . . . .3^0 

His liberality in permitting the use of manuscripts . 530 
Discoveries of a sarcophagus and its contents on the 

Appian \Vay . . . . . . 3 > 

Good preservation of the bod}-; excitement in Rome 332 



1485 Ecclesiastical disputes with Venice, the See of Padua ;^j 
The Patriarchate of Aquileia. Limolao Barbaro 

exiled . . . 335 
.Attacks on the rights of the ( hurdi by Florence, 

Bologna, and M ilan .... ^3 ^ 

Insolence of Malhias ( omnus towards the ( hurch ; ;(> 


A.D. 1 AGE 

1485 His nomination of Ippolito d Este as Archbishop of 

Gran . . . 336 

The Pope forced to give way . . 336 

1488 But insists on the liberation of the Bishop of Kalocsa 337 

1485 Attacks on the rights of the Church in France . -337 

As also in England and Portugal, which are resisted 

by the Pope . . . 338 

1484 He makes concessions to Ferdinand of Spain on 

political grounds ...... 338 

1485 Canonisation of the Margrave Leopold of Austria , 339 
Privileges granted by Innocent VIII. to the Cis 
tercian Order ....... 340 

As also to the Franciscans, Dominicans, and 

Augustinians . . . 34 

He unites the Order of Lazarists to the Knights of 

S. John ... . .340 

Innocent VIII. defends the Faith against the Wal- 

densian and Hussite heresies . . .341 

1486 Pico della Mirandola in Rome . ... 342 
Condemnation of his propositions by the Pope . . 343 
Pico della Mirandola s apology and explanation . 343 
He is accused of breaking his oath of submission . 344 
He devotes himself to a life of prayer and retirement 344 
Alexander VI. gives him absolution in an autograph 

Brief . . -344 

Trouble given to Innocent VIII. by the Jews in Spain 345 

1484 The Inquisition introduced into Aragon . 345 
Disturbances in consequence. The Inquisitor mortally 

wounded ..... . 346 

1492 Ferdinand requires the Jews to become Christians or 

to leave Spain ... . 346 

1484 Innocent VIII. s Bull on witchcraft . . 347 

Belief in witchcraft of long standing in Germany . 347 

Two Dominican professors appointed Papal Inquisitors 348 

The Bull contains no dogmatic decision on witchcraft 349 

And only confirms the jurisdiction of the Inquisitors . 350 

No reform of ecclesiastical abuses under Innocent VIII. 350 
Calumnious accusations of Infessura against Innocent 

VIII. ... . -35 

Discovery of forged Bulls in Rome . . 351 

Which are the source of Inlessura s accusations 351 

Evil effects of the sale of offices in Rome . 35? 
The number of the College of Secretaries increased in 

order to raise money 35 2 
Creation of the College of Piombatori with an 

entrance f ee . . . . -353 


1484 The disorder produced by the corruptibility of officials 

Scandalous life of Franceschetto Cibo 

Opposition of the Sacred College to the creation of 

new Cardinals . 
1489 The nomination of new Cardinals 

Including Ciovanni de Medici, still a boy 

Whose ecclesiastical career had begun at the age ot 

seven . . 

1492 He takes his seat in the Sacred College after three 
years study .... 

Lorcn/.o de Medici s letter of advice to his son 

Worldly tone among the Ordinals . 

Many of whom lived as secular princes 

The character and life of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia . 

Yanoz/a de Cataneis and the Borgia children 

Ecclesiastical career of Cajsar Borgia 

Jacopo da Yolterra s account of the splendour ol 
Cardinal Borgia 

Ostentation and wealth of Cardinal Ascanio Sior/a 

Cardinal de La Baku- 

Cardinal Ciuliano della Rovere his force of character 

And influence during the reign of Innocent YI1I. 

The Courts and followers of the Cardinals 

Their encouragement of Literature and Art 

The denunciations of the mission preachers 

Prophecies of impending judgment . 

Especially those of Savonarola . 



1492 Cardinal RalTaele Riario preserves order in Rome 

Cardinals Sanseverino and ( .herardo admitted to th 

Conclave ... 
Beginning of the Conclave address by Bernaldin 

Lope/ de ( arvajal . . 
Prospects of the next election . 
Intrigues among the Cardinals . 
Disagreement among the Italian powen 


1492 Fcrrantc and Cardinal Giuliano dclla Rovere . -379 
Report of the Envoy of the Duchess of Ferrara . 380 
Also from the Ambassador of Milan . . , .380 
Opening of the Conclave .... . 381 
Promises of Cardinal Borgia . . . . .382 
He secures the majority of votes by simony . 384 
Election of Alexander VI. . . 385 
Popularity of the election . . . 386 
Personal appearance of Alexander VI. . . 387 
Indifference of public opinion to his moral character . 388 
But indignation aroused by his shameless bribery . 389 
The election welcomed by many in Italy and abroad 389 
Splendour of the Coronation of Alexander VI. . . 390 
Satisfaction felt in Milan at the election . . 391 
Rejoicings in Florence at the election . . 392 
Views of Naples, Spain, and Venice . 393 
The Envoys of the League in Rome 394 
Good opinion of the Pope in Germany . . 395 
The Pope s economy and strict administration of the 

laws ....... 396 

His good intentions and desire of peace . -397 

Nepotism of Alexander VI. Arrival of his relations 

in Rome ... . -39^ 

His affection for his children. Character of Lucrezia 

Borgia ... . 399 

Her personal appearance .... . 400 

And betrothal to Giovanni Storza, Count of Cotignola 402 

Character and appearance of Coesar Borgia . 403 

Ferrante fears the influence of Milan with the Pope . 404 
And sends his son Federigo to Rome to arrange an 

alliance with the Pope . 45 

1493 Failure of the scheme. Intrigues of Ferrante with 

Virginio Orsini . 4 5 

Protest of the Pope against Virginio s occupation of 

Cervetri and Anguillara ..... 406 

Opposition of Giuliano della Roverc to Ascanio Sforza 406 

Giuliano della Rovere retires to Ostia . . . 406 

Alarm of the Pope, who fortifies Civita Vecchia . 407 

Negotiations of Ferrante with the Pope . . 408 

League concluded between the Holy See, Milan, 

Venice, Mantua, and Ferrara .... 408 

Ferrante on Alexander VI. . . 409 

Marriage of Lucrezia with Giovanni Sforza of Pesaro . 410 

Remonstrances of the Spanish Ambassador . 41 r 

Menacing attitude of Ferrante. Federigo of Aragon 

in Rome . . . . - . .412 

A. n. 


^ l ; (.Trante s proposals of family alliance 1 with the- Pope 
A reconciliation effected between the Pope and 

(iiuliano della Rovere . . . . . . 

The Pope comes to terms with Vir^inio Orsini . 
The French Envoy fails to obtain the investiture of 

Naples for Charles VIII. . . 414 

Marriage of the I )uke of Gandia to Maria of AraLvn . 4.14 
And of jofre Borgia to Sancia, daughter of Alfonso 

of Calabria . . . . . . .414 

Political success of Alexander VI. . . . 415 

Temporary disgrace of Cardinal Ascanio Sfor/a. , 415 
The creation of new Cardinals , . .416 

Annoyance of Cardinal (iiuliano della Rovere ; i ; 

And of the other Cardinals of the opposition . 418 



493 Ferrante s complaints against the Pope . . . 420 
LI.I j Death of Ferrante. The question of investiture . j.:i 
Charles VIII. sends an Embassy to Rome- . 421 

And seek-- the friendship of (iiuliano della Rovere . 421 
The Pope decides in favour of Alfonso of Naples . .(2: 
Hut send- the (iolden Rose to Charles VI II. . . 422 

The Bull containing the Pope s decision read in 

Consistory . . . . .422 

Astonishment and an^er of Charles Y1II. . . . 123 
Alliance between Charles YI1I. and Giuliani) d< lla 

Rovere ...... 424 

Flight of Cardinal (iiuliano from Ostia, which capitu 

lates to the Pope .... 424 

Coronation of Alfonso II. in Naples by Cardinal 

Juan Borgia . . . . . . .425 

Cardinal ( iiuliano joins Charles VIII. . . . |-5 

And demands a ( ouncil lor the reform of the ( hurch 42(1 
Terror of the Pope on account of his simoniaeal 

election . . . . . . .<_ > 

Charles YIII. sends ICnvoys to demand the investiture 

of Naples ...... .1 -6 

Cardinal Ascanio Sfor/a brings alxml the defection of 

the Colonna .... .{27 

The Pope endeavours to propitiate Daja/et in favour 

of Alfonso ..... 4-S 

VOL. V. 


A.D. i AGL 

1494 Failure and isolation of the Pope. King oi Naples 430 

Plan of operations against the enemy 430 

Disloyalty of many of the Cardinals 431 

Charles VIII. enters Italy 43 

Personal appearance of Charles VIII. the strength 

of his army .... . 43 2 

Ambitious designs of the French King . . 433 



1494 Savonarola s prophecies of a new Cyrus . 434 

Enthusiastic reception of Charles VIII. in Italy . 434 
Victory of Louis of Orleans over Federigo of Aragon 435 
March of Charles VIII. on Rome . . 435 

Death of Giangaleazzo, Duke of Milan . . 435 

Consternation in Rome alarm of the Pope . . 436 
Revolt of the Colonna and Savelli. Occupation of 

Ostia by the French ..... 
The Pope declares war against the rebels . 
Charles VIII. assumes the protection of the Colonna 436 
Conspiracy of the Colonna to seize Prince Dschem 437 

Charles VIII. in Tuscany. Submission of Piero de 

Medici ... - 437 

The Medici driven from Florence their palace 

plundered 43^ 

Charles VIII. refuses to see Cardinal Piccolomim at 

Lucca . . . 43 ; ~- 

Meeting of Charles VIII. and Savonarola the 

French in Florence . 439 

Manifesto of Charles VIII. his declared object the 

overthrow of the Turks . . . 440 

Difficulties and helplessness of Alexander VI. . 441 

His fear of a Council and of his deposition fur 

simony ... . . 44 2 

But he refuses to abandon Alfonso . 442 

Cardinal Peraudi sent to Charles VIII., who wins him 

to his side . . 443 

Rapid advance of the French upon Rome 444 

Alexander VI. implores the help of Maximilian . 444 

Excitement in Rome. Blockade of the city by the 

Colonna . 445 

Imprisonment of Cardinals Siorza, Sansevenno, and 

Lunati . . . . . . . -445 


A.I). PAG! 

1494 Helplessness and irresolution of the Pope. . . 446 

Preparations for llight . . . 440 
Fall of Civitu V ecchia. The Orsini join the French 

Km- 447 

The Pope resolves to permit the French to enter Rome 448 
IVnns of the agreement between diaries \ III. and 

tlu- Pope . . . . . . . .449 


cnAur.r.s vin. IN KO.MF ANI> NAPLES 

1494 Entry of Charles VIII. into Rome . . . 1.50 

Demands of Charles VIII., which are refused by the 

Pope . 453 

Panic and disorder in Rome. The Pope take ; refuse- 
in the- Castle of S. Angelo .... 4^4 

Charles VIII. and the Reform of the Church . . 455 
The deposition of the Pope beyond his powei . . ^56 

The Pope accepts the terms of Charles VIII. . 457 

Terms of the agreement. Cossar Borgia a hostage 

to the French King . . . . . \^~j 

The investiture of Naples not included . . . 4.58 

Vexation of the Cardinals of the opposition 

Meeting of the Pope and Charles VIII. 

Favours bestowed by the Pope upon the French . 460 

Charles VIII. marches on Naples abdication of 

Alfonso II. . . . . 461 

Remonstrances of the Envoys of Ferdinand th< 

Catholic . ... 462 

Disappearance of Crcsar Borgia .... 46? 

The Fort of Monte S. Giovanni taken by the French 4/1} 
Victorious march of Charles YIII. on Naples . 403 

The Crusade given up. Charles VIII. remains in 
Naples ...... 

Sudden death of Prince Dschem 

Alarm caused in Italy by the successes of Charles VIII. 4^5 

Conclusion of the Holy League between the Pope, 

the Emperor, Spain, and the Italian Powers, . .jiV> 
Charles VI 11. delays his retreat from Naples . . 4oS 
Retreat of half the French army. Alarm of the Pope 468 
Papal negotiations with Charles VIII. Excitement 

in Rome .... . 469 

The Pope retires t< > ( )rvieti>, and Charles YIII. re 

^liters Rome . . 470 


A. I), PAGE 

1495 r l iie Pope Defuses to meet the French King, who con 

tinues his retreat ... . . 471 

Meeting of Charles VIII. and Savonarola at Poggibonzi 472 
Battle of Fornuovo. The escape of the French with 

the loss of their baggage . . . 473 
Rejoicings in Italy. The French troops driven out 

of Naples ........ 474 

Charles VIII. returns to France . . . 475 
Disastrous flood in Rome. Distress in Rome and 

the Campagna .... . 476 

Excitement of the people portentous stories . . 480 

3496 Prophecies of Savonarola . ... 481 



1496 Virginio Orsini takes service with the French in Naples 482 
Anxiety of the Pope, who supports Ferrantino . . 483 
Assistance sent to Ferrantino by Venice . . . 483 
Capitulation of the French at Atella .... 484 
Success of the League, which is joined by England . 484 
Maximilian I. in Italy opposition of Venice to the 

Emperor ........ 485 

Ineffectual remonstrances of the Pope . . . 485 
The Emperor retires to the Tyrol . . .486 

Alexander VI. takes measures against the Orsini . 487 

Virginio Orsini the prisoner of Ferrantino . . 488 
The Duke of Gandia appointed Commander-General 

of the Papal troops . . . . . .488 

First successes. The siege of Bracciano . . . 489 

Which, is relieved by Vitellozzo of Citta di Castello , 490 

1497 Defeat of the Papal troops at Soviano . . . 490 
Ostia taken by Gonsalvo de Cordova . . 491 
The Pope decides to deprive Cardinal Giuliano clclla 

Rovere of his benefices . . . . 49 1 

And his brother Giovanni of the Prefecture of Rome . 491 
Return of Gonsalvo de Cordova and the Duke of 

Gandia to Rome .... .491 

The Pope s Spanish proclivities more Spanish 

Cardinals .... ... 492 

Favours bestowed on the Duke of Gandia . -493 

Murder of the Duke of Gandia ..... 494 

Whose body is found in the Tiber, and is buried at 

S. Maria del Popolo . . . . 495 


;s of the Pope . . 4<;6 

Suspicions and rumours in R^me . 4 ( 7 

The palace of (Cardinal Ascanio Sfoi/a searched .\y-> 

His letter to the Duke of Milan -W< ; 

The Tope 1 resolves to reform his life, and makes large- 

gifts to -W-J 

lie promises a Reform of the Church in Consistory . 
Apologies for the absence of Cardinal Ascanio Sfor/a 501 
Official announcement of the death of the Duke of 

Gandia to foreign Powers . 5 l 

The Pope receives the Envoys of the League and of 

I ederigo of Naples . 5-- 

Estrangement between the Pope and Cardinal 

Ascanio Sforza . 
Who is believed to be the murderer of the Duke of 

Gandia . . . 53 

Cardinal Ascanio retires to Genazzano his letter to 

his brother 54 

Suspicions of Giovanni Sforza of Pesaro 
The Orsini charged with the murder -for which they 

had good motives 

Impossibility of attaining certainty on the subject 
Cojsar Borgia believed to be the assassin . 509 

but he had no sufficient reason for the crime . 510 

Nor is the suspicion justified by tacts 

Good resolutions of the Pope 5 12 

The Reform Commission. The Porgia desired t<> 

leave Rome . 5 3 

Good work done by Cardinals Cosu and Caralia . 514 
The Bull of Reform drafted . 5 5 

Provisions of the bull . 5 l6 

The work of Reform put off. The Pope returns to his 

old life . 5 lS 

Crcsar Uumia in Xnple? for the Coronation of Federigo 5 nj 
!b- desires to resign his cardinalaU- and marry . 5 2C 

Dissolution of the marriage of Lucre/ia Borgia with 

Giovanni Sfor/.n 

Scandal given by the dissolution 
Accusati(~>ns brought against the P>"r 
Superstitioiis stories in Rome 
Explosion in the Castle of S Angelo 



I. i Cardinal .Wuniu Sfor/a to his brother, Lodovico 

Moru, Reuent of Milan . 5 2 " 


III. I ojpe Innocent VIII. to C. Bandinus 

IV. ,, to Roberto Sanseverinu . 530 
V. to Cardinal Ciuliano della 

Rovere . -55 

VI. J. P. Arrivabene to the Marquess of Mantua 
VII. V.. Arlutti to Ercole, Duke of Ferrara 531 

VHI. Report from Milan on the balance of parties in 

the College of Cardinals . 53- 

IX. Giovanni Andrea Boccaccio, Bishop of Modena, 

to the Duchess Eleonora of Ferrara . . 533 
X. Valori to I ; lorence . -535 

Ambrosius Mirabilia to Bartholomaeus Calchu: 536 
Thadcus Vicomercatus to Milan 537 

XIII. Pope Alexander VI. to the Vice-Chancellor, 

Cardinal Ascanio Sior/a . 537 

XIV. (liaconiu Trotti to the Duke Ercole of Ferrara . 53^ 
XV. Pope Alexander VI. gives the liishopric of 

Valencia to C;esar 
Borgia . 55 s 

XVI. ,, nominates Juan Borgia 

to the Cardinalate , 531; 
,, to Jofre Borja 5-1 

Floramonte Brognulo to the Marquess of 

Mantua . . . 54 

XIX. Pope Alexander VI. to Jofre Borja . 54- 

XX. Stefano Taberna to Milan 5-1 2 

XXI. Cardinal Ascanio Sfor/a to his brother, Lodovieo 

Miiro, Regent of Milan . 5 !. 

XXII. Stefano Taberna to Milan 
XXIII. . .54-1 


XXIV. Pope Alexander VI. to Franciscus de Sprats, 

Papal Envoy to Spain 
XXV. Cardinal Ascanio Sforza to his brother, Lodovico 

Moro, Regent of Milan 

XXVI. Giorgio Brognolo to the Marquess of Mantua . 
XXVII. Pope Alexander VI. to Fabrizio Colonna 
XXVIII. Giorgio Brognolo to the Marquess of Mantua . 

XX A. ,, ,, ,, 


XXXII. Floramonte Brognolo to 

XXXIII. Pope Alexander VI. to Cardinal Giovanni 


XXXI V. creates four new Car 

dinals . 

XXXV. ,, to Lodovico Moro, 

Duke of Milan . 
XXXVI. Letter from an unknown person to Giovanni 

XXXVII. Cardinal Ascanio Sforza to his brother, Lodovie< > 

Moro, Duke of Milan 

XXXVIII. An unknown person to Giovanni Bentivoglio . 
XXXIX, Cardinal Ascanio Sforza to his brother, Lodovico 

Moro, Duke of Milan 

XL. Paulus Bilia to Lodovico Moro, Duke of Milan 
XLI. Scheme of Reform of Pope Alexander VI. 








VOL. V. 



DURING the second half of the iSth Century and the 
beginning of the i6th, the whole of Europe, and Italy 
more especially, was passing through a period of transition 
from the old ways of living to other forms hitherto untried. 
A revolution was in progress, producing startling contra 
dictions and a seething unrest in all the relations of life, 
political, social, literary, ajsthetical, and ecclesiastical, which 
announced the dawn of a new era. 

While the splendid discoveries of maritime explorers 
had so surprisingly enlarged the material horizon, on the 
intellectual side the Renaissance movement had equally 
opened out a new and marvellous world. In both fields 
of discovery Italy had played an important part ; but the 
t Renaissance iu Literaturc and Art, in its origin and ea 
/ development, was almost entirely its work. The mode 
world, looking back upon that period, stands amazed at the 
number of distinguished scholars and artists produced by 
Italy in such a short space of time, a number which, in the 
whole history of mankind, has never been equalled, except, 
perhaps, in Greece in the age of Pericles. 

The material civilisation of the country kept pace with 
its intellectual culture. "The husbandry which enriched 
the fertile meadows in the plains, was carried to the summits 

arly I 
ern / 


of the hills. Governed only by native rulers, Italy rejoiced 
in a teeming population and abounded in wealth of all sorts. 
At the same time, her numerous, powerful and generous 
Princes shed additional lustre on the land to which had 
been granted the unique privilege of containing the centre 
of Christendom."* 

In this picture of Italy in 1490 Guicciardini lets no hint 
escape of the reverse side of the medal, of the political 
degeneration which had already begun and was destined so 
soon to bring about the ruin of this beautiful country. In 
the second half of the I5th Century, a thoughtful observer 
could not fail to be struck by the alarming corruption 
which pervaded Italian political life. Statecraft was de 
veloping more and more into an organised system of over 
reaching and bad frith ; to consider any engagement bind 
ing was looked upon as a mark of imbecility. Treachery 
and violence were the order of the day. No one expected 
anything else, and all relations between the various States 
and Princes were poisoned by envy and suspicion. 

With a cynicism which is almost grand in its audacity, 
Machiavelli openly recommends a policy " which sets 
aside all considerations of morality and Christianity, or of 
Divine providence or judgment, simply assumes that the 
end justifies the means, and bows down with unwavering 
allegiance before the idols of success and the accomplished 
fact."f All the prominent men of that time, Francesco 
and Lodovico Sforza, Lorenzo de Medici, Alexander VI., 
Caesar Borgia, Ferrante of Naples, pursued this corrupt 

In military matters the baleful influence of the Condottieri 
reigned supreme. Armies, instead of being composed of 
citizens or peasants fighting for hearth and home, consisted 


t HIITLER, Geschichts-Auffassung, 72. 


now entirely of mercenary bands who sold their services to 
the highest bidder and changed sides from day to day. 
These men were a veritable scourge to the country, plunder 
ing and wasting in all directions. Serious battles were rare, 
but these undisciplined and greedy marauders kept up a 
perpetual succession of raids and disturbances, of which 
pillage was the only object. We read in the narratives ol 
the time, of " sieges of wretched villages which lasted thirty 
days, of battles in which one man was killed, smothered by 
his heavy armour." All private life was at the mercy of the 
caprice of the ruling classes, and the administration of the 
law was often harsh and cruel in the extreme. In many 
States the citizens were crushed under the burden of un 
equal and ever increasing taxation, which they had no power 
to resist. No doubt similar political and social evils were to 
be found more or less in all the States of Europe ; but " in 
no other country were these abuses so artistically system- 
atiscd, and the ancient liberties of the people so completely 
annihilated " as was the case in Italy.* 

It was not surprising that, when the storm began with 
the invasion of Italy by Charles VIII., there was no power 
to withstand it. For many years the most civilised country 
in Europe became the arena of the most sanguinary of 
wars, the prize for which France and Spain, only recently 
developed into modern monarchies and state s of the first 
class, contended as for life or death. It ended in the 
demolition of the national Italian political system and the 
complete hegemony of Spain in the peninsula. 

To the ravages of war were added unusual calamities in 
the natural order. The Chronicles of the I5th Century, 
more especially those of its latter half, are filled with 
accounts of portents in the heavens, storms, failures of 

* Rr.rMMXT, Carafta, I., 23; lU KfKHAkhT, Cultur, I., 85 .\vy., 
ed. 3 ; I i nil. MANX, 17, 140 ; and C,IM, 4. 


crops, scarcities, inundations, earthquakes, and plagues.* 
All infectious diseases were at that time, and indeed till 
much later, classed together under the one name of the 
Plague, while the common people called them simply the 
death (la morid). 

The misery consequent on incessant wars, the close 
packing of the population during prolonged sieges, and the 
absence of police regulations or any attention to cleanliness 
in the towns, produced very unfavourable conditions from 
a sanitary point of view. Added to this was the danger 
from the constant unguarded intercourse with the East, 
with the result that Italy was never wholly free from 
infectious diseases smouldering in one place or another, and 
ever ready to burst forth into flame.f 

At no time in the whole course of her history was the 
country so frequently desolated by pestilence as during 
the much belauded golden age of the Renaissance. The 
ghastly picture of the procession and chariot of Death 
painted by an artist of that day, Piero di Cosimo, was 
taken from the life.* Like an unextinguished fire, some 
times burning low, but perpetually flaring out afresh, the 
scourge lingers on through the whole of the I5th Century 

* SCHNURRER, II., 7 scq., professes in his Chronicle to record not 
only plagues lout also all the other troubles ; but his work is extraordi 
narily incomplete, c.j^., he says nothing about the great famine of 1496 
(cf. MATARAZZO, 49 seq.}. MASSARI, 43 j<y., confines himself to epi 
demics ; cf. COPPI, 47 seq. ; Vita Italiana, I., 115 seq. ; HASKR, III., 185 
seq. The great work of CORRADI, Annali delle epidemic occorse in 
Italia dalle prime memorie fino all anno 1850 (8 vols., Bologna, 1865-94), 
is much fuller, including dearths and meteorological phenomena. Cf. 
Arch. St. ItaL, 5 Serie, X., 422 seg., and PASTOR, Hist. Popes, II., 74, 
84 scg. ; III., 360 seq. (Engl. trans.). 

t RKU.MOXT, Kleine Schriften, 67. 

I Described in detail by VASARI. See Woi/i MANN, Geschichte der 
Malerei, II., 185. 


and on into the i6th. It was not only the large 
and low-lying places that suffered; even such salubri 
ous situations as Orvieto were not exempt, and again 
and again were turned into pestilential charnel-houses. 
Whenever the dreaded sickness appeared in any place, 
every one who could, fled. Large bonfires in all the open 
spaces were supposed to constitute the best preservative 
for those who were left behind. The pious spirit of the time 
manifested itself in processions, public acts of penance and 
prayers to appease the Divine displeasure. Recourse was 
had especially to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin and 
of S. Sebastian, who, from its earliest days, had always 
been regarded throughout all Christendom as the great 
protector against pestilences. Many beautiful votive 
pictures, such, for example, as Benozzo Gozzoli s fresco, 
painted in 1464, in the Church of S. Agostino in S. Gimig- 
nano, date from these days of distress. The partiality for 
S. Sebastian as a subject, displayed by so many painters, as, 
for example, Antonio rollajuolo, Mantegna, Foppa, Peru- 
gino, Bccchietta, and Benedetto da Majano, though partly 
due to artistic considerations, derived an additional impulse 
from faith in his power to preserve his clients from infectious 
diseases. A similar efficacy was attributed to the prayers of 
S. Roch. On the banner painted for the Church of SS ma 
Trinita at Citta di Castello by Raphael, both Saints are 
depicted, with uplifted eyes, beseeching the Holy Trinity to 
protect the land from pestilences and plagues.-]- In some 

* Sec the death-rolls in the Diario di Scr Tommaso di Silvcstro, 
bc^inniny with the year 1482, published in Orvieto in 1891. 

t PASSAVANT, Raphael, I. ,60-61 (French ed., II., 7); MuNTZ, Raphael, 
8 1 ; WOLT.MAXX, (lesch. der Malerei, II., i8r. Of the pictures mentioned 
here, that of A. 1 ollajuolo is now in London ; J eru-ino s (1505) is in S. 
Sebastiano at I anicale ( Reproduced by the Arundel Society). Peru-ino 
painted another S. Sebastian in 151 8. Mantegna s, with the name of the 


places, even in those clays, really rational precautions were 
adopted by energetic municipalities and intelligent physi 
cians ; " but these were purely local, each Commune acting 
only for itself. No sort of common effort was made to 
protect the peninsula as a whole from the desolating 
enemy." Although towards the end of the century a 
system of local quarantine was instituted, sanitary com 
missioners appointed, special plague doctors and hospitals 
set apart in the large towns, and measures taken and care 
fully carried out for disinfection, no sensible diminution 
could be perceived either in the diffusion of the malady or 
in the frequency of its outbreaks.* The merciless germs 
found a too favourable soil in the blood-sodden fields of 
Italy. It was a terrible time. If for a short space the 
Plague seemed to have died out and men began to breathe 
freely again, only too surely somewhere would the well- 
known symptoms reappear ; the most certain and the 
most dreaded being the blueish-black boil under the arm 
pit, or on the palm of the hand. 

Contrasted with the brilliant literary and aesthetic culture 
and the tasteful luxury which prevailed more or less in all 
the many States of Italy, and more especially in Rome and 
Florence, " the Plague, with all its horrors and the misery 
that accompanied it, appears as something more than a 
mockery of all that shining pageant ; it seems a ghastly 

master signed in Greek, is in the gallery at Vienna ; B. Foppa s in the 
Brera at Milan; the one painted by Fra Bartolomeo in 1515 has dis 
appeared; see WOLTMANN, II., 606. Becchietta s S. Sebastian for the 
Cathedral at Siena was painted in 1478. Benedetto da Majano s is in 
the Church of the Misericordia in Florence (Phot. Alinari, Nr. 4901). 

* See UFFKLMANX, Oeffentl. Gesundheitspflege in Italien, in the 
Vierteljahrsschrift fiir Gesundheitspflege, XL, 177 (Braunschweig, 1879). 
Cf. also HORSCHELMANN, Ueber die grossen Epidemien in Italien 
wahrend der Renaissancezeit, in the Allg. Zeitung, 1884, No. 177 scq,, 


invention of some Dantesque imagination;"* but the de 
scriptions and lamentations of those who lived through it, 
and the long death-roll in the Chronicles, leave no doubt of 
the appalling extent of its ravages. 

That the age of the Renaissance was steeped in moral 
turpitude is one of those broad statements which are easily 
uttered and readily believed. A conscientious historian, 
however, in judging of the religion and morality of this 
period, must take account of the lights as well as of the 
shadows, and confine himself within the limits of facts 
which are substantiated by historical investigation. It is 
incontestable that in many respects there was a great 
deterioration in morals during this period. Such terrible 
calamities and such uprootings and changes as have been 
mentioned above could not fail to have an injurious effect 
on the nation at large. But we may still see reason to 
question whether the corruption was so radical and hopeless, 
or the paganisation of all the relations of life so universal 
as has been maintained. 

In the nature of things it must be extremely difficult to 
present a truthful picture of an age which witnessed so 
many revolutions, affecting almost all departments of 
human life and thought, and abounded in contradictions 
and startling contrasts. But the difficulty becomes 
enormously increased if we are endeavouring to formulate 
a comprehensive appreciation of the moral and religious 
character of such an epoch. In fact, in one sense, the task 
is an impossible one. No mortal eye can penetrate the 
conscience of a single man ; how much less can any human 
intellect strike the balance between the incriminating and 
extenuating circumstances on which our judgment of the 
moral condition of such a period depends, amid the whirl 
of conflicting events? In a rough way, no doubt, we can 

* II( "iKSCHI I.MANX, loc. Clt. 


form an estimate, but it can never pretend to absolute 
accuracy. "In this region the more clearly the facts seem 
to point to any conclusion, the more must we be upon our 
guard against unconditional or universal assertions/ * The 
greatest caution is needed here, because the completeness 
of the historical data for the various classes of the popu 
lation depends so much upon accident. In the story of 
the Renaissance, the Humanistic literature contributes a 
quite disproportionate amount of the evidence we possess 
in regard to the life and manners of the time. There can be 
no doubt that in these circles and among the clergy there 
was a great deal of immorality. Still an unprejudiced 
student even here must take care not to paint the state of 
tilings during the Renaissance blacker than it really was. 
In nature, preservative forces arc always at work side by 
side with those that make for destruction. Their action is 
not so noticeable, because the beneficent principle works 
in silence, and that which develops itself in accordance 
with its law neither attracts the curiosity, nor compels 
the attention which the law-breaking violence evokes.f 
For this reason the records of all nations mostly consist of 
the story of crimes. Virtue goes quietly on her way; vice 
and lawlessness are always making a noise; the scapegrace 
is the talk of the town ; the honest man does his duty and 
no one hears of him. If we are to present a true picture of 
the history of culture, we must bear in mind its conservative 
and harmonious as \vell as its revolutionary and licentious 
side. Amongst the Italians both were strongly marked. 
A political writer of the I5th Century concludes an ex 
tremely able resume of the pathological phenomena con 
nected with culture among the nations of Europe, by 

* BURCKHARDT, Cultur, II., 199, eel. 3. 

t KAUFMAXN, Ca^arius von Heisterbnrh, 125, ed. 2. Koln, 


saying that the Italians had no moderation, their good and 
their bad were always extreme, but on the whole the good 


Throughout the Middle Ages a deep conviction of the 
truth of religion was a fundamental characteristic of the 
Italian nation ; and in many circles this was maintained 
through the dangerous period of transition and into the 
I 5th C entury.-j- The salutary influence of the Church, in 
spite of the corruption of some of its members, made 
itself felt in every department of society. A glance at the 
family life of this period shews at once, how much that was 
good and estimable still held its ground, through all the 
storms of the time and the ferment of the Renaissance. 

In Tuscany, the very focus of Italian culture, the picture 
presented by domestic life, on the whole, is a very pleasing 
one. Although painful exceptions were not wanting, still 
in general, morality, order, patriotism, self-sacrifice, and 
tender solicitude in the bringing up of children, were the 
rule. Xoble and capable women, whose portraits lend a 
singular grace to the frescoes of the Florentine painters of 
that day, kept guard over the religion and morals of the 

* A. MARIXI, cf. PASTOR, Mist. Popes, III., c. 3 (En^l. trans.). 
Considerationes in THO.MVS, Zur Yenel. Geschichtsforschung in the 

All-, /citun- , 1876, Suppl., Xo. 358. 

t All the ablest historians, such as lUirrkhanlt, Reumont, Rosier, 
(iaspary, Miintx, Torraca and Guasti, whatever their leanings may 
be, are agreed as to this. Further proofs will be found in the course 
of our narrative ; cf. also PASTOR, Mist. Popes, I., 39 .sv</. (Kn^l. trans.); 
STKRX, I., 152; PROI.SS, I., i, 20, 36; GRUVKR, 173; YISCIIF.R, 
Si-norelli, 125, 128; (lAl .OTTo, Un poeta beatilicato, 7 (YctKvia, 
1892); Cl\Ml i. Lorenxo il MaLjnifico e (i. Savonarola ( Kst ratio dalla 
X. Antolo^ia, 1875, C.ennaio, p. 14) ; and CKSARKO in the same periodi 
cal, 1894, Yol. CXXXY., p. io?. 


household. The type of womanhood portrayed in the 
charming biographies by the worthy Florentine bookseller, 
Vcspasiano da Bisticci, and in the work of Jacopo da 
Bergamo on the famous ladies of his time, is an eminently 
beautiful and noble one.* The extensive private corres 
pondence, fortunately preserved, of this period proves that 
the pictures are not overdrawn. 

From this point of view, the correspondence of Ales- 
sandra Macinghi negli Strozzi, a noble Florentine lady 
(1406-1471), is of great value. These intimate letters 
not only give us a large insight into the domestic life of 
the period, but also reveal a beautiful soul in the much- 
tried mother whose whole life was devoted to her children s 
welfare after the early death of her husband. The sorrows 
and joys, the hopes and disappointments of a life- time are 
spread before the reader. Their tone throughout is that 
of a deep and genuine piety. Writing of her son Matteo, 
who had died in a foreign country, she says : " I know now 
that on the 23rd of August it pleased Him who gave him 
to me to recall him to Himself, in the full possession of his 
faculties, and after having received all the sacraments, as 
befitted a good Christian. It is a bitter grief to have been 
deprived of such a son and, apart from my own natural 
feelings for him, I hold his death to be a great loss to you, 
my two surviving sons. I praise God and thank Him for 
all ; for I am convinced that He perceived that this was 
best for the good of his soul, and what you have told me 
of his ready acceptance of death, confirms me in the belief; 
and though in my heart I experience a more piercing 
anguish than any I have ever felt before, still I am 
conscious of two great consolations. The first is, that he 

* RKUAFOXT in the Allg. Zeitun^, 1876, Suppt., No. 191 ; LORENZO, 
II., 326, ed. 2; and Kleine Schriften, 55 seq., 64 seq.\ BRAGGIO in the 
Giorn. Ligustico, 1885, XII., 35 seq. 


was with you ; because this gives me the certainty that 
all that doctors and medicine and human care could avail 
was done to save his life, and thus that if this failed : 
purely the will of God. The second is, that our Lord 
before his death gave him the grace to perceive and 
fess his sins, and, as I understand, piously to ask 
Extreme Unction and the Holy Viaticum, which I regard 
as a token that God has graciously received him. 
since I know that we all have to tread this path, but 
whether we shall be able to do so in the manner that has 
been vouchsafed to my beloved Matteo is most uncertain ; 
for many die suddenly, and some are cut to pieces, and 
some lose both body and soul at once, I resign mysc 
peace, considering that God might have sent me something 
so much harder to bear. If in His mercy He will s 
serve you, my two sons, I will not complain of anything. 
A little later Alessandra returns again to the subject and 
writes: "We must humbly resign ourselves to what we 
cannot alter ; God knows what is best for our sanctifica- 
tion. Arm yourself with patience and pray for him. 
us be prepared for sorrows. God strikes us, and men strike 
us too. We must be ready for all things and bear all that 
comes, in peace. 

Piety of this stamp was not confined to women, h 
is equally to be found in many men of all ranks and 
conditions. What a grand figure is that of the rich 
and energetic Florentine merchant, Francesco Datmi ( 
1410), the friend of Giovanni Uominici, who, in the ^even 
ing of his day, went into retirement in his native village 
leaving all his property to the poor. His widow became 
a Dominican Tertiary. A similar character was another 

* GUASTI, Alessandra Marinxhi nc-li Stnv/i. Lettcre di una Dentil 
donna Fiorcntina del sec. XV. ai fi-liuoli csuli (Firenzc, 1877) REUMONT, 
Kleinc Schnken, 73 -5, and MUNTZ, llibl. de 1 Art, I., 15 scq. 


Florentine, Feo Belcari, one out of the many which the 
1 5th Century produced to balance the one-sided spirit 
of the Renaissance. Like Datini, his life was an active 
one ; he filled several public offices, sat, in the summer of 
1454, on the Bench as one of the Priori, was a Commis 
sioner of the public debt, and died in 1484. His devotional 
writings and private letters bear splendid testimony to the 
spirit which animated a large body of laymen during this 
time. His letter on humility to his daughter Orsola, a nun 
in the Convent of II Paradise in Florence, is one of the 
gems of the spiritual literature of the day.* 

" Humility," Belcari writes, " is an inestimable treasure 
and a Divine gift. Humility is an abyss of self-abasement 
before which the powers of Hell recoil ; a tower of strength 
before the face of the enemy. Humility is a Divine assist 
ance and protection which draws a veil across our inward 
eye, so that we do not see our own excellences and 
virtues ; it is the perfection of all that is true and pure. 
Penitence raises the soul, compunction enables it to touch 
the gates of heaven, humility flings them open. Love and 
humility are the soul s best conductors, the one teaches it 
to soar, the other prevents it from falling. The Fathers say 
that bodily toil is a means of gaining humility, and S. 
John Scholasticus recommends obedience and simplicity, 
and everything that contradicts our pride. Poverty, pil 
grimages, a habit of concealing our attainments, simplicity 
in speech, begging for alms, manual labour, renunciation of 
dignities, reticence, putting little trust in man and confid 
ing in God only, are all means of becoming humble. Also 
a constant recollection of death and the judgment, and 
of our Lord s Passion. Humility makes the soul pliable, 
gentle, devoted, patient, peaceful, cheerful, obedient, sympa- 

* On Datini and Belcari, see REUMOXT, Bnefe, 82, 153 sey., and 
LOKKXZO, I., 432 scq., ed. 2. 


thctic, above all, it enables it to be strenuous without 
sadness and to watch without weariness. In conclusion, 
let me enumerate the fruits of humility in the words of S. 
Bernard. If you desire to glorify God, be humble ; if 
you want to obtain the forgiveness of your sins, be humble ; 
if you would win the grace of God, be humble ; if you 
have temptations to overcome, or an enemy to conquer, be 
humble; if you want to guard and cherish virtues, be 
humble; do you wish to attain to the apprehension of 
Divine mysteries, to penetrate the meaning of Holy Scrip 
ture, be humble ; if you aspire to win true glory, to deserve 
the favour of God, to keep your soul in peace, be humble. 
May our sweetest Lord Jesus Christ grant this virtue to us 
and to all who need it. Fray for me who am not humble. 
"Written at Florence, Oct. 19, 1455. FKO BELCAKI." * 
The same pious tone of thought pervades the numerous 
private memoirs of which Florence possesses a large store. 
It was the custom there to keep family note-books in which 
births, marriages, deaths, and events of all sorts, were 
recorded for the benefit of its members. Interspersed 
amongst these entries which concerned the private history 
only of the family, are often to be found narratives of con 
temporary events, both at home and abroad, notes of books 
read, practical rules of life, and general observations. A 
book of this kind containing notes extending from the 
beginning of the I5th Century up to 1421, written by a 
Florentine, Giovanni Morelli, has been preserved. f Morelli 
relates the history of his own life and fortunes for the 
guidance of his son in the pursuit of true happiness. The 

* I rintcd in Mouoxr, Lcttcrc di F. Dclcari (Firenze, 1^25). Trans- 
l.itcd by KKUMONT. Hrieie, 155-8. 

t ("ronaca di C.iovanni Morelli, as a supplement to M AM .SPixr, Gloria 
di Firenze (1718), 217-354. Cf. ROSI.L.K, Dominici s Erziehungslehre, 
68 j t . 


narrative reveals a model Christian father whose solicitude 
for the welfare of his children, both temporal and spiritual, 
begins with early infancy and follows them throughout 
their lives, and even beyond the grave. We may fairly 
consider that the great majority of Florentine families were 
brought up in this sound and truly Christian spirit. In 
spite of all its aberrations the age of the Renaissance was 
an age of faith and of genuine piety.* It is noticeable that 
Morelli attaches an almost exaggerated importance to the 
study of the Classics, in which point he says his own educa 
tion was defective ; at the same time, he subordinates this 
to higher aims, and especially to the study of religion. His 
child-like faith is well expressed in the following passage, 
which occurs in a panegyric on his father, who died early : 
" Oh, if only we could be faithful Christians and true friends 
of God, how plainly we should be able to see His power and 
His supreme justice (in His providence) from day to day; 
but our sins blind us and cause us to be much more in 
clined to attribute all our good and ill fortune to chance, or 
to our own prudence or imprudence, rather than to the will 
of God ; but this is false, for all comes from Him and in 
accordance with our deserts. Therefore, I say : the good 
fortune of the wise consists in this, that they acknowledge 
God, and do good, and help themselves with all the strength 
they have. Thus God requires you to attain to perfection 
by your own toil and efforts, as you may plainly see by the 
example of my father Paul." In another touching passage 
he describes the way in which he spent the anniversary of 
the death of his eldest son, in prayer and penance at the 
foot of the Crucifix. " May it please Thee," he exclaims, at 
the close of his long prayer, " in Thy goodness to accept my 
petition and in Thy mercy to grant it for the salvation, the 
enlightenment, the joy, and the blessedness of the departed 
* Opinion of ROSLKR, loc. a /., 73. 


soul of my sweet child. I desire far more to know that he 
is in peace in the eternal mansions, than even, were tin s 
possible, to have him back again here on earth." Then he 
turns to the Mother of God and, after reciting the Salve 
Regina, thus pours out his heart to her. " Sweetest 
Mother," he says, " Dwelling of the Son of God, grant to 
me, I entreat Thee, a share in thy sufferings and sorrows, 
that, justified by this participation, I may deserve to receive 
the pledge of that bliss which thy Son has purchased for us 
on the Cross. Make me worthy of the grace which I have 
implored from thy most gracious Son, and commend me 
and the soul of my son to the living Source of all justice. 
I am encouraged to make this prayer to thcc, O Queen of 
Heaven, by the hymn which I have just recited in thy 
praise and honour, in which thou art called our Advocate."* 

Giovanni Rucellai was another layman of the same stamp 
as Morelli. He had been successful in business, and had 
amassed great wealth, which he generously employed for 
the good of the Church and his city. His name is still to 
be seen on the marble facade of the Church of S Ul Maria 
Novella, which was completed for him by the celebrated 
Leon Battista Alberti. The same master built his house, 
the Pala/zo Rucellai in the Via della Vigna, which is con 
sidered one of the finest examples of Tuscan early Renais 
sance.! Not far from this stands the Oratory of S. 
Sepolcro, also erected by Alberti, by order of Rucellai, in 
1467. It contains an exact reproduction of the Holy 
Sepulchre, constructed from a drawing procured by the 
architect from Jerusalem. In his latter years, Rucellai 
kept a note-book of the kind described above, which reveals 
much of the inner life of the time. 

"I thank God our Lord," we read here, " that He has 

* KoSI.KK, /or. dt., 72-3. 

t Engraved in IH KCKHARDT, (Jcsch. der Renai-^an< c, 63. 
VOL. V. c 


created me a rational and immortal being ; in a Christian 
country ; close to Rome, which is the centre of the Christian 
faith ; in Italy, the noblest country in Christendom ; in 
Tuscany, one of the noblest provinces of Italy ; finally in 
Florence, the most beautiful city not only of Christendom, 
but, by common consent, of the whole world. I thank Him 
that He has granted me a long life and such perfect bodily 
health, that I do not remember in the course of sixty years 
to have had to remain in the house for a single month on 


account of illness ; for health is the greatest of temporal 
blessings. I thank Him also for the success in my affairs 
by which I have been enabled from small beginnings to 
acquire riches and the confidence of all men, and that it has 
been given to me not only to amass wealth honourably, but 
also to spend it in like manner, by which greater merit is 
obtained than in the getting of it. I thank Him that he 
has ordained for my earthly life in Florence a time which 
all allow to be the most prosperous that she has ever 
enjoyed, the time of our illustrious citizen Cosimo de 
Medici, whose feme fills the world, a time of undisturbed 
peace, which has lasted ten years, the benefits of which are 
all the more keenly felt by contrast with the burdens and 
troubles of past times. I thank Him for an excellent 
mother, who, though only in her twentieth year at the time 
of my father s death, refused all offers of marriage and 
devoted herself wholly to her children ; and also for an 
equally excellent wife, who loved me truly, and cared most 
faithfully for both household and children, who was spared 
to me for many years, and whose death has been the 
greatest loss that ever has or could have befallen me. 
Recalling all these innumerable favours and benefits, I 


now in my old age desire to detach myself from all earthly 
things in order to devote my whole soul to giving praise and 
thanks to Thee, my Lord, the living Source of my being." 


Thus wrote Giovanni at the close of a long life which 
had not been devoid of trials, though they were coupled 
with many consolations. And the book to which he con 
fided his thoughts and feelings contains the following entry 
added by his two sons: "In remembrance of him by 
whom this book was written, we, his two sons Pandolfo and 
Bernardo Uucellai, hereby testify that we have been told by 
the friends of our family, that from its origin till now no 
one has won for the House of Ruceliai so much honour 
and glory, or has deserved so much praise, as this Giovanni, 
our father." : 

Again, the same note rings through the charming mono 
graphs of the Florentine bookseller, Vespasiano da Bisticci. 
Springing from a middle-class family, Bisticci lived during 
the most brilliant period of the Italian book-trade, and corres 
ponded on the most intimate terms with a great number of 
illustrious persons. Amongst his special friends may be 
counted the Medici, the Duke of Urbino, and, pre-eminently, 
Tope Nicholas V. Vespasiano held himself aloof from the 
votaries of the false renaissance: the pious Gianozzo Manetti 
was his ideal Humanist.-!- In his latter years he gave himself 
up entirely to the study of the Fathers, which he preferred 
to the Classics, u because the) r are helpful to the soul." A 
series of devotional and ascetical writings resulted from 
these studies.! 

The Diary of the Apothecary, Luca Landucci, who 
certainiy never dreamed that it was destined one da} to 
appear in print, furnishes another proof of the good elements 
which existed in middle-class circles in Florence. It con 
tains a delightful medley of family and city history. His 

~ x ki .r.Mo.NT, Loren/o tic Medici. I., 528 9. od. 2. 
t i ASTou, HUt. I opes, I., 40 scq.; II., 166 set/. (Kn-1. trans.). 
+ KKI//I, 1)1 Vespns. d:i IH^I HV! extract from tlu- Annul! dell.i I\. 
Sruoli Xonn:ile Sup. di l i--;i. 1880 . p. i)~, v<*</. 


domestic life seems to have been an ideal one. Speaking 
of the death of his wife, he says that in the course of a 
union which lasted forty-eight years she had never once 
made him angry. In all misfortunes he recognised a just 
punishment for the sins of men. Penetrated with the 
thought of the transitory nature of all earthly glory, the 
wealth and pomp with which he was surrounded in Florence 
had no attractions for him. 

While the splendid Palazzo Strozzi was in course of build 
ing, its owner died, on the I 5th May, 1491, and never saw its 
completion. Entering the event in his Diary, Landucci 
observes : " Here we see how precarious are all earthly 
anticipations. Man appears to be the lord of all things, but 
in reality the reverse is the case. This Palace will last for 
ages, and how many masters it will outlive. We are only 
stewards of outward things, not lords, and our stewardship 
lasts as long as God pleases and no more." A year later 
came the death of Lorenzo de Medici il Magnifico. " How 
vain," exclaims Landucci, "is our earthly life. In the judg 
ment of men, Lorenzo was the most famous, the richest, the 
most powerful man in the world. His friends boasted that 
he held the fortunes of Italy in his hands; in truth he 
was rich ; he was successful in everything. He had just- 
achieved what for many years past had been beyond the 
reach of any of our citizens ; his son had been made a 
Cardinal ; and yet all this could not obtain the prolonga 
tion of his life for a single hour. O man, what hast thou 
to do with pride?"* 

Landucci follows the course of events in general, and 
especially the fortunes of his native city, with sympa 
thetic attention, but without partisanship. The beneficent 
influence of his conciliatory and forgiving spirit, and of his 
kindly interest in the welfare of all with whom he came in 

* LANDUCCI, Diario, 62, 64 5. 


contact was immense. \\ hen the Medici were banished 
in 1494, all his sympathies went forth towards the young- 
Cardinal, whom he had seen at the window of the Palace, 
with clasped hands, commending himself to God. In 1497, 
when Loren/o Tornabuoni, who had been implicated in 
a conspiracy, was executed, Landucci wept. An earnest 
adherent of Savonarola, as long as he believed that he was 
preparing the way lor a better state of things; he turned 
from him at once when the Dominican friar came into 
collision with the Church. Whether his punishment were 
just or unjust, he held that he was bound to submit.* The 
unshaken trust in God and genuinely Christian resignation 
which he displays under misfortune arc most touching. 
" On the 2nd of August, 1507, it was the will of God that a 
fire should break out in my house which destroyed every 
thing, so that my loss amounted to 450 gold ducats. I 
and my sons had to fly for our lives with nothing on but 
our shirts: my son Battista had to spring naked out of his 
bed which was burning; but I am resolved to accept all 
things whether good or bad from the hand of God and to 
give Him thanks for all. May He only forgive my sins and 
grant me such things as I need for His glory. Praised be 
the Lord of all creatures ! By this means we are victorious 
over all pain and privation. Let us learn from Job who 
said: The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; 
blessed be the name of the Lord! 

This solidly religious spirit manifested itself also in a 
great variety of other ways. No house was without a 
crucifix or pious picture 1 , more especially one of the Blessed 
Virgin, before which a lamp was kept burning : nearly all 
the larger houses contained a small chapel.* The numbers 

* L f. Vol. VI. of this work, Hook I., c. i (Kn-1. tnins.). 

+ LANDUCCI, Diario, 285 4. 

^ Sec IviM.hK, Domini* i * LLrziclmnyslehrc, 217. The v.ocxlc its 


of New Testaments printed during that time shews that, 
besides books of devotion, amongst which the Fioretti di S. 
Francesco was specially popular, Holy Scripture was very 
much read.* 

The precepts of the Church were conscientiously observed 
because they had become for the most part completely 
interwoven with family life and customs. Numerous books 
explaining its rites and ceremonies f enabled the people to 
understand their significance and enter into their poetical 
beauty, while the almost universal familiarity with the 
Latin language made it easy for all classes to take part 
in the services. Even now in Italy the common people 
join readily in the Liturgical offices. The observance of 
Sundays and holidays was strongly inculcated in books of 
religious instruction, and to those of the Church many of 

representing Saints were mostly fastened on the doors, and thus the rea 
son why early Italian Xylographs are so rare. In the cabinet of copper 
plates in Berlin there are a number of fragments of very early Italian 
woodcuts which were taken from the wall of a room in an old house in 
Bassano, which was pulled clown. Cf. LlPPMANN s valuable paper on 
Italian woodcuts in the Jahrb. der Preuss. Kunstsamml., V., 316. A 
few Italian woodcuts with other engravings are to be found in W. L. 
SCHREir.ER, Manuel de 1 amateur de la gravure sur bois et sur metal au 
i5 me siecle (Berlin, 1891 seq.\ e.g., N. I. (proof), 85, 86, 90, 167-9, 3 2O > 
598, 636 (637), 753-5, 7?i, 830, 994, 995, etc. Here, too, SS. Roch 
and Sebastian are often repeated. See N. 1670-76. 

* Cf. the Testament of Benedetto Majano, in LEADER, La Par- 
rochia de S. Martino a Maiano (Firenze, 1875). In regard to Italian 
translations of the Bible, see Zeitschrift fur Kathol. Theologie, 1895, 
p, 341 scq. On the spiritual and devotional books of that time see also 
LIPPMANN, Jahrb. der Preuss. Kunstsamml., V., 306 seq. 

t A book of this description (Lucidarius), which "was read from 
Vesuvius to Hecla," had already passed through seven Italian editions 
before the year 1500. See an excellent treatise by SCHMIDT, Der 
Einfluss der Religion auf das Leben beim ausgehenden Mittelalter, 
besonders in Danemark, 15. Freiburg, 1894. 

II. 23 

the trade guilds added days of obligation of their own.* 
The fasts also were strictly kept. Machiavelli remarks on 
the bad impression produced upon the Florentines by the 
laxity of the Duke of Milan s retinue on his visit to the 
Medici in the beginning of 14/1. That any one should dis 
regard the commandments of the Church on this point had 
never been seen before.* The relations between the laity 
and both the secular and regular clergy were of the closest. 
Charitable contributions towards the support of churches 
and convents were so liberal that Directors often warned 
their penitents against bestowing alms on convents where 
the rule was not strictly observed, and even against too 
great lavishness towards good religious, lest they should 
be tempted to relax the strictness of their life.* In the 
making of wills a certain proportion was almost invariably 
bequeathed to some church or charitable foundation, with 
a provision for masses and prayers for the soul of the 
testator. The forms employed in drawing up wills are 
another proof of the pious feeling of the time. They 
almost all begin by invoking God and the Saints, or by 
commending the soul of the testator to God and the 
Saints.^ The will of the celebrated traveller Giovanni da 

* LAXDUCCI, Diario, 38. 

i RI;U.MONT, Klcmc Schriften, 136 scg. 

% ROSLKK, Dominid s Erzielumgslehre, 23. 

$ PASOUNI (III., 537 scq.} has published the will of Catcrina Sfor/.a, 
made in Florence in 1 509. In proof of what is stated in the text I 
will .^ive some specimens of commencements of Venetian wills, (i) 
Will drawn up by the notary Pietro Arrivabene, Sept. i, 1474. " AI 
nomc de Dio dovcndo mj Alvixe de Lion andar in Fiandra et con- 
siderando el via/.io lon-o . . . perho ho determinado voler ordinare, et< . 
Other wills, c.g.> one of May 28, 1475, be-in with the name of the 
testator, but in the body of the document we find, u Committo animam 
meam altissimo Jehsu et I). Mariae et S. 1 rsulac," etc. ^2; The wills 
drawn up by the notary Xiccolo Rii;a, who was working up to 1505, 
almost all bc-jin with the words ; " In nomine Dei aeterni. Amen. One 


Empoli begins, " I commend my soul to Almighty God 
and His glorious Mother B. Mary ever-Virgin, to the Holy 
Apostle and Evangelist S. John, to SS. Jerome and 
Blasius my patrons, and all the Saints in Paradise, that in 
their kindness and mercy they may intercede for me with 
God and His Mother, praying that on the day in which 
I am called away, I may be admitted into their holy 
company. Although I am a sinner and deserve severe 
punishment, yet God will not despise a broken and contrite 
heart ; for we are His children and destined to enjoy 
eternal beatitude. I trust to God and His glorious Mother 
to grant me grace to serve Him in this vale of misery, and 
afterwards to participate in that glory which is prepared 
for all true Christians. May they grant me the grace that 
this will may serve for the unburdening of my conscience, 
and that my soul may remain pure and free from guilt."* 

of these of Feby. 4, 1475, begins: "Al nome sia cle miser Jehsu 
Christo et de la sua madre sant ma Madonna S. Maria et de tutta la corte 
celestiale. Amen." (3) Wills drawn up by the notary Bernardino 
Ranemi (1471-79) begin with the name of the testator, but a recom 
mendation of the soul to God, the P>. Virgin, and the Saints is hardly 
ever omitted. Some have, as a preamble, " Al nome sia dello eterno 
Iddio padre et fiol et spirito santo et della gloriosa vergine," etc. (4) 
Wills by the notary Pasino Grattaroli up to 1 508, all begin with the 
formula : " In Dei aeterni nomine. Amen." (5) Wills by the notary Cristo- 
foro Colonnino (1513-28) almost all begin : " Quoniam humanum genus 
non est stabile, sed devenimus ad finem et nescimus diem neque horam 
animoque prudenti hoc pertinet, ut semper mortis periculum cogitetur 
eventus, hie est quod praedicta considerans Ego ... in primis animam 
meam commendo altissimo Deo creatori." A few wills begin : " In Christi 
nomine. Amen." (6) Wills by the notaries Francesco Zorzi and Bar- 
tolomeo Raspi (1515-25) begin : " In nomine Dei aeterni." Later, e.g., in 
the wills by the notary Domenico Baldigara (1530-40), the beginning is in 
Italian : " In nome del Sig. nostro Gesii Cristo." State Archives, Venice. 
Sezione notarile. 

* GIORGKTTI has published the text of this will in the Arch. St. Ital., 
5 Serie, XIV., 324 scq. 

All the best intellects on the side of the Church were 
keenly alive to the extreme importance of the maintenance 
of Christian family life during this period of danger and 
turmoil. It was in the early part of the 1 5th Century, when 
the influence of the Renaissance was just beginning to 
make itself generally felt in Italian society, that K Giovanni 
Dominici wrote his admirable book on the government of 
the family. It was composed for the instruction of a noble 
and pious lady, the wife of .Antonio Alberti. In terse and 
vigorous language the zealous Dominican sets her duties 
before her. Nothing can be more practical, and at the 
same time more truly Christian, than his teaching, in which 
the harmony between nature and grace is admirably set 
forth. " While the Humanists propose an ideal of life which 
is unattainable for the majority of mankind and wholly 
alien to Christianity, Dominici s rules can be practised by 
ail, and teach the Christian not only to act as a reasonable 
man in every situation in which he can be placed, but also 
to aim at that which alone is necessary. Dominici com 
bines the highest ideal in religion with the most perfect 
common sense." Addressing Bartolomea, he says, " You 
have offered yourself, your body and soul, with all your 
possessions and your children, as far as they belong to you, 
to God our Lord, and now you want to know how to make 
the best use of all these good things for His glory." In 
correspondence with this division the treatise is in four 
parts, describing how the powers of the soul, the faculties 
and senses of the body, and all temporal goods are to he 
used, and children trained, so as to attain the end willed 
by God. The third and fourth sections are the most 
important, and may be classed among the finest works 
produced by the literature of that period. In the introduc 
tion to the right use of temporal goods, it is impressed upon 

* RoST.KR, Dominici s Erzichuiv_;slchrc, 18. 


the mother that it is her duty to see that the property which 
her children are to inherit, is preserved intact. In regard 
to that of which she is free to dispose, she is to look upon 
herself as God s stewardess, and in poverty of spirit to dis 
pense it for the good of her neighbour ; but as all men have 
not equal claims on her charity, an order of precedence in 
regard to those who require help is laid down. 

In treating of the bringing up of children, Dominici 
marks five points. Children are to be trained, 1st, for 
God ; 2nd, for their father and mother ; 3rd, for them 
selves ; 4th, for their country; 5th, for the trials of life. 
The house should be adorned with pious pictures in order 
that the love of virtue, the love of Christ, and the hatred of 
sin should be infused into the children s minds from the 
moment they begin to observe. The love of the Saints 
will lead them to love the Saint of Saints. The reading 
of Holy Scripture should be begun as soon as they are 
sufficiently prepared to understand it. In the education of 
boys, she must endeavour to guard against the abuse of 
heathen writings. In matters of dress, children should be 
trained from their earliest youth to modesty and decorum. 
" Be careful with whom they associate ; none of the things 
that God has confided to you are so precious in His sight 
as your children. Their souls are worth more in His eyes 
than heaven and earth and the whole of the irrational 
creation, and you do Him a greater service in bringing up 
your children well than if you possessed the whole world 
and gave all away to the poor. It will be hard for you to 
save your own soul, if, in consequence of your neglect, the 
souls of your children should perish ; on the other hand, if 
by your care you have secured their salvation, you may 
rest in peace as to your own." 

Dominici s counsels as to how children should be trained 
to fulfil their duties towards their parents are equally admir- 


able. They should be taught to be extremely respectful in 
addressing them. I Ic specially insists upon three points, 
(i) When a parent corrects a child, the correction should 
be received with thanks. (2) Children should be silent in 
the presence of their parents. (3) When spoken to, they 
must answer with modesty. Honour must be shewn to 
parents also in the use of temporal goods, and in de 
meanour. " In the presence of their parents, children 
should not sit down unless desired to do so ; they must 
stand in a respectful attitude, humbly bow the head when 
any command is addressed to them, and uncover when 
they meet their parents." He lays great stress on a practice 
which he says will greatly conduce to the happiness of 
the household. Twice at least in the course of the day, 
at night before retiring to rest, and in the morning before 
going out, each child should humbly kneel down before one 
or other of the parents and beg a blessing. " I should 
prefer," he says, " that this should also be done on going out 
again after the mid-day meal, but for daughters and those 
who stay at home, the morning and evening will suffice. 
You on your part should give your blessing with great 
humility, willingly accepting this mark of respect not as 
for yourself, but for the good of your children. When the 
child, kneeling, says Bcncdicitc, you should give the bless 
ing in whatever phrase appears to you to be most agree 
able to God and suitable to the child who asks for it. As, 
for instance, May God bless thce with an everlasting 
blessing, or May the grace of God be always with thee, 
or May God replenish thee with His holy blessing in body 
and soul, or May God give thee favour in His sight and 
in that of men, or, finally, May God make thee perfect 
now and for ever. Thus you may vary the blessing 
according to circumstances. As the child rises after having 
received your blessing he should kiss the hand that has 


bestowed it ; and then he may go forth with the firm con 
viction that nothing can happen to him that will not be for 
the good of his soul. But now look to yourself and sec 
that you shew to your Father in Heaven the same respect 
that your children are to shew to you, and more especially 
in this matter of bending the knee. You should ask His 
blessing on your knees not only twice or thrice in the day, 
but whenever you change your occupation. Also make 
the sign of the Cross with your finger on the ground, the 
table, the wall, whatever is nearest to you, and kiss it. 
Be careful never to utter anything in the shape of a curse 
or ban on your children, either in anger or in jest, or to 
frighten them, or on any pretext whatsoever, nor should 
you curse any creature or send them to the devil, for such 
curses from the lips of a father or mother may take effect, 
and in any case are hurtful." 

In the last section : " How to bring up children to be 
good citizens," Dominici s counsels reflect the state of 
Florence at the time. Above all things he warns against 
party spirit. " Nothing can be more deleterious," he says ; 
" for the partisan, instead of building up the commonwealth, 
rends and destroys it""* 

The l< Opera a ben vivere," which is attributed to the 
great Florentine Bishop S. Antoninus, though written a 
generation later than Dominici s treatise, is very similar in 
character. Though S. Antoninus letters to Dioclota degli 
Adimari are not directly concerned with education, they 
contain a great deal of advice on this subject. They treat 
of the rule of life, demeanour, intercourse with others, 
Church-going and devotional practices, and in their practical 
good sense and strict yet simple piety, breathe throughout 
a spirit which is the very opposite of all exaggeration or 
cant. " All prayer," he writes, " is pleasing to God, and that 

* ROSLER, Dominici s Erziehungslehre, 25-66. 


which comes most from the heart is most pleasing ; but I 
have no objection to your saying the Office. Prepare your 
self to endure sickness, poverty, or any other privation, con 
tempt or persecution, household cares or temptations. Go 
to confession every month, and to communion every two 
months, on some feast-day. In society, even among 
relations, speak as little as possible and only when it is 
necessary. Be careful about your children ; sec that they 
live a good life, and guard them from dangerous company. 
Avoid evil not only in your actions but in your thoughts. 
J>e watchful, keep yourself in hand ; if bad thoughts come, 
turn away your mind to something else. When you arc 
tempted to be proud think at once of your sins. When you 
are discouraged and inclined to despair, recall to mind the 
infinite goodness and mercy of Christ, and think of the 
story of the publican. It is easier to begin a good work 
than to persevere in it ; but what is the use of beginning 
if the end is not reached. Fortify your soul by frequent 
spiritual reading and diligence in meditation. There 
is no harm in conversing with pious women, but do not 
trust every one too readily. Vows once made must be 
fulfilled as soon as possible. May God grant you His 

The votaries of the true Renaissance arc entirely at 
one in principle with such saintly church reformers as 
Dominici and S. Antoninus. These men saw that it was 
possible to engraft the wisdom of the ancients on the 
root-stock of Christianity. The noble and pious Vittorino 
da Feltrc was an eminent example of this school. Though 
he has left no writings behind him, the salutary influence 
of his famous College at Mantua was immense, and very 

* RKUMONT, Klcine Schriftcn, 27, and IliidV 111. Italic-m-r, I-IQ^V/.; 
ROSI.KR (Dominiri s Erziehunyslehre, 67 S) doubts whether S.Antoni 
nus reallv was the author of the "Opera a ben vivere." Firem.e, iJyijS. 


widely diffused.* Hardly inferior to him was Agostino 
Dati, a native of Siena (ob. 1479), whose great worth as 
an instructor has been specially brought out by recent 
authors. Antonio Ivani is another of these illustrious 
schoolmasters ; his treatise on education in the family is 
truly Christian in its spirit. Francesco Barbaro, at the 
early age of 17, wrote a work on marriage, the family 
and education, which was much admired by his contempo 
raries ; its tone is lofty and pious.f 

The most important work on education produced by the 
Christian Humanists of the i$th Century was written by 
Maffeo Vegio, a friend of Pope Pius II. In his six books 
on this subject, first printed at Milan in 1491, we find 
nothing that is not practical and fruitful. For a course of 
instruction for developing the reasoning powers, Vegio 
borrows his method from the sages of antiquity, while he 
derives the principles of Christian education from revela 
tion, Holy Scripture, the works of the Fathers, and the 
example of the Saints. He strongly insists on the 
necessity of carrying out the precepts of Christian faith 
and morals in daily life. He lays great stress on the 
power of a living example, and in addressing parents re 
peatedly points to S. Monica and her noble son as a 
demonstration of the effects of a truly good and religious 
education. The " sweet and eloquent " Confessions of S. 
Augustine was a favourite book with all the Christian 
Humanists. "The good example of parents," he says, 
" gives efficacy to their instructions, and their prayers bring 
clown the blessing of God." In point of style Vegio s book 
is admirable. " There is a genial warmth in his writing 

* PASTOR, Hist. Popes, I., p. 44 seq. (Engl. trans.). 

t RnsLKR in his Dominici s Erziehungslehre, etc., 150^^., 164 seq.^ 
214 scq., has written admirable descriptions of these great teachers. In 
regard to Ivani, cf, also A. ?\KRI, Xotixie die A. Ivani. Sarzana, 1868. 


which springs from conscious sincerity and earnest convic 
tion, and sometimes kindles into enthusiasm. In ever) 
word and line we feel that he is penetrated with the im 
portance and greatness of his subject."* 

These numerous treatises, formulating with such una 
nimity sound principles of Christian education, did much 
to counteract the dangers which the spirit of the Renais 
sance, permeating all the relations of life, brought with it. 
These dangers were especially manifest in its effect on the 
education of women, in breaking through the restraints 
which had hitherto encompassed their lives in the Middle 
Ages. The process could not fail to have a deleterious 
influence on morals, and we find the writings of the adhe 
rents of the Christian Renaissance full of warnings on this 
subject. Vcspasiano da Bisticci sets examples of distin 
guished women before the Italian mothers, and exhorts 
them to li bring up their daughters in the fear of God and 
to live soberly and piously. Do not give them the 
Hundred Tales or any of Boccaccio s works to read, nor 
yet Petrarch s Sonnets, for though these may not be im 
moral, still they are not suitable for pure minds, which 
ought only to love God and their husbands. Let them 
read devotional books, Lives of the Saints, and history, 
so that they may learn how to live and behave and 
turn their thoughts to serious things and not to frivolity. "f 

In consequence of the disregard of these warnings, the 
movement in the direction of emancipation was attended 
with much that was unseemly and immoral. Nevertheless 
there were man) who perfectly succeeded in harmonising 

* From the Preface of KOPFS M. Venus Erziehungslehre, 20 sr</. 
( Kreiburg, 1889). See also the same author s excellent work : M. Vegio, 
ein Humanist untl i ada^oye cles xv. Jahrhunderts, 12 scg. (Lu/ern, 
1887") ; and Koiii.Kk, I ada^o-ik des M. Ve-ius, Schwab. Ciininul, 1856. 

t RKTMOXT, Kleine SchiiHen, 2^. 


the new tendencies with the eternal principles of the 
Christian religion. " Both amongst the princely and noble 
families and in the burgher class in the 1 5th Century, we 
find many women who combined the highest intellectual 
culture with the most perfect womanliness and purity of life. 
Equally in the i6th Century, when the old restraints had 
become still more relaxed, if not wholly broken through, 
admirable examples of the noblest type of womanhood 
were not wanting." * 

In the " Cortegiano " written by Raphael s friend, the 
well-known scholar and diplomatist Baldassare Castiglione, 
we have a vivid description of the Court of Urbino, and of 
the society which assembled there, in what was probably 
the first example of the modern salon. Nothing can be 
more charming than this picture of the influence of a 
beautiful and noble woman, as it is portrayed in this 
classical book.-)- 

Castiglione lays down as a fundamental principle that 
the education of a lady in the higher circles should be such 
as to place her intellectually on a level with her husband. 
She should be sufficiently familiar with all the various 
branches of Science and Art to form an intelligent judg 
ment on any subject that comes before her, though not her 
self a proficient in it. She should be equally well-versed in 
current literature ; and thus equipped at all points, the refine 
ment of her taste will shew itself, in her dress, which will be 

* REUMONT, Villoria Colonna, 100. 

t Cf. Dr K. FEDERN S delightful article, Ein Salon dcr Renaissance, in 
Xo. 11,003 f the morning edition of the X. Fr. Presse, April 12, 1895. 
S. MARCELLO, La cronologia del "Cortegiano" cli B. Castiglione, 
Leghorn, 1895 (per no/ze Crivellucci-Brunst), is of opinion that the 
three first books of the Cortegiano \\ere composed at Urbino between 
April 1508 and May 1509, and the fourth at Rome, between September 
15 13 and December 1513. 


always becoming, in her conversation, which, alternate]} 
grave and gay, will never be too free or flippant ; finally, in 
the grace and dignity of all her movements. At the same 
time, the domestic virtues must not be sacrificed to the e 
intellectual attainments : she must care for her household 
and her children, and, while rivalling her husband in in 
telligence and knowledge, retain the grace and charm of 
\\omanly ways. Women, he maintains, though physically 
weaker than men, are not inferior, because they understand 
so much better how to control and apply the powers they 
possess. Hence in all the various departments of life, in 
government, in war, in science, in poetry, women have 
achieved fame.* 

In addition to the greater frequency with which women 
appeared in public, and made their individuality felt in 
the age of the Renaissance, the attainment of distinction 
in scientific pursuits by such women as Isotta Nogarola 
of Verona, Cecilia Gonzaga, Cassandra Fedele, may be 
claimed for this period as something hitherto unknown 
and entirely new. Antonia de Pulci and Lucrezia Tor- 
nabuoni de Medici, mother of Lorenzo de Medici, won 
laurels in poetry, and it is characteristic of the time tl at 
all their compositions were religious. Veronica Gambara 
and Vittoria Colon na belong to a later period. The fir.-t 
was not exempt from the frailties of the day. The 
second, the most celebrated poetess of Italy, was so ad 
mirable in ever} respect that she is called the Saint of 
the Renaissance by its special historian. -f 

The Sacrament of Penance was one of the most effica 
cious means of securing the spiritual development of the 

* REUMOXT, YiUoria Colonna, ico-ioi : J. BURCKIIARDT, Die Cul- 
tur der Renaissance, II., 134 ^y., cd. 3; II. jAMTSClll K, Die t .cscll- 

bt haft der Renaissance in Italien, 50 scq. Stuttgart, \* 
t r.URCKllAKI T, Clllttir, II., I^>. cd. 3. 

VOL. v. L> 


individual and the family, and preserving both from the 
dangers of this period. All the manuals on Confession of 
that clay, amongst which that of S. Antoninus * seems to 
have been the most popular, enjoin that the people should 
be questioned on the Creed, the Our Father, the Ten Com 
mandments, and the precepts of the Church. S. Antoninus 
recommends that children should be examined on their 
conduct towards their parents, and equally that care 
should be taken to impress on the parents a sense of 
their duties towards their children and servants. Children 
are to be strictly brought up in the fear of God, 
servants are to be allowed time to fulfil their religious 
duties, and are to be taken care of and supported in 

The manuals also contain special questions suitable for 
the different ranks and classes of the population. In that 
of S. Antoninus there are questions for judges, for advocates 
(whether they have defended an unrighteous cause or failed 
to protect the poor) ; for teachers, for physicians (whether 
they have attended the poor) ; for merchants, innkeepers, 
butchers (whether they have sold bad meat or given light 
weight) ; for bakers, for tailors (whether they have kept 
back remnants of cloth, or worked unnecessarily on 
Sundays) ; for smiths, weavers, goldsmiths, servants and 
day-labourers.^ No class was too insignificant to claim the 

* Sec GKFFCKKX, Der Bilderkatechismus cles xv. Jahrhunderls, I., 
34 scq. (Leipzig, 1055). Detail also regarding other manuals on Con 
fession, of this time, p. 108. 

t Confessionale 1). Antonini archiepiscopi Florentini, 1508, f. 74!^ scg. } 
et 43. 

| Confessionale I). Antonini, etc., f. 69 scq. In the Diocese of Acqui 
there was a rule, which was confirmed by a synodal decree of the 
Bishop Luigi Bruno on August 22, 1499, that every confessor should 
possess and diligently study either the Summa of S. Antoninus or the 
Manipulus Curatorum. This decree explains the large number of copies 

KKLIC.IOUS si ikrr or Tin-; GUILDS. 35 

maternal care of the Church ; \\ r c sec what a zealous watch 
was maintained over the lives of the people, and how 
lovingly she strove to meet and counteract the failings and 
frailties of all classes. 

The solicitude of the Church for the welfare of all her 
children, and the religious spirit that prevailed amongst the 
people, arc strikingly displayed in the manifold develop 
ment of the numerous guilds and brotherhoods. 

The immediate objects of the guilds were mainly secular, 
but religious and charitable foundations were almost invari 
ably associated with them. Their trade-marks always bore 
a religious character. Every guild had its own church or 
chapel and its own chaplain.* The statutes breathe a 
deeply religious spirit, and frequently the guild owed its 
origin to a desire to maintain a lamp before a certain altar. 
to honour the feast of some special Saint, to possess 
a private chapel for the use of the members. There were 
.strict rules in regard to the observance of their religious 
duties. They were bound to hear Mass on Sundays and 
holidays, and to attend a Mass in the chapel of the guild 
at least once a month. There were rewards for frequent 
attendance in church. The statutes often enjoin reverent 
behaviour in the House of God, and members arc forbidden 
to leave the church before the end of the service. Some 
of the statutes require members to go to confession at 
least thrice in the year, and no allowances arc to be granted 
to the sick until they have fulfilled this duty. Some guilds 
have a rule against profane language. Great stress is laid 
on the observance of Sundays and holidays. Each craft 

of both these works which were prinlod during the last thirty years of 
the i 5th Century; :,ce All-. Dcutsdi. Uioy., XX., 591. 

* Iii regard to the following passage, see RODOCAXACHI, I., l\.\v. 
jY-j xax - SC( /-> an( -l a so GOTTLOI: in tin: Hi.-t. Jahrbudi, XVI., 150 


had its patron Saint, connected in some way through legend 
or history with the trade or occupation exercised by its 
members. Thus in Rome S. Eligius was the patron of 
the farriers and goldsmiths, S. Nicholas of the sailors, the 
tanners had S. Bartholomew, the husbandmen S. Isidore, 
the millers S. Paulinus of Nola, the coopers S. James, 
the wineshops S. Blasius, the innkeepers S. Julianus, the 
bricklayers S. Gregory the Great, the stone-masons the 
four crowned Martyrs, the money-changers S. Mark, 
the shopkeepers S, Sebastian, the wool-merchants S. 
Ambrose, the shoemakers S. Crispin, the barbers and 
physicians SS. Cosmas and Damian, the apothecaries S. 
Lawrence, the painters S. Luke.* 

The patronal-feast was celebrated by a solemn Mass and 
procession, which all the members had to attend. All the 
guilds in Rome assembled to take part in the great pro 
cession on the eve of the Feast of the Assumption from 
the Lateran to S tu Maria Maggiore, This feast was re 
garded in Rome as the special fcsta of the industrial 

It was the influence of this spirit of solid piety which 
pervaded the guilds in Rome and in all the other Italian 
cities, which created and preserved amongst the working- 
classes those sentiments of fraternal charity and mutual 
goodwill, and that lofty sense of honour and probity which 
we find expressed in their statutes. Care for the poor 
and the sick and for prisoners is especially enjoined. 
Each guild had its own physician and its hospital. Guild 
officials were appointed to visit and relieve the sick, and 
such members as were in prison through misfortune rather 
than misconduct ; and the superior officers were bound to 
sec personally to the fulfilment of these duties by their 

* RODOCAXACHI, I. et II. passim. 


subordinates. Main- guilds provided pensions for needy 
members and for widows and orphans, and in some cases 
contributed substantial sums to the marriage portion of 
girls. Even beyond the grave, members were not for 
gotten ; all the associates were bound to attend their 
funerals, the poor were- buried at the expense of tin- guild, 
Masses were said for each member at his death, and on 
certain days throughout the year all were remembered at 
the Altar.* 

J>oth beside and within the guilds, numerous associations 
existed which aimed at the spiritual and moral advancement 
of their members by means of various good works, either for 
the honour of God or the good of their neighbours. These 
brotherhoods had also their special patron Saints and par 
ticular chapels. The alms of the members were devoted 
to the relief of the poor, dowries for poor girls, the sick, 
or the burial of the dead. 4 - 

The more wealthy Confraternities spent a portion of 
their funds on the erection or embellishment of churches 
of their own, on gifts of paintings or carvings, or perhaps 
a Holy Sepulchre to other churches in their city; on hav 
ing special banners designed and executed for the associa- 

O 1 O 

tion,or on building and decorating a hall for their meetings, 
called a Scuold,^ 

In Venice in the year 1481 the Confraternity of S. 
John the Evangelist built a Scuola with a richly decorated 
Atrium, and employed Gentile Bellini to paint the miracle 
of the finding of the true Cross for it, in three divisions. 
These pictures arc now in the Venetian Academy. S. 
Mark preaching, by the same master, now in the J rcra, 

* RonocAXACin, I., xcv. seg. t and GOTTLOH, Joe. nf. 
t Cf. in a general way, MORONI, XVI., i 17 scq. 
% Cf. 1H RCKHAR1>T, (iesthichte der Renais: 
where several instances of this kind air- mentioned 


was painted in 1485 for the Confraternity-hall of the 
brotherhood of that Saint.* Carpaccio painted for the 
Congregation of S. Ursula his masterpiece, the history 
of the Saint in nine pictures, 1490-1495. The Con 
fraternity-houses of S. Giorgio degli Schiavoni and 
of S. Stefano are also adorned with paintings by this 
master/}- The Confraternity of the Scuola di S. Rocco, in 
1489 built a church dedicated to their patron Saint. In 
1517 Bartolomeo Bon began the building of a magnifi 
cent Confraternity-house which afterwards became one of 
the most sumptuous creations of Venetian architecture, 
and was adorned by Tintoretto with fifty-six colossal 
Biblical pictures. + Two of the most remarkable buildings 
in Padua were the Scuola del Santo, embellished later 
with sixteen frescoes of the legend of S. Antonio by 
Titian and his pupils, and the Scuola del Carmine. 

In Siena the Confraternities of S. Bernardino and S. 
Catherine built two beautiful Oratories close to each other, 
with Sociality-halls attached. The Church of the Miseri- 
cordia at Arezzo was adorned with a magnificent facade 
out of the surplus of the alms received by the brothers.!! 
The Confraternity of the Annunziata employed Piero degli 
Franceschi in 1466 to paint a banner for their church; un 
fortunately, this has disappeared. - 

In Florence, many of the Confraternities possessed 
buildings of their own. One of the most beautiful of these 
is that of the Confraternity dcllo Scalzo (so-called because 
in their processions the brother who carried the Crucifix 

* BURCKIIARDT, /or. ii/., Io| ; \Y">I.TMAXN T , II., 287. 

f YYOl.TMAXX, II., ?-9S 9. 

BURCKIIAKDT, he. <V /., 184. 

;; Ibid., 186. 

II Ibid., 183. 

<i \YOLTMAXX, II.. 216 ; Giorn. rle.yli Aivhiv. Tosc.. VI., T r. 


walked barefoot), which contains ten frescoes of scenes in 
the life of S. John the Baptist by Andrea del Sarto 
(painted 15 I 1-1526).* 

The Scuole of S. Niccolo di Foligno and the Annnn/.iala 
had a large number of pictures and banners painted for 
their use.f The wealthy Confraternity of S. Bernardino 
decorated the facade of their church,* and had a splendid 
banner painted by Benedetto Buonfigli in 1475.$ The 
guild of the soap-boilers of S. Grcgorio in Assisi possessed 
a splendid banner \vliich is now in Carlsruhe. . In 1518 
Timotco Yiti painted the AW/ me hinge re on a banner 
for the Confraternity of the S 11 Angeli at Cagli." One of 
the most beautiful chapels in Rome with its pillared 
court is that which belonged to the Scuola of S. Giovanni 

Thus, in the pursuance of their works of charity, these 
numerous corporations have rendered no little service to 

Every city, and indeed almost every village, in Italy 
possessed one or more of these sodalities. One of the 
oldest is that of S. Leonardo at Viterbo, which founded 
the Ospedale I Yanco in I I44.-H Just a hundred years later 
the well-known Confraternity dedicated to Our Lady of 
.Mercy, and generally called the Misericordia, was founded 

* Wol/l MANX, li , 614. 

t Ibid., 2\i. 

^ lU kCKUAkhT, loc. <;..* ., idj, 
Wol. l M ANN, II., ^14. 
I hid.. 212. 

Ibid., 325. 

* lirkC Kii Aixh r, loc. r//.. 185. 

ft 1 lie StatulL- of this Confraternity lias lately been published by 
1 IN/I, (ill ospi/i niedioevali e 1 o^pedale yrande di V ilerbt), \. 1-9;,). 
I his discovery np-et-, Mi kA l Okis views Anlujuit. Iialiae |)iss., 75 in 
rcu-ard to the date ot the lir-u ajipcaianre ot the-^e brotherhoods. 


by a Florentine day-labourer. The duty of the brothers 
was to take sick or injured persons to the hospitals and to 
bury the dead. During the Plague of 1325 the brothers of 
the Misericordia rendered most valuable services, and from 
that time it became customary for men of all ranks and 
avocations to enrol themselves in the Confraternity. In 
1425 the Misericordia disappeared, in consequence of its 
union with the Compagnia di S Ul Maria di Bigallo, which 
was not bound to any works of charity. In 1475 it was 
revived, and in the Plague of 1494 again proved most 

More than once during the course of the I5th Century 
some startling word from a mission-preacher, or the terrible 
ravages of the Plague, caused fresh associations of this kind 
to be formed. Thus, in 1415 in Venice,f the Confraternity 
of S. Rocco was instituted and proved an invaluable blessing 
during the repeated visitations of the Plague. Wealthy 
citizens, the nobility, and even some of the Doges enrolled 
themselves in this sociality, which in consequence became 
so rich that over and above vhat was needed for the poor, 
it was able, as has been already mentioned, to spend large 
sums on the patronage of Art. 

In 1448, when the Plague was raging in Rome, the 
German confessor at S. Peter s founded the Sodality of 
Our Lady of Dolours for his own countrymen, which is 
still in existence.^ Another of these Confraternities which 
still survives is that of the Buonuomini di S. Martino, an 
association of Florentine citizens founded by S. Anto- 

* P. LAXDINI, Istoria della Archiconfrat. di S. Maria clella Misericordia 
(Firenzc, 1843, c Livorno, 1871); C. BIANCIII, La Compagnia della 
Misericordia (Firenxe, 1855) : Dublin Review, CX1V. (1894)5333 scg. 

t On the erection and importance of the Venetian Scuole, see 
S \\SOVINO, Vcne/ia, 99 sry. 

+ I ASTOR, Hist. Topes, II.. 85. note (Kn.^1. trans.). 


ninus in 1441, with the object of finding out and assisting 
persons \\ ho had seen better days and were ashamed to 
let their poverty be known. In a very short time from 
its institution, the brothers had already ministered to 
600 families; but the Saint could not be satisfied with 
vicarious almsgiving, and S. Loren/o (iiustiniani, Patriarch 
of Venice, relates that lie personally visited the poorer 
quarters of the city, bringing help and comfort to all who 
were in need.* In Yiccn/.a the ]>. Bernardino of I-Vltre 
established two foundations for the benefit of reduced 
persons of noble family and others who shrank from 
making known their necessities, which have been perennial 
fountains of blessing for many centuries. )* 

In 1460 the learned Cardinal Torqucmada founded 
the Confraternity of the Annunciata, and gave it a 
chapel of its own in S UI Maria sopra Minerva. Its object 
was to provide dowries for poor girls.;); During the I 5th 
Century associations devoted to this particular work of 
charity, which in a special way combines chivalry with 
Christian prudence, sprung up in man) other cities also. 
Thus in 1 arma in 1493 an association was instituted to 
facilitate marriages between young men of good character 
and poor and virtuous girls. 

Florence and Rome contained a larger number of these 
brotherhoods than any of the other Italian cities. In 
Florence at the beginning of the i6"th Century there were 
seventy-three municipal Associations or congregations for 

* C/! RATZINC.ER, Armenpfleg c, 376: SKAIKK, 1 86. ami especially N. 

MARTI. 1. 1. 1, 1 liuonuominidi S. Martino ( extract from the Ra^c^na Na/.\ 
Fircn/e, 1884. See also Correspondent, Juillet 1889, 396, and (ii AS ii 
in the Rosa d oyni mese, Calendario Fiorentino. 1864. 

t Ada Sanct., Sept., VII., 869. 

t PASTOR, Hi t. Popes, II., 9 Kn-1. trans.). 

S KOIU.FU. K.ith. Lcben. il.. 839. 


religious objects ; there were also Confraternities for 
children, shewing how intimately the practices of religion 
were bound up with family life. Those for children 
assembled to assist at Vespers on all Sundays and 
holidays. Some of the associations for men included 
amongst their objects entertainments of various sorts, 
others were devoted entirely to works of charity, others to 
penance. One Confraternity undertook to prepare con 
demned criminals for death, and attend them on the 

A clearer notion of the nature of these Confraternities 
can be formed by studying their development in Rome 
itself the metropolis of Christendom. The most distin 
guished of those in Rome was that of the Gonfalone, later 
erected into an Arch-Confraternity and still flourishing. 
It was formed in the year 1264 by twelve noblemen, 
who assembled first in S tu Maria Maggiore and afterwards 
in S la Lucia della Chiavica, and called themselves La 
Compagnia do Raccommandati di Madonna S t:i Maria. 
Innocent VIII. gave it the name of del Gonfalone, because 
of the banner which was carried in their processions. He 
affiliated five other Confraternities to it. It was devoted 
to various pious practices and to works of charity, as was 
more or less the case with all these associations in Rome. 
Alexander VI. also favoured it/|- 

The institution of the Confraternity of the Holy Ghost 
goes back as far as the reign of Innocent III. Topes 
Eugenius IV. and Sixtus IV. enlarged its scope and gave 
it a fresh impetus. Many Cardinals and almost all the 

* VAUCHI, Storia Fiorentina, I., 393-4 (Milano, 1845); REUMONT, 
Loren/o, II., 317 set/., ccl. 2 ; SKA1FK, 186 ; D AXCOXA, I., 405 j t y> eel. 2. 

t Cf. Rur.r.iKKi S interesting Monograph, L Archi-Confraternita del 
Gonfalone (Roma, 1866), where the rescripts of Innocent VIII., taken 
from the Art-hive-; of the Confraternity, are ;^iven, p. 49 seq. 


Court belonged to it, rind by the 1 5th Century it had 
become customary for foreign Princes, when they came to 
Koine, to inscribe their names in the book of the Con 
fraternity, which has thus become, in its way, a unique 
collection of autographs.* 

Kqually famous was the Confraternity of S. Salvatore, 
which was the earliest to be erected into an Arch-Con 
fraternity. This congregation venerated in a special 
manner the ancient picture of our Saviour in the Sancta 
Sanctorum Chapel. On the Feast of the Assumption the 
brothers carried it in solemn procession across the Forum 
to the Church of S la Maria Maggiore, while the miraculous 
picture- of the Madonna belonging to that church was 
brought out to meet it. I The Confraternity of the Sevt n 
Dolours of our Lady in S. Marcello was founded in the 
I }th Century, those of S l;i Maria del Popolo, S. Bernardo 
and S. Anna de 1 arafrenieri in the Kjth. 

The i5th Century was specially fruitful in new associa 
tions of this description. Under Kugenius IV. the brother 
hood of S. Jk rnardo alia Colonna Trajana was founded : 
under Pius II. the Confraternity of Priests of Santa Lucia 
de Ginnasii, which was renewed by Julius II. Cardinal 
Torquemada s foundation for poor girls already mentioned 
belongs to the same Pontificate ; the Confraternities oi the 
Immaculate Conception in S. Lorenzo in Damaso, and oi 
S. Ambrogio belong to that of Paul I I.* In the reign of 
Innocent VIII., in 1488, some pious Florentines tormed 

:J - PASTOR, Ili-l. Popes, I., 353 .sv,/.. and IV., .\C>\ Kn-l. trans.) 
+ PIAZZA, 361 st t/.; P.. Mil. UNO, Ddl oratorio in ^ 
Lalcnino dclto Sancta Sanrtonun (Roma, 1666 : ( ,. MAK \N;oM, 
Istoria dell Antic hi^imo Oratorio. . . Appellate) Sancta San< loruni. 
Roma, 17-17. 

, 556 *v, 547 * /., 5^3 "V- 5M - - ^ |n - ^ 


themselves into a Confraternity in S. Giovanni Decollate, 
called the Miscricordia, which had for its object to provide 
spiritual consolation and Christian burial for condemned 
criminals. This brotherhood was approved by the Pope 
and endowed with various privileges in 1490, and had a 
chaplain of its own. Whenever any criminal was con 
demned to death, two of the brothers went to him to 
prepare him for his general confession and for Holy Com 
munion. When he was led out for execution, the whole 
brotherhood accompanied him to the scaffold, carrying a 
cross draped with black, and singing the penitential Psalms. 
After the execution they conveyed the corpse to their own 
burial-ground. The brothers wore black garments and 
hoods, on which was stamped an effigy of the head of S. 
John the Baptist, their patron.* 

In the year 1499, Alexander VI. established the Con- 
fraternita cli S. Rocco e di S. Martino al Porto di Ripetta. 
This society, which soon built a church and a hospital of 
its own, took charge of the poor sailors and lodging-house 
keepers in that quarter of the city. Leo X. conferred 
special Indulgences on it. The brotherhood of the Blessed 
Sacrament and the Five Wounds of Christ, which grew 
and flourished very rapidly, also dates from the time of 
Alexander VI. Its members escorted the Holy Viaticum 
in procession whenever it was carried to the sick and dying. 
They had a chapel of their own at S. Lorenzo in Damaso, 
which was soon splendidly decorated. Julius II. was an 
especial benefactor of this society. A brotherhood of the 
Blessed Sacrament was also formed under Leo X. in the 
church of S. Giacomo Scossacavalli in the Borgo. Two 
other new congregations belong to the reign of this Pope, 
the Archi-Confraternita dclla Carita. at S. Girolamo and the 
brotherhood of the Holy Cross at S. Marcello. The former, 

* r.ull.. Y., 343 scg.\ PIAZZA, 502 seq. 

founded l>v Cardinal Giulio de Medici, devoted itself 
specially to the sick and dying ; Leo X. aUo committed 
penitent fallen women to its care.* 

The beneficial effect produced by these brotherhoods, 
and, above all, the influence they exercised in fostering 
religion and morals among the middle and working classes, 
can hardly be over-estimated. The history of the Oratory 
of the Divine Love, begun in Leo XYs time, shews how 
important such societies could become, as well to the 
religious life of Rome as in much wider spheres/)* 

But we are still far from having come to the end of 
the religious societies in the Eternal City. The national 
brotherhoods and the trades guilds have also to be con 
sidered. The latter (Confratcrnita dell Arti) existed in 
those days for bakers, cooks, barbers and surgeons, apothe 
caries, saddlers, gold- and silver-smiths, painters, masons, 
weavers, gardeners, fruiterers, cheese- and sausage-mongers 
(1 ixxicaroli).* These guilds usually had hospitals of their 
own, close to the churches and chapels which belonged 
to them. Xo expense was spared in adorning the guild- 
chapels ; nearly all the churches were remarkable for their 
grandeur and for their rich ornamentation, which usually 
contained some ingenious allusion to the trade pursued by 
the members. Thus the garlands in S UI Maria dell Orto 
in Rome remind us of the fruiterers. This church was 
planned by Giulio Romano. The bakers church,, S ta Maria 
di Loreto, near the forum of Trajan, was erected under 
Julius II. after a design by Antonio da Sangallo. 

A no less brilliant and varied array meets the eye when 

* MORONI, II., 500 scq.\ PIAXXA, 429 scq., 591 .?< /., />- stq-< : 

5 \ () scq. 

t The forthcoming volume of the present work will furni.-h further 
particular^ on this subject in umnection with ecclesiastical reforms. 

* PIAZZA, 605 j t y. 


we glance at the national brotherhoods, which were founded 
mostly for the benefit of craftsmen. Thus there were in 
Rome special associations for the German cordwainers and 
German bakers. The head-quarters of the universal German 
Confraternity were at the German national hospital, S ta 
Maria dell Anima. In like manner, French, Portuguese, 
Sclavonians, Spaniards, Siencse, Lombards, and Florentines 
all had their societies in close connection with the hospitals 
of their respective nations.* 

An important part was played by the guilds in the 
development of popular religious poetry and drama, both 
of which flourished greatly during the I5th Century. 

The vibrations of the inspired chords struck by S. 
Francis and Fra Jacopone da Tocli were prolonged and 
expanded in the popular hymns. Besides being fostered 
and cultivated by the guilds, religious poetry in a great 
measure owed its origin to them The brothers, particularly 
in Tuscany, had an ancient custom of assembling at the 
hour of the Ave Maria, after their day s work w r as done, 
either in their chapels or at the street corners before the 
images of the Madonna, to pray and sing hymns of praise, 
called Lauds. A company of Laud-singers (Laudcsi) was 
formed in Florence at the end of the I2th Century, an 
example followed in time by all the many brotherhoods 
and the companies of Or San Michele, S ta Maria Novella, 
S ta Croce, the Carmine and Ognissanti. The singing of 
Lauds was formally prescribed in their statutes. The people 
sang out of the fulness of their hearts, and saw nothing 
strange or repugnant in adapting common secular tunes to 
sacred words. The composer of these Lauds frequently be 
longed to the highest and most cultivated classes of society. 

* Cf, PASTOR, Hist. Popes, I., 248 scq. (Engl. trans.); Zeitschr. d. 
hist. Ver. fur Bamberg, XXXVII. (1875), 73 sc Q-\ an< l I IAZZA, 296 scq,^ 
i yS scq. 

Thus we find among the Laud-writers, ( ardinal Dominici, 
the learned Lorenzo Giustiniani (ob. MS^ i Antonio 
liolognini, Bishop of Foligno (ob. 14^1), Castellano 
Castellani, professor at Pisa, [488-1518, Lncrezia Torna- 
buoni, the mother of Lorenzo de Medici, and finally 
Lorenzo himself.* 

The hymns were sung at processions and on pilgrimages 
as well as at private and public worship. Many gems of 
true poetry and sincere piety are contained in this va.^t 
treasury. Though the perpetual recurrence of the same 
motive tends to become wearisome, we marvel at the count 
less variations and at the exquisite tenderness of feeling so 
.-imply expressed. This is especially true of the most con 
spicuous of these religious poets, Fco BclcarH- who is never 
tired of his one, inexhaustible theme the love of God. A 
collection of his poems was published in 1455 for the 
Compagnia de Battuti di Zan Zanobi at Florence. Belcari, 
the Christian Poet, died in 1484. His pupil, Girolamo 
Bcnivieni, thus laments his master: 

I erduta ha 1 cieco mondo quclla 1u< 
(Tie pel dubio cainin i^ran tempo scorta, 
I u i;ia de iinei nmiistra c (luce. 

Tare 1 celeste stion p;ia spinta c morta, 
K T harnionia di fjiiella dol< c Ivra 
( hel niondu afllill lior lascia 1 cic ! ( onf< >rta. , 

The earlier Lauds were probably purely lyrical, but soon, 

* Besides GASPAKY, II., 19.] JYV/., r/>3, < f. aKo Ki I/MOXT, I on 
42.1 .svy., ed. 2: II., 22 .sry., ed. 2 : STI.KX. [., 145 .- \ is< ni.R, Si-- 
norclli, 134 scq.\ C R]-;ixi-;\.\C U, I., 305 xcy.\ and D Axcox: 
scy., cd. 2. I hc best tollcction of Laud^ was published by (iallctti 
Laudc spirituali di Fco lielcari, Lorcn/o dc ! .Medici, di Krai 
d Albixxi, etc. Fircnxc, 1863. 

t Sec .sv//>;w. |). 14 set/. 

X RKUMONT, loc. at., I., 431-3, cd. 2. 


in sympathy with the dramatic ritual of the Church,* they 
assumed more and more the character of the drama. 
Poems in dialogue soon turned into regular religious plays, 
called dcvozione (devotions). It was not by accident that 
the Italian mystery play should have begun in Urnbria, in 
Southern Tuscany, and in the northern districts of the 
Papal States. Here in the secluded rocky vale of Rieti, 

* This point is too little insisted on. It appears to me to be of the 
greatest importance. GUI DO GoRRKS, in his clever essay on the 
medieval stage, says, with much truth : " How dramatic is the ritual of 
the central point of all Catholic worship, the office of the Mass, the whole 
service being at once a memorial celebration, and an unbloody repetition 
of the greatest and holiest of earthly scenes the Passion and Sacrifice 
of Christ. Each division of the Mass represents the progress of the 
sublime tragedy, which is unfolded, as it were, in five acts, before the 
eyes of the worshippers. First in the Introit and up to the Creed we see 
the preparation and sanctification of the celebrant as he ascends the 
holy mount, then the oblation, till we come to the Canon, where we 
behold the unbloody sacrifice itself in the Consecration and as far as the 
Paternoster, then in the Communion we have the entombment, and 
finally the thanksgiving and the benediction. Moreover between the 
actors in the Mass, the priest with his assistant Levites and the people, 
there is a frequent interchange of address and response ; also, the colour 
and shape of the priest s vestments and of the altar, even the cruciform 
of the Church itself, are all symbolical. Then again Vespers, being more 
reflective and lyrical in character, resemble the chorus of the ancient 
tragedies. Here also the antiphones, little chapter and responses are 
divided between the priest at the altar as the leader, and the people, who 
form the chorus. Thus it was by no chance accident that the finest 
works of our Christian musicians were based upon a ritual so arranged. 
Hand in hand with the music, the sacred drama of the Middle Ages 
unfolded itself, adhering of necessity to the form of its model, the Mass, 
in the dramatic celebration of which the congregation were in some 
places allowed to take part. At the present day, in the Catholic Church 
the Gospel of the Passion is still chanted dramatically, in parts. She still 
appeals to the senses in processions in her commemorations of the de 
position from the Cross and Resurrection, and in many other symbolical 
ceremonies. " 


S. Francis had made the first manger of Bethlehem for the 
instruction of the neighbouring shepherds, and the child 
like spirit of the Saint still survived in the hearts of a pro 
foundly religious population. Neither was it by chance 
that the guilds were the earliest and most zealous promoters 
of the mystery plays. Their processions, with lighted 
torches and waving banners, were in themselves a religious 
spectacle. The new method soon spread far and wide, 
as is proved by the dramatised lament of the Blessed 
Virgin in the dialect of the Abrux/i.* Here and in 
the probably Umbrian "devotions" for Maundy Thursday 
and Good Friday,-)- we sec a marked advance. Both 
plays certainly belong to the 1 4th Century, perhaps to 
the first half of it. They are closely connected with the 
Liturgy, and the representations took place in the 
church, their object being to make the people under 
stand the words spoken by the priest at the altar and 
in the pulpit. 

The " devotion " for Maundy Thursday is rich in touch 
ing passages of singular beauty. Most pathetic are the 
lines in which Mary implores her Son not to return to 
Jerusalem where He is threatened with death ! The 
Saviour, in order to spare Mis mother, has told only S. 
Mary Magdalene what He intends to do. But she reads 
in His face what is about to happen. She asks Him why 
He is so troubled; her own heart throbs with anguish; 
she is choked with fear. 

Dimelo Filgio, dimelo a me 
Perche stai Uinto nfanato ? 

* D AxcoxA, I., i 1 6 scq.) 163 ,v<y., cd. 2. 

t First published by PAI.KKMO, I Manosrritti Palatini di Firenzc, II., 
279 sc</.; then by I) A\( n.NA in the Kiv. di Filol. Koinan/a, II., i sty. 
Cf. KHKRT in the Jahrb. fur Roman. Literatur, V., 51 .vy. : Ki.i iN, IV.. 
i:;</.; and D AxcoNA, I., 1^4 st\/.. ed. 2. 
VOL. V. 


Amara me, piena di suspiri 
Perche a me lo ai celato ? 
De gran dolore se speziano le vene, 
E de dolgia Filgio me esse el fieto 
Che te amo Filgio con perfeto core, 
Dimelo a me, o dolce segnore. 

Then Christ tells her that He is going to die in order 
to redeem the world. Mary faints and falls to the ground. 
When she comes to herself she cries, " Call me no more 
Mary, because I have lost Thee my Son." Mary desires 
to accompany the Saviour. This lie allows. At the gates 
of Jerusalem she blesses her Son and falls senseless ; when 
she revives He has vanished, and in her agony she cries : 

O Filgio mio tanto amoroso 
O Filgio mio due se tu andato ? 
O Filgio mio tuto gracioso 
Per quale porta se tu entrato ? 
O Filgio mio asai deietoso 
Tu sei partito tanto sconsolato ! 
Ditemi, O dove, per amore de Dio 
Dove andato lo Filgio mio. 

Immediately after this comes the scene on the Mount 
of Olives, where our Lord is taken prisoner. 

The devotion for Good Friday begins when the preacher 
comes to the passage in which Pilate gives the order to 
scourge Jesus. It is a complete representation of the 
Passion ; the lamentations of the Madonna which are 
introduced from time to time are full of exquisite poetry. 
After Christ s prayer for His enemies, she addresses the 
Cross : " Bend thy boughs, O Cross, and yield some rest to 
the Creator." * The entombment is most dramatically 

* Inclina li toi rami, o croce alia. 

E dola [dona] reposo a lo tuo Creaiore 
Lo corpo precioso ja se spianta ; 
Lasa la tua for/a e lo tuo vurore. 


portrayed. Mary consents to the burial, but desires to 
clasp her Son once more in her arms. S. John stands at 
His head, the Magdalene at His feet, Mary between the 
t\vo. One by one, she kisses Jlis eyes, His cheeks, His 
lips, His side, His feet, letting fall broken words at intervals. 
Finally, she turns once more to the people, and shews them 
the nails, while S. Mary Magdalene exhorts them to for 
give their enemies, as Christ forgave 1 1 is. 

After the middle of the I5th Century, the religious 
drama now called Rappresentazione Sacra appears in 
Florence in other and more highly developed forms, but still 
in connection with the guilds. Now we have real mystery 
plays, resembling the sacred dramas of other countries.* 
The performances were no longer held in church but in 
the open air, the action becomes more varied, and the 
mounting of the piece more elaborate. Instead of simple 
Laud-writers, we have real poets like Lorcn/o de Medici 
and Belcari. Many of the Litter s mystery plays are pre 
served : for instance, Abraham and Isaac (acted in 1449), 
the Annunciation, S. John the Baptist in the Desert, the 
Last Judgment, etc. The authors of man)- of the pieces 
are unknown. The subjects are taken either from Scripture 
or from the legends of the Saints ; the treatment is as 
realistic as possible, everything is calculated to stir the feel 
ings of the audience. Religious plays were very popular 
among all ranks of society throughout the Peninsula dur 
ing the 1 5th Century, but nowhere so much so as in 
Florence, the city of Art, par excellence, in the Hal)- of 

~*~ ( /. D AXCONA, I., 2i7\<v/., od. 2, and also the judicious observations 
of STIKFKI, in (irtiber s Xeitsrbr. fur Romanisrhe I hiloloyio, XVII. 

Italiane ne scroll XV. c XVI. was published by (. olomb. tie Il.itines 
> l- iren/.e, 1852); Sat re Kappres. do scroll \i\ .. \\ . e XVI., u it b admirable 
mtrodui lion-. l.)\- I) Anrona. ^ vols., |-iien/e, 1872. 


those days. Hence, all the authors of mystery plays whose 
names are known to us Belcari, Lorenzo de Medici, 
Bernardo and Antonio Pulci, Pierozzo Castellano, Giuliano 
Dati are all Florentines. Distinguished artists like Brunel- 
lesco brought scene-painting and decoration to the highest 
pitch of perfection. We hear of the most amazing stage 
mechanism, flying machines which wafted the glorified 
Saints to heaven, and parachutes upon which God s 
messengers floated down to earth. Nor were the most 


dazzling effects of light wanting. The best artists of the Re- 

o o *^> 

naissance vied with each other in contriving representations 
of the angelic choirs around the throne of God the Father.* 

The sacred drama, the outcome of Christian worship 
and of popular sentiment, preserved its essentially religious 
character throughout the I5th Century, in spite of the 
introduction of sundry comic touches. 

This secular and comic element remained a super 
fluous addition, often an effective contrast ; the end and 
object of every piece, still edification and piety. Dogmas, 
even the mystery of the Holy Trinity, are expounded, the 
Ten Commandments commented on, domestic virtues incul 
cated, the opinions of Jews and infidels confuted. The per 
formances, therefore, take place almost always on the great 
Church festivals, so as to provide pure and elevating 
amusements for the populace ; and also on days of fasting 
and penance, in order to turn men s minds heavenwards 
by setting forth before their eyes Christ s sacred Passion 
and His glorious victory.f 

* Cf., in corroboration, D ANCONA S great work, I., 245 scq., 277 sc$., 
367 jvy., 401 scq., 435 seq., 474 scq.^ 505 seq., eel. 2, and FLECHSIC,, 
Decoration der modernen Buhne, 5, who says: "We might almost 
affirm that our own age, with all its technical science, is yet not able to 
compete with the achievements of the Renaissance;." 

t For the religions and moral aspect of the Sacra Rappresentazione, 

Any one who wishes to understand the true chanu tcr o( 
the life of the people of Italy in those days should consult 
these religious plays. The spirit ol faith with which it was 
saturated is here expressed with such fervour, such grave 
simplicity and dignity, as deeply to impress even those who 
are farthest from sharing it.* 

This efflorescence of religious lyrics and dramas in the 
1 5th Century is another incontestable proof that faith 
remained strong and vivid during the period of the 
Renaissance ; it lasted into the first decade of the loth 
Century. Thus, even as late as the year 1517, a number of 
youths in Pistoja were banded together, under Dominican 
influence, into a congregation for the practice of works of 
charity and piety, under the name of the Compagnia del la 
Purita. They instituted symbolical processions with accom 
panying religious performances. A Madonna play which 
they acted created quite a stir in the city, and moved even 
the most obdurate to tears. f 

More powerful still was the Roman Passion-play, which, 
in its finished form, belongs to the end of the 1 5th 
Century, but is certainly older.^ In Rome, too, the pious 

if. D AxcoxA, I., 644-58, cd. 2, where, however, it is by no means 
exhaustively described. The subject is so foreign to the author s mind 
that he sometimes completely misrepresents it. He is, however, t.ur- 
minded enough to make the admission which \\ill be found in the next 

* D AxcoxA, I., 658, cd. 2, says of the representations of the rite of 
P.aptism jjven in the Plays of S. Ouirico e Jnlitta and S. Barbara : 
" Una sccna simile a quesla crediamo che am he al di d ou;.;i nella stia 
nuda maesta, nella sua semplicita solenne, scuotcrebbe proiondamente il 
publico scettico de ; nostn tcatn." 

t Cf. the valuable publication by P. Vic.o, Una compa^ma di Giovinetti 
Pistoiesi a principle del secolo xvi. (Bologna, 1887), and the Arch. St. 
Ital., 4 Scrie, XX., 240 set/. 

1 ( /. GRKGOKOVIUS, Kleinc Schrittcn, III., 1/7 Si </. v Lei;)/i^, 1892): 


plays owed their origin to a guild, that of the Archi-con- 
fraternita del Gonfalone,* which has been mentioned above. 
This brotherhood owned a chapel in the Colosseum which 
was restored in 1517. Christianity had surrounded this 
mightiest of Roman ruins with chapels, and planted the 
Cross in the middle of the amphitheatre, to commemorate 
the triumph of Christianity over idolatry on that same arena 
wherein so many Christian martyrs had sealed their faith 
with their blood. Up to recent times, every Friday and 
Sunday, as long as Rome was still Papal, a procession 
might have been seen at dusk wending its way to the 
Colosseum, so too in olden times the members of the Con- 
fraternita del Gonfalone used to resort thither to pray and 
scourge themselves before the Cross in the arena. In 1490, 
innocent VIII. accorded permission to the brotherhood to 
act religious plays in the amphitheatre,! a permission which 
gave them, both actually and from an historical point of 
view, the noblest theatre in the world. 

The performances took place on a high platform erected 
over the flat roof of a chapel (S lil Maria della Pieta), which 
was built against one of the southern arcades Genuine 
artists, such as Antoniasso Romano, who belonged to the 
guild, painted the scenery. The authors of the plays, 
Mariano Particappa and Bernardo di Mastro, both 
Romans, and Antonio Dati, a Florentine, and Grand 
Penitentiary in the time of Alexander VI., were also 

AM ATI, La Passione di Chrislo in rima volgare sccondo che recita e rap- 
presenta di parola a parola la compagnia del Gonfalone di Roma, etc., 
Rome, 1866 (edition of only 200 copies) ; ADIXOLFI, Roma, I., 380 seq. ; 
KLEIN, IV., 155 ; REUMONT, II., 999 seq., 1212 ; CREIZENACH, I., 335 
scq.\ and D AXCOXA, I., 115 seg., 171 scq., 353 seq., ed. 2. No reference 
is made in these works to the frescoes in the western doorway of the 
amphitheatre to which MOLITOR, 61, alludes, and which were connected 
with the Passion-plays. 

* See supra, p. 42. t See ADIXOLFI, T .aterano, Doc. XII. 

CONFK. \TI.K.\LTIKS oK Till; knSAKY. $$ 

members of the: Confraternity. The actors, men of the 
upper middle classes, appeared in antique garb, \vith 
Roman togas, helmets, and breast-plates. The play con 
sisted of a rhymed and metrical partly lyric, partly 
dramatic rendering of the history of the Passion, in the 
dialect of the people. Here, too, the lamentations of Our 
Lady are intensely pathetic. The play was acted on Good 
Friday after nightfall, by torch- and lamplight, and was thus 
witnessed in 1497 by the famous knight and traveller of 
Cologne, Arnold von Ilarff. He highly commends both 
the play and the actors, who were youths of good family/ 

Confraternities of the Rosary, Tertiaries of various Orders, 
and associations for the burial of the dead were common 
throughout Italy. The Confraternities of the Rosary were 
naturally chieily promoted by the Dominicans, S. Dominic 
having been practically the founder of this devotion ; some 
of the Papal Nuncios, however, and especially Bishop Alex 
ander of Forli, were active in encouraging them. The 
members pledged themselves to recite the Rosary on 
certain days, to implore the Divine protection against 
pestilences and other calamities. Popes Sixtus I\. and 
Innocent VIII. encouraged these guilds by bestowing 
special indulgences upon them.- " 

The institution of the Third Orders was also a legacy of 
the best period of the Middle Ages. It is usually ascribed 
to S. Francis, but in S. Norbert s time the Prcmonstra- 
tensians had already a third Order, the members of which 
lived in the world, but took part in certain conventual 
prayers and exercises.* S. Francis, however, was the first 

* HARFK, }i. These religions performances had the j;ood cftect of, 
to a certain decree, preventing the Colosseum trom completely falling 
into ruin. RKUMOXT, III., 2, 454. 

T \Yl.T/i.k und Wl-XTK, Kiivlienlexiknn. IX.. 599. 

I HURTKR. Innocent III.. Vol. IV.. 146 >!. 2, 1844) 


to give a more definite shape to the idea, and greatly to 
enlarge its scope. The rule, as laid down by the Saint in 
1221, is in twenty sections. The conditions of admission 
are primarily, the Catholic Faith, obedience to the Church, 
and a blameless reputation. No heretic, no person even 
suspected of heresy, can be accepted, and if after admission 
any member should lapse into heresy, he must be handed 
over to the authorities for punishment. Any one who 
holds any property that has been unjustly acquired, must 
make restitution before he can be accepted ; after accept 
ance there is a year s probation before being actually 
admitted ; all must promise to fulfil the Commandments of 
God. Married women cannot be received without their 
husbands consent. Both sexes are to dress plainly, with 
out ornaments of any kind, to abstain from revels, masques 
and dances, and not to countenance strolling mountebanks. 
They are directed to fast more frequently than other 
Christians, and to recite certain prayers at stated hours. 
The sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist are to 
be approached three times a year, at Christmas, Easter, and 
Whitsuntide. Offensive weapons may only be carried 
when absolutely necessary. Every member must make his 
will three months after his admission. Quarrels, which the 
brethren and sisters are bidden scrupulously to avoid, either 
amongst themselves or with others, are to be settled by the 
Superiors of the Order, or by the Bishop of the Diocese. 
An oath was only permitted in unavoidable cases. If 
possible, one Mass was to be heard daily. Sick brethren 
were to be visited, the dead followed to the grave, and 
prayers offered for the repose of their souls. The Superiors 
of the Order were not to be elected for life but for a fixed 
term. All members must present themselves once a year, 
or oftener if required, at the appointed place for the visita 
tion, which was to be conducted by a priest ; and each 


must fulfil whatever penance is imposed upon him. The 
rules, however, except in so far as they an- included in the 
laws of God and of the Church, are not binding tinder pain 
of mortal sin.* 

I hese Tertiarics, or brethren and sisters of I enance, 
were to form a religious society, living in the world, but 
preserved by their rule from a worldly spirit. Thus lay 
men and secular priests could share in the benefits and 
privileges of the Order, and be governed by the mind of 
S. Francis. 

Obviously such an association as this could not fail to 
exercise a salutary influence in raising the tone of morals 
and the standard of Christian life in the Church. The 
spirit of S. Francis, or rather the spirit of the Gospel, was 
spread abroad among all ranks by the Third Order. 

It was, from the outset, especially popular in the country 
of its founder. The choicest spirits of Italy Dante and 
Columbus, for instance were members of it.f S. Antoninus 
testifies to the vast number of Italians who were Tertiaries 
of S. Francis.* 

As S. Francis always made everything that lie did 

* Re-ula Tcrtiariornm in I IOI.STKMI S, Codex re-ul. monast., III., 
3<; 42. \Vi.T/KR und YVT.i.TK, Kin henle.xikon, X., 740. 

t This important but hitherto unnoticed passage is in the Stimma 
Theol., III., tit. 2^, cap. ^, >J 5 (Verona, i/v\ III., i2<;i\ According to 
S. Antoninus, the third Order of S. Dominic had only a very small 
follou in- in Italy. 

X I K SkC.t R. Die Hedeutunx des drilten Ordens des hi. Franciscus, 
2 scy., 7 s t (/. (Main/, 1876). This author asserts, with Ji- .n IK Normal 
buch fur die Bruder und Sclnvestern des dritten Ordens ties hi. Fran 
ciscus, 12 [\Yarendorf, 1881]), but without produ< m;_; any evidence, that 
Raphael and Michael An-elo also belonged to the third Order, but of this 
I could find no authentic proof. Raphael s father was a member of the 
Society of S 1 ^ Maria rlella M isericordia : according to Ylscni .R, Si^norelli, 
125, that great artist belonged to a religious brotherhood at Cortona. 


depend upon the Centre of the Church, he was careful to 
obtain at once for his rule the sanction of the Holy See. 
Few Popes since then have neglected to bestow some 
sign of approval on his Tertiaries. The historian of the 
Franciscans counts no less than 119 Bulls and Briefs in 
favour of the Third Order before 1500. During the Renais 
sance period, Popes Martin V., Pius II., Sixtus IV., 
Julius II., and Leo X. were its special patrons and 

A further development of the Third Order resulted from 
a desire which sprung up in many of its members to add 
entire seclusion from the world to the practice of penance. 
They lived in communities under the three vows, and thus the 
Third Order of Regulars came into being. Pope Nicholas V. 
granted them permission to found new religious houses, to 
hold general chapters, to elect from amongst themselves a 
Vicar-general and four assistants, and to adopt a distinctive 
habit instead of the hermit s garb they had hitherto worn. 
The first Vicar-General was chosen in 1448 at the general 
chapter of Montefalco. Ten years later they had obtained 
a General of their own. At the end of the I4th Century, 
chiefly owing to the efforts of S. Angelina di Corbara, 
a congregation of Nuns of the Third Order of S. Francis 
was established. It spread quickly a!l over Italy, and was 
favoured by Popes Martin V. and Eugenius IV. Pius II. 
placed them under the control of the General of the Fran 
ciscan Observantincs.* 

In a precisely similar manner a Third Order of S. Dominic 
had been founded, partly as associations of both sexes living 
in the \vorld, and partly as congregations of religious living 
in convents. Its rule was confirmed by Popes Innocent VII. 
and Eugenius IV. This Third Order of S. Dominic boasts 
of several canonised and beatified members, of whom 

* WETZEK und WKLTK, Kirchenlexikon, X., 741 scg. 

\vc will mention only SS. Catherine of Siena, ( olomba of 
Rieti, Osanna of Mantua, and Lucia of Xarni/ 1 

The example thus set by the two Mendicant Orders was 
soon followed by others. In 1401 Boniface IX. allowed 
the Augustinians L institute a Third Order for women, both 
married and single. Later on Sixtus IV. sanctioned the 
admission of men. Tcrtiaries are also found among the 
Scrvites and Minorites. The Oblatcs of Tor de Specchi, 
founded by S. Frances of Rome, must also be mentioned 
here in this connection.-]- The Third Orders and many other 
congregations have survived all the storms of subsequent 
centuries, and still exist in Italy. 

Most people who have been in Italy have experienced the 
indelible impression which the first sight of a funeral con 
ducted by one of these brotherhoods makes upon the mind. 

In silence and with measured tread the brethren of the 
Misericordia still pass along the streets of Florence, exactly 
as they did 500 years ago. They might have stepped out 
of some old fresco by Giotto or Orcagna, with their ample- 
black cloaks, and the black hoods which cover the head 
and neck, and only leave slits for the eyes, each with a 
rosary hanging from his belt which tinkles faintly as he 
walks, and in the midst the bier draped in black. lo 
this day every Italian, from the King to the beggar, bares 
his head, as he did 500 years ago, when the sable cortege 
approaches. To this day, when the foreign visitor, startled 
at the spectral apparition, turns to a bystander and asks 
what it means, the Florentine, half surprised, half scornful 
at his ignorance, answers curtly, " la Misericord I, i." 

For no less than 500 years the name of the Misericordia 

* \YKT/KR und \Vi.l.TK, Kirchenlexikon, III., 1444 st f/., ed. 2. 

t HKLYOT, III., 76 scq., VII., 519; \Yi.T/i.K un.l \Yi.i.i i,, Kirrhen- 
Icxikon, X., 745; and for tlu: Oblatcs of Tor dc : Specchi see I As iOR, 
Ili-4. Popes, I., 2]d ; KIIL;!. trans.). 


has always been held in grateful veneration throughout 
Tuscany. Modelled on the old republican constitution, the 
brotherhood has remained true to its principles and its 
offices, undisturbed by social or political changes, from the 
days of Dante to the present hour. Between the middle of 
the 1 3th Century, when it was founded in Florence, and 
the close of the I5th, there were twenty-five outbreaks of 
the Plague in the city, and on each of these occasions con 
temporaneous accounts bear witness to the courage of 
the brethren of the Misericordia in the face of death, 
and their unwearying labours in the fulfilment of their 

But in their care for the dead they did not forget the 
living. They practised all the seven acts of mercy so 
graphically illustrated by a contemporary artist in the 
tcrra-cotta bas-reliefs on the celebrated Ospedale del Ceppo 
at Pistoja.-f- 

Enough has been already related to shew that the trade- 
guilds throughout Italy were in the habit of instituting 
various foundations to supply the temporal and spiritual 
wants of their members. But in addition to these, the con 
vents and municipal corporations were no less zealous and 
active in works of charity than the companies and brother 
hoods. During the Middle Ages, Hospitals, Almshouses, 
and Orphanages were erected in all parts of the country, 
and in the smaller as well as in the more wealthy cities, 
every variety of institution for the mitigation of human 
misery in all its forms is to be found. Many of these 
institutions suffered severely in those stormy times. The 
extraordinary calamities of the I5th Century made large 

* HORSCIIELMANN S Essay, quoted supra, p. 8, note *, on Pestilential 
Epidemics, No. 179. 

t Cf. M.UNTZ, II., 457. For particulars about the fate of the Ospe 
dale del Ceppo, see the works of BAKGIACCHI, infra, p. 64, note *. 


claims on all of them, claims which were, almost without 
exception, generously met. 

In most places the relief of the poor seems to have been 
admirably organised, and, in the accounts of the many 
epidemics, there is nearly always some mention of what 
the corporation had done for the destitute in such times of 
trouble. Shelter, clothing, good food, and medical assist 
ance were as far as possible supplied, and special officials 
appointed to deal with this branch of the public service.* 

The immense variety of the charitable foundations is as 
admirable as the number of them. The great hospitals arc; 
one of the glories of the i5th Century, and in this matter 
also Florence took the lead. So early as 1328 the various 
asylums in this city contained over IOOO beds for the sick 


In the I 5th Century the number of hospitals increased In 
thirty-five. The oldest and most famous is that of ^ 
Nuova, founded by the father of Dante s Beatrice. In Var- 
chi s time, the i6th Century, this hospital spent 25,000 scudi 
a year on tending the sick, 7000 being derived from alms 
and the rest from its endowments.* It has become one of 
the greatest institutions in the world. Next to it ranked 
the Scala hospital founded in 1306, which existed till 15. 
Niccolo degli Albert! founded an asylum for poor women 
in 1377 : in the same century, the hospital of ^ 
afterwards called S. Matteo, was established. The beautiful 
hall of S. Paolo, designed by P>runellesco in the Piazza ^ 
Maria Novella, reminds us of the infirmary of the same 
name founded in 1451. Yarchi also mentions the asylum 
for the sick of S. P>oniface and that of the Incurables (Incn- 

* Quoted from UFFKLM ANN, Oeffenll. OsimdlK-itsptlr^ m Itahcn, 
published in the Viertelphrssrhrift fur ( .fsun.llu-il .pile-. 
t Hi I. I.MAN, Stiidtcwcs 
t V \urni. 1.. 3^4. 


rabili) as well as the various guild-hospitals. Besides these 
institutions devoted to the care of the sick, there were 
many others which provided shelter for the destitute poor. 
Since 1421 Florence has also possessed a foundling hospital 
(Ospizio degli Innocenti), which is one of the finest archi 
tectural creations of Brunellesco. One of its most beautiful 
features is the hall on the ground floor, in the style of the 
Renaissance, adorned with exquisite bas-reliefs in porcelain 
of infants in swaddling clothes by Luca della Robbia.* 

But all other hospitals of the time were thrown into the 
shade by the Ospedale Maggiore, built by Filarete, and the 
Lazaretto in Milan, begun by Lazzaro de Palazzi in 1488. 
These were in no respect inferior to the grandest modern 
buildings of the kind. They were constructed on the 
principle of admitting as much light and air as possible, 
with wide corridors, open colonnades, court-yards and 
gardens. In the great hospital the large hall was in the 
form of a cross, and the beds were so disposed that all the 
patients could see the Altar in the middle. Pope Sixtus 
IV. made a similar arrangement at the S to Spirito in 

Jn Rome itself the Popes invariably led the way in the 
matter of charity. Martin V., the renovator of the Eternal 
City, " the father of his country," was zealous for the poor ; J 
Kugcnius IV. was, in the best sense of the word, a father to 
the sick and needy. He restored the ruined hospital of 
S UJ Spirito in Sassia, and assisted it by becoming himself 

* For Florentine charitable institutions, cf. besides PASSF.RIXI, Storia 
detail stabilimenti di benefirenzn. di Firenze (Firen/e, 1853); SK.WFJ:. 
Florentine Life, j8o^v/.,and Fk. BRUNTS monograph, Storia d. Spedale 
di S. Maria dc-P Innocenti di Firenze, e di inolti altri pii stabilimenti 
(Firen/e, i 819), 2 vols. 

t Mi \TZ, I., .p/). 

1 PASTOR. Hr.t. I oprs, I.. 254 (Kn-1. trans.)- 


a member of the brotherhood of the Ilnlv (ihost. 1 Mis 
example was followed by Sixlus 1 V., \vho rebuilt the 
hospital and shewed much favour to the Confraternity. In 
consequence, almost every one in Rome joined it. 4 - On the 
occasion of Alexander VI. s Jubilee in 1500, the bakers 
guild founded the brotherhood of S t:i Maria di Loreto, 
which built the church and hospital of S t:i Maria di Loreto 
de Formm .* 

The asylum for incurables, the plans for which were 
drawn by .Antonio di Sangallo the younger, was specially 
favoured by Leo X.|| Besides these public institutions, 
there were the national asylums which served to shelter 
houseless pilgrims, to tend those who were sick, and to 
assist the poorer members of the various nations who had 
settled in Rome. All these foundations were munificently 
patronised by the Topes, who bestowed many marks of 
favour on them, and thus greatly encouraged the erection of 
new national associations and hospices. The S t:i Maria 
dell Anima, for instance, owed a great deal to several of the 
Popes. Through the generosity of Nicholas V. the church 
and hospital of S. Girolamo dcgli Schiavoni were erected 
for the Dalmatians and Sclavonians. Under Sixtus IV., in 
whose reign several national hospices were restored, this 
foundation was considerably enlarged. In 14.56, Calixtus III. 

* PASTOR, Hist. Popes, I., 252 ,s\y. (En-1. trans.). 
I Ibid., IV., 460^7. 
PIAZZA. 71. 

ij Rr.DTKNIIACHMU, 365. 

|| PlAZ/A, 45, 46. Even such men as Count Everso of An^uil iara 
and Ca sar Borg ia wore patrons of hospitals. The former left money 
in his will for the new winu; of the infirmary S. (iiovanni in Laterano 
(AkMKU.lM, 272 . Ca sar built the women s ward at S. Maria dclla 
Consolaxione (RKUMONT, r.esch. der Siadt Kom, III., i, -|2i 2). 1 
ha\ e not been able to consult 1 Kkic i )1 .1, L l )>pedale ddla S. Maria 
del la Consola/ione. Imola, iS?o. 


assigned a church to the Bretons, to which, in 1511, an 
infirmary was added. 

The smaller cities did not lag behind the larger ones in 
works of Christian philanthropy. Recent researches have 
brought to light the amazing liberality of Pistoja and 
Viterbo.* Many places, especially in the Papal States, are 
known to have been equally charitable, of some others 
there is, unfortunately, no record, but here too the names 
of S to Spirito, S. Giacomo, S. Pellegrino, Misericordia, which 
still survive, speak plainly enough. There is no exaggera 
tion in the words of one who knew Italy well when he says 
"In no country in the world are there such large bequests 
and endowments, such important societies for the relief of 
the poor and in aid of the sick, the weak, the helpless and 
unfortunate."-]- The total wealth of the benevolent societies 
in Italy during the seventies of this Century, including 
Rome and the Montes Pietatis, has been reckoned at 1200 
million lire.* 

Never did the love which Christ brought down from 
Ilecaven, the Divine fire which He kindled in the hearts of 
Mis disciples, burn more ardently than during the time of 

* See the valuable monographs of BARGIACCHI, Storia degl istituti 
cli beneficenza, cTistruzione ed edurazione in Pisloia e suo circondario 
(Firenzc, 1883-4), 4 vols., and Pixzi, Gli Ospizi medioevali e FOspedale 
grancle cli Viterbo (Viterbo, 1893); cf. also GRISAR in the Zeitschrift f. 
Kathol. Tlieol, XIX., 151 scq. ; Arch. St. Ital., 4 Serie, XV., 77 scq.\ 
Giorn. St. d. Lett. Hal., I., 458. The splendid hospital buildings at 
Fabriano are well-known. See M(;XTZ, I., 436. 

t RUMOUR, Urei Kcisen nach llalien, 126 (Leipzig, 1832). 

J Allg. Zeilung, 1874, No. 357, Supplement. These figures will, 
indeed, soon belong to history, for here too the revolution has begun its 
ruthless work of destruction. The whole patrimony of Christian love, 
which had been accumulated by the faith of pious ancestors under the 
shadow and guardianship of the Church is now entirely withdrawn from 
her influence. All endowments, except such as benefit particular 
families, are in danger, 


the Renaissance. Not only were most of the older founda 
tions better supported than ever, but a great number of 
new ones were added to them. This bright spot in the life 
of that period has been too much overlooked. It may 
therefore be considered permissible to insert the subjoined 
statistical tables in order to demonstrate the truth of our 

These numerous charitable and pious endowments bear 
eloquent testimony to the fervent love to God and man 
which glowed during the Renaissance, in the hearts of the 
Italian people. Foreigners visiting Italy were profoundly 
impressed by all that was done there on behalf of the 
afflicted and destitute. Martin Luther on the occasion of 
his journey to Rome in 151 1, is one amongst others to bear 
witness to this impression. 

" In Italy," he remarks, "the hospitals are handsomely 
built, and admirably provided with excellent food and 
drink, careful attendants and learned physicians. The beds 
and bedding are clean, and the walls are covered with 
paintings. When a patient is brought in, his clothes are 
removed in the presence ot a notary who makes a faithful 
inventory of them, and they are kept safely. A white 
smock is put on him and he is laid on a comfortable bed, 
with clean linen. Presently two doctors come to him, and 
the servants bring him food and drink in clean glasses, 
shewing him all possible attention. Many ladies also take 
it in turns to visit the hospitals and tend the sick , keeping 
their faces veiled, so that no one knows who they arc. 
Each remains a few days, and then returns home, another 

* Cf. Statistica delle Opcrc Pic al 31, XII., I SSo (Roma, i 886 9 1 ) - vols. 
The figures for the /Kmilia are missing here, and are borrowed from the 
statistics of 1861. Neither of books i:- complete or scholarly. 
Completeness could not be attempted in thi> Introduction ; if it had been, 
it would have ^rown to the dimen^ion^ of a separate volume. 

VOL. v. i- 



8 . 

c ^ CJ 

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C-.h -r, >- V " o O 

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O J M 1> 

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taking her place. In Florence, the hospitals arc managed 
in the same way and with the same care, Kqually excellent 
are the foundling asylums, where the children are well-fed 
and taught, suitably clothed in a uniform, and altogether 
admirably cared for."* 

A similar opinion is expressed by John Kck, who say.s 
that none of the German hospitals can be in any way 
compared with the splendid establishments in Rome, 
Florence, Siena, Venice, and other places/!- Nearly all 
those hospitals were favoured with special Papal or 
Episcopal Indulgences.^ The innumerable works of Art 
embodying Christian truths, which were produced in Italy 
during the Renaissance, stand only next to the pious 
foundations in their historical importance, as a measure of 
the national stand-point in regard to religion. They are 
indeed visible " witnesses of the faith that was in it." This 
Art is the glory of an age which was enthusiastic in its 
appreciation of beauty, its triumphs are an undying tribute 

* K. E. FOKSTKMAXX, I). Martin LntherVn.M hredcn oclcr C<illo<|iii;t, 
so er in vielen Jahren gcgen gclehrten Lenten, ;uu:li fremden (iasten 
uncl semen Tischgesellen gefuhret, nacli den Hauptstn cken unserer 
Christlichen Lelire msammen getragen II., 213 (Lcip/ig, i v45\ Cf. 
aI.M> the praise of the great hos])ital at Siena in the pilgrimage of the 
Knight ARNOLD vox HARFF, 1496 .wy., edited hy (iroote, \2 sc</. 

t Ii-CK : Der Fiinft nnd letst Tail Christenlichcr I rediL; von den 
Zehcn Gebotten (Ingolstadt, 15^9) ; / fr this rare work my ([notation, 
from JAXSSKX, (iesdi. des Dcntscli. Volkcs, \ II., 496, f. Ivii 1 . In an 
swer to I-k T/i.k s attack on Catholics, saying that there is no real trust 
in Christ, no active charity, no true holiness among them, K( K says: 
Mic tamen ei ohncio nnnm hospitale S. Spinlns Romae ant ho.-^pitale 
Senense ant S. Marci Florentine, ant ea (juac snnt snl> illustri \ r cnetorum 
doninno an non in his offieiosius monstretnr rantas in ])ro\imo^ etiam 
alienos, (jnam fiat in omnibus dominiis et civitatibns Lutherii is. Kepliui 
Jo. Eckii adversus scripta secnnda lUiceri, p. 52. 1 ari.^ii^, 1543. 

I BURCKHAKDT, ( ieschichte der Renaissance. 222. 

^ Fr. SCHXKIDLR in Alte nnd Neuc \Vclt (1877) ]). 488. 


to the genius of the gifted Italian race. To the general 
public and to most of those who visit the Peninsula, this 
artistic activity in the service, or at least under the influence 
of the Church, appears to be the characteristic feature of 
the age, in fact the real Renaissance. But natural as is 
this view at first sight, the historian, while fully realising 
the splendid development of its Art, must not neglect or 
overlook the other manifestations of the culture of the age. 
Indeed, the Art itself cannot be rightly understood without 
an adequate appreciation of the other characteristics of this 
unique period. 

Without entering into disputed questions in aesthetics, I 
think it important to observe that in studying and criticis 
ing the Art of the Renaissance, a distinction should be 
drawn between the development of architecture and orna 
mental sculpture on the one hand, and of painting, more 
particularly of easel pictures, on the other. That of the 
handicrafts also, which are assuredly the best criterions of 
popular culture and taste, requires to be separately con 
sidered. Too little attention is paid, as a rule, to the 
importance of this great factor in the economic and social 
life of a nation. 

In Architecture and decorative Sculpture, the Renaissance 
effected a substantial revolution. The antique style was 
revived, which, though a product of Pagan civilisation, was 
in itself neutral, and neither Pagan nor anti-Christian.* 
The degree of aesthetic perfection attained by any school 
of architecture can supply no criterion of its merit from a 
religious point of view. The spirit in which the buildings 
were conceived is the only measure by which they can be 
judged. The historian of Art may indeed find it difficult to 
forget the world which produced the antique models, and 

* Cf. GUAUS, Die Kath. Kirche und die Renaissance, 2nd edit. 
Freiburg, 1888. 


to regard the Architecture of the Renaissance solely in the 
light of the Faith which inspired it, but it was in this light 
that the age interpreted its own work, and thus only can 
it be correct!} estimated. Thus, many of the 1 critics of the 
Art of the Renaissance, failing to recognise this fusion of 
the religious with the . esthetic point of view, are wholly at 
fault in their judgment of it. Christian Art strove to 
inspire the antique forms, to express Christian ideas in 
classic shapes, and permeate them with the Christian 
civilisation of the da}-. 

Magnificent new churches, which arc still the glory of 
its cities, sprang up all over the Apcnnine Peninsula. 
Municipal pride and piety here went hand in hand." 
These emphatic " sermons in stone/ would in themselves 
be proof enough that the great majority of the nation in all 
ranks were still devoted to the Faith. The very excess of 
decoration in their churches testifies to their allegiance. f 
Anything like a complete list of the works of Art executed 
at the time of the Renaissance for religious purposes, would 
fill a volume. The following is merely an approximate 
record of the most important of these in the domains of 
Architecture and Sculpture.^ 

1401. (Ihiberti, Ouercia and Brunellcsco, compete for the bronze 

doors of the Baptistery at Florence. 

1403. The first door of the Baptistery is entrusted to (ihiberti. 
1407. Donatella is commissioned to execute the ligureol Da\ul 

for the Cathedral in Florence. 
140 -!. Commissions for figures of three Evangelists lor the 

Cathedral in Florence are given to Ponatello, Nicculo 

Lambert! and Xanni d Antonio di Banco. 
140 -?. Ouereia completes a Madonna for the Cathedral at Ferrara. 

* Ki-.r.MoNT in the Lit. KundsclKiu (iSyS) p. 333. 

t MCvrx, I., 34, 414. 

I Mainly bornm el from K !-:i> 1 KM: u ill K. 453 svy. 


1409-10. Ciuffagni is at work on statues for the Cathedral in 


1409. Donatello is paid for the figure of a prophet. 
1412. Donatello receives the price of his Josue. 
1414. Intarsia work in the Cathedral at Orvieto. 

1414. Ghiberti undertakes the bronze statue of S. John the 

Baptist for Or San Michele in Florence. 

1415. Donatello receives a commission for Uvo figures on the 

Campanile in Florence. 

1415. Donatello is paid for his S. John the Baptist. 

1416. Donatello is at work on his statue of S. George for Or San 

1416. Quercia is directed to provide a font for San Giovanni 

at Siena. 

1417. The holy- water stoup ascribed to Matteo Sanese is placed 

in the Cathedral at Orvieto. 

1417. Ghiberti designs silver candelabra for Or San Michele. 
1417. Two bronze plaques for the font in San Giovanni at Siena 

are entrusted to Quercia. 
1417. Two descriptive panels for the font at Siena are ordered 

from Ghiberti. 

1419. S. Lorenzo at Florence begun by Brunellesco. 
1419. Ghiberti commissioned to execute a statue of S. Matthew 

for Or San Michele. 
circa 1420. The Paz/.i chapel in Florence erected by Brunellesco. 

1421. A marble statue for the bell tower (campanile) in Florence, 

ordered from Donatello and Giovanni di Bartolo. 

1422. Donatello executes ttie heads of two prophets for the 
Cathedral at Florence. 

1422. Quercia carves figures for S. Frediano at Lucca. 
1424. Ghiberti finishes the bronze gate of the Baptistery in 

1424. Ghiberti designs glass windows for the Cathedral at 


1425. Ghiberti receives the commission for the second bronze 
gate of the Baptistery in Florence. 


1426. Jkunellesco begins the central part of the Monaster, 

degli Angeli in Florence. 

1426. Facade of the Cathedral at Como erected. 
1431. Completion of the dome of the Cathedral at Florenre. 
1431. Marble tribune for the Cantoria executed by Luca della 

Robbia for the (Cathedral in Florence. 

1433. Brunellesco draws plans lor S " Spirito in Florence. 
1433. Tabernacle by 13. Rossellino in SS. Mora and Lucilla at 


1433. Tribune for the Cantoria by I )onatello, placed in the second 

chapel of the Cathedral in Florence. 

1434. Stained glass windows by Ghiberti, put in the /anobi 
chapel of the Cathedral v.i Florence. 

1436. Consecration of the Dome in the Cathedral at Florence. 
1436. Tabernacle by Bernardo Rossellino in the Abbey at 

1436. Donatello is directed to prepare the bronze doors of the 
two new Sacristies at the Cathedral in Florence. 

1437. Luca della Robbia s live reliefs for the Campanile in 


1438. Luca della Robbia makes two marble altars for the 

Cathedral in Florence. 

1438. Turini decorates the Cathedral-sacristy at Siena. 
1440. Ghiberti completes the shrine of the relics of S. /anobi. 
1442. San Marco in Florence. 
1442. Michelo/zo works with Chiberti on the doors of the I .aptis 

tery in Florence. 
1442. Luca della Robbia makes a Tabernacle tor the Hospital of 

S t;i Maria Xuova in Florence. 

1442. Vecchietta carves a figure of Christ tor the Cathedral at 


1443. Buggiano makes a Tabernacle for the Cathedral at Florence. 
1443. (ihiberti finishes six bas relicts tor the second door ot the 

Baptistery in Florence. 

1446. Luca della Robbia begins his "Ascension" for the Sadistv 
of this Cathedral at Florence, 


1446. Turini finishes his figure of Christ for the Cathedral in 


1447-8. Bronze screen-work by Michelozzo for the Cathedral at 

1447. Building of S. Michele in Bosco near Bologna. 

1448. Luca della Robbia s two angels in the chapel of the 
Blessed Sacrament in the Cathedral of Florence. 

1448. Turini s Reliquary of S. Bernardino. 

1449. Luca della Robbia s sounding-board for the pulpit in S, 
Domenico at Urbino. 

1450. S. Marco at Fiesole is finished. 

1450. S. Giacomo on the Piazza Navona in Rome begun. 

1451. Choir by Alberti in the Church of the SS ma Annunziata 

in Florence. 

1451. Donatello carves a figure of S. John the Baptist for the 

Church of the Frari in Venice. 

1452. Michelozzo makes the silver statue of S. John the Baptist 

for the Baptistery in Florence. 
1452. Vittorio Ghiberti gilds the bronze door of the Baptistery. 

1452. Ghiberti s second bronze door is put up. 

1453. S ta Maria sopra Minerva in Rome is finished. 
1456. Facade of S ta Maria Novella in Florence completed. 
1456. The Church of Corpus Domini at Bologna begun. 

1456. The high altar in the Cathedral at Ferrara. (Meo del 


1457. Donatello begins the bronze doors of S. Giovanni at Siena, 

1459. S. Domenico at Perugia. 

1460. S. Sebastiano and S. Lorenzo at Mantua begun by Alberti. 
1460. The great doorway of the Cathedral at Como. 

1460. Marble choir in S ta .Maria della Spina at Pisa. 

i 460. Campanile of the Cathedral at Ferrara. 

1462. Portinari Chapel near Sant Eustorgio in Milan. 

1462. Statues of SS. Peter and Paul in Rome by Paolo Romano. 

1463. Stalls carved by Giuliano da Majano in the Sacrist) oi the 

Cathedral at Florence and the Badia at Fiesole. 
1463 Chapel of S. Andrea near S. Peter s in Rome. 


1463. Tabernacle by Mino da Fiesole for an altar in S - Maru 

Maggiore in Rome. 

1463. S Ul Maria delle (1 nixie in Milan is begun. 
1463. Yecehietta s statue in wood for the Cathedral at Xarni. 
146^-72. Vecchictta s Ciborium in the Cathedral at Siena. 
1465. Choir-stalls by Lendinari in the Cathedral of Modenu. 

1465. Facade of S. Marco in Rome. 

1466. S. Michele in Venire. 

1466. Church of the Ospedale della Scala at Siena. 

1468. Choir-stalls of the Frari Church in Venire. 

[469. Completion of the tomb of S. Dominical Bologna. 

1470. Completion of the facade of S ta Maria Novella in Flor 

jjyo-y-. Wood-carving by Giuliano da Majano lor S l Annun 

xiata in Florence. 

1470. S. Satiro at Milan is begun. 

1471. Madonna della Neve at Siena is finished. 

1471. The Church of the Servi di Maria at Siena is begun. 

1471. The Church della Consolazione in Rome consecrated. 

1471. Verrocchio begins statues of the Apostles tor Sixtus 1\ . 

1471. Mino da Fiesole s Tabernacle for the Baptistery m Flon nee 

147.:. The Cathedral of Citta di Castello is begun. 

147.?. S. Andrea at Mantua begun by Albert!. 

47-" ~77- ^ la Maria del Popolo in Rome. 

1473. ^ :;i M:u~i i n Uado at I- errara is begun. 

1475. u f^<;a<le of the ( ertosa near I avia is begun. 

1473. The SistiiH (Miapi.:! in Roiin-. 

1473. Ci\itali s sculptures in marble in the Cathedral of Lucca. 

1474. Uenedetto da Majano carves tin- pulpit of S. Croee i: 

1475. S. Caterina at Siena. 

1475. Choir of the Cathedral at Pisa by Haccio I ontelli. 

147^. Sacristy of S. Satiro at Milan. 

1475. Vecehietta s statue of S. Paul for the Cathedral .it Siena 

I4;(.. The choir of SS 1 "- 1 Annmi/.iata in I ion nee is finished. 

14;!). The ( olleoiie Chapel at I5eivamo. 


1476. Carved stalls in S. Domenico at Perugia. 

1476. Renovation of S. Satiro at Milan by IJramante. 

1476. Verrocchio s David in bronze. 

1476. Vecchietta s Christ in bronze for the Ospedale della Scala 

at Siena. 

1477. The new P art f tne Cathedral at Pavia begun. 

1477. Baccio Pontelli finishes his stalls for the Cathedral of 


1478. Verrocchio s figures for the Tabernacle in Or San Michele 

at Florence. 
1478. The Incoronata Chapel at Pisa completed by Baccio 

1478. Vecchietta s S. Sebastian modelled in silver for the 

Cathedral at Siena. 
1478. Vecchietta s infant Christ for the font of S. Giovanni at 

1479-81. S. Agostino in Rome. 

1480. SS nia Annunziata outside Bologna. 

1480-89. S la Maria de Miracoli by Pietro Lombardo in Venice. 

1481. Tabernacle by Mino da Fiesole for S. Ambrogio in Flor 


1482. S. Lorenzo at Cremona is finished. 

1482-84. Civilali s Tempietto for the Volto Santo in the Cathe 
dral of Lucca. 

1483. S. Giovanni Crisostomo in Venice. 
1483. SS ta Maria delle Grazie at Pistoja. 

1485. Decoration in wood by Giuliano da Sangallo for the high 

altar of the Cathedral at Florence. 
1485. The foundation-stone is laid of Giuliano da Sangallo s 

Church of the Madonna delle Carceri at Prato. 
1485. Foundations laid of the Church of the Madonna del Cal- 

cinajo at Cortona. 
1485. S ta Maria Maggiore at Cilia di Castello is begun. 

1485. New altar in the Cathedral of Siena. 

1486. Choir of S. Francesco at Treviso. 

1487. The Incuronala Church at Lodi. 

CHURCH r.riLniNc.. 75 

1487. S ta Maria de Miracoli at Bivscia is begun. 

1487. Ferrucci designs and executes a Ciboriuin for tin: ( lathe 

dral at Prato. 

1488. S. Giovanni de Fiorentini at Rome is founded. 
1488. S. Bernardino at Assisi. 

1488. Choir-stalls of S. Pancra/io in Florence. 
1488. Choir-stalls in the Cathedral of Lucca. 

1490. Choir-stalls in the Cathedral of CiUa di Castello. 

1491. Campanile lor the Cathedral at Ferrara begun. 
1491. S ;> Maria in Via Lata at Rome begun. 

1491. Atrium of the Cathedral at Spoleto. 

1491. S ta Maria presso S. Celso at Milan begun. 

1491. Choir-stalls of S lu Maria Novella in Florence. 

1491. Civitali decorates the Chapel of S. John the Baptist in the 
Cathedral at Genoa. 

1491. Choir of the Cathedral at Florence finished. 

1492. S. Maria Maddalena de Pazzi at Florence begun by 

Ciiuliano da Sangallo. 
1492. The Church of Pietrasanta at Naples. 

1492. The Crypt of the Cathedral at Naples embellished. 

1493. S. Cioce at Crema. 
1493- 1508. S. Niccolb at Carpi. 

1494. S. Francesco at Ferrara. 

1494. Madonna dell Umilta at Pistoja. 

1494. S. Chiara at Pistoja. 

1494-98. Civitali s pulpit in the Cathedral of Lucca. 

1495. ^ Kl M^ia di Monserrato in Rome. 

1495. S. Loren/o in Damaso in Rome, partly built. 
1495. S ta Maria dell Annun/.iata at Hevagna finished. 
1495. The carved stalls of S. Petronio at Bologna. 

1497. S. Ciiacomo Maggiore in Florence-. 

1498. S. Francesco al Monte near Florence. 

1498. S. Vincen/.o del Orto at Savona. 

1499. Decoration of the Choir in the Cathedral of F nara. 
1499. Sculpture s by Benedetto da Rove/./ano for the Tiibunc -I 

the Choir in S. Stefuno at tieno;i. 


1499-1500. Michael Angelo s Pieta. 

1499-1511. S. Sisto at Piaccnza. 

1500. S. Benedetto at Ferrara is begun. 

1500. Rebuilding of the Cathedral at Foligno begun, 

1500. S ta Maria dell Anima in Rome. 

1500. Building of S ta Maria di Loreto in Rome determined on. 

1500. S. Pietro in Montorio. 

i 500. Chapel of S. Antonio at Padua. 

1502. S ta Giustina at Padua is begun. 

1502. The Cathedral at Cividale is begun. 

1503. S. Cristoforo at Ferrara. 
T 504. S. Magno at Legnano. 

1504. Laying of the foundation-stone of S t:i Maria della Conso- 
lazione at Todi. 

1505. S. Giovanni Battista at Ferrara. 

1506. Laying of the foundation-stone of the new S. Peter s in 


1506. S. Fantino in Venice. 
1506. Benedetto da Rovezzano s tomb of S. Gualberto for the 


1508. Altar in Madonna delle Career! at Prato. 
1508-9. Bramante s work at Loreto. 

1509. S la Maria Maggiore at Spello, 

1509. S. Michele at Orvieto. 

1510. S. Giovanni at Parma. 

1511. The Servite Church at Siena. 

1511. J. Sansovino makes the statue of S. John the Baptist for the 

Cathedral of Florence. 

1512. S tu Spirito at Ferrara. 

1512. The statue of an apostle by Sansovino for the Florentine 

1514. Sansovino s work in the Casa Santa at Loreto. 

1514. Cathedral at Carpi begun. 

1515. S. Zaccaria at Venice completed. 

1517. S La Maria di Piazza at Busto Arsizio. 

1518. S. Stefrmo at Faenza is begun. 

UKNAISSANCK AND ( ,( ) ! ! I K A U< I 1 I 1 I .< "I I M; I . 77 

At the same time, while full} recognising how large a 
proportion of the Art of the Renaissance was dedicated to 
Christian uses, it cannot be denied that the revival of the 
antique in art as well as in literature, brought with it the 
danger of a return to Pagan ideals in ethics and civilisation.* 
A Pagan Renaissance was to be feared, keeping pace with 
the Christian movement, but less formidable here- than in 
literature. Classical studies in both branches had never 
quite died out in Italy. Italian Gothic had absorbed many 
antique elements into a style of its own, which, however, 
speaks far less eloquently to posterity than the medieval 
monuments of Germany, France, or Spain. Ihus the 
Architecture of the Renaissance was as neutral in relation to 
the national sentiment and conditions of life, as it was in 
relation to Christianity and the mind of the Church 

The aesthetic merit of the Renaissance principle in Archi 
tecture when compared with the Gothic is a totally different 
question. The champions of the latter may justly insist on 
its freedom and variety of detail in strict subservience to 
fixed laws, its perfect mastery of large masses, the superiority 
of the dynamic principle of construction over the ancient 
static method, its adaptation of each form to the idea and 
purpose and to the material employed, its noble symbolism 
and peculiar capacity for expressing religious and ( hris- 
tian thought, more especially the lifting up of the soul to 
God;t but we shall not be far wrong if we attribute all 
that is regrettable in the practical consequences which 
resulted from the classical revival (especially from the later 
Renaissance period clown to our own clay), whether in 
architecture, sculpture, or handicrafts, rather to the degrada 
tion of taste than to the failure of the religious basis. 

* PASTOR, HU. Popes I., 12 ^y., 2.\ sc,/.. !<) - - (Kn^l. Irans.) 
t A. kKicnKXSPKRGKR, particularly in the pamphlet. 
]<. Hermann s Sadie, eel. j, il c;!. 


effect of the employment in the modern classical style of 
ready-made forms, which had been designed by the ancients 
to express different ideas and serve other purposes, was to 
slacken that close bond between the form and the thought 
which it represents, or the use for which it is intended, 
which is an indispensable condition for all good Art* 

Painting, and to a certain extent, sculpture, must be 
regarded from another point of view. There is no contrast 
here, as there is in the modern-classical architecture, 
between present and past, we have only a further develop 
ment, especially in regard to statues and grotesques in 
which the influence of ancient ideas and types is increas 
ingly felt.f Architecture speaks the language of the 
antique, on which it is based. But in painting and sculp 
ture, classic reminiscences are rare and subordinate, being 
confined to decorative and architectural details.^" The 
painting of this period " is the perfected blossom of the 
national spirit of the Italians. Had this gifted race pro 
duced nothing beyond its magnificent schools of painters, 
this alone would have sufficed to secure it an imperish 
able fame. The steady and continuous development of 

* The loosening of these relations is apparent in the debased style of 
the late Renaissance and baroque period. This fault, combined with the 
failure in our own century to recognise the aesthetic interdependence of 
form and material, is, apart from other contributory causes, mainly re 
sponsible for the state of decadence from which architecture and industrial 
art are only just beginning to emerge. The thorny question as to which 
style of architecture, the Gothic or the Renaissance, should in the present 
day be preferred and cultivated, requires to be approached in the light 
of the history of Art and with a due consideration of modern conditions. 
CJ. Br A. TSCHERMAK, Ueber einen Hauptfehler des modernen Kunst- 
urtheils in the Christliche Kunstanzeigen, 1894 (Frankfurt), Nos. u, 12. 

t For further details see Vol. VI. of this work, Book I., c. 7, and Book 
II., c. 8. 

J WOLTMANN, II., 135. 

IAIN TI\(i IN TI1K K I .N A 1 SSA \( I .. 79 

Italian painting resembles the luxuriant growth of a plant 
under absolutely favourable conditions. It was rooted in 
the national religion whence it drew its inmost life." Thus 
Italian painting became " the chosen interpreter and organ 
of the mysteries of Christianity."* 

Easel-painting, especially saturated with the spirit of 
religion, reached the highest pitch of excellence which 
history has ever recorded, and the soul of this pre-eminence 
was the Catholic Faith. j- True it is that here and there, 
though very rarely, in the 1 5th Century, the sensuous Pagan 
tendency appears, side by side with the Christian ; but the 
best work is that which breathes the most purely religious 
spirit. Painters and sculptors vied with one another in 
doing honour to the Mother of God. She is " the theme of 
Raphael s life, the golden thread which is interwoven with 
the whole fabric of his art " as is proved by the fifty or more 
pictures of the Madonna which we owe to his pencil. The 
crown of them all is his Madonna di San Sisto, which, like 
all his works, combines realism in form, with an idealism in 
conception.* Mary appears here in glory in her triple 
character of Virgin, Mother of God, and Queen of I leaven. $ 
The sorrow of the Mother of God is most touchingly repre 
sented in the Pieta by Guido Mazzoni (a terra-cotta in S. 
Giovanni at Modena 1480,!), in the Pieta by Giovanni Bellini 
at Milan,", and in Michael Angelo s renowned masterpiece. vs; 

* (iRi-;r,oKOVius, Gcsch. clcr Stadt Rom im Mittelaher, VIII., 149, 
ed. 3. 

t This is SCHADKX S view, 197. 

1 I . I\MMM,KK, KatlaeTs, in the Ili^lor-polit., HI. XC\T, 
19 .VtV/., <S i .v,y. 

J5 XAU.MAXX, Archiv fur Xcirhnendc Kun.4e, Jalir-., II., i 

|| Archivio St. dell Artc, III., 10. 
"" MUNTZ, I., 5. 

" To the objection raised by some of his ( ontcmporanc^ that lie had 
made Mary too young, Michael Angelo replied that he had sought to 


Leonardo da Vinci s Last Supper, the " Disputa," Raphael s 
cartoons for the Sistine tapestries, and the Transfiguration, 
mark the culminating point of Christian Art.* Although 
Italy has supplied a liberal share of the contents of nearly 
all the galleries in Europe, it has still so large a store of 
religious pictures of the first order, that an even approxi 
mately complete enumeration of them would fill a volume. 

Altar pieces were the commonest form of easel-picture, 
but devotional subjects were often painted for private 
families. Biblical scenes were frequently depicted, and 
portraiture was widely cultivated. The a\vakened interest 
in antiquity opened up a new world of subjects in myth 
ology and history, which served to adorn the state apart 
ments of the rich and great ; f but still throughout the isth 
Century, the proportion of religious to classical pictures 
stands at about twenty to one.} The advance in realism 

represent that Virgin whose soul had never been vexed by the faintest 
sinful desire, and to make visible to the world the virginity and change 
less purity of the Mother of God. This work at once made Michael 
Angelo the most famous sculptor in Italy. Originally destined for the 
chapel of S. Pelronilla, it was placed in 1749 on the altar of the first 
chapel in the right aisle of the nave of S. Peter s, where unfortunately 
its transcendent merits cannot be fully appreciated. See GRIMM, 
Michelangelo, I., 185 seg., ed. 55 BURCKHARDT, Cicerone 4335 and 
SPRINGER, 15 scq.\ ARNOLD WELLMER, Michelangelo s Spuren m 
Rom; Frankfurter Zeitung-, March 6, 1875, No. 65, Morning edition ; 
Christliches Kunstblatt, 1875 (Stuttgart), No. 7, and WOLFFLIN, Die 
Jugendwerke des Michelangelo (Munchen, 1891); and also TSCHUDI 
in Ac Deutsche Lit-Zeitung, 1891, 885. For other Pielas tf. infra on 
Savonarola and Art. Cf. also BEISSEL in the Stimmen aus Maria-Laach, 
XVIII., 473 seq., and Revue de 1 Art Chretien, 1883, Octobre. 

* On the "Disputa," see Vol. VI. of this work, Book III., c. 10 ; on 
Leonardo s Last Supper, see the admirable treatise by FRANTZ Das 
Ileilige Abendmahl des Leonardo da Vinci, Freiburg, 1885. 

t \YOLTMAXX, II., 134. 

J MUNTZ, I., 232-75. 

TIII-: no.Mixir.Ax PAIXTI-RS. 81 

which characterises all tin* Art of this period, including the 
Flemish, still the predominant school throughout the rest 
of Europe, was obtained at the price of some very doubtful 
innovations. Saints are often shorn of their nimbus, of 
their typical attributes and of their traditional features, 
and they are depicted in the c^arb and with the faces of 
ordinary citizens.* The study of the nude, indispensable 
to accurate drawing, was largely extended by the Renais 
sance,! but during its earlier portion, while most of the 
children are naked, male figures are rarely represented 
nude, and female figures scarcely ever.* Religion could not 
be accused of prudery in the moderate restraints which she 
imposed upon artists, and it was not till the Renaissance 
had attained to its apotheosis that they were entirely 
thrown off. 

The Dominican painters have a special importance as 
representing the opposition to this incipient profanation of 
the Art of the Renaissance. At their head is Fra Giovanni 
Angelico, the most Christian painter of any a^e, and after 
him, Fra Filippino, who painted the frescoes in S Kl Maria 
Sopra Minerva in Rome, and the ^reat Fra Bartolomeo della 
Porta, who died in 1517.";" The war wa^ed by Girolamo 
Savonarola against the corruptions in the art of this period 
which were thus setting in, will be described in a subse- 

* Mi : NT/, I., 298, 327-46, 604. 

t Jlnd., 232. 

+ //>/(/., 291, "En these L vm ralo Ics quattrorcntistcs cvitaicnt 
<le reprcscnter tics figures nues . . . LVinploi drs figures nucs nc 
cessa d ailleurs, peiulant tout lc (|uinxic!iu: sieclc, dc soulcvcr tics 

S Renaissance und Dominikanerorden, I li^toi-.-jiolit.. 151. XCIII., 
sr</. ; XCI V., 26.v<v/. P. \ i.\ci:.\/o M. \Keni si-:, Mcnioi ic dci piii insi^ni 
J ittori, Scultori c Arrhitctti Doincnicani. 2 vols., Uolo^na, iS/S 9, ctl. iv. 

|j PASTOR, Hist. Poj^-s, II., 185 set/. (Kn-1. trans.). 

1 UAN i /, Fra Bartolomeo tlclla 1 orta. Kc.^c n^liui ^. i^~<). 
VOL. V. C, 


quent chapter, which will also deal in more detail with its 
faults and follies; but these were still, as yet, few and far be 

A comprehensive review of the architecture, painting 
and sculpture of the I5th Century in Italy, leaves no doubt 
on the mind that the immense majority of this almost 
countless host of works of art, in spite of traces everywhere 
of the influences of the antique, were inspired by religion, 
and that the Art of the period was essentially Christian.* 
The Art of the Renaissance, although it might be termed 
aristocratic,! because it dwelt so much in courts and 
palaces, was yet chiefly used to adorn the churches. As 

* Cf. MiiNTZ, who says, I., 273-4: "Religious sentiment throughout 
the 1 5th Century, inspired the vast majority of artistic productions. 
Art seems wholly bound up with religion." TllODE, Franz von Assisi, 
525, observes : "In spite of the influence of the antique, quattrocento 
art also is purely Christian." P. KEPPLER, Kunstbetrachtungen in den 
Histor-polit., Bl. XCV., 17 scq., says: "The Renaissance produced 
monuments of religious art, which in their spirit of faith and purity, rank 
beside the masterpieces of the Middle Ages its most vigorous roots were 
struck in the soil of the Church. Neither in intention, character, nor 
results was it in the main irreligious ; and its grandest triumphs were 
those achieved in the name of Faith and Christianity." VlSCHER, 
Signorelli, 143, says: "A glance at the works of her painters and 
sculptors reconciles us with the Italian spirit, for they are the expression 
of true piety." GOTHEIN, Ignatius Loyola, 87 : " To Art, in a far higher 
degree than to poetry, was assigned the task of formulating the religious 
ideal. How she performed that task, how she shewed her gratitude to 
Christianity, and the services she has rendered and still renders to 
Catholicism, all this is universally recognised. The artist who painted 
religious pictures was not himself necessarily pious, although, as a matter 
of fact, we know that the greatest of these felt all that they portrayed, 
and whatever is painted or carved by the artist must in some sense have 
been seen by him. Thus Italian Art represents the whole series of 
religious emotions from the simplest to the loftiest ; and that with in 
comparable completeness." 
t MUNTZ, I., 234. 



so (lid the Italians to their churches. Long before there 
\vcre any museums or galleries properly so called, these 
churches partook of both, and contained everything which 
architecture, painting, sculpture, or the crafts could pro 
duce.* All these treasures were accessible to the multi 
tudes. Every da} they could be seen at leisure, and in an 
atmosphere of devotion. The popular taste was formed on 
them and learnt to study them. Thus Art became the 
exponent of Faith for all, whether peasant or prince, and 
the Church still speaks in the same language, even to 
those who are not her children. Hence a modern critic 
is perfectly right in his estimate of the significance of the 
testimony of its Art to the moral and social condition 
of the Italian people at the time of the Renaissance, when 
he says, " The painting alone of the Italy of those clays 
atones for all the blemishes that disfigure her, as it 
expresses the true mind of the nation, apart from that 
dissolute section of it which composed the ruling class." 
These monuments of Art " are a proof that the people still 
spoke and understood the language of profound piety and 
exalted faith. Even where the sentiment is not directly 
religious, we find a spiritual beaut} , a purity in feeling, a 
seriousness and lofty enthusiasm which afford unmistake- 
able evidence that in spite of the inadequacy of the moral 
standard of the age, the nation remained sound at the core, 
still seeking the good in the beautiful. >J - 

Art, however, was not by any me<;ns the only tnn in 
which the vitality of the Faith displayed itself. Large as 
undoubtedly was the number of unworthy prelates, bishops 
and cardinals, in this period of turmoil and transition, we 


come across many excellent men wholly devoted to their 
pastoral duties. Such were : at Mantua, Matteo Bonim- 
perto (ob. 1444) ; at Venice, Lorenzo Giustiniani (ob. 1446);* 
at Milan, Gabriele Sforza (ob. 1457) ; at Florence, S. An 
toninus (ob. 1459); at Osimo, Gasparo Zacchi (ob. 1474) ; at 
Bovino, Nattilo Lombardi (ob. 1477) ; at Squillace, Francesco 
Cajetani (ob. 1480); at Foligno, Antonio Bertini (ob. 1487) ; 
at Cosenza, Giovanni Battista Pinelli (ob. 1495) ; at Imola 
and Rimini, Jacopo Passarella (ob. 1495) ; at Aquino, 
Roberto tla Lecce (ob. 1495) ; at Modena, Niccolo Sandon- 
nino (ob. 1499) ; at Bclluono and Padua, Pietro Barozzi 
(ob. 1507); at Naples, Alessandro Caraffa (ob. 1503); at 
Chicti (from 1505 to 1524), Giovanni Pietro Caraffa; at 
Forli, Pietro Griffi (ob. 1516) ; at Pistoja, Niccolo Pandolfini 
(ob. isi8).f 

The senate of the Church contained not a few prelates 
who were eminent both in talent and piety. Martin V. 
appointed a number of distinguished Cardinals, the greatest 
of whom were, Domenico Capranica, Giuliano Cesarini and 
Niccolo d Albergati. Eugcnius IV. bestowed the purple 
on the famous Greek, Bessarion, on Juan Torquemada, 
Juan de Carvajal, Enrico de Allosio and Nicolas of Cusa. 
Calixtus III. elevated the saintly Don James, Infante of 
Portugal, to the Cardinalate, and Pius II. bestowed the Hat 

* See WKTZER und WKLTE, Kirchenlexikon, VII., 1528 seg., ed. 2, 
which gives all the references for this subject. 

t Cf. for the above, UOHKLLI, especially IV., 380 ; III., 224 ; I., 563 ; 
VIII., 384; IX., 622; I. ,761; IX., 342^7.; II., 690; I. ,445; II., 168; 
V.,439 ; VI., 224, 943 ; II., 626 ; III., 376. For S. Antoninus cf. supra, 
p. 28, and PASTOR S Hist. Popes, III., 12 (Engl. trans.). For Carafifa s 
labours in the cause of Reform at Chieti see DlTTRiCH in the Hist. 
Jahrbuch, V., 346 scq. BURCKHARDT, II., 104, 230, ed. 3, points 
out that in Italy, bishoprics never (as for instance in Germany) ran in 
families ; also that novelists and satirists scarcely allude to the bishops. 
Virtuous bishops are described by I AXDKLLO, II,, 39, 40, in his novels. 

Till. SA( Kl.D t < >LL1-;<;K. S5 

on Angelo, tlic worthy brother of Domenico Capranica, 
Bernardo Froli, Alcssandro Oh v.i, and Roverella. t ndrr 
Paul II. the noble Olivier! Caraffa and Marco P>arbo were 
nominated. The Cardinals appointed by Sixlus IV., 
Stefano Xardini, the two Spaniards Auxias de Podio and 
Pedro Gonzalez de Mcndoza, also Gabriclc Kangonc and 
the saintly Klias de Bourdeillcs, were an honour to the 
Sacred College.* 

Afterwards, when the College of Cardinals was becoming 
more and more saturated \\ ith vvorldliness, main pious 
learned, and capable men remained, who were in every 
sense ornaments to the Church, to counterbalance the 
unworthy members. One of these was Raymond Peraudi, 
created by .Alexander VI., but, towering above all the rest, 
mention must here be made of the great Francis Ximenes 
who combined administrative qualities and literary culture 
of the highest order with entire simplicity, and the most 
inflexible morality. He received the Hat under Julius 
II. Later, under Leo X. the senate of the Church was 
graced by Cajctanus (Thomas de Vio), who, as Legate in 
Germany, France and Hungary, displayed consummate 
ability, and was styled, on account of his learning, the 
greatest theologian who had appeared in the Church since 
S. Thomas Aquinas. + 

Fvcn in Saints the Renaissance period was richer than is 
commonly supposed. The following list, arranged according 

* Cf. PASTOK, IIi>t. Popes, I., 225, 261, 264 .\r//.. 306, 309, 320 ; II., 
S 9, 105 scq. ; III., 294, 297, 299 : IV., 255, note t, 301 (Hn-1. trans.). 

t A more detailed account, of these 1 Cardinals will he ^iven further 
on. Cf. also Hist.-polit., HI. LXXIX., 103 set/.: PARIS ni: GRASSIS, ed. 
Frati, 231, and SANUTO, XL, 771 3, a^rcc in prai-in.L; Carafla. \\"hen 
Peraudi died, in Septemher 1505, JUUUS II. wrote as follows: Knit 
enim rectus et ^edi aposl. admoduni u;ilis. Ili ex-e epise. Legmen s. d. 
Lib. brev. 29 scq., /2b. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 


to the date of death, may, though incomplete, give the reader 
some idea of the glorious band of Saints and Beati the study 
of whose lives is a revelation of that Christian Italy of the 
Renaissance, which has so long lain hidden under its more 
prominent heathen aspect.* 

1400. Oddino Barotti, Provost of Fossano in Piedmont. 

1404. Jacopo d Oldo, priest at Lodi. 

1410. Orsolina da Parma. 

1411. Danielle da Venezia, Camaldolese. 
1415. Benincesa Rapaccioli, Servile. 
1419. Chiara Gambacorti, Dominicaness. 
1419. Giovanni Dominici, Dominican. 
1426. Benincesa, Servite in Tuscany. 
1429. Gemma of Sulmona. 

1429. Conradino, Dominican. He refused the purple and died 
in the service of the plague-smitten inhabitants of Bologna. 

1430. Manfredi of Riva, Hermit. 

1432. Roberto Malatesta, Franciscan tertiary at Rimini. 

1433. Stcfano Agazzari, Regular Canon of Bologna. 

1435. Pietro Gambacorti, founder of the Hermits of S. Girolamo. 

1435. Angelina di Marsciano, Franciscan tertiary at Foligno. 

1440. Francesca Romana. 

1443. Niccolb d Albergati, Bishop of Bologna and Cardinal. 

1444. Bernardino of Siena. 

1446. Giovanni Tavclli, Bishop of Ferrara. 

1447. Tommaso Bellacci. 
1447. Coleta. 

1450. Angelina, Poor Glare at Spoleto. 

1451. Ercolano of Plagario, Franciscan. 
1451. Matteo da Girgcnti, Franciscan. 

* For the following list the reader is referred in general to 
CHKVALIER, Report., where a complete and accurate summary of the 
literature on this subject will be found. Various details about the early 
Renaissance Saints are given in the earlier portion of this work, Vol. I., 
36, 232 seq. 

SAINTS 01- Till , khNAlSSANCK. 

i 452. Pietro ( icremia, i )o 

1455. 1 Ya Ani^elico (hi Ficsole, Dominican, and [>. 

1455. Giovanni Bassand, Celestine. 

1455. Andrea of Modena, Franciscan. 

1456. Lorenzo Giustiniani, Patriarch ol Venice. 
1456. Filippo d Aquila, Franciscan. 

1456. Rita di Cascia. 

1456. Giovanni Capristano, Franciscan. 

1456. Gabriele Fcretti. 

1457. Angela Felix. 

1458. Angclo Masaccio, ( amaldolesc. 
1458. Cristina ^ i^(-.()nli at Spolcto. 
1458. Antonio ah l^rdesia. 

1458. Elena Valentinis of Udine. 

1459. Antonino, Archbishop of 1 lorence. 

1460. Antonio Neyrot of Rij)oli. 
1460. Archan^elo of Calatafimi. 

1463. Caterina of Bologna, Poor Clare. 
1463. Maddalena Alhrici. 

1466. Dartoloineo de ( erveriis, Dominican. 

1467. Margherita, Princess of Savoy, Dominicaness. 
1471. Antonio of Stronconio. 

1471. Matleo Carrieri, Dominican. 

1472. Giovanni ]>onvisi, 1 Yanciscan. 
1476. Jacopo della Marra, Franciscan. 
1478. Caterina of Pallan/a. 

1478. Scrafma of Pesaro. 

1479. Andrea of Monlereale, Augustinian. 

1479. M-ichclc di Harga, l ; ranciscan. 

1480. Andrea of Pcschiera, Dominican. 
1482. Arnadeo, l ; ranciscan, at Milan. 

1482. Paciiico ("crcdano, Franciscan. 

1483. Giacomo Filippo IJertoni, Servile. 

1483. Damiano I- ulchcri, Dominican. 

1484. Maria degli Alherici. 

1484. Cristoforo of Milan, Dominican. 


1485. Jacopo, Franciscan, at Bitctto. 

1486. Bernardo of Scammaca, Dominican. 

1489. Bartolomeo Forcsta. Franciscan. 

1490. Pietro of Molino, Franciscan. 

1490. Lodovico Ravida, Carmelite. 

1491. Jacopo Alemannus, Dominican, at Bologna. 
1491. Giovanna Scopclli at Reggio. 

1491. Eustochia Calafata, Poor Clare. 

1491. Vitale of Bastia. 

1494. Bernardino of Feltrc. 

1494. Sebastiano Maggi, Dominican. 

1494. Antonio Turriani, Augustinian. 

1495. Angclo of Chivasso. 

1495. Francesca, Servite nun at Mantua. 
1495. Veronica of Binasco. 
1495. Domenica, I Vanciscan nun at Urbino. 
1499, Marco of Modena, Dominican. 

1502. Girolamo Garibi, Franciscan. 

1503. Martino of Vercelli, Augustinian. 

1504. Vincenzo of Aquila, Franciscan. 

1505. Margherita of Ravenna. 

1505. Osanna of Mantua. 

1506. Colomba of Rieti. 

1507. Francesco di Paolo, founder of the Minims. 
1507. Francesco of Caldarola, Franciscan. 

1510. Caterina Fiesco Adorna. 

1511. Giovanni Licci. 

1520. Elena Duglioli dall Olio, at Bologna. 

We have already seen how the innately religious tempera 
ment of the Italian nation shewed itself in countless works 
of mercy, in Art, and in the vast number of Saints and 
saintly persons which it produced. Pervading all classes 
of society, it revealed itself in all sorts of ways, and neither 
the troubles of the times, nor yet the corruption of a great 
part of the clergy, had power to extinguish the flame of 


piety, in some districts amounting to fervour, which still 
burned in the hearts of the people 1 . Kven in the ;icrounts 
of sanguinary party feuds, such as those at Perugia, the 
chroniclers cannot refrain from turning aside to record 
instances of saintliness and Christian charity among the 

The way in which the great Jubilee years [450, T.J75 and 
1500 were observed, affords unmistakcablc proof of the 
devout spirit of the masscs,f and this was no less manifest 
in seasons of general calamity, notably in the frequent out 
breaks of the Plague. Every effort was then made to 
obtain pardon from God, by acts of penance, mercy and 
piety. In the archives of Bologna, when in 1457 the city 
was visited with an outbreak of Plague and an earthquake, 
we read of solemn impetratory processions through the 
streets. Numbers of flagellants paraded the city in solemn 
array, crying aloud when stopping before the crosses set up 
at the street-corners, and crying Mercy! Mercy! (Miscn- 
cordia /). A strict fast was kept for a week, the butchers 
sold no meat ; even women living in shame amended their 
li\-es.J In 1496 when Siena was convulsed by civil strife, 
a report spread abroad of a miraculous apparition which 
inspired great terror. At once the brotherhoods instituted 
processions, and all the parishes, one after another, did the 
same. I-ong lines of men and women filed into the 
Cathedral, where each one lighted a taper before Duccio 
di Buoninsegna s picture of the Virgin (the celebrated 
Ma jest as). Besides this, even* one, according to hi, 
ability, performed some act of charity. One man, says 
Allegretto Allegrctti, ransomed an imprisoned debtor, 

* BURCKiiARhT, Cultur, I., 29, cd. 3. 

t Cf. PASTOR, Hist. Topes, II., 74 scij. : IV., 2Soj<y., and Vol. VI., 
l>onk I., c. 6 (Enid, trans.). 
Annul. Donon., 890. 


another gave a dowry to a poor maiden, others again 
had masses said. This was done by the members of all 
the brotherhoods. Day and night they walked in pro 
cessions barefoot through the city, scourging themselves, 
and reciting prayers imploring the Divine protection.* 

Towards the end of 1504 and the beginning of 1505, 
Bologna was harassed by a succession of earthquakes. 
The municipality immediately organised solemn pro 
cessions in which their principal relics and the Madonna 
di San Luca w r ere carried. The people fasted and prayed, 
wearing mourning and rope girdles. As a thank-offering, 
when at length the shocks ceased, Giovanni Bentivoglio 
caused the story of S. Cecilia to be painted on the walls of 
her chapel, by Francesco Francia and his pupils.f 

Similar measures were adopted by the Venetians after 
their disastrous defeat near Agnadello on May 14, 1509. 
A day of humiliation was officially proclaimed, in order 
to appease the wrath of God, and during those days of 
terror, more than 70,000 of the inhabitants received the 

Many dignitaries of the Church, even Popes like Alex 
ander VI., were utterly worldly ; but the Italians perfectly, 
and better than any other nation, understood the distinc 
tion between the man and his office. S. Catherine, in 
saying that allegiance must be rendered to every Pope 
however bad, and under all circumstances, only expressed 
what was universally believed. The dispensers of blessing 

* Allegretto Allegretti, 856. 

t GOZZADIXI, Giov. Bentivoglio, 147^,7. WOLT.MAXX, II., 310-18. 
These frescoes, although damaged, are of such exquisite beauty that no 
one who has once been in the chapel can forget them. The burial of 
S. Cecilia is incomparable in its tenderness and grace. 

BKMHO, lib. viii. 

$ SCHULTIIKISS, in the Allgem. /eitnng, 1892, No. 294. Supple 
ment ; t f. also GOTHEIX, Ignatius, 79. S. Antoninus enlarges upon 

TRUST IN Till-; SA( RAMKN IS. <>\ 

and grace might be personally unworthy, but the people 
knew that Christ s deputy, however fault} , was still the 
representative of the Lord in the exercise of his office, and 
that the Sacraments derived their efficacy from Christ, and 
not from the merits of His minister. A sinner like Yitel- 
lozzo Yitelli had no dearer wish before his execution than 
to obtain the Pope s absolution, although that Pope was 
Alexander VI.* The sons of Catcrina S for/a exhorted her 
in her trouble not to let the devil drive her to despair at 
the thought of all her sins, for one drop of Christ s blood 
was sufficient to atone for all the crimes in hell. Cateiina, 
like a true child of the age, had never lost her Faith. Kven, 
in the midst of her follies and while leading a life of sin, 
she built churches and endowed convents. In her old age 
she repented of her cruelties, heard mass daily, and gave 
alms libcrally.f In her later years, Luere/ia Portia 
equally sought to atone for the errors of her youth by 
deeds of piety and charity.* 

the possibility of wicked priests bcin~ elevated even to the I ap;u v, and 
enjoins the duty of obedience to them. The \\hole stru< hire of human 
society which is Clod s ordinance, rests, he argues, on authority. I here- 
fore, however wicked the powers or their underlines may be, the 
authority is in itself ^ood and ^ood will spring from it. The power 
which (iod allowed the devil of tempting or tormenting Job, or Peter, or 
Paul, must have served to prove or humble those thus assaulted. 
S. Antoninus then emphasises the duty of obedience, particularly to the 
Pope, the ( hief of all earthly potentates. For the rest, a I ope though 
morally imperfe< t may yet be a x () d ruler ; and even if he should 
happen to be both a bad man and a bad ruler, the misuse of power is 
one of the results of human corruption, but the power itself is still 
divine, and serves to purify and save the elect, to punish and condemn 
the wicked. S. AXTONIX., Summ. Thcol., III., tit. 22, c. 2. 

* MACIII \VKLU, Scritti minor!, 142: P>URCKHARDT, t ultur, I., 
QS, 148, 251, ed. 2 ; CAR/KI,I,OTTI, Italia mistica, 51. 

t PASOIJNI, II., 290, 39-S .v<y. 

+ Cf. Vol. VI. of this work, liook I., c. 5 . Kn.J. trans.). 


Death-beds, on which the consolations of religion were 
rejected, were almost unknown. Cosimo de Medici had 
been guilty of much cruelty to his enemies, and injustice 
in the collection of the revenue. When he felt his end 
approaching he prepared for death by a humble confession 
of his sins, and after having asked pardon of all around 
him, received the Holy Viaticum with the deepest faith 
and contrition.* Lorenzo de Medici, in spite of the lax 
morality of his life and his relish for the maxims of the 
heathen philosophers, still kept a firm hold on positive 
Christianity. lie too died as a good Catholic. When the 
Holy Communion was brought to him, he would not receive 
his Saviour lying in bed. In spite of the remonstrances of 
those about him, the dying man arose, dressed himself, and, 
supported by his attendants, entered the hall where he 
prostrated himself before the Sacred Host. The devotion 
with which he received the Holy Viaticum made a deep 
impression on the bystanders.f 

Even men, who in youth and health had heaped scorn 
and derision on the Church and her Priests, returned when 
they lay dying, to the Faith of their youth. 

The punishments inflicted by the Church had certainly 
less effect than formerly,! partly through the fault of the 
clergy who employed them too freely and for trifling 
causes ; but that they were still observed and dreaded by 
the mass of the people, is proved by the strenuous efforts 

* SCIIULTZE, S. Marco, 50; REUMONT, Lorenzo, I., 139, ccl. 2. For 
C. Marsuppini who died, unfortified by the rites of the Church, cf. 
PASTOR, Hist. Topes, I., 26 (Engl. trans.}. 

t REUMONT, Lorenzo, II., 416, ed. 2. 

% P. P. VKRGKRIO as early as the year 1408, complains of this 
(Arch. Stor. per Trieste, PIstria ed. il Trcntino, I., 372) ; cf. also the 
Florentine Ambassador s Report dated Rome, 1454, Feb. 27. (Florentine 
State Papers, Cl. X., Dist. 2, No. 20, f. 259.) See also PASTOR, Hist. 
Popes, IV., 318 scq. (Enyl. trans.). 


made for the removal of Interdicts, and the effect produced 
by the Pope s excommunication of Savonarola.* 

Belief in the intercession of the Saints and the miracles 
wrought by their relics was universal. Every town and 
village tried to secure some such heavenly protector for 


itself, liven States, which like Venice were perpetually 
at variance with Rome on account of their encroachments 
on the rights of the Church, proved no exception to this 
rule. We find repeated accounts of infinite pains and large 
sums of money expended by the Venetians in procuring 
relics in the countries which they had wrested from the 
Turks. On the arrival of these sacred treasures, the whole 
municipality, with the Doge at their head, came forth in 
solemn procession to meet them. In 1455 it was agreed 
that 10,000 ducats was not too great a price to pay for the 
seamless coat of Our Lord, which, however, could not be 
obtained.! The republics of Siena and Perugia went to 
war for the possession of the marriage ring of the Blessed 
Virgin ; Sixtus IV. endeavoured to mediate between them. 
Rome was richer than any other place in relics. Two spe 
cially precious treasures were acquired during the I 5th Cen 
tury, namely, the head of S. Andrew, purchased by Pius IP, 
and the Holy Lance, presented by the Sultan to Pope 
Innocent VIII. On both occasions, the entry of these relics 
was celebrated by a gorgeous pageant, in which the Christian 
Renaissance displayed its utmost magnificence/; 
Romans watched over their treasures with jealous care, so 
much so, that their chief magistrate called Pope Sixtus IV 

* F or a detailed account, sec Jnfnt, and also lU RCKHAKi/r, ( ulti.r, 
I., 137, ed. 3 ; and CAMPORI, GUI., Lettere ineditc di Soinini 
1 .>vy. Modena, 1878. 

t P>VRCKHARI)T, I., 72, f(l. 3. 

I Cf. PASTOR, Hist. Popes, II., 249. 258 . 

(Kn;_;l. trans.). 


sharply to account for having, in 1483, bestowed certain 
relics on Louis XL* when he was dying. 

The veneration of the Blessed Virgin, always strong in 
Italy, was remarkably so at this period. High and low, 
Popes and Princes, or simple town and country folk, vied 
with one another in their devotion to Mary. Art and 
poetry did their utmost in her honour. Countless churches 
and chapels were dedicated to her, and miraculous pictures 
of her were reckoned the most precious treasures that any 
city could possess, and were carried solemnly through the 
streets in times of trouble. In all their distresses the 
people turned with touching confidence to the Mother of 
Mercy ; whole towns sometimes, as was the case with Siena 
in 1483, would consecrate themselves to the Queen of 
Heaven.f In a similar manner Savonarola, amid general 
enthusiasm, proclaimed Christ, King of Florence. 

Church festivals were celebrated with a pomp and 
splendour undreamt of by northern nations. Rome, the 
centre of the Church, had always been famous for the 
magnificence of her ecclesiastical ceremonies ; under Pius II. 
and Paul II. they became still more sumptuous. That of 
Corpus Domini, to which Martin V. and Eugenius IV. had 
devoted much attention, was the most brilliant of all. The 
Popes themselves took part in the Roman processions, 
appearing in full pontificals, usually carried on the Sedia 
Gtstatoria and surrounded by all the Cardinals and prelates 

- Sixtus IV. appealed to the example of his predecessors, especially 
S. (iregory the (ireat who had also given away relics ; Jac. Volaterranus, 
in AlURATORi, XXIII., 187. 

t IH RCKITARDT S remarks (Cultur, I., 252 scq., 254 seq., 256 scq., 335, 
eel. 3) on this point need correction, as also BARZKLLOTTl s in Italia 
mistira, 52. Neither of them is acquainted with the extensive Catholic 
literature on the subject. Cf. WKTZF.R nnd Wl .LTF, Kirchenlexikon, 
VIII., 848 seq., ed. 2. 


and the clergy of the city. Nicholas Y. and Pius II., out 
of reverence for the Sacred Host, went on foot, carrying 
the monstrance in their own hands. Kven if the: papal 
court was travelling, as, for instance, in 1462, when Pitis II. 
was at Viterbo, Corpus Domini was celebrated with as much 
pomp as in Rome. Contemporary accounts shew how all 
those resources of decorative art which were so richly 
developed by the Renaissance were called into play on 
these occasions in the service of religion.* I he exquisite 
banners, mostly designed and executed by painters of the 
Lmbrian School, were a prominent feature in those 
pageants. f Venice was famous for the splendour of her 
Corpus Domini festival, in which the Doge and all the 
Magistrates took part.* In Ferrara, the members of the 
reigning house always appeared in the procession. 

Descriptions, dated 1439 and 1454, are preserved of the 
famous semi-dramatic pageant on S. John the Haptist s day 
at Florence. That of 1454, as we see by the record, repre 
sented the whole history of the world, from the fall of Luci 
fer to the Last Judgment. | 

The ardent veneration for the Blessed Sacrament of the 
Altar, expressed in these gorgeous Corpus Domini proces 
sions, is one of the most consoling features ot those times. - 

* Cf. PASTOR. Hist. Popes, III., 288 : IV., 106 Fnxl. trans.) Cf. also 
HCRCKIIARDT, II., 144, IQI, ed. 2; MORONI, IX., 4 r > v <Y-< al (1 
DAXCONA, I., 79 se</., 296, ed. 2. For the ^rand Corpus Domini pro 
cessions belli since 1426 in Perugia, cf. Cronache di Peruyia, ed. 
Fabretti, II., 6 .v,v/., and for the procession ai I .olo-na in 1492, see 
Annal. Bonnn., 911. 

t Ml Nl /, Raphael, 8 I. 

1 SAMJTO, VIII. , 376^*7., and MOLMF.NTI, 32^, wq. 

D ANCONA, I., 295, ed. 2. 

j| CRKIXKNACII, I., 303 sr//. 

m F. X. KRAI S attributes this to tlie Franciscans. Lit. Rundschau 
(18^5), 9. Cf. Stiinnien ails Maria Laa 1:. XXXIX.. } . 


In Art it manifested itself in the beauty and costliness of the 
Tabernacles. The best masters vied with each other in de 
signing and creating a worthy dwelling-house for the Body 
of Christ. Thus in 1432 Ghiberti designed the Tabernacle 
for the church of the Weavers Guild in Florence. Others 
of the same period, and equally beautiful, can still be admired 
at Arezzo, Fiesole, Prato, the Hospital della Scala at 
Siena, and in S ta Maria Nuova, S. Ambrogio, the Cathe 
dral, and the Baptistery at Florence. It was by no mere 
chance that under Julius II., the "Disputa" of Raphael 
was painted to celebrate the glories of the Holy Eucharist* 

The prayers of the period bear touching testimony to the 
prevailing veneration for the Blessed Sacrament. Equally 
earnest and devout were the morning and night prayers 
then in common use, the prayer to S. Jerome for protec 
tion during the day, and the private devotions at mass 
and before confession. The meditation of the Venerable 
Bede on the seven last words of Our Lord had been trans 
lated into Italian and was very popular, particularly in Tus 
can y.f 

Such prayers take us back to the time when, untroubled 
by heathen practices of so many of the upper and culti 
vated classes, the confraternities of workmen were wont to 
assemble when the clay s toil was over, to pray and to sing 
in the churches and chapels of their respective guilds, or 
before the images of the Madonna at corners of the streets. 
Pilgrimages were another common form in which devotion 
and the sense of spiritual needs were manifested.^ Next to 
Rome, the most important places of pilgrimage were 

* For a detailed description of this picture, see Vol. VI. of this work, 
Book II., c. 10 (Eny;l. trans.). 

t See Oraxioni antiche Toscane in Palermo, Opera a ben vivere di 
S. Antonino, 265 scq. 

J See RKUMONT, Loren/o, II., 428 j^y., ed. 2, 


Loreto and Assisi, and in the South, the sanctuary of the 
Archangel Michael on Monte 

o ~~> 

As regarded other places of pilgrimage, that of the Monte 
Sacro of Varallo, instituted in i.| ( ji, soon obtained a great 
reputation,* while, in due correspondence to the special 
love of the Italian for the Madonna, those dedicated to tin: 
Blessed Virgin are by far the most numerous. The follow 
ing new shrines in her honour were added during this 
period to those already existing, some of which date from 
the first centuries of Christianity. In Piedmont, our Lad}* 
of the Pillar, at Mondovi ; in Liguria, our Lady of the Wood 
of Camogli, near Genoa ; in Lombardy, our Lady o{ 
Grace at Mantua ; S Ul Maria prcsso Celso in Milan ; in the 
yKmilia, our Lady of the Fire in the Cathedral at Forli ; our 
Lady of the Oak at Viterbo ; our Lady of Good Counsel 
at Genazzano ; our Lady of Perpetual Succour at Rome ; 
and many others.f 

The concourse of the faithful at these holy places was 
greatest of all when, to the attraction of the sanctuary itself 
was added that of the presence oi some famous preacher 
of penance. The earnest outspokenness of these Friars, the 
deep and practical impression often produced by their 
sermons, form one of the most cheering features of the time, 
shewing what deep root the Christian Faith had struck in 
the hearts of the Italians. 

Side by side with the Christian Italy of the Renaissance 
was another Italy deeply imbued with the pagan spirit <>t 
the Classics. In the South, which is the land of extremes, 

* MOTTA, II beato Bernardino Caitni fonclatore del Santuario di Va 
rallo, Doc. e letl. incd. Milano, 1891. 

t WKI/I.K und WI.I.TK, Kin henlexikon, VIII., 856 Jiv/., cd. 2, \\huh 
K vcs the literature on this subject. 

VOL. V. 11 


this unchristian clement necessarily asserted itself in a 
sharper contrast with the other than in more northern 
countries, and the preaching Friars were in perpetual 
conflict with it. The century which produced S. Anto 
ninus, Fra Angelico, and S. Francis of Paula, was also the 
age of Lorenzo Valla, Sigismondo Malatesta, Cresar Borgia, 
and Niccolo Machiavelli. The chair of S. Peter was occu 
pied in turn by Alexander VI. and Pius III., Innocent 
VIII. and Julius II. Good and evil are curiously inter 
woven in all the Italian States during the I5th Cen 
tury.* If we ask how it was that so many of the Italians of 
that day became so fearfully depraved, the answer is not 
far to seek. The cause is to be found in the unrestrained 
individualism fostered by the pseudo-renaissance. The 
adherents of this soul-destroying philosophy deliberately 
advocated the selfishness, pride, ambition, and sensuality of 
Paganism in opposition to the mortification, self-abnegation, 
and humility of Christianity. Thus it was that those 
specially revolting characters of which Niccolo Machiavelli 
is the type came into existence, men w r ho combined the 
highest polish with the utmost depravity, cruelty, and 
cunning.-)- When Machiavelli pronounced that " All Italians 
are super-cminently irreligious and \vicked," the words are 
false as a general statement, but true of the votaries of the 
heathen renaissance. Most of these men gave themselves 
up to lust and sensuality with the rest, the proud virtue of 
the heroes of antiquity took the place of the Christian ideal.| 

* BURCKHARDT, Cultur, I., 1 6, eel. 3 ; HoFLER, Rodrigo Borja, 21 ; 
and GRIMM, Michael Angelo, I., 117, cd. 5. 

t Cf. ARNOLD E. BERGER, the " Ruckkehr zum Zeichen " (ritornar al 
segno, as Machiavelli says) in the Allg. Zeitung, 1894, No. 237, Supple 
ment. ANTONIO OF VERCELLI emphatically denounces the selfishness 
of his age, Serm., III., 69. 

J BURCKHARDT, Cultur, I., 201, ed. 3. 

The result of these views was to pro luce a craving Im 
personal glory, which amounted almost to a demoniacal 
possession. Even in Petrarch we find an overweening 
vanity which is distinctly pagan, and notions of a sort of 
Elysium in the next world for great men, borrowed from 
Cicero, and Plato s " Phacdon." In him, however, and in 
all the Christian Humanists, we recognise a conflict between 
the two antagonistic principles of heathen self-glorification 
and Christian humility.* But not so with the votaries of 
the pseudo-renaissance. For them, merit and glory are- 
identical. That man alone is admirable who has won 
laurels, no matter what means he lias employed. Wherever 
we find the ideal of Christian life thus obscured by the ideal 
of achieving fame, there, too, we find the pagan Elysium, 
as depicted by classical authorities, replacing the Christian 
Heaven which could be won only by faith and self-denial. 
Dante had not deemed it possible for even the greatest 
of the heathen, those whom he would most gladly have 
admitted into Paradise, to rise above the Limbo just on 
the gate of Hell. Now, indeed, the poets launched out into 
all the new liberal ideas of the future state ; in Bernardo 
Pulci s poem, Cosimo the Elder is received after his death 
into heaven by Cicero, who is called " the father of his 
country," and by the Fabians, Curtius, Fabricius, and many 
others, "and with them," it continues, " he will adorn that 
choir in which only blameless souls may sing. f 

The Modern temple of Fame was built up by the 
writings of the Humanists, who instituted a sort of eultiis 
of great men, including veneration of their birth-places and 
tombs. " The philologists and poets have created a universal 
pantheon in their collections of the lives of celebrated men 

* PASTOR, Hi.-,i. Pope*, I., 3 (Engl. trans.) : and Una KM \RI>T, Cukur. 
II., 317, 561, cd. 3. 

t Pjl RCKIIAKDT, Cultur, II., 31/-3TS, cd. 3. 


and women." They regard themselves as the arbiters of 
fame and immortality.* " Their boundless pretensions, 
colossal vanity, insatiable thirst for glory, in any form and 
with any results " are expressed " with appalling frankness " 
in Machiavelli s famous preface to his history of Florence. 
He censures previous writers for their too scrupulous reti 
cence in their accounts of the civil feuds. " They were 
greatly mistaken, and have proved how little they under 
stood human ambition, and man s desire to perpetuate his 
name. How many who could not distinguish themselves 
by noble deeds, have sought by their crimes to become, at 
any rate, notorious. Those authors did not take into con 
sideration that actions of importance, such as those of states 
and rulers, always meet with more praise than blame 
whatever their nature and consequences." f 

This explains why thoughtful historians of the Renais 
sance have attributed more than one detestable and criminal 
undertaking to an inordinate craving to achieve something 
that should be remembered.^ The greatest admirers of the 
Renaissance acknowledge that there is something truly 
diabolical in this temper of mind. Machiavelli s latest 
biographer very justly observes that Cola di Rienzo, 
Stephano Porcaro, Girolamo Ogliati and others, were 
actuated less by the love of liberty than by a desire to 
emulate Brutus. It was vain-glory rather than faith or 
fanaticism which nerved them to face death on the scaffold;] 
happily such instances were rare. With the majority, 

* liURCKHARDT, Cultur, I., 173 seq., ed. 3. 

t Ibid., II., 179, cd. 3. 

j PASTOR, Hist. Popes, II., 215 scq. (Ern^l. trans.), which shews the 
connection between many conspiracies and assassinations of this per 
nicious classical revival. 

$ BURCKIIARDT, I., 179-180, ed. 4 ; YlLLARI, I., 78. 

j| VlLLARI, loc. Clt. 

St Michael s College 
Scholastic s Library 


when death in its stern reality drew near, these; idle dreams 
vanished and made way for repentance and conversion.* 

Vain-glory, however, was by no means the worst of the 
vices which sprang from the unrestrained self-regarding 
spirit which the false renaissance did so much to promote. 
Luxury and extravagance, deceit and fraud, gambling, 
vendettas, immorality, rapine and murder, religious indif 
ference, infidelity, and preternaturalism were its boon 
companions. The culmination of the results of this apo 
theosis of selfishness was seen in some men who appeared 
at this time, monsters in human form, utterly ruthless, 
revelling in crime for its own sake, not merely using it as a 
means to an end ; or, rather using such means to compass 
ends even more abnormally detestable and horrible than 
the means themselves. To this class belonged Sigismondo 
Malatesta, and, in a sense, Caesar Borgia ; f but they were 
exceptional, and altogether the Pagan Humanists formed a 
mere fraction of the Italian nation. It is, however, indis 
putable that the infection of their poisonous influence 
was widely diffused. Zealous preachers may sometimes 
exaggerate, but, beyond all doubt, Italy, under the influence 
of the false renaissance, was rapidly deteriorating. The 
more we look into the inner life of the period, the fuller we 
find it of the most startling contrasts.^ 

In almost every town luxury and immorality were on the 
increase, driving out the old simplicity and purity of man 
ners. " I know not how to describe the luxury which has 
already infected the whole of Italy," cries Roberto da Lecce 
in one of his sermons. " Ever since S. Bernardino began to 
preach, he and his successors have denounced vanity and 
extravagance in dress: but to no purpose, for the women 

* FRANTZ, Sixtus IV., \?~. 

t Bi kCKHAkhT, Cultur, II.. 224 scq., nl. 3. 

I TORRACA, Koberto <l;i Lcccc. 140. 


grow worse and worse." He threatens frivolous women 
with the wrath of God. " Oh ye wantons, God is angry 
because of you, your trailing gowns, your bare bosoms, 
your painted faces, your desecration of holy places and 
seasons, your obscene gestures," etc. Another time he 
treats the subject with less indignation, but more practi 
cally. " The love of ostentation has so increased nowadays 
that the dower of a bride is something enormous, and a 
man with several daughters is hardly able to afford to 
marry more than one of them.* Other preachers, such as 
Antonio cla Vercellif and Michele da Milan, J used lan 
guage to the same effect ; but the efforts to stem the grow 
ing evil were by no means confined to the Friars, the 
magistrates in the cities were equally alive to it. 

There is hardly a town in ail Italy whose statute-book 
does not shew a whole series of enactments against luxury, 
extravagance in dress, especially among women, over-ex 
penditure on weddings, bridal outfits, feasts, and funerals. 
Their frequent repetition proves how quickly and widely 
the mischief was spreading.!! The flourishing state of trade 

* GUDEMANN, 214-5, where Old Testament denunciations of luxury 
in dress are cited. 

Patientia, lib. II., c. 23. 

t MICHAEL DE MEDIOLANO, I., 48 ; II., 48-49 ; III., 48, 72. 

In Florence, the statutes of 1415 enacted that the number of guests 
on both sides at weddings and family festivities was never to exceed 200. 
Among the great families in Rome, the number of guests at weddings 
was so large that public squares were converted into banqueting halls 
by means of canvas roofs. See REUMONT in the Allg. Zeitung, 1874, 
No. 358, Supplement. 

|| In Florence, so early as 1306 and 1330 sumptuary laws were issued. 
Next came the strict prohibitions of 1352, 1355, 1384, 1388, 1396, 1439, 
1456 (see Vita Italiana nel Rinascimento, I., 100 ; HuLLMANN, IV., 139 ; 
RoSLER, Dominici, 54 sey.\ of Nov. 29, 1464, and Feb. 29. 1471 (these 
two, which so far as I know have never been printed, I found in the 


and manufacture, and the growing prosperity of the country, 
together with the impetus given to Art by the Renaissance, 
and the artistic temperament of the Italian people, com 
bined to stimulate to an alarming degree the taste for 
extravagance and display, especially in dress, in some o f 
the great cities.* 

Coil. Capponi, CIV., f. 74-70, 102 104, of the National Library in 
Florence), and 1511 (sec LAXDUCCI, 307). At Pologna we must notice 
Card. Bessarion s regulations about dress, dated 1453, wlnVh caused 
bitter lamentations among the women. Sec a pamphlet by Matteo 
Bosso of Verona. (*MATTH.\EI \ r ERONENS.,Can. reg. ad 15. [essarionem ] 
Card. Tuscul. Bononiac legatum ne feminis Bononiensibus luxuriosa 
ornamenta vestium reddantur, Cod. \"at., 1106, f. 99 set/. See Vatican 
Library.) In Rome the statutes revised by Paul II. see PASTI >k, Hist. 
1 opes, IV., 30, Kngl. trans.) and the regulations of Sixtus IV. imposed 
limitations on luxury, but quite in vain, as Altieri s interesting descrip 
tion written in Julius IL s time shews: Xuptiali di Marco Antonio 
Altieri, ed. Narducci (Roma, 1873). At Lucca sumptuary laws were 
enacted in 1473 and T 4 8 4 (see Arch. St. Hal., X., 124 scq.}. 
Macerata prohibitions of luxury begin with the i 5th Century, if. Cli 
statuti suntuari del secolo XV. al XVIII. per la Citta di Macerata. (Fano, 
1879, Wedding publication.) Venice and (ienoa passed innumerable 
laws curtailing extravagance (see besides BURCKHARDT, Cultur, II., 
170, cd. 3; MOLMKXTI, 279 seq.). Cf. also SANUTO, XIV., 115 scq. 
For Genoa, BELORANO, 166, 254 seq., 260 scq., 493 scq. 

* The authorities cited in preceding note supply further details sup 
plementing BURCKirAKi TS statement in Cultur, II., 112 set/., 114 seq., 
117, 172, ed. 3. Cf. also UArnRiu.AkT, Hist, du luxe, III., 333 scq. 
(Paris, 1880); CIAX, Cortegiano, 43, 88 seq., 155 ; Mi NT/, IIi>t. de 
1 Art, I., 5, 198 scq., 312 seq. ; MANCINI, Albert!, 442 .v, ., 453 : MOL- 
MKNTI, La Dogarcssa di Venezin, 233 ^/., 256 [Torino, (884 : Arch. 
dclla Soc. Rom., L, 484, note. In Rome, whi- h only a few decades 
earlier had seemed to the cultured Florentines no better than a city <>t 
cowherds, luxury increased enormously under Sixtus IV. and his 
successors. Cf. PASTOR, Hist. Popes, IV., 238 
RKU.MOXT, III., i, 463 ^.,2,458^7.; and the Allg. Zeittmg, 1874, 
No. 358, Supplement (following the Nuptial." by Marco Antonio 
Altieri, alreadv quoted . For Renaissance banquet and table decora- 


The chief cause of the rapid progress made in material 
comfort and good living was the wealth of the country. 
The Italians had become one of the richest nations in the 
world. The revenue of Naples in 1455 was 310,000 ducats, 
that of Florence 200,000, of the Papal States 400,000, of 
Milan 500,000, of Venice as much as the whole income of 
the King of Spain, namely 800,000 ducats. In 1492 it 
amounted to 600,000 in Naples, 300,000 in Florence, 
1,000,000 gold clucats in Venice, thus shewing a general 
improvement, in spite of the loss inflicted on Italian 
commerce by the steady advance of the Turks. After 
this, indeed, came blow upon blow, each one falling most 
heavily on Venice, the last and worst of all being the dis 
covery of the sea-route to the East Indies ; but her wealth 
still remained very great* 

The prosperity of Florence ranked only second to that of 
Venice, and accordingly the complaints from both preachers 
and laymen were loud in proportion. " The furniture of a 
single room," writes Leon Battista Alberti, " costs more than 
would once have sufficed to prepare a whole dwelling for 
the reception of a bride, Formerly workmen were content 
to eat their mid-day meal of bread, with a little wine, in 
the workshops, while the women dined at home, and no 
wine was drunk except at meals. Nowadays the young 
folk want to enjoy themselves, they waste their money 

tions, see Essays by M. SEIBT in the Frankf. Zeitung, 1887, Jan. 1 1 seq. ; 
GiiDEMANN, 212; L. STECCHETTI, La tavola e la cucina nei secoli 
xiv., xv. (Firenze, 1884); and the pamphlet by L. A. GANDINI, which 
is important as containing new material drawn from the Archives at 
Modena. Tavola, cucina e cantina della corte di Ferrara, nel Quattro 
cento, Modena, 1889 (Nozze Agazzotti-Tesli). 

* MiJNTZ, Renaissance, 50 (Revenues of 1455) ; GREGOROVIUS, VII., 
347 (Revenues of 1492, cj. GOTTLOB, Cam. Ap., 256 sey.) ; and with 
reference to Venice, LUIOI DA PORTO, 26, and BURCKHARDT, Culiur, 
L, 63, ed. 3. 

-. \LITV IN TJVIXC. 105 

at play, or on feasting and finery, or with women ; 
they have lost their reverence for age, and fritter their 
time away in idleness. Public men try to make their 
offices as lucrative as if they were in trade." "The times," 
remarked Alessandra Strozzi, in a letter dated 1466, " are 
not favourable to matrimony. Young men prefer to remain 
single. Things are out of all proportion nowadays, and 
bridal outfits have never been so extravagant. Xo matter 
how large the dowry may be, the bride, when she leaves 
her father s house, generally carries it all away on her back 
in silks and jewels."* 

The evil increased rapidly in the time of Lorenzo de 
Medici, and some families were brought to utter ruin 
by sheer prodigality and luxury. The banquet given 
by Benedetto Salutati and his fellow-craftsmen in 1476 to 
the sons of King Ferrante, is an instance of the extremes to 
which this was sometimes carried. It resembled the noto 
rious orgy of Cardinal Pietro Riario.f At the same time, 
as has been justly observed, excesses of this kind were far 
from being general throughout Italy. Everyday life re 
mained simple, so that we must not take contemporary 
lamentations too literally. + But there is no denying the 
downward tendency which characterised the I5th Cen 
tury. Many rich families set a bad example. The cele 
brations for the marriage of Bernardo Rucellai and 
Nannina de Medici in 1466 consumed more than 150,000 
lire of our money. 

:/ ~ RKUMOXT, Lorenzo, II., 323, ed. 2 : and Kleine Srhriften, 131 .NY,/. 

t PALAC.I, II convito fatto ai ti-liuoli del Re di Xapoli da Hrm/ddto 
Salutati e compa^ni mercanti Fiorentini il 1 6 Febbraio del i-}7 
(Firen/e, 10/3). For the banquet of Cardinal Riario, .see l A> h>k, Hi-t. 
Popes, IV., 240 st t/. (KiiL;!. trans.). 

!" This is Ri.r.M< >NT S opinion, Loren/.o, II., }i i, 32^. cd. 2. 


Usury and fraud went hand in hand with the wealth and 
commerce, which all this luxury required for its support. 
S. Bernardino of Siena reproaches the merchants with the 
devices and tricks with which they strove to overreach each 
other. He is particularly angry with the Stocchi family 
(stocco = rapier), who were in the habit of buying up goods 
in order to raise prices, then selling them again at a 
profit, and afterwards buy them back cheap. Their name 
fitted them well, for they stabbed and murdered their 
neighbours, and ought to be driven out of the city. S. Ber 
nardino is equally severe on those who used false weights 
and measures, who knew they were sinning, but said to 

; From floor to roof the barn we ll fill, 
May the goods be gotten well or ill/ 

The Saint vehemently denounces those Christian usurers 
who even give money to the Jews, which by usury they 
have extorted from Christians.* It is plain from the 
sermons of Gabriele da Barletta (14/0), Roberto da Lecce, 
and Michele da Milan, that matters did not improve as 
time went on. The latter gives a long list of common 
forms of fraudulent contracts and monetary transactions, 
explaining the technical terms in his own way.f A whole 
series of sermons by Michele deal with tricks of trade and 
false weights.; Gabriele da Barletta, in his peculiar, graphic 
style introduces the following dialogue into one of his 
sermons : " My son, art thou a Christian ? " " Yea, father, 

* GUDEMANN, 244 seg.j who, in opposition to all received authorities, 
flatly denies that the Jews practised usury. It was natural that the 
preachers should attack the Christians, since no Jews came to hear their 

t GC DEMAN 7 X, 245. 

J MICH. UK MKDIOLAXO, Sermones, Pars II., N. Sr, and the whole 
of Pars III. See also Ron. T>i Lrrm.. Quad ray. de Peccatis, 123. 


christened in such and such a church." " What is thine 
occupation?" " I am a usurer." Oh, if thy wife s gowns 
were put under a press the heart s blood of the poor would 
drip from them."* 

From these passages it is plain that the Jews were not 
the only extortioners and oppressors of the poor. The 
Christian Jews lent money on far more exorbitant terms, 
as the Town Council of Verona complained, than the Jews 

The preachers everywhere inveighed against usury, and 
many cities, Piacenza for instance, forbade it under pain of 
the severest penalties (exclusion from Holy Communion 
and from Christian burial), but the evil was still unabated.* 
It was, of course, at its worst in commercial and financial 
centres like Florence and Venice. In Florence we find all 
patriots, writers, preachers, and legislators concurring in 
putting usury foremost in the list of offences, and attri 
buting all other evils to it, and we have documentary proof 
that their accusations were no mere oratorical phrases. 
Thirty per cent, was no uncommon rate of interest. 

In 1420 money-lenders were prohibited from taking more 
than 20 per cent., but still there was no improvement. Ten 
years later another course was tried, and an attempt made 
to put a stop to Christian usury by allowing the Jews to 
lend at 20 per cent. Jews and Christians now combined to 
grind the people down, 1 ; and the writings of both clergy and 

* (i. DA IS. \KI.I:TT A, Sermoncs, 48. Ln^dun., 1511. 

t I.) KM. A CORTK, Storia di Verona, III., 6. Venc/.ia, 174 }. 

+ GUDKMANN, 246. 

^ Pour. MANX, Ho se</.\ KXDKMAXX, Studien. I., 32 j<v/. ; JAXNI r. 
Le credit populaire cl les banques en Italie, 12 set/. 
MOKOM CXLVI., 252, 7:) or Ho p.c. was sometimes chared in Italy; 
40 p.c. was u.-.ual at 1 iaci-n/a in the days of Ilurnardino da l-YItre. 

\V~A1M >IX( ., XIV.. |Sl. 

! RKUMONT, Lorenxo, II., 3 . rd. 2 . INUIKMANX, Si. 


laity are full of complaints of their extortions. S. Anto 
ninus composed a treatise against usury, in which he 
protests most earnestly against these iniquitous practices.* 
Twenty years after the death of the Saint, Vespasiano da 
Bisticci exclaims, " Repent, O city of Florence, for thou 
art full of usury and unlawful gains. Thy citizens devour 
one another; greed of gain has set every man s hand 
against his neighbour ; injustice has become so common 
that no one is ashamed of it. Of late thou hast seen ter 
rible things in thy streets, such disturbances and distresses 
as are plainly a chastisement from God, and yet thou 
remainest obdurate. There is no hope for thee, because 
the minds of all are set upon nothing but money-making, 
although they see how, the moment a man dies, all his 
riches vanish away like smoke." Vespasiano da Bisticci 
addressed similar exhortations to the Milanese.")* The 
preachers redoubled their efforts, but they did not con 
tent themselves with words, and in the end it was they who 
sought and found a remedy in the erection of public loan- 

As in the I3th Century, so now, in the latter half of the 
1 5th, it was the Franciscans who, with the sanction of the 
Apostolic See, took this social reform in hand.j Inter 
course with all classes of society had rendered them 
familiar with the pitiless greed with which Jewish and 
Christian money-lenders took advantage of a temporary 
embarrassment to demand incredibly high interest To 
prevent this extortionate trading upon the needs of the 
smaller townsfolk, the Franciscans resolved to found insti 
tutions where any one in want of ready money could obtain 

* De Usuris : Cf. FAr.uicius-MANSi, I., in, and ENUEMANN, I., 
34 seq. 

t VESPASIANO DA BISTICCI, Yite, ed. Frali, III., 322. 
I Cf. JAN NET, 10. 


it in exchange for some pledge, and without intercut, the 
working capital of the scheme being supplied by voluntary 
contributions, collections, gifts, ri nd legacies. Hence the 
expression mons (mountain) meaning a heap of money, 
the owners of which were supposed to be the poor in 
general, or the institution. 

To the Papal States belongs the honour of having opened 
the first of these charitable institutions, or mountains of 
mercy ( monies pictatis}. The Popes at once recognised 
the significance and the importance of these establishments, 
and encouraged them to the utmost of their power. In the 
year 1463 Pius II. established the first Mons Pietatis in 
Orvieto; that of Perugia was founded in 1464 by Paul II. 
In both places the Franciscans were the originators and 
chief promoters of the movement.* Sixtus IV. erected one 
in his native city, Savona. In the course of time similar 
institutions sprung up in Assisi, Mantua, Pavia, Ravenna, 
Verona, Alessandria, Ferrara, Parma, Rimini, Cesena, 
Montagnana, Chieti, Rieti, Xarni, Gubbio, Monfelicc, 
Brescia, Lucca, Aquila, and other places, and almost 
always under Franciscan auspices. S. Bernardino da 
Feltrc especially was indefatigable in this direction. In 
the course of his missionary tours, which covered almost 
the whole of Italy, he founded Montes Pietatis wherever he 
went. The extraordinarily rapid diffusion of these institu 
tions is the best proof that they responded to a real want 

* In addition to the references ^ivcn in PASTOR, Hist. Popes, I., 
32, 33 (Enyl. trans., notes), see also YVKTZKK urn! \Yu IK, Kiivhcn- 
k-xikon, VII., 1690.^7., ed. 2 ; P>RrnKk s Staatslexikon. III.. 1092 Si y. ; 
P.I.Al/K, DCS Monts-de-Pirtc, 2 vols. (Paris, 1850); KNDK.MANX, in 
I lildebrand s Jahrh. f. Xationalokonomie, I. (1X63), 32.} Jtv/. ; KNDK- 
MAXX, Studien der Romanisch-canonistischcn \Virthschafts- und Kerlits- 
lehre, I. (1874), 460 471 ; !)!: DKCKI.K, Lcs Monts-clc-1 ictc en I .el- 
xiciue, Introduction (liruxcllc.-, 1844 ; and JANM.I S \\ork, \vlinh has 
not received as, much notice as it de.^erves, p. 4 sey. 


especially in the smaller towns. They met also with plenty 
of resistance ; the war that was carried on against them 
is significant as a proof of the predominance and social 
power which, through their control of the Exchange, the 
Jews had acquired in Italy at that time.* 

Many of the Princes, Giovanni Galeazxo Sforza of 
Milan and Giovanni Bcntivoglio of Bologna, were on the 
side of the usurers; but they found in S. Bernardino da 
Feltrc a strong and persevering opponent, f In the Saint s 
unwearied and unsparing denunciations of the Jews we 
are led to see what a baneful influence they exercised 
throughout the whole of Italy, and how they drained the 
life-blood of the people, both rich and poor. The result 
was a wide-spread anti-semitic movement, which sometimes 
led to reprehensible excesses. S. Bernardino must not be 
held responsible for these, for he denounced the Christian 
usurers as well as the Jews, and deprecated all violence. 
" No one," he said in his sermon at Crema, " who values the 
salvation of his soul will dare to injure the Jews either in 
their persons or their property, or in any other way. For 
we owe justice and Christian chanty to all men, and the 
ordinances of the Popes and the spirit of Christianity alike 
enjoin this ; but, on the other hand, the Church forbids us 
to maintain intimate relations with Jews; neither ought 
we to have recourse to them as physicians, as is now so 
commonly done." J Nevertheless, some Jewish usurers en 
deavoured to procure his assassination. S. Bernardino 

* JAN NET, 14. 

t Sec ERLER S articles on the persecutions of the Jews in Vcrincfs 
Archiv fur Kirchenrecht, L., 61 ,sv</. ; LI 1 1., s scq. 

I Acta Sanctorum, Sept., VII., 868, 882; ERLER, he. cif., LIII., 
9, 13- 

At Modena a Jewels sent him some poisoned fruit. See ERLER, 
he. cit., L., 62. 

OITOMTK >N ( )! Tl I I, J l.\\ >. 1 1 I 

escaped from his assailant and continued hi.--, labours. In 
1486 Innocent VIII. called him to Rome, and soon alter, ,i 
Bull in favour of the Monte was issued. 

In the year 1473 a Monte di 1 ieta was to have been 
erected in Florence, but the intention was not carried out. 
It was said that the Jews had bribed the magistrates and 
Lorenzo de Medici to prevent it, with a sum of 10 
ducats. When S. Bernardino came there in 1488 he endea 
voured to revive the project, but the Jews were again 
successful, by their intrigues and bribery, in staving it oif. 
Finally Savonarola at last succeeded in procuring it.- estab 
lishment. The decree promulgated on this occasion she\\ 
the grinding usury practised by the Jews. We tind that in 
Florence they exacted 32 J per cent, for loans, so that a 
loan of IOO florins would bring in by the end of fifty years 
the sum of 49,791,556 florins, 7 grossi. and 7 danai." The 
ever-increasing demands upon the Monte di 1 ieta neces 
sarily entailed a. corresponding increase in the expense s of 
administration, and thus it was found needful to make a 
small charge on each loan in order to cover these. 1 o this 
the Dominicans objected, as a contravention of the law of 
the Church against usury .f A literary controversy sprang 
up on this question, which was embittered by jealousies 
between the various orders. Here, as always, the 1 Holy See 
adopted a line of wise moderation. Martin Y. had already 
declared the lawfulness of mortgages,;; and his successors 

* Cf. Yn.T \KI, Savonarola, I., 20 j set/. (V.\v^\. Iran: . : 
Ricordan/e, 238 scq.\ JANXKT, 12, n. 5: I KUUKNS, 
MONT, Loren/o, II., 309, cd. 2. These authorities 
tin: assertions of C.udeinann (sec supra, p. 100, note and Ri;iNACll, 
Hist, des Israelites, 152 (Paris, 1885 , who deny the practice of Ubiiry by 
the lews. 

t J. \XXKT, i^; and r>Kt"i>Kk s Staatslexikon, Ilk, 1093. 

I See Bkrnr.R, Finan/politik Rudolf- IV. von (Kbterrei h, 05 st\y. 
Innsbruck, 1886. 


followed his example in regard to the Monte di Pieta. The 
foundation of these institutions had been approved by 
Pius II., Paul II., Sixtus IV., Innocent VI II., and Julius 1 1.;* 
finally, they were protected from all further attacks by a 
privilege granted to them by Leo X. on May 4, 1515, in the 
fifth Lateran synod. They were allowed to demand a 
percentage on loans sufficient to defray the expenses of 
management, but no more than this. Any one who asserted 
this to be unlawful incurred excommunication.! The fall 
in the rate of interest in the i6th Century to a great extent 
coincides with the prosperity of the Monte di Pieta.* 
Another great evil of this period was the vice of gambling, 
which was more intense and universal in Italy than in any 
other country in the world. Already, in the I3th and I4th 
Centuries, this passion had acquired a terrible hold over the 
whole nation, both rich and poor even the Jews in Italy 
were enslaved by it. During the annual villegiatura, when 
people were less under observation, it went on to a frightful 
extent. There was no lack of enactments against it ; the 
laws of every town contain statutes condemning and for 
bidding it. In Florence, dice-throwing and other games 
of hazard had been interdicted as early as the year 1285 ; 
but there, as elsewhere, these prohibitions, though repeated 
in the I5th Century, had very little effect, especially as on 
certain clays play was permitted. The influence of saintly 
men, such as S. Dominic and SS. Bernardino and Antonino, 
was the only tiling that seemed to have any power against 
it. It is related of the latter that one day after having 

* Sec EREER, he. cit., L., 63 ; LI 1 1., 6, 9 ; and J ANNEX, 24. 


I JAN NET, 15. 

Cf. BURCKHARDT, Cultur, II., 305 scq., ed. 3. In the I3th and 
1 4th Centuries the Rechtsgeschichtliche Studien of Zdekauer in Arch. 
St. ItnL, 4 Serie, XVIII., 20 scq. ; XIX., 3 scy. 


preached at San Stcfano, as he was returning through the 
Borgo SS. Apostoli, he saw a party at play in the Loggia of 
the Buondelmonte. Me walked in at once and overturned 
the tables, while the players, startled and ashamed, fell on 
their knees before him and begged to be forgiven.* The 
effect of the labours of such men as these were unfortu 
nately largely frustrated by the evil influence of the excesses 
which many of the worldly-minded Cardinals and nephews 
of the Popes permitted themselves to indulge in.-*- The 
originals of the graphic pictures drawn by Leon Battista, 
Alberti| of the gamblers of his day were probably Romans, 
but the same thing went on in Genoa and all the other 
great cities. 

Undoubtedly of all the evils which darken Italian life 
in this period, the deadliest was the prevailing immorality. 
Contemporary writings are full of complaints on this sub 
ject, especially of course those of the preachers. Roberto 
da Lecce declares that the wickedness of his day exceeded 
that of the world before the Hood. This no doubt is 
an exaggeration, but it cannot be denied that in the 
smaller as well as the more important cities, immorality 
increased to a terrible extent during the age of the Renais 
sance, and that especially amongst the cultivated and 
higher classes, revolting excesses were common. Illegiti 
mate children were not accounted any disgrace, and hardly 

;/ " See Rnsr.F.u, Dominin s Erzielnnv^slehre, 36: and I\i:r.MO\T, 
Loren/.o, 1 1., 3 1 5, ed. 2. 

1 For instance. I Yanresclielto (, ibo. o! whom mention \vill be made 
later on. 

1 C. ena di Fami-lia in the Opere volxari, I., 176^7. ( / . RnM.I.k 
and !\r.i M( >\T, Joe. cil. 

; I .KI.I ;RAXO, .} " v }. 

ij Roi;i .k ro CARACCIOLI, Quadra^esim:ile de peccatis, 146 (X eiKt. 
1.190) : ( -I ni-;.MA.\.\, :. i <;. 

VOL. \" J 


any difference was made between them and those born in 

With a few honourable exceptions almost all the Italian 
Princes of the age of the Renaissance were steeped in vice ; 
the crimes of the Borgia family were not without parallels 
in other princely houses. /Eneas Sylvius Piccolomini, in 
his History of Frederick III., says, " Most of the rulers of 
Italy in the present day were born out of wedlock/ -]- When 
Pius II. came to Ferrara in 1459, he was received by seven 
Princes, not one of whom was a legitimate son. 

It is therefore not surprising that in this era of bastard 
dynasties no one took umbrage at the origin of the Borgia 
family, or that little heed was paid to moral character in 
general. J Cruelty and vindictiveness went hand in hand 
with immorality. Many of the illegitimate rulers allowed 
themselves to perpetrate deeds that we shudder to read of. 
The histories of the Malatesta in Rimini, the Manfredi in 
Faenza, the Baglioni in Perugia, are an appalling tissue of 
malignity, profligacy, and savage brutality. Giampaolo 
Baglione lived in incest with his sister. The city of Siena, 
torn to pieces by factions, had for her tyrant Pandolfo 
Petrucci, whose summer sport was to hurl great boulders 
from the top of Monte Amiata regardless of who or what 
might be in the \vay. 

* ZELLER, Italic et Renaissance, iSS ; VILLARI, Machiavelli, I., 10 ; 
GRIMM, Michelangelo, I., 114, ed. 5 ; FRANTZ, Sixtus IV., 37 scq.; and 
R. DI SORAGXA in Rassegna Naz., X., 131 (1882). 

t A. SYLVIUS, Gesch. Kaiser Friedrichs III., 135 (Leipzig, 1890) ; cf. 
CUGNONI, 199. Things were not much better in most of the other 
countries of Europe. Cf. HOFLER, Die Aeni der Bastarden am Schluss 
des Mittelalters (Abhandl. d. Bohm. Gesellsch. d. Wiss., VII., Folge, IV. 
Bd.), Prag, 1891. 

.t CIAN, Cortegiano, 35 ; GRAF, Cinquecento, 120. 

BURCKHARDT, Cultur, L, 28 s?<?., 34, ed. 3 ; TOMMASSINI, Madiin- 
velli, I, 335- 


All the glamour of tasteful magnificence and intellectual 
culture which hangs round the Courts of the S for/a in 
Milan and the d Fste in Ferrara is insufficient to conceal 
the fearful immorality which pervaded this brilliant society, 
and the horrors that were enacted within it. One domestic 
tragedy succeeded another. In Ferrara, "in 1425, a 
Princess was beheaded for adultery with a step-son ; in 
1401, the sons of the House, both legitimate and illegitimate, 
fled from the Court and were dogged by assassins sent 
after them ; the exiles kept up a series of conspiracies 
against the government ; the bastard of a bastard sought 
to dispossess the lawful heir, Frcole I., who, a little later, 
in 1493, was supposed to have poisoned his consort on dis 
covering that she was plotting to get rid of him by the same 
means, at the instigation of her brother, Ferrante, King 
of Naples. The whole episode closes with a plot con 
trived by two bastards against their brothers Alfonso I. 
the reigning Duke, and Cardinal Ippolito, which, being dis 
covered, they were forced to expiate by a life-long imprison 

The Court of Naples was, if anything, even worse. In- 
defatigably energetic, Ferrante combined considerable 
intellectual culture with the cunning and cruelty of a beast 
of prey. Pontano describes the horror with which he 
watched the King chuckling and rubbing his hands with 
Satanic delight at the thought of the poor wretches con 
fined in his dungeons, whom he kept in trembling uncer 
tainty as to what their fate was to be. Most of these 
unhappy victims had been treacherously seized while dining 
at his own table. Ferrante s treatment of his old minister 
Antonello IVtrucci, who had grown gi ey and lost his health 
in his service, has been justlv characterised as diabolical. 

- - UrRCKMARDT, Cllltlir, I., 47 sV</,, I ll. 3: Ml \T/. Ili-t. lie 1 Art, 
I., 131; ssi/. : and I l .!.< ;k.\\< t, .).> 


The poor man, in ever increasing alarm, kept on making 
present after present to his master, who quietly accepted 
them all, and when an opportunity came, in the shape of 
a plot in which it was possible to accuse him of being im 
plicated, had him arrested and executed. The chronicler 
Philippe de Comines says of Ferrante s son and successor, 
Alphonso, Duke of Calabria, that he was the cruellest, most 
vicious, and commonest man that had ever been seen.* 

The Court of the Gonzaga family at Mantua shews a 
somewhat better record, though there, too, excesses were 
not wanting. Even at that of the Montefeltre at Urbino, of 
which Baldassare Castiglione has painted such a charming, 
though highly idealised picture, very immoral plays were 
performed, and much aclmired.j- 

Dark blots deface the history of the Medici family, more 
especially that of Lorenzo. Thanks to his excellent mother, 
Lorenzo never lost his Faith, as was proved by his Christian 
death, but the life of this great patron of the Arts and 
Literature was far from corresponding with his belief. 
Even his warmest admirers are unable to defend his 
memory from the disgrace of the cruel sack of the city of 
Volterra, of his seizure of the chest containing the money 
for the marriage portions of maidens, by the loss of which 
many were driven to embrace a life of shame, and of the 
audacious greed with which he appropriated the property 
of the State. He was hardly ever without some love 
affair on hand, and for years carried on an intrigue with 
a married lady. One day would find him disputing in the 

* C.OTIIEIN, 32 scq., 364 scy., 523-26 ; and BURCKHARDT, I., 36, 
37, ed. 3. 

t In further details on this point, see infra, where the Drama is 
treated of. In regard to this Court, see REUMONT, III., 2, 136^^7., 329 
.sv;/. ; BURCKIIARDT, I., 43 scy., ed. 3 ; ClAN, Cortegiano, 17 sey. ; and 
especially LlJZIO-RKNIER, Mantova e Urbino. Torino, 1893. 


Academy on virtue and immortality, and inditm pious 
poems; on the next lie might be seen in the midst of his 
dissolute friends singing loose carnival-solids, or listening 
to Luigi 1 ulci declaiming the wanton lyrics of his " Mor- 
gante." The words and example of such a man, and the; 
evil splendour of such a Court, could not fail to have a 
corrupting influence on Florentine life.* 

As in Florence, so also in Venice, those \vho were at the 
head of the government set the worst example. What we 
are told by a Milanese Ambassador in the year 1475, of 
the immorality of the Doge, IMetro Moccnigo, a man of 70, 
and what other narrators relate of the corruption of the 
nobles, sounds almost incredible. Under such circumstances 
we cannot be surprised to find traitors among the highest 
officers of the Republic, or that Soran/o was hanged for 
robbing churches, and Contarini put in chains for burglary." 

The indulgence with which the excesses of the great were 
viewed by the disciples of culture is something amazing. 
The amours of princes were celebrated during their life 
time by poets and literary men, and later by painters, al ;o 
in a way that in modern times would have been considered 
the height of indiscretion, but was then looked upon as 
merely a tribute of friendly feeling. J 

* l\Kl r Mo\T, I.oren/.o, II., 346, ed. 2; ;ind CiCsrh. l\om>, III., I, 
555; STKRN, I., 178; VIU.ARI, Savonarola, I., 39 .\vy., 44, 49 1 
trans.). 1>AUI)RIT.I,ART, -5^2 .v<v/. ; (hvi.x, 152; GASPARY, II., 247 
.\vy., 251; FRANTZ, Si.xtu^ I\ ., 55 sa/.\ CANTL T , I., 186, 222; and 
]U:>J .lx, Loi cn/.o, i i si //. ; the doLUincnt hci e cilcd on ]>. 121, docs nu 
indeed afford nuu ii evidence on the subject ol Lorenxo s immoralities, 
sin^ e, instead of referring; , as liusei Mippo-e-, to 50 beautiful slaves, ;t 
only mentions 50 Sclavonian hides ; 

MOLMKNTI, 2yi, 296; UliLGRAXO, 408: I .L RCK 1 1 ARDT, I.. 64, 
ed. 3. See also a Letter from Leonardu> K>ntia !<> dalea/xo Man;i 
Sfor/.a, Duke ol" Milan, dated Venice, 474- s - alc Archives, Milan. 

X r>UKCKHAKDT, I., 55, ed. J; GOTHLIN". 525. 


The Humanists of the false renaissance made themselves 
indispensable at the Courts of the various Princes as tutors, 
orators, or envoys, and vied with their patrons in the 
immorality of their lives. 

As regards the morals of the bulk of the population, ex 
cluding the Court circles, it is impossible to form any certain 
judgment. We have already pointed out how much that 
was good and admirable it still contained, especially 
amongst the intelligent middle classes the social strata 
which in the towns are comprised between the craftsmen 
(inclusive) and the city patricians.* Religion was the 
central interest in their minds. Accustomed to an occu 
pied life, regulated by the exigencies of each day s work, 
they exercised far more control over their imaginations 
than the classes either above or below them. They felt the 
corruption of the clergy acutely, and were deeply anxious 
for reform, even if it were only in their own cities, as is 
testified by the chronicles of the time, which proceed mainly 
from these circles.^ 

Also, if we want to form a correct idea of the historical 
facts of the case, we must not allow ourselves to take the 
descriptions of poets, satirists, novelists, and preachers too 
literally ; they almost all generalise unduly, and exag 
gerate, and judgments founded on such sources are sure to 
be more or less mistaken, J but there can be no doubt 

* See supra, p. r r. 

t GOTHKIN, Ignatius von Loyola, 81, who also points out the immense 
influence of the " Divina Commedia ;; on the tone of thought of the c iti/en 
class. Raphael in the "Dispula" justly assigns a place amongst the theo 
logians to Dante. 

Cf. WOTKL S observations, which are very valuable, though perhaps 
sometimes carried a little too far, in his paper on Ercole Strozza, i r set/. 
(Wien, 1892); and in the Allg. Zeitung, 1893, No. 29, Suppl. It is a 
pity that he does not enter more into detail in the statement of his views. 
Those of Schultheiss in the Allg. Zeitung, 1892, No. 301, Suppl., are 


that side by side with tlic many good clcMTicnts in Ila1i;in 
society in the I 5th Century, there was also ;i terrible amount 
of evil.* Amongst the general causes contributing to pro 
duce this state of things a considerable share mu.->t be 
assigned to literature and the drama. 

The foul literature produced by such writers as Itocca- 
delli, Valla, 1 oggio, and their innumerable disciples was 
accessible only to the cultivated classes. Among the great 
bulk of readers the poison was disseminated by means of 
the novels and plays which were written in the vulgar 
tongue. In addition to Boccaccio s novels, first printed by 
a jew, and repeatedly re-issued during the I5th Century, 
there were the far worse productions of Ser Cambi, 
Masuccio, Gentili Scrmini, Francesco Yettori, Bandello, 
and others.^ Their favourite subjects are the relation.-, 
between the sexes, treated with the crudest realism, and in 
connection with this, attacks on marriage and the family. 
The unsuspicious husband is hoodwinked, and the jealous 
husband is betrayed in spite of all his precautions. Priests 
and -Monks seduce and deceive, and are in their turn cheated 
and beaten. The tendency in all is to condone, and indeed to 
glorify adultery, if only it is accompanied with adroit decep 
tion.^ As with the Humanists of the false renaissance, 

similar. Cf. also R.\XKK, Y.ur K ritik, 153*; Arch. St. Ital., 4 Serie, 
II., 288 sey. \ GASPARY, II., 452-3; ( .KANT in Die Nation, IV., 482 
scg. ; and in the same connection, GEIGLR, in the Zcitschr. 1". vcrylcich, 
Lit.-Gcs< h. X. F., II., 250 set/. 

* Cf. for one class of subjects, IJKI.r.RANO, 422 set/, and 453 Si 
Though the preachers often exuberate in their diatribes, *till in many 
cases their statements are only too definite and credible. Cf. Sennones 
de Sanrlis, Gabr. I .arlete, 12. 

t HOF.MAXN, Barbara von Mantua, 25. P>OCCAC(To s Decamerone 
was read even by women; see MAI, Spicil., IX., f>i6. On the dis 
semination of bad book:-, see Sermones, C.abr. Harlete, 13. 

t PASTOR, Hist. Popes, I., 3 !,":. (Kn^l. Iran*.), with the reference* 


free love is the ideal set before the reader. Gradually things 
came to such a pass that men who were thoroughly es 
timable in all other respects actually defended divorce. 
It is interesting in this connection to compare the opinions 
of Leon Battista Alberti and Baklassare Castiglione, two 
of the most celebrated writers of the time of the Renais 
sance. The former wrote a work on education in Italian, 
which, compared with Dominici s treatise on the same sub 
ject, bears clear traces of the evil influence of the false 
renaissance. In the first the system of morals is based on 
the firm foundation of Christian teaching ; in the second it 
rests on purely human considerations. Alberti s practical 
counsels are excellent, but the name of Christ is scarcely 
ever mentioned, and the ancient classics supply all the 
models of conduct and heroic instances.* At the same 
time, Alberti firmly holds fast the indissolubility of the 
Sacrament of Marriage. A quarter of a century later 
Baldassare Castiglione, though so high-minded in all other 

o o o 

respects, expresses opinions in his "Cortegiano" which look 
very like an apology for adultery.f Pontano says plainly 
that a wife had better shut her eyes to the relations 
between her husband and her maids. 

Again, from a moral point of view, the influence of such 
poems as the romantic epics of Bojardo and Ariosto was 
anything but good. Bojardo s chivalric poem is full of 
coarse jokes and doubtful episodes ; the "Orlando Furioso" 

there given. See also DANDOLO, Secolo di Leone X., II., 155 set/. 
Milano, 1861. 

* ROSLER, Dominici s Erziehungslehre, 186 j^y., and the same writer s 
admirable work, Die Frauenfrage, 207. Wien, 1893. 

t See ClAN s interesting essay, Divorzisti e Antidivorzisti nel Rinuo- 
cimento Italiano, in the Turin Gazzetta Letteraria, 1893, N. 6. 

J GOTHEIN, 572. 

ERSCH-GRUr.ER, II., Section 26, 25, 


of Aripsto. the Court pout at Fernira, is much worse. Here 
the occasions of all the knightly exploits and feats of arms 
are simply the sensual passions of the heroes and heroine: 
and the poem is full of voluptuous descriptions, glowing with 
colour, and all the more dangerous from the attractiveness 
with which the art of the poet invests them. Many por 
tions of the Orlando, the most important work of the kind 
which the Renaissance produced, are of such a character 
that the majority of its translators refrain from re-producing 
them.* Before entering on his, anything but decorous, 
diatribe against women, and their ineradicable duplicity, 
faithlessness, and caprice, Ariosto himself says : 

Donne e voi che le clonne avete in pregio 

1 er l)io non elate a quest a istoria orecchio. . > . 

Passi chi vuol tre carte, o qu.ittru, sen/a 

Lcgi^erne verso ; 

Of Ian do l< nrioso, ( an to \\viii. 

There are also in this poem many satirical passages on the 
immoral lives of the clergy, though the poet s own conduct 
was not by any means of a kind to give him a right to be 
severe upon the sins of other men.j 1 Ariosto, however, 

* RUTH, Gesch. dor Hal. I oesie, II., 295 set/.- MAFFKI, Slor i cli 
Lett. Hal., 5, 2 (Milano, 1825. II., 61-64) ; GASPAKV, II., 412, 429 .v,v/., 
436 scq.\ Wl . SS, Apolo-ie, II., 382; BURCKIIARDT, II., 45, <- l l- 35 
SCHNKKC.ANS, C.rotc.ske Satire, 112 scq.\ K. SCHMIDT, Der ra.-ende 
Roland, in the All.^. Xeil., 1882, Nos. 308, 310. The privilege granted 
to Ariosto by Leo X. on the publication of hi^ poem, lia - j^iven rise to a 
foolish notion that this 1 opc had formally approvcil of ii : when 
fact it i.-> nothing but an ordinary ;^rant of copyright, Kl.i^TON i , III.. 


t /\riosto, says RUTH, II., 245, could neither live nor write vithout a 

nustress. In his fiftieth year he refti-ed the honourable po-t of hnvoy to 
Rome, which would have extricated him from all hi- pecuniary diffi 
culties, because he could not brinu; himself to part from his lady-love in 
Ferrara (Satira, \ II., 57^ ^.). lie resolved not to marry in order to 


never attacked religion ; indeed, in some of his Satires he 
points out the danger of tampering in any way with Faith.* 

From the moral point of view, it was in his plays that 
Ariosto permitted himself the greatest licence. Nowhere 
does the deep-seated corruption of the Italian Courts dis 
play itself in a more revolting form than in this branch of 
literature. Here we see the influence of the ancient pagan 
spirit at its worst. 

To Pomponius Laetus, a votary of the false renaissance, 
and the pomp-loving Ercole I. of Fcrrara, belongs the 
doubtful glory of having restored the works of Plautus and 
Terence, to the stage. No Festa of the Roman Academy, 
or the Court of Ferrara, could be adequately celebrated 
without a representation of some play, full of indecent jests, 
by one or other of these authors. Those organised by 
Pomponius Laetus in Rome were, however, carefully got up 
in antique style. It was at Ferrara that the true renais 
sance of Plautus and Terence was accomplished, under the 
auspices of Ercole I., who was the founder of the character 
istic Drama of this period. f They were his favourite authors. 
The stage decorations were gorgeous, many of the pieces, 
in which a ballet (Moresca) was always introduced, were a 
tissue of low double-entendres. During the Carnival of 
the year 1486 the Menaechmi of Plautus was represented 
in Italian for the first time in Ferrara.J This piece was 

retain his liberty. Cf. also FERNOW, Ariosto s Leben, Si sey., 86 scy., 
177 (Zurich, 1809); PROLSS, I., 2, 107; and SCHUCHARDT, in the 
Allg. Zeit., 1875, No - J 49, Suppl. ; and Renaissance und Keltisches. 
Berlin, 1886. 

* Cf. besides RAXKK, Z. Gesch. d. Ital. Poesie, WERKK, 51-52, 204, 
especially GABOTTO, La politica e la religiosita di L. Ariosto in the 
Rassegna Emiliana. Modena, 1889, Novembre. 

t See D ANCONA, Origini del Teatro Italiano (ed. 2, Torino, 1891); 
and FLKCHSIG, Dekoration der Moclernen Biihne, 6 seq., 10 scq. 

J Diario Ferrarese, 278. 


the most popular of his plays in the age of the Renais 
sance, and the one which exercised the greatest influence 
on the development of Italian Comedy. Creole s successor, 
.Alfonso I., was equally devoted to tin s kind of perfor 
mance. Ariosto s " Cassaria " (the Casket), written in the 
style of Plautus, was produced for the first time at his 
Court during the Carnival of 1508.* This vile piece, in 
which the chief personage is a pander, who, after the 
fashion of ancient Rome, is a dealer in female slaves, is 
even surpassed in licentiousness by the same author s " Sup- 
positi," which was put upon the stage at Ferrara for the 
first time in the following year. His third Comedy, " Lena" 
(a procuress), a tale of low debauchery, was performed in 
1528 before the whole Court at the marriage of Prince 
Ercole with Rcnce of Valois.f 

Isabella d Kste,wife of the Marquess Francesco Gonzaga, 
shared her father s passion for the Drama, and took great 
pains with the Theatre at Mantua. Secular plays were also 
introduced at U rhino. In Rome classical plays probably 
first began to be acted in the reign of Innocent VI 1 1., and 
were not long restricted to the small circle of the Humanists. 
Very soon the worldly-minded Cardinals and other Church 
dignitaries opened the doors of their palaces to Pom- 
ponius Laetus and his dramas. Cardinal Raffaele Riario 
especially patronised the stage with princely munificence.* 

* CAMPOKI, Xoti/.ie per la Vita cli L. Arinsto, 6S 9 (cd. 2, Modena, 
1871); Fi.KCiisic., Dekoration der Modernen F>uline, 20 scy. 

t On the plays of Ariosto sec Kl.KlX, I\ r ., 504 .\v</., 326 ,wy., 351 scq. ; 
GASPARY, II., 416 seq. : I ROLSS, I., 2, 109 scq. ; HOUTKRWKK, II., 58 
set/.; FKUKKU.IX, Die Ital. Kom ulie. in (be Prcuss. Jalii b., XIAII., 
10 set/. On the representations in i r en-;n-;i see (\\MPORF, loc. f//., 69 
scy., and FI.KCHSK;, 22 scy. See also CAMPANINI, L Ariosto (I>ol(v^n;t, 
1891) ; and tiiorn d. Lett., XX., 282 .v,y. 

; D ANCONA, Ongmi, II., 65 sey., 347 JV//.,cd. 2 ; FLECHSIG, 25 sey., 
^ scq., 41 scq. 


Under Alc^a^nd^^^I. the taste for theatrical repre 
sentations made great progress. Plays, for the most part 
of an extremely objectionable character, were a promi 
nent feature in all court festivities, and also in the Carnival 
amusements, in which Alexander took a great interest. In 
1502 the Pope had the Menaechmi performed in his own 
apartments.* Fortunately, the warlike tastes of Julius II. 
for a moment checked the stream, but under Leo X. it 
flowed freely again. lie was not ashamed to be present 
at a sumptuous representation of Cardinal Bibbiena s im 
moral play, " Calandria," which was put on the stage for the 
first time at Urbino during the Carnival in 1513.1 

Machiayelli s plays surpassed even those of Ariosto and 
Bibbiena in absence of decorum. His " Mandragola" (the 
Magic Drink) is the worst. Nothing more detestable could 
be invented than the incident which he describes in his 
masterly prose. Unbridled passion and the lowest desires 
are the main theme of the play. In its clever and sparkling 
dialogue, adultery is held up to admiration. In this 
loathsome production, Machiavelli gave free vent to the 

* Dispacci di A. GIUSTIXTAXT, I., 379, 404, 413 ; SAXUTO, IV., 722, 
767, 782; ADEMOLLO, II Carnevale di Roma, 23 scq. (Fircnze, 1891); 
FLECIISIG, 46 scq. 

t PUXGILEOXT, 288; VERXARECCL in Arch. St. p. le Marchc, III., 
183 scq.\ Luzio- RENTER, Mantova e Urbino, 213 scq.; D AXCOXA, 
Origin!, II., 77 scq., 88 scq., TOT seq., ed. 2; LlJZlO, F. Gomaga, 18 
scq.; FLECHSK;, 60 scq.; CEI.LT, in the Xuova Rivista Misena, VII. : 
Un carnevale a la corle d ; Urbino e la prhna nipprcsentazione della 
Calandria. As to the play itself sec, besides these authorities, KLEtx, 
IV., 392 scq. ; GASPARY, II., 577 scq. ; PROLSS, I., 2, TOT scq. GRAF, 
Studii drammatici, 87 scq.; REUMOXT, III., 2, 138; Preuss. Jahrb., 
XLVIL, 15 scq. ; R. WEXPKIXER, Die Quellen von B. Dovizi s Calan 
dria (Halle, 1895), shews that Bibbiena, in writing Calandria, was more 
influenced by Boccaccio than by Plautus. CASTIGLIONE says that in the 
performance of Calandria some scenes "which perhaps would have been 
hardlv admissible on the stage" were altered. 


corruption of his own nature, and to his bitter hatred of the 
clergy. The piece is in the most striking contrast to Dante s 
noble indignation against the unworthy representatives of 
the Church. Machiavelli s aim in his caricature of Fra 
Timoteo is to pour contumely on the whole order. 1 he 
avaricious and gluttonous monk insults and tramples on all 
that is most sacred in the Church, and cares for nothing 
but the pelf which is to reward his infamy. 

His second comedy " Clizia," an imitation of one of IMautus 
most scandalous pieces, is on a par with the first. In the 
Prologue he says that he hopes to have succeeded in avoid 
ing anything that could appear objectionable ; it is his 
business to make people laugh, and he has chosen lovers as 
his subjects, but has throughout expressed himself in such 
a manner that ladies may sec and hear without blushing. 
In reality, there are passages in the play which no decent 
man could hear with patience.* Even the Humanist, Giglio 
Gregorio Geraldi exclaims "What times! what morals! 
All the vileness of the heathen drama which had been 
driven out by Christianity has returned again."- 

In regard to the Drama there were two distinct worlds, the 
Court circle in which plays of this kind were admired and 
enjoyed, and the educated middle-classes which continued 

* KLEIN, IV., 371 scq., 422 scq \ GASPARY, II., 579 ->< 
I., 2, iiSscg.; GKAF, Suulii drammatici, 131 J Machiavelli als 

Komodiendichter in the Allg. Zeitung, iSSi, Xr. 237. Supph 
OSCII, Marhiavelli als Komodiendichter (Minclen, 1888); YlLI.AKI, 
Machiavelli, III., 134 scq., here, p. 136, arc to be found his arguments to 
prove that Leo X. was not present at the performance of Mandragola. 
GASPARY S remarks on the Jesuits and this play carry their own con 
futation with them. Then- is no obligation laid on any one to know 
anything of the Religions Orders ; but when a man take, upon him 
self to write about them, he is bound to have at least an elementary 
acquaintance with his snbjert. 

+ RUTH. II., v>7. 


to relish and cultivate the Sacred Drama, the influence of 
which was invaluable as a counter-check to the sensuous 
tendencies of the false renaissance. This, however, could 
not last ; the movement towards the revival of the classical 
stage, inaugurated by the Humanists, swept steadily on 
wards, and in the course of time, the religious drama 
became extinct.* 

In addition to the baneful effects of this corrupt litera 
ture, a custom which began to prevail in Italy about the 
middle of the fourteenth Century, exercised a very dis 
astrous influence on the national morals. About this time, 
slaves began to be imported from the East, mostly women 
and girls, more rarely boys and youths. f Previously to the 
Turkish conquests, these women were mostly Tartars or 
Circassians, brought over, as a rule, by the Venetians and 
Genoese. Subsequently the majority were captives from 
Servia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania. Repeated enact 
ments in the statute books, ever increasing in stringency, 
shew what abuses accompanied this traffic. It sounds 
strange in our ears to find this abomination referred to in 
the letters of eminently respectable persons quite as a 
matter of course, and the national characteristics and 
qualities of these slave-girls freely discussed. J It can be 
proved that slaves of both sexes were commonly held in 
nearly all the great cities in Italy, such as Venice, Florence, 
Mantua, Ferrara, Lucca, Naples and Genoa. The Italian 

* D ANCONA, II., 6 1 seg., ed. 2 ; FLECHSIG, 6. 

t ZAMBONI, Gli Ezxelini, Dante e gli schiavi, 242 seq.^ 280 (Wien, 
1870); BOXGI, Le schiave oriental! in Italia in the Nuova Anto- 
logia (1868) II. ; BURCKHAKDT, II., 78 scq., ed. 2 ; ZANELLI, Le schiave 
orientali a Firenze nei sec. xiv., XV. (Firenze, 1885) ; REUMONT in the 
1 list. Jahrb., VII., 51 scq.\ MOLMKXTI, 293 scq.\ GOTHEIN, 411 seq.\ 
Li /in RKXII.R, Buffoni, nani e schiavi del Ciomaga ai tempi d Isabella 
d Kste, 6 1 scq. (Roma, 1891); Vita Italiana nel Rinascimento, I., 91 seq. 

+ Lettere di Alexandra Maringhi negli Stroxxi, .(75. Firen/e, 1877, 


Princes made it a point to have some Moorish male and 
female slaves, \vho were valued in proportion to the black 
ness of their skins, and, like the fool and the dwarf, were 
considered an indispensable appendage of a brilliant Court. 
The Court artists have immortalised some of these quaint 
figures in their frescoes.* Almost all the great families in 
Florence possessed female slaves. The evil custom brought 
its own retribution with it. "Often the peace of a house 
hold was destroyed by one of these slave women ; legitimate 
and illegitimate children were brought up together. Thus, 
we see Carlo, afterwards Provost of Prato, the son of the 
elder Cosimo de Medici and a Circassian slave bought 


in Venice, educated with the other children, while the 
mother of another member of the family, Maria, daughter 
of Cosimo s son Piero, is unknown." It is safe to say 
that in any house where there were female slaves, the 
morals of the male members of the family were sure to be- 
far from exemplary. From private letters we learn that 
there was a great unwillingness to marry among the 
younger mercantile nobility. In reference to tin s, Aless- 
andra Strozzi, writing of her sons, remarks that " the devil 
is not so black as he is painted. "f 

There is another distressing feature of the age which 

* M. \XTEGXA in the Camera degli Sposi in the Castle at Mantua. 
Paolo Veronese at a later period frequently introduced black men in his 

t Ri.fMOXT in Hist., Jahrb., VII., 57, and Kleine Schriften, 134 
sci/. In Siena, in the beginning of the i 5th Century, the State found it 
necessary to take measures against the increasing prevalence of celi 
bacy ; see L. Fu.Ml, Bando di premier moglie in Sii-na (Siena, iSjSV 
In Lucca a decree was passed in 1454 debarring all unmarried men 
between the ages of twenty and fifty from any public office (see Ciiorn. 
Ligust., 1890, 1 88), an example which was followed by the municipality 
of Citta di Castello in 1465. See Mi. Zl, .Mem. eccles. e civili di Citta di 
Castello, I., 230, II., 28. 


supplies a certain measure for its moral condition, and must 
not be overlooked by the historian of culture. Already, in 
the 1 4th Century, in the towns in Italy, the number of 
unfortunate women leading a life of shame had been very 
great. The I5th Century shows a notable increase in this 
class, even in small places like Orvieto and Perugia.* These 
women were tolerated to prevent worse evils. In great 
international centres, such as Venice, Rome and Naples, as 
years went on the state of things grew worse and worse. 
The chronicler Infessura, who, however, cannot be depended 
upon for accuracy, estimates the number of these unhappy 
creatures in Rome in the year 1490 at 6800. f In Venice, 
in the beginning of the i6th Century, their number was 

* FABRETTI, Documenli di Storia Perugina, Vol. I. (Torino, 1887), 
cites decrees in 1424, 1436, 1478, 1486 and 1487 against these women, 
but all these enactments proved ineffectual. In 1488 a new edict was 
published, but equally with no result. The Diario di Ser Tommaso di 
Silvestro tells the same story in regard to Orvieto, see pp. 166, 168, etc. 
For other cities (Florence, Bologna, Ferrara, Siena, Yiterbo, Faenxa and 
Rome), see numerous statements in REZASCO S Essay in the Giornale 
Ligustico, 1890, 161 seq. For Milan, see Arch. St. Lomb., XVI 1 1., 
1000 seq. For Genoa, BEEGRANO, 429^^. For Padua, LOVARINI, Die 
Frauenwettrennen in Padua ( Berlin, 1892). For Turin, GABOTTO in the 
Giorn. Ligust., 1890,</. For Mantua, Giorn. d. Lett. Ital, XIX., 
472 seq. Luzio-RENiER, Buffoni, 44, and BERTOEOTTI in Mendico A" V., 
N. 10. An "**Edict of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, of June 6, 
1475, against improper conduct m Courts of Justice (Municipal Archives, 
Pavia), supplies important information in regard to the state of 
morals in that city. In regard to the dissipated and lawless lives of 
the students in Rome, see Giorn. d. Lett., II., 134 seq.\ and for the 
same in Pistoja, Arch. St. Ital, 4 Serie, VII., 114 seq. 

t INFESSURA, ed. Tommasini, 260. For Rome see RKUMONT, III., r, 
442 seq. ; 2, 461 seq. ; LANGE, Papstesel, 70 ; ARMEEEIXI, Censimento 
di Roma sotto Leone X. (Roma, 1882) ; VIOEEET (as opposed to Woker) 
in the Rev. Hist., XII., 444 AV</., and the special authorities cited infra, 
p. 130, note*, 

nut less than i 1,000, out of a population of 300,000. Here 
they enjoyed considerable freedom in comparison with other cities where various restrictions were imposed 
upon them ; but in spite of all such efforts, their numbers 
and their effrontery continued to increase. 

Another circumstance which requires to be noted is that 
towards the close of the I5th Century, vice, keeping pace 
with the diffusion of culture, became itself more refined, 
and consequently more dangerous. " With the spirit ot 
the Renaissance more and more pervading daily life, came 
a revival of the Hctaerae." 

In this connection the gradual substitution about this 
time of the better-sounding name of "courtesan" for the 
old appellation " peccatrice," is significant of the change. 
Burchard s Diary of Alexander VI. shews that this appella 
tion was already in common use in 1498^ The name: was 
at once both an effect and a cause of efforts to correspond 
with it on the part of those who bore it. We find that 
these women cultivated music and poetry, and could write 
and converse with elegance : many of their letters are 
fluently and correctly expressed, and contain Latin quota 
tions. During the lOth Century, many of the Hctaerae. 
especially in Venice and Rome, were prominent person 
ages. They lived in great luxury in splendid houses, 
and were accompanied by a large circle of acquaintances 
when they went out walking, or to church. Poets wrote 
verses about them, and some were themselves poetesses. 

* SANUTO, VIII., 414; MOF.MKXTI, 287; GRAF, 286, I.e.^i c 
meinorie Ycncle >ulla proslitu/ionc MHO alia radiita della rcpu!>l>!i a. A 
^jtesc del Conte di Orford (Ycnuv.ia, 1870 72), and (G. TASSINl] Cenni 
htorid c lo-xi circa il libertinai^io in Yenc/.ia (Vcnczia, 1886); Lc> 
Courtisanes ct la polifc ck^ iiKi.-urs a Yenise. Bordeaux, i 

t Cortr-iana, IKK: e>t mcrctrix lione^ta. ISl Rt HARI >I Diariuin. II., 
44- 4 ; </ HI., 167. 

VOL. V. 


One of the most famous of the Roman courtesans 
who bore the proud name of Imperia, and was the 
mistress of the rich banker Agostino Chigi, had Stras- 
cino of Siena for her instructor in Italian poetry.* An 
early death saved Imperia from the fate of the majority 
of her companions, who, all their wealth having departed 
with their beauty, generally died in some hospital, or in a 
wretched garret. f 

On the side of the Church, great efforts were made to 
stem the tide of evil, especially in the direction of ordinances 
relating to the marriage of these unhappy victims.* The 
mission preachers were unwearied in their labours, and 
often succeeded in checking it for a time. Special 
missions were sometimes given for the conversion of these 

* Cf. in addition to GRAF S exhaustive " Studie," 224 sec/. : GASPARY, 
II., 508; BUKCKHAKDT, Cultur, II., 138 ,v,v/., ed. 3; GKF.C.OKOVIUS, 
VIII., 281 seq.\ CANKLLO, Storia d. Lett. Ital., 15 .sv./. (Milano, 1880); 
SCHULTHKISS in the Allg. Zeit., \ 892, Xr. 290 ; Mixon KTTI, Raftaele, 94 ; 
REUMONT, loc. cit., as well as the following list of authors whose works 
refer mainly to the i6th Century: FJ:RRAI, Lettere di Cortegiane del 
sec. xvi. (Firenze, 1884), aiK l Luzio in the Giorn. d. Lett., III., 432 
scq. ; BERTOLOTTI, Repression! straordinarie alia prostituzione in Roma 
nel sec. xvi. (Roma, 1878); ARULLAXI, Appunti sulle cortegiane nel 
cinquecento in Bibl. d. scuole class. Ital., VI., 14 (1894); ClAN, 
Galanterie Ital. del. sec. xvi., in La Lcllcmliira (Torino, 1887) ; Rono- 
CANACHI, Courtisancs et Bouftbns. Etude des mceurs Romaines au xvi. 
sieclc (Paris, 1894), and CIAN in the Giorn. d. Lett. Ital., XXIV., 446 set/. 

t The well-known poetess Tullia d Aragona, cf. Nuova Antologia, 
IV., 655 scq. [1886]; CKLAXI, Lc Rime di T. d Aragona (Bologna, 
1891) ; Luzio in the Riv. St. Alantov., I. [1885], and Boxoi in the Rev. 
crit. d. Lett. Ital., IV., 186 scq. [1887]), fell into such poverty that in her 
last years she kept a small wine-shop in the Trastevere where she died. 
See CORVISIKRI, II Testamento di Tullia d Aragona (1556) in Fanfulla 
della Domenica, 1886. 

t GRAF, 272. 

Giorn. Ligustico ( 890), 319. 

SINS Ol TILK A.l.. 1^1 

women. The Mantnan chronicles mention one conducted 
by the famous preacher, Aegidius of Yiterbo. during lliv 
Lent of 1508 in Rome.* Some were converted ; and in their 
later years, the mistresses ol RodripT) and Caesar Borgia, 
Yanno/./a de Cattanei and Fiammctta, sought by charity 
and penance, to atone for their sins.t Hut in the main, 
tilings remained much as they were* in Rome, which was 
not surprising, considering the bad example set by so many 
of the clergy.^ The evil was not done away with til! the: 
time of the Catholic reformation. 

Hut this was not the worst of the maladies which the 
false renaissance had brought upon Italy. The historian 
of those times cannot avoid touching upon a still more 
painful subject. There is unmistakcablc evidence of the 
revival of the horrible national vice of the Greeks. It had 

" A<juesti di I rate Eyidio ha facto una prcdica per convcrtire tuttc 
queste bagasse ba^ascie; de Roma; quando lurno alia ])rcscntia sua 
tutlc volevano fare mirabilia et promessoli el partito molto lari;o ; par- 
titc i lie furno a Lucha le vidi. Vcro c chc alcune per e^ere >talc 
a ai in (juesto pee.cato se sonno eonvertite narte a le monai he tie pontc 
vSi>to et in el monesterio de S. OiorLjio. Cesar de Bechadellis fiv>t 
Heccodelli as it is written by UtM tolotti \Ioc. cit., S] ) to th(> Marc hioness 
Isabella of Mantua, Rome, ?\Iarcli 5, 1508. Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

t In regard to VAXOZ/A, sec infra, p. 363. As to Fiammetta, after 
\\honi the street leadinyfroin the Mascherad X )roto S. Apollinare is < ailed 
I ia/./.a Fiaminctla, sec AlMNOI.FI, Torre de Saiv^uixn u 15 s,-</. : (IRAK, 
279 AV//., >hc\vs that even the < ourtcsans had not \\-holl\- lo>t their I aith. 

J Cf. ( .KOSSIXO S account, Jan. 7, 1512 ; Lu/io, V. (ion/a.;;u - 

i^ Cf. infrn, p. 170 scq. 

|| Besides the reference.-, i^iven in PASTOR, I list. Popes, I., 20, n. 
(Mn^l. trans.) ; see also for what follow^ : Kxi.r.l.i,, II., 150; I.NMH. . i, 
251,298; PLATIXA, in Vairani, Mon. Creinon., I., 28. Cenni sul liber- 
tiiiax^i ;L Vene/.ia (sec suprii* p. 129. note*), 17 .v<v/. ; (-1 IM- .M \XX, 219 
scq.; LANGK, Papstescl, 24; PKRRENS, II., 147; I^KH .RAN 
GumiCIXI, Mi>ccll. Bolo^n., 43 sci;.\ MACIIIAVKLI.I, I.ettere fain] 
liari, ]). ]>. c. di. K. Alvisi, Kdi/. inte^ra (not ^old in the book trade;, 
2 33> 5 7 3- 1 - 3-5- 335- 337- Florence, 1883. 


been almost eradicated through the influence of the Church 
and the severe laws enacted at her instigation, punishing it 
and branding it with shame. Clothed in the graceful 
robes of Greek myths and lightly sung by Roman poets, it 
slipped noiselessly back into the modern world. In the 
beginning of the I5th Century, it was already to be found 
in Venice, Siena and Naples. In Naples, S. Bernardino 
of Siena publicly preached against it, and declared that 
" God would send fire from heaven and destroy the city 
as lie destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha."* Of the later 
mission preachers, Roberto da Lecce, Michele da Milano, 
and Gabriele da Marietta were those who raised their voices 
most loudly against this growing curse, f In Venice, the 
State endeavoured by legislation and severe penalties to 
check this form of corruption, but in vain. The advocates 
of the false renaissance openly and unblushingly extolled 
the unnatural vices which had been the ruin of the ancient 
world. Some actually made a boast of such practices ; 
others excused them on the ground that they were not 
condemned by the noblest men among the ancients, the 
models whom the Humanists made it the one aim of their 
lives to resemble. In his seventh satire Ariosto says that 
almost all the Humanists were addicted to the vice for 
which God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrha.j This, no 
doubt, is an exaggeration, like many other wholesale accu 
sations formulated in a scandalous age which did not spare 

* VOIGT, Wiederbelebung, II., 471 st q., cd. 2. 

t AIicnAEE DE MEDIOLANO, Sermones, I . I., 65; P. II., 64: P. III. 
in fine ; GABR. DA BARLETTA, Sermones de Saudis, f. 78 ; ROJ;. de 
Lrno, Serm., 30. See also Arch. Veneto, fasc. 71, p. 237 seq. 

I Senza quel vizio son pochi mnanisti 
Che fe a Uio forza, non che persuase 
Di far Gomorra e i suoi vicini tristi ; 

l->.<itira, VII., 25 scq. 

( .TILT OF TIII-: nr.M. \\ISTS. 133 

even Michael Angelo s character, and which should be 
taken only for what the) are worth.* Still in regard to 
many of the Humanists, setting aside what ma}- be only 
poetical embroideries, their own writings prove that it is 
not unfounded. t Tomponius Lactus, in answer to charges 
ol this nature, cited the example of Socrates, and the 
poet Cosmico quoted a poem of Plato. J T There can be 
hardly any doubt that the most distinguished 1 ort and 
Humanist at the Court of Lorenzo de Medici, Angelo 
rolixiano, the Venetian Chronicler Sanuto, and the 
Venetian Envoy in Rome in the time of Innocent VIII., 
Antonio Loredano,* were all guilty of this vice. Loredano 
was dismissed from his post in consequence of it. 

The most serious part of it, as far as the nation was 
concerned, was that it made its way into the lower ranks 
also. At the time of the invasion of Charles VI II., a 
chronicler writes : the whole country and all the great 
cities, Rome, Florence, Naples, Bologna, Ferrara are 
infected. * :; Many preachers attribute all the misfortunes 
of the Italians, the wars, dearths and earthquakes, to the 

* Cf. I .rRC KHARDT, I., i Mo 90, eel. 3, and JANSKX, Soddoma. 42 v-y. 

t NKTZKR, Leben des F. Haldi. 58 (Wien, 1790. shews that this 
\vas the case with regard to his hero. 

1 Giorn. St. il. Lett. Hal., XIII., 144. In regard to 1 . Laetus, see 
I ASTOR, Ili^t. Popes, IV., 41 scq. (Kngl. trans.). 

ij Cf. U/iKU.r, 232 .v ( v/., where also the proof is found that I oli/iano 
held a Canonry. In regard to his lite and writing s see GRAKSSK, II., 5, 
711 scq.; GASI ..\RV, II. , 213 ,s-,v/., 218 scq.; HOFF.MAXX, Lebensbilder 
beriihintcr Humanistcn, I. (Leipzig, i<S^7): MAIIIA", A. I oli/iano I.cip-i.:. 
1864); C. CASTKLT.ANI, A. Polixiano (Carrara, 1868); Vita Italiana, II., 
i .9^., and the treatise, In memoria di A. I oli/iano i Siena, 1894 . \h-\ 
Liin^o is ])rej)arinu;" a coni])rehensi\-e work on I oli/iano. 

The proof is to be found in a hitherto unnotu ed I )espat< h in Li V)O, 
1*. Aretino, n.note r. Torino, [888. 

" Xavagiero in MTRATOKI, XXIII., 1194. 
Ml RATORj, XXI\ ., 12 ; Kxi 1:1.1., II., i ^-> 


wrath of God on account of this sin. When, in i$n, 
Venice was visited with a violent earthquake, the Patriarch 
told his terrified countrymen that this was a punishment 
from God because they would not give up their vices.* 

The frequency of murders in churches is another mark 
of the blunting of the moral sense caused by the spirit of 
the classical renaissance ; most of them were perpetrated 
by men who strove to emulate Brutus and Cassius, the two 
chief heroes of the Humanists. f Yet another was the 
growing practice of political assassination. In Venice 
especially, this was the most common way of getting rid 
of an enemy, either at home or abroad. These things 
were coolly discussed and determined in the Council, and 
assassination was freely employed by the Government as a 
political agency, so that Pontanus could say with truth that 
in Italy " nothing was so cheap as human life." It is not 
surprising, therefore, to find that duelling increased im 
mensely and that brigandage was rampant in many 
pi aces, j 

Moral corruption, such as we have been describing, 
could not fail to lead to religious indifference. Boc 
caccio s famous poem of the Three Rings, is a significant 
expression of this tendency.^ The Morgante Maggiore of 

* SAXUTO, XII., 84 scg. 

t PASTOR, Hist. Popes, IV.. 308 seq. (Engl. trans.). 

* In addition to the references given in previous volumes, see also 
MARIXI, I., 277 ; SvBEL, Hist. Zeitschrift, LII., 374 scq., and NOLUAC, 
Erasme en Italic, 20. In regard to Brigandage, see BURCKHARDT, II., 
220 seq.) ed. 3. On Duelling, CIAX, Cortegiano, 45. 

BURCKHARDT, II., 265, 340, ed. 3. For what follows I had hoped 
to find valuable material in OWKX S work, The Sceptics of the Italian 
Renaissance (London, 1893), but have been completely disappointed and 
thrown back on ZlMMERMANN S indecisive pronouncement in the Hand- 
weiser (1893), 340 scq. That which SKAIFK, 131 .SYY/., says in regard to 
Florence is also quite inadequate. 


Luigi Pulci, shews that a similar tone of thought was well 
received in Lorcn/.o de Medici s circle. The poem is a 
romantic tale of chivalry divided into cantos, each oi 
which begins by invoking the inspiration of God and the 
Saints, for a muse whose utterances are nothing but a 
tissue of buffoonery. In the second canto, the help of the 
crucified Jupiter is implored to bring the tale to a close. 
The fourth contains a parody of the Gloria Patri in a 
medley of Italian and Latin verses, and in another, there 
is a parody of the Paternoster. The more profane the 
son-;, the more solemn is the prologue which introduces it. 
Sudden o nversions and baptisms are sarcastically de 
scribed and attributed to the lowest motives. Sacred 
things are travestied and derided, and finally, the poet 
winds up with a declaration of faith in the goodness of 
all religions which, in spite of his professions of orthodoxy, 
evidently implies a purely thcistic point of view.* 

The temper and teaching of another section of the 
votaries of the false renaissance was perhaps even more 
objectionable than that of Luigi. These men frankly 
advocated the complete resuscitation of Pagan thought 
and ethics. Their programme is expressed in Lorcn/.o 
Valla s book on pleasure, published in 1431, which is 
nothing but Epicureanism pure and simple, 
enjoyment and nothing else is the aim of life. The 
pleasures of the senses are our highest good, and the 
ancients who raised voluptuousness into a cult, and wor 
shipped pleasure as a God, were happy.-t 

* RUTH, II., 142 seq., 198, 202 scq. ; lUiRCKHARDT, II., 266, ed. 2 ; 
O\VKN, 147 ,v,y., 155 seg.\ SI.TTKM URINI, Lcz. di Lett. Hal.. 
KKUMONT, Lorenxo, II., 44 scq., ed. 2; GASPARV, II., 
IT LCI S Sarcasms on Immortality in a sonnet in the Arch. ^ 
T., IX., 49^Y. 

+ PASTOR, Hist. Pope-, I., n .r<y. ( KmA Iran - ^ 


Fortunately, face to face with the heathen stood the 
Christian Renaissance, and for a considerable time this 
school was still so powerful that Valla, in his theories, had 
no disciples.* In practice, however, and more and more as 
the century drew towards its close, his gospel of pleasure 
found an ever widening circle of adherents. Considerations 
of prudence led the paganising Humanists to avoid an 
open breach with the Church, and in addition to this, they 
were, for the most part, too indifferent on the subject of 
faith to occupy themselves with religious questions. Some, 
on account of their neglect of religion and reckless utter 
ances against the Church, were commonly called " Atheists " ; 
but such a thing as speculative and rationalistic Atheism 
was unknown, and no one would have dared to profess it."f 
Though the Church permitted a good deal of latitude in 
some directions, actual heresy was severely dealt with, as is 
proved by the fate of the Roman Academicians under Paul 
II.,* and the punishment of such men as Zanino de Solcia, 
Giovanni da Montecatini, Xiccolo Lelio Cosmico and others. 
Heretics such as these were, however, rare. Setting aside 
the Waldenses and the Fraticelli, unorthodox teaching 
found very little sympathy in Italy during the Renais- 
sance. However much worldliness and scepticism might 

* GAP.OTTO, L. Valla e 1 Epicureismo nel Quattrocento. Parte prima, 
50 (Milano-Torino, 1889). The rest of this work has unfortunately not 
yet come out. 

t BURCKHARDT, II.. 272, ed. 3. 

J Cf. PASTOR, Hist. Popes, IV., 51 scq. (Engl. trans,), and UZIELLI, 
187 scq. 

8 Cf. PASTOR, Hist. Popes, IV., \ 15 (Engl. trans.) ; UZIELLI, 212 scq., 
and CANTU, I., 182 scq.-. III., 699 scq. On the Paduan poet Niccolo 
Lelio Cosmico, see B. Rossi s excellent treatise in the Giorn. St. d. Lett. 
Ital., XIII., IOT scq., and the letter published in the same periodical, 
XXIII., 46r scq., which shews that the accusations of heresy brought 
against this poet were not wholly groundless. On a heretic in Bologna 


have done in weakening religious feeling,* such a tiling as 
obstinate heresy hardly existed. \\ hatever rash or free- 
thinking language might on occasion be used, when it 
came to the point, a direct broach with Christianity and 
the Church was almost always avoidod.-r Even the most 
advanced Humanists, at the approach of death, returned 
to the faith of their childhood. Codrus Urcous, a pro 
fessor in Bologna, used to tell his hearers that no one 
knew what happened to the soul or the spirit after death, 
and that all that was said about the next world was nothing 
but old wives tales to frighten children. " When, however, 
he came to die, in his will he commended his soul to 
Almighty God, admonished his weeping scholars to fear 
God, and above all things hold fast their Faith in immor 
tality and retribution after death; and received the last 
Sacraments with great devotion."* Even such men as 
Malatesta and Machiavelli, after spending their lives in 
estrangement from the Church, sought on their death-beds 
her assistance and consolations. Both made good con 
fessions and received the Holy Viaticum. In this as in 
other things, we have evidence which proves how saturated 
with Christianity was the spirit of the Italian nation. It is 
hardly possible to exaggerate the confusion of contradictions 
of which life was made up in those days of transition. 
Another instance of this has lately been discovered in the 
storv of Sigismondo Malatesta. This man, a professed 
votary of paganism and its vices, had an effigy of the skull 

who maintained that Christ had not yet come, see BAPTISTA MAXTU- 
AXl S, Do Patientia, 1. III., c. 13. 

* ( / . Ant. de Veivcllis complaint in Sennones, 1. 243. 

t This is pointed out by von He/old in S\ isKl/s Xt-itsch., XLIX., 

I BURCKHARUT, Cultur, II., 274, ed. 3. Cf. MAi.ACi >i.A, Codro 
Uiveo,</. P.olo^na, 1878. 

PASTOR. Hist. Popes, I.. 2: . En-1. tran-O 


of one of his ancestors carved in marble, in order, so the 
inscription runs, that he might never forget him, and daily 
pray for his soul.* 

This sort of alternation during life, between free-thinking 
and the religion implanted in youth, to which, on their 
death-beds they definitively returned, was very general 
amongst the Humanists and men of letters/ - The two 


Humanists, Giovanni Gioviano Pontano and Antonio 
Galatea, both southern Italians, are striking instances of 
this class. 

Pontano s writings (1426 1503)+ arc saturated with 
paganism and pagan ideals. In combating superstition 
he attacks the Invocation of the Saints, and classes it with 
the worship of idols. He executed a scholarly copy of 
P>eccadelli s poems, which are modelled on the licentious 
tone of the later Roman period, and which are, many of 
them, pervaded with the most repulsive cynicism. When 
quite an old man he wrote loose poems on the manners of 
the bathers of Baiae. The writings of his pupil Marullus 
were of a similar character. In his Hymns to nature he 
addresses the ancient Gods in terms which could only fitly 
be applied to a living Divine Person. " When Erasmus 
remarked that the poem was barely Christian, this was 
taken up as an insult to the Italians, and he was scornfully 
informed that a Christian muse meant a barbarous muse." 
Pontano was the centre of a learned circle in Naples, which 
was called the Academia Pontaniana. The members, like 

* See a drawing of this skull, which is in the possession of M. Campori 
at Alodena, in YkiARTK, Un Condottiere, 230. 

t CARDUCCI, Studi Lett., 99; GASL-ARV, II., 275, and UZIELT.I, 

J SARNO S Biography (Napoli, 1761), and TALL ARIGO (Napoli, 1874) ; 
and also GOTITEIN (references given below). 

GoTiiKiN, 34, 427 sc(/., 439 seq., 449 scq., 537 tcq., 59-1 : antl 
GASI-ARV, II., 299 .T(Y/., 301 .w</., 307 .\r</,, 3 7 ^ 7- 


those of the Roman Academy of Pomponius Lactus, adopted 

Latin names. Pontano called himself Jovianus instead ol 
Giovanni, and Sanna/aro was turned into Actius Sinccrus/ 

Galatens, a member of this Academy, is the author of ;i 
remarkable dialogue entitled " Fremita." Tin s composition 
contains vehement attacks upon the clergy and complaints 
against Rome, and the truths of the Faith are also assailed 
sometimes directly and sometimes with irony. Ridicule is 
poured upon the most venerated names in biblical and 
Sacred history, and S. Jerome is held up to scorn for his 
denunciations of the heathen classics : and yet. this curious 
production concluded with a devout hymn to the ]>lcssed 

This man, after having in his Dialogue so bitterly at 
tacked the Court of Rome, betook himself thither in the 
time of Julius II., in order to present to the Pope a copy 
of " the original Greek document" containing the gifts of 
Constantine.* Valla s treatise against this deed of gift was 
written at Naples, now a Humanist from Naples comes 
forward to defend it, while a little later Ariosto relegated 
it with various other fictitious things to a dwelling in the 

* GASPARV, II., 301. 

t See GOTiiKix, 462 set/., who has made use of a MS. in the Library 
of Naples and "as the Dialo-ue is hardly likely to be published at 
present" yivcs a complete analysis of it. lie is not aware that it was 
printed some time a;_;o in the (. ollana di ScriUori di I erra dOtranto. 
II., i seg.(Lecce, 18731: N. BARONK (Studi sulla vita di A. ( ialau-o. X 
has overlooked Gothein s work. He think-, (;/>, that the Dialogue uas 
composed about 1496. 

+ BARON i., Studi, 47 .svv/. 

^ Cf. PASTOR, Hist. I opes, I., 18 scq. (V.\v^\. trans.) 

Orlando Furioso, XXXIV., So. Cf. C .AlioTTn s treatise c^ioted 
supra, p. 122, note*. The \ enetian Ambassailor spoke very sneering!; 
of this dorument to Alexander \ I. ( / . ( i.\\. < n ano. 


If we look at the Humanists collectively, as a body of 
men, it cannot be denied that their craze for antiquity 
insensibly produced in many of them a weakening of the 
religious sentiment. " The eminent men, and to a con 
siderable extent the institutions of classical times, were 
preferred to those of the middle ages, and the difference in 
religion seemed of no moment in the absorbing desire to 
emulate these heroes of ancient history." Christian 
dogma, and all that was the product of the mediaeval 
spirit, appeared to the fanatical classicism of the Renais 
sance, barbarous and out of date. Regardless of the 
essential difference which the Church maintained between 
heathen and Christian ideas, they jumbled the two 
together, and delighted in disguising Christian thought in 
the language of the ancients. God is called Jupiter, even 
Dante goes so far as to call him " il Sommo Giove." 
Heaven is Olympus, the Saints are Gods, excommunication 
is spoken of as Dirae. Wherever the Humanists touch 
Christianity they paganise it.* The poet Publio Gregorio 
of Citta cle Castello, invokes the aid of the Holy Trinity, 
the Blessed Virgin, and the Muses, all in the same breath. 
He declares that " Mary opens and closes the doors of 
Olympus."-)- Pontano goes still farther. He calls a Saint 
not only Divus but Deus, he identifies the Angels with the 
ancient Genii, and his description of the state of souls after 
death can hardly be distinguished from the classical abode 
of the Shades. J The flippancy of some of these Humanists 
even went so far as to see nothing incongruous in linking 

o o o 

sanctity with obscenity. A collection of poems in MS. of 

* BURCKHARDT, II., 277-8, ed. 3; cf. 2OI and I., 177, 20T S?y., 

ed. 3; GREGOROVIUS, VII., 498, ed. 3; PIPER, Mythologie, I., 280; 
GkrvF.k, 176, and SCHNEEGANS, 119 seg. 

t GAP.OTTO, Publio Gregorio da Cilia di Cnr,lello, 25 (ibid., 1890). 

1 RURCKir.ARDT, II. , 278, ed. 2. 


the time of Alexander VI., contains a series of epi 
the first of \vliich are in honour of Our Lady and various 
holy women, after which, without a break" or observation 
of any kind, they pass on to celebrate the nmst famou^ 
courtesans of the day. "The Saints of God and the 
votaries of Venus are calmly catalogued together as dis 
tinguished women/ * 

It is not too much to say that amongst the votaries 
of the false unchristian renaissance, the imitation of the 
ancients amounted to a mania. " The tyrant po.-cd as 
Cajsar and Augustus, the republicans as Brutus, the cap 
tains of the mercenary bands strove to appear like Scipio 
and Hannibal, the philosophers aped Aristotle and Plato, 
the literati mimicked Virgil and Cicero. "- u 

In common with many of the works of Art of that 
period,;: the writings of Christian Humanists like Battista 
Spagnolo and Jacopo Sannazaro, present a most curiou> 
medley of Paganism and Christianity. Sannazaro. in the 
beginning of the first book of his famous poem on the birth 
of Christ, invokes the Angels and the Muses together. 
Heaven is usually called Olympus, the first person of the 
] loly Trinity, the Thunderer, the Ruler of Olympus and the 
King of the Gods. Christ is hymned as the Father of 
Gods and men, Mary as the Mother and Queen of the 
Gods. The poet indeed takes pains to point out that 

- Kpitaphia ( lan^imarum mulieruin que virtutc, artc ant aliqua 
nota (lame-runt. Cod. of Hartmann Sehedel in d. Staatbbibl. \ on 
Munich ; see (.iRKr.OROVll s, L. IJor^ a, 89 (96 in ed. 5;. 

f VII.LAUI, Maehiavelli, I., 22. 

See ini~i\i y p. 198 St i/. 

$ ( . A norm, Un poeta bealinYalo. Scliix/o di Battista Sjxiynolo da 
Manlova :. Vcnc/ia, 1892) : La lede ill J. Sanna/.aro [Bologna, 
PlPKR, Mytholo-ie, L, 282 scq. In a future volume I .-hall have more 
to bav about .Sannazaro. 


historical Christianity has cut away the ground from under 
the feet of the fables of mythology, but he perpetually 
introduces Pagan myths into his representations of 
Christian subjects. In describing the miracles of Christ, 
he declares that mortal diseases yield to His word, the 
wrath of Diana is assuaged, the furies of Tartarus arc put 
to flight, and those possessed with devils are healed. 
Perhaps this infatuation is even stronger in another poet, 
Pietro Bembo. His epitaphs are purely heathen. In his 
hymn to S. Stephen, God the Father appears in His glory 
in the midst of Olympus, Christ is " the lofty Heros," 
Mary, a radiant Nymph. His letters arc full of similar 
displays of bad taste ; and he frequently expresses himself 
in the same manner even when writing as private secretary 
to Leo X.* The inscription on a tank in the Capitol, 
which was restored by the Conservators of Rome, reads 
like one of those of the olden times ; " We have prepared 
the vessel ; do thou, O Jupiter fill it with rain and be 
gracious to those who dwell by thy rock."f The 
increasing practice of choosing Greek and Roman names 
at baptisms, is another significant fact. Petrarch spoke of 
his friends as Laelius, Socrates, Simonides ; and he himself 
liked to be called Cicero, and named his daughter Tullia. 
One of the Roman nobles christened his sons Agamemnon, 
Achilles and Tydeus, a painter named his son Apelles and 
his daughter Minerva. " Even the courtesans of Rome 
chose names which had been borne by their predecessors 
in old times, such as Lucretia, Cassandra, Porcia, Penthe- 
silea. All the relations of life, and all offices and cerc- 

* PIPER, Mythologie, he. cit. ; GASPARY, II., 401; REUMOXT, III., 
2, 322 scq. ; and CANTU, I., 189-90. 

t FORCELLA, I., 32 ; GREGOROVIUS, VI IT.. 272 set/., cd. 3, where 
many other instances are to be found, especially of the time of Leo X., 
to which we shall recur in a future volume. 

monies were classicised as far as possible." * Primarily, 
however, all this was merely an affair of fashion and 
dilettanteism which must not be judged too severely. 
" Pedants delighted in calling Town Councillors " Patrcs 
Conscripti," Nuns, " Yirgincs Vestales," every Saint 
" Divus " or " Dcus." People of better taste, like Paul Jovius, 
followed the mode more or less because tluy could hardly 
help it. ]>ut Jovius does not obtrude it, and thus when 
we find in his writings Cardinals entitled " Senatores," the 
Cardinal Dean, " Princcps Senatus," excommunications, 
" Dirac," the Carnival, " Lupercalia," etc., we can bear it 
without annoyance. Indeed, his works are a proof how 
unjust in many cases it would be to infer an unchristian 
tone of thought from the use of tin s kind of phraseology .f 

Nevertheless it was quite possible for these vagaries to 
assume dangerous forms. The most objectionable of these 
was the attempt to introduce the heathenism of the elegant 
Humanistic style into theologial science. \Ve find such an 
attempt in the; Compendium of Dogma published in 150.3, 
by Paulus Cortesius, Secretary to Alexander VI., and later 
Apostolical Protonotary. Cortesius certainly takes his 
stand on the principles of the Church, ;?nd refutes the false 
conceptions of the heathen philosophers ; but he is convinced 
that Christian Dogma cannot be rightly understood or 
explained without the aid of the wisdom of the ancient 
sages. Thus the pagan garment in which he wraps hi- 
Dogma is undoubtedly a source of peril. Christ is called 
the God of thunder and lightning, Alar)- the mother of the 

* SciiXKKr.AXS, 119. and BURCKIIARDT, I.. .:<;!. c(\. } Here also are 
to be found various burlesques and productions oi poetical Marraroms, 
satirising the extravagant classicism of the Humanists. On all 
especially on Folen^o, sec a future volume. 

-f BURCKHARI>T, I., 292 3, ed. 5. C/. also PASTOR. Hist. Popes, I., 
^9 (Kr.^1. trans.). 


Gods, the departed souls, the Manes. S. Augustine is 
extolled as the God of theologians, and the Pythic seer of 
Theology, and S. Thomas Aquinas as the Apollo of Christi 
anity. When he comes to the Fall of Man, he introduces 
the subject by announcing that now he is going to treat 
of the Phaethon of the human race. Hell is described 
as exactly like the ancient Tartarus with the three rivers 
Kocythus, Avernus and Styx.* 

Another work entitled " On true Philosophy," and 
published in 1507 at Bologna by Adriano Corneto, forms 
a striking contrast to Cortesius and his humanistic 
tendencies. Aristotle, Plato, the Humanists and all 
human science and reasoning, are all included in one 
sweeping condemnation. According to Corneto, Holy 
Scripture is the only source of all faith and all knowledge. 
Faith must precede knowledge, without faith no true 
knowledge is possible, the human reason is incapable of 
apprehending Divine things ; wisdom, happiness, and bliss, 
can only be obtained by a complete surrender to revelation. 
" None of the philosophers knew that pattern of Divine 
humility," Adriano declares, "which in the fulness of time 
was manifested to the world in Christ. I do not ask what 
the philosophers say, I ask what they do. The dialecticians, 
of whom Aristotle is the chief, are cunning in the spinning 
of webs, their art is the art of war, but the Christian must 
avoid them. We must reject dialectics, we must despise 
rhetoric and devote ourselves to the sober sincerity of 
Holy Writ, The interpretation of the Church can be 
understood by the whole human race, for the Church is 
not an Academy, but consists of the mass of the people. 
There is no use in knowing geometry, arithmetic and 
music ; geometry and astrology do not lead to salvation 
* VIPER, Mythologie, I., 287-9, ami GEBHARDT, Adrian von Corneto, 
71 scq. 


hut rather to error, and the withdrawal of the soul from 
(iod. God is more worthily praised by the homage of the 
heart than by music. Grammar and literature may be 
useful for this life in giving facility in expressing oneself, 
and enabling a man to distinguish between fact and false 
hood ; but the liberal arts have no right to their name, 
Christ alone can make man free. The works of the poets, 
the wisdom of the worldly, the pomp of rhetorical words, 
are the Devil s dainties ; the}- enthral the ear, they cajole the 
heart, but yield no satisfying truth. Plato and Aristotle, 
the Fpicureans and the Stoics are all in hell with the 
Devil ; the philosophers are the Patriarchs of the Heretics. 
\Ve should endeavour to know the Creator, not the 
causes, of things. Wise and holy simplicity teaches us to 
be fools willingly and not to admire the wisdom oi the 

At the same time, it is noteworthy that he admits that if 
we find in the writings of the philosophers, especially the 
Platonists, anything that is true and in harmony with the 
Faith, we need not be afraid of such things, but on the 
contrary should appropriate them, as unjustly gotten 
goods, to our own use: but there is very little of this in 
comparison to what we have in the Divine Scriptures. 
Towards the close of his book Corneto exclaims: " \\ hat 
shall I say about physics, ethics or logic? All the truths 
that man s tongue can utter are to be found in Holy 
Scripture. Its authority is greater than anything that the 
human intellect is capable of producing." Thus the pith 
of the whole work is summed up in the two following 
sentences. "All the science of the world is foil}*, in 
God alone is Wisdom and 1 ruth. To attain to God 
and Ilis wisdom, we do not need to know anything of 
philosophy, or r.ny other method, nor to have studied the 
writings of Aristotle or Plato : we need nothing but a 

VOL. V. 


firm faith in revealed religion as it is to be found in the 

This curious book is mostly made up of quotations from 
the crreat doctors of the Church, ruthlessly torn from their 


context, often inaccurately reproduced, and always selected 
to support the author s point of view. 

Even though we may admit that he is not always wholly 
in the wrong, Corneto s views are far too extreme.f His 
blank rejection of philosophy and the sciences is in flat 
contradiction with the opinions of the Fathers of the 
Church of whom he thinks so much^ and also with the 
teaching of the great mediaeval theologians, and the 
attitude of the Church in general towards Science and the 
Renaissance in literature and the classics. The value of 
the latter especially as a means of intellectual culture, has 
always been recognised by the Church, even though she 
could not recommend them as an end in themselves or as 
supplying ideals for imitation. The position of the Church 
has always been clearly defined ; the study of the classics 
is to be employed for the development of the natural 
intellectual powers, and so for the deepening of the 
specifically Christian consciousness, not for its emascula 
tion or clestruction. The extravagances of the votaries 
of the false renaissance on the one side, and zealots such 
as Adriano on the other, made it extremely difficult for 
the adherents of the Church to keep to that just middle 
course which she enjoined. She could not trust the 

* GEBHARDT, Adrian von Corncto, 54-67. 

t He is right in laying stress on the importance of the practical life 
and conduct of the teachers of philosophy, and also in his assertion that 
the Church in her doctrinal teaching will always be popular and easily 
understood by the people. 

J GKF.HARDT, 67 scg. 

TASTOU, Hist. Popes, I., 7 scg. (Engl. trans,). 


Humanists, and at the same time could not condemn the 
study of the heathen classics, which, besides being a 
valuable instrument of education, was indispensable to the 
right understanding of the whole body of patristic literature. 
The golden mean had to be preserved between due con 
sideration for, and encouragement of, the movement for 
higher culture and the progress of Science and Art, and the 
maintenance of practical Christianity in dogma and precept. 
It was in the nature of things that however clearly the 
principles to be observed in the last resort might be under 
stood, there would be considerable uncertainty in practice, 
since each case had to be decided on its own merits, as to 
what was permissible, or the reverse. The border line 
between the heathen and Christian Renaissance was often 
extremely difficult to define; the two tendencies touched 
each other at so many points, and indeed were often united 
in the same person. Besides which, with many it was a 
mere question of fashion.* The balance was not rightly 
struck till the time of the Catholic Reformat ion. i 

One of the special dangers accompanying the rage for 
the antique in the age of the Renaissance was that man) 
were drawn by it to adopt the superstitions of the ancient 
world. This danger was further enhanced by the influence 
of Arabic learning which had already begun to be very con 
siderable in the time of the Kmpcror Frederick 11.^ 

* JH kCKilAKDT rightly lays stress on this, II., 291, cd. 3. 

t In regard U) this we shall enter into more detail in a future volume, 
in treating of Humanism in the time of Leo. X.. and ( lemeni Vil. 

1 In corroboration of what follows see the very comprehensive in 
vestigations of lU RCKHAkl >T. 11., 279 jr<y., ed. 3, and also the follou in;-; 
works by GAHOTTO in which much new documentary material is pro 
duced and new views advanced, (i) L Astrolo^ia nel Quattrocento in 
rapporto col la civilta. Osservazioni e document! in edit i . M ilano Torino, 
18895. ( 2) \nove ricerchc e document! Mill Astrolo^ia alia corie de^h 
Kstensi e dr^li Stor/a, in the periodical I.<t 1 .ctlo tt iu t! lormo. 1891 . 


The commonest form of superstition was Astrology, the 
pursuit of which was usually combined with Astronomy. 
Petrarch in his clay opposed it to the utmost of his power, 
but without producing any impression. During the whole 
of the 1 5th Century and a part of the i6th, the belief that 
the future could be read by means of horoscopes of the re 
lative positions of the planets in regard to each other, and 
to the signs of the Zodiac, was almost universal. A com 
plicated system was developed, in which various attributes 
founded on more or less erroneous notions of the characters 
of the ancient gods, were ascribed to each of the planets. 
Men were firmly convinced that the destinies of each indi 
vidual largely depended on the influence of the planets 
under which he or she was born, these latter being also 
controlled by the constellations through which they pass. 
Only a few of the most enlightened men, such as Pius II., 
were able to shake off these superstitions. In most of the 
Universities, side by side with the professors of Astronomy, 
there were professors of Astrology who propounded systems 
and wrote treatises on their special subject. Every little 
Court had its astronomer ; sometimes as in Mantua there 
was more than one. No resolution in any important matter 
was taken without consulting the stars, and even trifling 
details such as the journeys of members of the family, the 
reception of foreign envoys, the taking of medicine, were 

(3) Burtol. Manfrecli e 1 Astrologia alia corte di Manlova (Torino, 1891). 

(4) Alcuni appunti per la cronologia dclla vita dell astrologo Luca 
Gaurico (Napoli, 1892). See also CASANOVA, L Astrologia e la con- 
segna del bastone al capitano generale della rep. Fiorentina. Estr. d. 
Arch. St. Ital. (Fircnze, 1895); MEYER, Der Aberglaube des Mittel- 
alters und der Nachsten Jahrhunderte, p. 5 scq. (Basel, 1884); GAL- 
LARDO, Bibl. Espariola, II., 514 (Ital. Press for Astrological Works); 
J. GRASSE, III., 1,936; CIAX, Cortegiano, 34: SCH.MARSOW, Meloz/o, 
87; UziELLl, 214 s?q.; Gf DKMANN, 221 sry., shews that the Italian 
Jews also believed in Astrology. 


all determined by Astrology. Dare-devil soldiers of fortune 
such as Bartolomco Alviano, Bartolomco Orsini, Paolo 
Vitelli, believed in it.* Amongst the Universities, those of 
Padua, Milan and Bologna were its special homes, but its in 
fluence is to be found everywhere in the calendar, in medicine 
and in all the current beliefs and popular prophecies.t 
" Things have come to such a pass," says Roberto da Lecce 
in one of his sermons, " that people hardly dare to eat any 
thing, or put on new clothes, or begin the most trifling 
undertaking without consulting the stars. "* Astrology was 
so bound up with Italian life that many even of the Topes, 
Sixtus IV., Julius II., Leo X., and still later Paul III. were 
influenced by the notions of their time. The famous 
Cristoforo Landini seriously hoped to forecast the future 
of Christianity by means of the science of the stars, the 
pious Domenico de Dominichi pronounced a discourse in 
praise and defence of Astrology.;! The learned naturalist 
and physician Paolo Toscanelli, who lived the life of a 
saint, was Astronomer to the Medici and the Floren 
tine Government. 1 It must be understood however in re 
gard to him and other right-minded men that " it was only 

* GAP-OTTO, T/ Astrolojjia, (S. 

t See VON I}K/OM> : S interesting paper on " Astrology in the making 
of history" in Ql lDDK s Zeitschrift, VIII., 63. ( / . also GAHOTTO, 

Xoti/.ie ed Ivstratti del poemetto inedito k " de excellentium virorum 
prim ip;!)us !: di Antonio Cornazzano, 15 st </. Pincrolo, 1889. 

KOI;. ]>K Lnio, Quadra;.;, de Peccatis, 43. 

i; It is uncertain whether or not Paul II. toll-rated Astrology. 
PASTOR, Hist. l o])es, IV., 60, note t (Kiv^l. trans.;. 

jj \ IIJ,.\R[, Savonarola, I., 243 (German edition 1 . M.NCHIAVKI I.I, 
I., 200; and SKAIFK, 145 scg. In regard to Doinenichi, see PASTOR, 
he. cif. 

*" U/IKI.LI, 214 sey. It was not till quite the ilo>e of \\\< life that 
Toscanelli, in consequence of some of his observations, lost faith in 
Astrology. Loc. c i/., 222 3. 


up to a certain point that they allowed themselves to be 
guided by the stars ; a limit was assigned by religion and 
conscience which was not over-passed." * Many like 
Pontano " honestly believed that Astrology was a genuine 
experimental science and that the traditions derived from 
the ancients were as certain and well authenticated as 
Aristotle s observations in the natural history of animals. 
What Pontano sought for in Astrology was not to forecast 
the future, but a clearer understanding of the conditions of 
human life and the influence exercised upon it by nature. 
It was the conviction that there was an unbroken chain of 
cause and effect, binding all things both great and small in 
the universe to each other, and man among the rest, so that 
the powers of nature must bear their due part in his origin 
and destiny, which attracted so many even of the nobler 
intellects of that day to the study of Astrology."! 

Astrological and astronomical ideas supplied congenial 
material to the artists of that time who delighted in repre 
sentations of the signs of the zodiac and personifications of 
the stars and the planetary deities. The frescoes in the 
Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara and the Borgia apartments in 
the Vatican are well-known instances of these. The astro 
logical teaching in regard to the offspring of the planets 
found definite expression in the time of the Renaissance in 
the so-called signs of the planets. A distinct type of these 
symbols appeared in the middle of the I5th Century. It 
probably originated in Florence, passed from Italy into the 
Netherlands, and thence into Germany, and held its ground 
well into the early part of the i6th Century.^ 

* BURCKHARDT, II., 281, ed. 3. 
t GOTHEIN, 446. 

J LIPPMANX S learned treatise "Die Sicben Planeten" describes the 
wanderings and transformations of this cycle of representations. (Pub 
lished by tiie Internal. Chalcographical Association in the year 1895.) 


One of the greatest merits >f the mission pivaHu-rs of that 
day was the determined war which thev \va ( >vd a""ain^t 
Astrology. It would he impossible to stigmatise tin- evil 
effects of this superstition more incisively and directlv than 
was done by such men as S. Bernardino of Siena, Antonio 
of Vercelli, Roberto da Leccc and Gabricle Marietta.* Many 
of the Humanists also set their faces against Astrology ;f 
Paul II. wished to forbid the practice of it.* But of all the 
writings of that day directed against Astrology and also 
against the one-sided infatuation for classical literature, tin- 
work of Pico del la Mirandola is by far the- most striking and 

From the date of this publication, the delusion bc^an 
gradually to ^\\-c way in Italy. It became possible for 
satirists like Ariosto in his " Xecromanti " to heap ridicule 
on the charlatan dealers in the black arts. , The change of 
opinion bc^an to find expression in painting. In the dome 
of the Child Chapel in S t;i Maria del Popolo, Ra[)hael repre 
sents the heaven of the fixed stars, and the deities of the 
planets as presided over by angels, and blessed from above 
by God the Father.*] 

* GuniCMAXX, 222 4. Rob. da Lcrce \vas specially severe against 
Alt hemv . Ouadrag. de Perralis, 122. Savonarola deserves mention 
here aNo as a vigorous opponent of superstition. ( / . (iKl l CKKX, 
2uS. l>.\i i\ MANTUAXUS expresses himself very strongly against tlie 
Alchemists of his day : De Patientia, 1. III., c. 2. ( / . il/it?.,c. 12, against 

t Cf. VOKIT, Wiederbelehbung, II., 4<)2 ,v ( y., ed. 2. 

t Cj. PASTOR, Hist. Popes, IV., 60 (Engl. trans.). 

BUKCKIIARDT, P, 244, ed. 3. 

! Rr r rn, 1 1.. 526 AV/. : CARRTKKK, 81 scq.\ GASPAKV, IP. 418 scq.\ 
(iAP-OTTo, [/Astrologia, 39. 

7 I>L"R( KIIARDT, II., 288, eel. 3. In regard to Pico, r/ VON lir./oi.n, 
A>trolog. Ciesehielitsconstrurtion, he. ( / /., ^5, and r/n.i.ii. 223 set/, 
( / 220 see/, on Pico s ojiponent Lticio JU llanii. 


Astrology, however, was only one of many other preva 
lent superstitions. Very many of the Humanists were 
amazingly credulous in regard to wonders and prophecies. 
Poggio was a firm believer in prodigies of the sort that are 
found in the classics. It was true that Oracles had dis 
appeared, and that the Gods could not now be enquired of, 
but it became very much the fashion to open a page of 
Virgil at random and to interpret the lines which first met 
the eye as an omen. " The influence of the demonology 
of the later paganism can distinctly be traced in prevailing 
beliefs on that subject in the Renaissance. The printing 
of the works of Jamblichus or Abammon, on the Egyptian 
mysteries, in a Latin translation towards the end of the I5th 
Century, is a proof of this. Even the Platonic Academy in 
Elorence was not wholly free from a hankering after these 
and similar neo-Platonic delusions of the decadent Roman 
Empire." There was a revival also of the belief in the 
possibility of subjecting demons and obliging them to 
work for human ends. Sixtus IV. found it necessary to 
direct a Brief against some Carmelites in Bologna who had 
maintained that there was no harm in asking for things 
from demons. Here also, however, the reaction was 
making itself felt. It is noteworthy that poets and 
novelists could count upon a sympathising public in turning 
all such things into ridicule. From the beginning of the 
1 6th Century, belief in magic was perceptibly on the wane.* 

Many of the errors into which the philosophers of the age 
of the Renaissance fell, were, like these superstitions, con 
nected with the classical craze.f Gemistos Plethon, an 

* BURCKHARDT, II., 29 1 scq.^ cd. 3. Cf. CiAX, Cortcgiano, 249. 
There is an interesting enumeration of all the various kinds of super 
stition in a Sermon, p. 162 seq., by Antonius Vercelli. CJ. also Ron. I>K 
LiTK), Quadrages., 44. 

t Resides BURCKIIARI>T, II., 312. cd. 3, see RITTK.K, Gesch. der 


enthusiastic diseiple of Plato of the neo-Platonic school 
ignored Christianity and in religion reverted to paganism, 
lie hoped by the revival of his philosophy to creak: a 
universal religion.* 

Cardinal Bcssarion endeavoured to mitigate the dispute 
between Plcthon and the Greek Aristotelians. In his 
famous Defence of Plato, he demonstrates the essential 
agreement between the two Attic Masters, while, at the 
same time pointing out the errors which separate both from 
Christianity.! The 1 latonic philosophy had in Marsilio 
Ficino, an even more devoted adherent than in 
Plethon. This gifted writer was deeply penetrated with 
the truth of the Christian religion, and entered Holy 
Orders in the year 1473. Personally, Ficino was through 
out a blameless priest and a faithful Christian, but his 
endeavour to unite Platonism with Christianity was open 
to grave objections. Plethon wished to substitute a 
mixture of neo-Platonism and oriental religions doctrine.-, 
for Christianity, Ficino, fascinated by the beauty of the 
ancients, sought to infiltrate Platonism into Christianity, 
without apparently perceiving the danger that the positive 
teaching of the latter might disappear in the process. His 
mysticism, enhanced by a strong leaning towards As 
trology, laid him open to suspicion. In [489 he \vas 
accused before Innocent VIII. of practising magical arts 
and successfully disproved the charge; but he cannot be 
acquitted of that of having mixed up Platonism with 

Phil., IX., 220 ,v,/. ; STOCK!., Gcsch. dcr I hil., III., : : < 

Gesdi. dcr Phil., 194 W* HAKFXKR, Gesch. dcr i hil., II.. f,;; 
Sec al-o HKINRK. n, Do-matik. I., 95, 104. 

* In addition to PASTOR, Hist. I opt-s, I., 322 Kntfl. trans. 
liUKCKIIARDT, II., 260, cd. 3, and ST1 IX. \2< 

t Cf. on licssarioivswork, PASTOR, Hist. I opcs, I., 321 .Kn^I. tr; 
and 11 \i- i N l-.K, loc. tit. 


Christianity to a dangerous extent. His infatuation for 
Plato was such that he actually addressed his hearers as 
" beloved in Plato " instead of " beloved in Christ/ The 
great master was made by these fanatical admirers, the 
object of a veritable cultus, as though he had been a Saint, 
lamps were burned before his picture, he was ranked with 
the Apostles and Prophets, and feasts were celebrated in 
his honour. It was even seriously proposed to add 
extracts from his writings to the homilies which were 
publicly read in the churches on Sundays.* 

Ficino s young friend Pico della Mirandola, deserves 
perhaps to be called the most brilliantly gifted of all the 
members of the Platonic Academy in Florence. Like his 
master he sought to demonstrate the fundamental agree 
ment of all the heathen philosophers with each other, and 
with Christian scholasticism and mysticism. In his system 
however, the most prominent place is given, not to Plato, 
but to the fantastic esoteric doctrines of the Kabbala. 
This attempt to find, in Jewish mysticism, a better support 
for Christianity than in the old paths of the great theo 
logians, can only be characterised as a mistake and a weak 
ness. But whenever Pico s cabalistic and neo-Platonic 
ideas led him into anything palpably irreconcilable with 
the teachings of the Church, he never failed to draw 
back and submit to the divinely appointed authority.^ In 

* R.EILMOXT, Lorenzo, II., 25 scq., ed. 2 ; ROHRBACHER-KNOPFLER, 
310. ROCHOLL in 15rieg~ers Zcitschr. fiir Kirchengesch., XIII., 53 scq, ; 
CARRIERE, 26 scq.\ STEIN, 129 scq,, 154 scq.\ FISCHER, I., 88 seq., ed. 3; 
GASPARY, II., 166 scq. ; GAIJOTTO, L Epicureismo di Marsilio Ficino. 
(Milano, 1891.) Cf. Giorn. St. d. Lett, XVI IT., 459 scq. 

t HAFFNER, II., 68 1 seq.\ Katholik, 1880, I., 192 ; REUMOXT, loc. 
cit.\ SCHROCKH, XXX., 441 scq.; FRANTZ, Sixtus IV., 9 scq. ; RIXXER, 
1 97 scq. ; GASPARY, II., 1 7 1 seq. ; ROCHOLI,, loc. r/7., 62 scq. Vox BEZOED 
in SYHEL S Zeilschr., XLIX., 194 scq. ; Antol. Ital., N. S. IX., 2, 21 scq. ; 
X., i, 3 scq. ; CARRIERE, 32 scq. ; DREYDORFF, Das System des Job. 


direct opposition to the Florentine Platonists were the 
Aristotelians, who were divided into Averroists and Alex 
andrians, and whose head-quarters were at I adua. At this 
University the nature and the immortality of the soul 
formed the chief topics of discussion. In the early part of 
the i6th Century, the disputes were so violent that the 
students refused to listen to each ne\v professor until he 
had declared his views about the soul. The Aristotelians 
of the Renaissance had fallen into some very serious errors 
on this subject. Alexandrians and Averroists agreed that 
the personal immortality of the soul could not be philo 
sophically demonstrated. The Averroists also maintained 
that the whole human race was animated by a single soul. 
Marsilio Ficino was foremost in shewing how dangerous 
these doctrines were. "The opinions of both Averroists 
and Alexandrians," he wrote, " are alike destructive of 
religion." The Aristotelians tried to shelter themselves 
behind the proposition that what was true in Philosophy 
might be false in Faith, and all of them professed their sub 
mission to the teaching of the Church.* 

Patient and tolerant as Rome ever is, she could not allow 
such dangerous doctrines to pass unchallenged. On Dec. in,, 
1513, at the eighth sitting of the Lateran Council, Leo X. 
issued a dogmatic constitution defending the immortality 
and individuality of the soul. The new distinction between 

P:<o (Marburg, 1858); cf. also HAHKMANN, in the Liter. Handweiser, 
1868, N r. 65. On the: medical and astro o^icaj \vorks of M, 
Ficino sec WKlTENWKHJiR, DCS Mar.^ilius Ficinus \Yerk; DC vita 
Studiosorum, in connection with his remarks on Hellenism. I ra^. 

* besides the above mentioned works: cf. also \\i. i/!i\ und 
\\ i .i /[ ]:, Kirchenlcxikon, T., 5^1 sa/. and [750, ed. 2: I.I.A, III.. 575. 
I he hixhe^t honours lia\ e been auaixled to Mabilleau s as yet un|) .ib 
libhed work on the schools of I adua, of \\hi(li his Ftudes MM. stir l.i 
philosophic de la Renaissance en Italic ^1 aris, 1881, is the introduction. 


truths of Philosophy and truthsof Theology was also rejected, 
because truth is not twofold, and cannot contradict itself. 
Any proposition not in accordance with the true Faith, was 
pronounced false, and might not be taught. Professors at 
the Universities were moreover directed by the Council to be 
careful in their discourses on Philosophy, to point out the 
truth of the Christian religion, and to refute to the best of 
their power the heathen doctrines of the mortality or univer 
sality of the human soul, the eternity of the world, etc.* 

In spite of this, in 1516, Pictro Pomponazzi, who had 
been summoned from Padua to Bologna, there published a 
treatise in which he defended the theory of the mortality 
of the soul, including the reason, and quoted Alexander 
Aphrodisias to shew that this was Aristotle s real meaning, 
and that it was impossible to prove its immortality on 
philosophical grounds.f The Minorites in Venice succeeded 


t In addition to FlORENTlNO s very inadequate monograph, Pietro 

Pomponazzi (Firenze, 1869), cf. Essays by FERRI in the Arch. St. Ital, 

3 Serie, XV., 65 scq. ; in La Filosofia delle scuolc Ital., 1877 ; in the 

Giorn. Napolit. di Filosofia, VIII. (1878), 109-24, and in the Atti d. 

Lincei, Scienze Mor. S, II, III, 875^6; FRANCK in the Journal des 

Savants (May and July, 1869); RlTTER, IX, 390^.; DlTTRICH, Con- 

tarini, 220 scq.- FISCHER, I, 79 ^., eel. 3; FONTANA, Sulla unmor- 

talita dell anima di Pietro Pomponazzi (Siena, 1869); PODESTA, Doc. 

sul. P. (Estr. d. Atti d. Romagna, Bologna, 1868); DAVARI, Lettere 

di Pietro Pomponazzi (Mantova, 1877); Giorn. St. d. Lett. Ital, VIII, 

377 seq.\ OWEN, 189 scq. ; HAFFNER, II., 683 seg. ; STOCKL, III, 202 

seg.; LEA, III, 575 scq.; RIXNER, 205 seg.} LANGE, Gesch. des Materi- 

alismus, 103 ^y.(Iserlohn, 1866) ; CREDARO, Lo scetticismo de-li Acca- 

demici, II., 320 (Milano, 1893); ARUIGO, Pietro Pomponazzi (Mantova, 

1869); Opcre Filosof, I. (Mantova, 1882); L. FERRI, La psicologia di 

Pietro Pomponazzi secondo un manoscritto della Biblioteca Angelica di 

Roma (Comento ined. al DC Anima di Aristotelc), Roma, 1877; cf. 

ZARNCKE S Centralblatt, 1877, P- 1209. The essay on the Materialism 

of Pietro Pomponazzi in the Katholik, 1861, I, T 50 .svy, is highly instruc- 

SUICIDK ()I ro.MPONA/xi. 157 

in getting the book publicly burnt, and it would have met 
with a like fate in Koine and Bologna if Bibbiena and 
Giulio do Medici had not intervened on Pompona/./.i s 
behalf. It was quite possible to maintain that the; philo 
sopher had only stated Aristotle s theory of the soul his 
torically, and not as agreeing with it himself. 
Pomponazzi professed the most absolute submission to the 
Church. Many were deceived by this, but on June 13, 
1518, Leo X., despite the powerful influence of P.ibbiena 
and Giulio do 1 Medici, called upon the philosopher to make 
a formal recantation.* Whether Pomponazzi did so or 
not, does not appear, but he retained his opinions. 
recently discovered account of Pomponaz/i s last day. 
supplies an additional proof that he really had, under the 
veil of an impartial statement of the theories of another, 
astutely put forward his own materialistic views. In a 
private letter to his father on May 20, 1525, Antonio 
Brochardo describes how the famous teacher, ,vhen his 
health had completely broken clown, determined to meet 
death and have done with it once for all. He carried out 
this determination by steadily refusing either to spea 
eat. Threats and even force were unavailing, 
seventh and last night did he break his resolute silence to 
say " I depart gladly." Some one asked him " Where are 
you going ? " : Where all mortals go " he replied. Being 
asked again " Whither then do mortals go?" Pomponaz/ 
answered "Where 1 am going and where all the others 
have gone." The bystanders made a last attempt 
induce the dying man to eat. In vain, " Let me be, I wish 
to die" he angrily exclaimed, and with these 

live but little known ; SPIEKER iv-ar<N Pompona/./i 
sion to the Holy See as a mere empty form. 
I ietro I ompona/./i. Miinchencr Diss., i Sr 

* Cf. Document in KAXKK, ropes, I., [X. note !. ed. 


passed away.* This account, based on the testimony of an 
eye-witness, reveals the fact so carefully kept back by 
Pomponazzi s admirers that the philosopher who had 
taught rank materialism under the mask of Christianity ,f 
ended by taking his own life. This, happily, was a very 
rare occurrence at the time of the Renaissance.^ 

The views advanced by Pomponazzi were so dangerous 
and so widely disseminated that it is cheering to note the 
energy with which, they were opposed. Treatises in refuta 
tion of them were composed by the philosopher Agostino 

* Brochardo s letter was published by CIAX, Nuovi document.! su 
Pietro Pomponazzi, 29 scq. (Yene/ia, 1887). Only thirty-seven copies of 
this work were printed, and it is consequently scarcely known in 
Germany. Probably the only reference to it is my own in the Hist. 
Jahrb., XII., 223 seg. As the matter is one of great importance, the 
original text is given below. II valente philosopho , . . assai pativa da 
certo tempo in qua gravissimi dolori di fianco, ardore di vessica, doglia 
per cagione di preda et indispositione istrema di stomaco : laonde 
deliberando di non mille ma una volta sola morire qual vero philosopho 
disprezatore di morte si pose a non voler mangiare ne dire parola ad 
alcuno et ne per preghi, minaccie o forza che sieno state adoperate mai 
non ha voluto far altrimenti se non che la settirna et ultima notte in- 
tornoalle sei o otto hore comincio a parlare et dire : Abeo letus, abeo : et 
questi da cui sono informato di queste cose g li rispose : Quo ergo 
vultis abire Domine ? et egli : Quo mortales omnes. Onde costui un 
altra fiata gli disse : Et quo eunt mortales? Gli rispose : Quo ego et alii. 
Et in questa lo incominciorono a confortare et di novo a porzeli il cibo. 
Ma lo stoico indignato comincio a gridare : sinite, volo abire. Et cosi 
gridando solvuntur frigore membra. Yitaque cum gemitu fugit indig- 
nata sub umbras. The clever epitaph given by BAVLK, Art. Pomp. 
Note D., is possibly a play upon this account of the philosopher s death : 
Plic sepultus jacco ; quare ? nescio, nee si scis ant nescis euro ; si vales 
bene est ; vivens valui ; fortassis et nunc valeo ; si aut non ? dicere 

t Cf. Katholik, loc. cit. 

t Cf. MOTTA, Suicidi nel quattrocento e nel cinquecento in Arch. 
St. Lomb., X\"., g6.s\y., with ClAX, Inc. ci/., ?.?.. See also LAM >rcci, 277. 

TF.ACHIXC OF ro.Mi ()\.\//i. i ^ 

Nifo, who dedicated his book to Leo X., the Aui^ustinian 
Ambrogio Fiandini, the Dominican Bartolomeo di Spina, 
Bartolomeo Ficra of Mantua, the Scrvitc Jerome Amideus 
of Lucca, and a youn;_;~ Venetian noble, Gasparo Contarini. 

The latter writing to one who in earlier days had been 
his teacher, expressed himself in respectful and courteous 
terms. His arguments were mostly drawn from the philo 
sophy of S. Thomas. Pomponazzi vouchsafed no reply 
to any of his opponents except Xifo and Contarini. His 
answer to Xifo is sharp and sometimes contemptuous in 
tone ; to his old pupil he wrote courteously. Contarini in re 
turn composed a second and shorter treatise, in which with 
all deference to his former master he discusses and trium 
phantly confutes his opponent s arguments one by one.* 

More reprehensible still were the conclusions which 
Xiccolo Machiavelli, the most gifted representative of the 
false renaissance drew from the philosophy of the ancients.f 
Never perhaps has any man been so imbued with the spirit 

* With the somewhat abstract dissertations of FlORENTIXO, 41 scq., 
49 seg.j 52 seq.) 192 seq., cf. HERGENROTHER, VIII., 585 scq.\ see I )iTTUic:n s excellent monograph on ( ontarini. 222 scg. ; Ri-.rscii s 
account of this matter (Index I., 60) is inadequate. Keusch is not even 
acquainted with Fiorentino. 

t Moil L, III.,</-> gives a summary of authorities upon Machia- 
velli. ( / . Mom., Handworterbuch dcr Staatswissensch., I\ 7 ., 10^3. 
Rl .UMONTS reviews of Ijook^ hy Trendelenberg , \ T II.I..\RI and Xrn i in 
the Al!;-. Xeitun-, 1877, Xo. 248 .s- t y., Supplement, and in the Ilonner 
Littei atuiblait, 1872. ]>. 147 AY I/., are valuable. For the deficiencies in 
Tommasini s work see Deutsche Litcratur/eitung, 1884, No. 8; ^y! also 
SYKEL S Xeitschr., LII., 554 sty. Cf. also Oxvr.x, 162 .S-.-Y. : C liKRKf, 
AUhusius, 299; Le C orrespondant, 1873. 1877. and 1882; Kl.l.INC.ER 
(Die antiken (,)uellen der Staatslehre Machiavc-lli s in der Xcit- hr. fur 
die (les. Staatswis^enscliafien, XLIV., i 58 [enlarged edition, Tubingen, 
1888]) shews how Machiavdli borrowed from tlu- antique. For 
criticisms or, tlu: new edition of X illari, cf. I l.i.l.l.CRlM in the K.i 
liiblio^r. (1. Lett., ItaL, II., n. 12. Pisa, 1894. 


of pagan antiquity as was this Florentine politician. Machi- 
avelli s private life was regulated on pagan principles, and 
truly appalling are the glimpses into this, afforded by his 
letters to his friend and confidant, Francesco Vettori.* 
The two were kindred souls. Their interest in life was 
divided between politics and gallantry. Their fortunes 
indeed were very different. Vettori lived in considerable 
splendour as Ambassador in Rome. Machiavclli after the 
Florentine revolution of 1512, found himself condemned to 
an involuntary idleness, most distasteful to his restless 
nature. In characteristic fashion he sought consolation, 
on the one hand, in the study of the classics, and on the 
other, in low pot-houses and vile amours. These latter and 
the politics of the day are the principal subjects of his 
correspondence with Vettori. Not once does he allude to 
his wife or his three children (a fourth was born in 1514). 
Possibly MachiavelH exaggerated his love affairs, and told 
tales which are only partially true ; but all the same he must 
beyond doubt, have led a dissipated and immoral life.-f He 
sought to drown his discontent in the tumuli of the senses. 


" Although I am near 50," he writes, " Cupid s nets still 
enthral me. Bad roads cannot exhaust my patience nor 
dark nights daunt my courage. I have flung all serious 
thought to the winds ; I care no longer to read of the old, 
or to speak of the new. My whole mind is bent on love, 

* N. MACIIIAYELU, Le Ictterc familiar!, p. p. E. Alvisi (Firen/e, 
1883). By the kindness of Prof. Uzielli of Florence I obtained access to 
the editio Integra of this work, which for decency s sake is withheld front, 
the public. Repulsive as these documents are we cannot but regret 
that they are not published. They are essential to a true estimate of 
Machiavelli s character. 

t Cf. Giorn. St. d. Lett. Ital., II., 176 seg. VIU.ART, II., 191 scq.\ 
CASPAR Y, II., 342-69, and Allg. Xeitung, 18/5, Xo. 25, p. 362. For 
Vettori see also H. ROSKMKIKR, X. Machiavelli s erste Legation , .\\ 
Kaiser Maximilian I., 40. Biirkeburg, 1894. 

for which I give Venus thanks.* Machiavelli describes 
many of these episodes in such vile language, as to disgust 
even his latest champion. f Several letters are so coarse 
that to this day no one has ventured to publish them. In 
the straits to which he was put for money, Machiavclli 
soon ceased to have the heart for this obscene jesting. lie 
was not exactly poor, but he had not income enough to 
provide for his family. Accustomed to lavish expenditure 
he now saw himself obliged to count every farthing. In 
vain he sought to obtain some post which would have pro 
vided him with occupation and a salary, and his famous 
book the " Prince" was written to attract the attention of 
the Medici to his unfortunate position. + 

Every one, Machiavelli says, can see that it is more- 
honourable for the private citizen in the daily intercourse of 
his home to keep his word and walk uprightly; neverthe 
less we learn by experience, that those who have done the 
greatest deeds, have by force or by cunning made other 
people their tools. To be honest and to act honestly in 
a public capacity is not only unnecessary but actual!} 
deleterious. A prudent man will learn to deceive and 
dissemble, so as to preserve an outward show of goodness ; 

* MACUI \VF.r r.T, Lot tore familiar!, 361. Cf. preceding page, note*. 

t YIU.AKI, Machiavelli, II., 192 ; UziELLI, 232. 

Cf. ll.u. .Mr.AUTKX, Gesch. Karl:, V., I., 522 set/., who disprove-, 
first, Ranke s opinion /ur Kritik. 163*;, that the " Prince" was v. 
from the point of view of 1514: and secondly YillaiTs, that the hook 
was not written till 1515. MACUIAVELLI S letter of Dec. 10,1513 Opcrc, 
VIII., 96;. sh<>\vs that the work was then finished. The treatise is more 
over couched in general terms and does not touch upon contemporary 
politirs and passing events. It \\as not composed lor any special 
political situation nor directly for the Medici, since after the completion 
of the book, Ma< hiavelli consults a friend, whether or not to d: 
it to them: ( .!.!< ;i.R, in the /.eitschnft fur vergl. Literaiurgesch., Neue 
Fol^e, II., 25 i, agrees throughout \vith Baumgartcn. 

VOL. \". M 


but to act honestly under all circumstances would be to 
invite disaster. A man should be able to adapt himself to 
circumstances and be when necessary wicked, inhuman, 
brutal, now a fox, and now a lion. He who plays the fox 
best is always the most successful. A prudent man will avoid 
all parade of vice and scandal. If all men were good, such 
principles would indeed be wicked ; but some are treacher 
ous, and there is no need to keep faith with these ; others 
again are such fools that they can only be ruled by tyranny ; 
impostors will always find plenty of people who wish to 
be deceived. The only precaution which must never be 
omitted is always to turn the way of the wind and to take 
care to succeed. The rabble judges by appearances and 
results, and the world is mostly rabble.* 

In excuse for Machiavelli it has been urged that his book 
was not meant to be a universal rule, but \vas intended 
to meet an exceptional state of things. This, from a 
Christian standpoint, is a lame excuse. The religion of 
the Incarnate Son of God knows only one law of conduct, 
universally applicable to high and low and in all imagin 
able cases, and that is, that a good end does not justify 
unlawful means. 

Machiavelli s teaching is the exact opposite of this. In 
terse and admirably chosen language he advocates the 
complete severance of politics from the eternal principles 
of Christianity. Never were distinctive doctrines more 
plausibly and ably set forth, or with greater audacity. 
" Christianity has no place" in his conception of politics. 
God and divine justice are altogether left out. Hitherto 

* MACHIAVELLT, II Principe, c. 18 ; WEISS, Apologie, II., 623-4, 
ed. 2. The idea that a ruler is to be able to play the brute and be a 
fox or a lion, to which Machiavelli recurs again and again, is borrowed 
from Plutarch. Sec ELLINGER, in the Zcitschr. fiir die Geschichte 
Staatswissenschaften, XL1V., 50. 

Christianity had been regarded as the bond of union 
between nations, as the basis of Slate s, as that which made 
Europe one spiritual family. The Church was the soil in 
which all the nations and all their laws and constitutions 
were rooted. Machiavclli ignores the entire system of 
Christian government. It is not only his style which is 
classical, his whole tone of mind is pagan in the strictest 
and most unqualified sense of the word. Just as in ancient 
Rome, cunning and violence were the basis of power, and 
justice seemed a superfluous ornamental accessory, a mere 
trifle, so the fulcrum of Machiavelli s politics, is a combina 
tion of terrorism with craft. Justice is left out of his 
scheme and no wonder, since he regards States and People:-, 
not in their relation to God, but simply as the material in 
which his designs are to be carried out.* 

Machiavclli measures the present by the standard of 
antiquity, and indiscriminately holds up whatever was dune 
by the Romans as an example to his " Prince," although 
their action applied to strange countries with which they 
had no intimate connection, and which in race, language and 
civilisation, were entirely foreign to them. lie attempts to 
graft modern politics on to Roman antiquity, to build on 
old foundations, as if Christianity the solid basis of the 
modern world, the tie which unites all civilised nations, had 
never come into existence. He has no hesitation in recom 
mending, as parts of his system, acts which are even more 
inhuman than the most ferocious deeds of contemporary 
tyrants. C;esar Borgia murdered his old allies, but he 
certainly never destroyed whole cities- as tin- ;th chapter 
of the "Prince advises should be done in certain cases. 
"Whoever is lord of a town accustomed to freedom," it 
says, " and who omits to destroy it, may rest assured that it 
will depose him." Xo passage in the whole book shews 

* Fk. ScilU .c-K!,, quoted bv \VKISS, Y\V!:.,i-M !;.. IV., 


more plainly it cannot have been meant as practical 
advice to Lorenzo de Medici. It is clear that Machiavelli 
was propounding an abstract theory, without any thought 
of its being literally put in practice.* 

It is the same with the famous exhortation to the Medici 
in chapter xxvi., " to deliver Italy from tyrants," which was 
perhaps inserted later. " We see," it runs, " how Italy 
implores Almighty God to send her a deliverer, who would 
free her from this barbarous cruelty and wickedness. We 
see her ready and willing to follow any flag, if there were 
but a leader to carry it." Compare this with Machiavelli s 
confidential letters of 1513 and 1514. "As for Italian 
union," he expressly says, "the idea is laughable. First, 
because here, union in any good cause is out of the question, 
and even if the heads were of one mind, we have no soldiers 
but the Spaniards that are worth a farthing ! Secondly, 
because the members would never agree with the heads. "-]- 

The whole passage in chapter xxvi. describing Italy as 
unanimous in her desire for freedom and calling for a 
leader, is only a fantastic episode and has nothing to do 
with the main drift of the " Prince." Machiavelli felt no 
" inward compulsion to justify his political opinions by 
pointing to some great patriotic act. Had he felt this 
necessity he would not have so carefully concealed the 
link between his politics and their purpose, that it has 
remained undiscovered for 300 years. Ilis politics were 
the outcome of his own experiences and classical studies. 
He knew of no ruling power which did not rely on the 
unscrupulous use of force and intrigue. A State resting on 

* BAUMGARTKX, Gcsrli. Knrls V., I., 531-2. The agreement here 
between Bauingarten and Schlcgel is the more remarkable from the 
difference in their point of view. 

t M \CHIAVKLLT, Opcrc, MIL, 75 scq.\ 13AUMGAKTKX, Geschichtc 
K;irls V., I., 531-2. 


a moral basis was outside his sphere of thought, because 
morality did not enter into his conception of either public 
or private life. His Prince systematiscs the political 
practices of his time in all their unvarnished hidcousncss, 
with the addition of a few touches borrowed from the 
antique, and he expected to make his fortune with the 
Medici by this undisguised confession of pure political 
heathenism/ * 

Views as objectionable as those in the " Prince" are ex 
pressed in Machiavelli s "Discourses on Livy." In the 
opening chapters the author makes excuses for Romulus 
who killed his own brother and murdered his colleague. 
" Wise men," says Machiavclli, " will forgive Romulus the 
ruthless deed, considering the end he had in view, and the 
result of his action/ In another place he says " where it is 
a question of saving one s country, there must be no hesita 
tion on the score of justice or injustice, cruelty or kindness, 
praise or blame, but setting all else aside, one must snatch 
at whatever means present themselves lor preserving liir 
and liberty. "f 

That the holder of such opinions must not only have 
stood aloof from the Church, but been in his heart an 
enemy of Christianity, is obvious. Machiavelli entertained 
a savage hatred of priests, and above all for the Topes. 
An} 7 sort of attack on them, however criminal, was lawlul 
in his eyes. He finds fault with Giampaolo ]->agli<>ni for 
throwing away the opportunity, in 1506, oi getting hold of 
the i ope s person by treachery. u ]>aglioni out of cowardice 
did not see his chance, or rather did not dare to attempt 
what, had he done it, would have earned for him immortal 
fame: for all the world would have applauded his courage. 

* HAUMC.ARTKX, Cicsch. K. irls V., I.. 555 C 

1 Discord sopra la prima dc- -a di Tito Livio, I., c. 9; 111., c. .( i : 
VlU.AKI. Mac liia\clli, II., 2(>o n. 


He would have been the first to shew those haughty pre 
lates how little awe they inspire, because of the lives they 
lead. He would have succeeded in an enterprise, the 
greatness of which would have far outweighed any disgrace 
or danger that could hav r e attended it." Even pronounced 
enemies of the Papacy stigmatise this venomous passage as 
" revolting " on account of the utter want of moral sense 
which it displays.-)- 

Machiavelli s hatred extended beyond the person to 
the cause. He acknowledges the importance, and the 
necessity of religion to the State, but in itself he believes 
it to be a pious fraud. To be perfect in his eyes, it 
should be simply a cult having a definitely political aim, 
that of fostering patriotism, the patriotism of the ancients. 
For this reason he thinks highly of Roman polytheism, 
and recommends it as the ideal of a State religion. * For 
him as for the ancients, it was a civil institution, a 
political instrument for keeping the masses in hand, and 
so he believed that each religion, having accomplished its 
predestined cycle, passed away like any other earthly thing. 
Christianity was a sealed book to him and he considers it 
dangerous for his ideal state. " The Christian religion/ he 
says, "only teaches men to suffer, and thus the world seems 
to have been enfeebled and made the prey of scoundrels. 
The religions of antiquity raised none to their altars save 
those who achieved earthly fame, such as princes and suc 
cessful generals ; but the Christian religion extols humility 
and a contemplative life and seeks the highest good in 
meekness, self-denial and scorn of worldly honours. The 

* Discorsi, I., c. 27. 

t This is the opinion of BROSCU, Julius II., 128; GRIMM, Michel 
Angelo, I., 292, eel. 5 ; and GuKr-OROVirs, L. Borgia, 91 set/. 
J OWEN, 1 66. Cf. ELLINC.ER, he. ci/., 27. 

$ HlPI.ER, 72 , 


ancients, on the oilier hand, prized only commanding- 
intellect, physical strength and all those qualities which lend 
to make men powerful." : 

Machiavelli, steeped in the worship of pagan antiquity, 
can only see the Church, her earthly head and her priest 
hood, as he sees the Christian religion, in caricature. "If 
Christianity," he writes with hypocritical disregard of 
patent facts, "had remained what its founders made it, 
things would have gone very differently, and mankind 
would have been far happier, but there can be no plainer 
proof that this religion is falling to pieces than the fact that 
the people who live nearest to Rome are the least pious of 
any."t In thus blaming the Church for what happened in 
her despite, Machiavelli was aware that he stood almost 
alone, and that few shared his animosity. " Since some, 1 
he says himself, " arc of opinion that the Italian nation owes 
its prosperity 10 the Roman Church, I will here mention two 
of the chiet objections to this view." One of these is a re 
petition of his former remark that in consequence of the 
evil example set them by the Roman Court, Italians had 
lost ever\- vestige of religion and piety.;: This statement 
is simply false ; and it is hardly necessary to observe: that 
an affectation of zeal for the cause of religion, sits ill upon a 
man who had declared Christianity to be dangerous to the 

* Discord, IT., c. 2 ; YIT.T.\RT, II., 265. 

t Discorsi, I., c. 12 ; VILLAKI, II., 262 : HIPI i n. 73- Thc in.iustire 
of making the I opes responsible for the distracted condition of Italy 
shewn by WKOKLK, Dante s Leben, 5 (Jena, 1879, cd. 3). Cf. the quo 
tation in PASTOR, Mist. Popes I., 20 (Engl. trans.). See also Hoi I.I-.K, 
in the Hist, polit. 111.. XLVII., 424. 

La priina e, die per gli esempi rei di ([uell.i Corto, questn Provii 

peru ^ . . . , ., . 

$ Cf. supra, p. i! sC(/.\ MAULDK (Orixines, 125 , reverses Machia- 
vellrs statement and remarks that it was not the Court \\ltn h conupled 
Italy, but the corniption of Italy \\ hit h infe< ted the ( ourt. 


State. His second objection carries no more weight than 
the first ; it is that the Papacy was the real cause of the 
weakness and disunion from which Italy was suffering.* 
Machiavelli as a historian might have seen that the Papacy 
" as the centre of the one Church founded by Christ, must 
of necessity have its seat in the ancient capital of learning, 
culture and power, and that Rome, in imposing the easy 
yoke of the gospel upon subject nations, was fulfilling an 
infinitely higher mission than the Pagan Empire which 
trampled them under its iron heel."-]- He failed to perceive 
that an absolute military monarchy would, besides destroy 
ing the municipal and provincial prosperity of Italy, and 
subjugating the inhabitants to the tyranny of a despot, have 
nipped in the bud the development of Art and Literature, and 
deprived Italy of the imperishable glory of the Renaissance.^ 
For all this, Machiavelli, entangled in a web of classical 
dreams, had neither eyes nor ears. The Papacy for him 
was the root of all evil ; it had ruined Religion and the State, 
and deserved in its turn to be annihilated. He was blind to 
the obvious truth that this would have entailed the destruc 
tion of both the religious and the political unity of the 
Italian race. His ultimate object however was something 
beyond the annihilation of the Papacy and of the Church 
of Rome. The State was in his eyes more important than 
religion or morals, and he aimed at nothing less than the 
secularisation of all religion. Consequently he could not but 
desire to place the religion of ancient Rome, or as he termed 
it, patriotism, in the place of Christianity, and the deified 
self-centred State on the throne of the Universal Church. 

* Discorsi, I., c. 12. 
t HlPLKR, 73. 

i CANTU, I., 193, cf. 198 for a striking passage from Guicciarclini. 
Sec also K. FISCHER, Gesch. d. Phil., L, 75, eel. 3. 

^ A critic, \vlrn is by no means on the Catholic side, expresses him- 


It is not surprising that the holder of such views, one 
who, in theory and practice, represented a mixture; of the 
cynic and the epicurean,* should have come to be regarded 
even by his fellow-countrymen as a scoundrel. Xo one 
believed in his death-bed conversion. " The universal hatred 
felt for Machiavelli resulted," writes Varchi, " from his 
licentious tongue, his disgraceful conduct, and his book 
the Prince. ^ This work marks the culminating point 
of the pagan renaissance, which, had it succeeded, would 
have been the ruin of Italy.* 

Although we must reject Machiavelli s picture of the 
condition of the Church as a caricature, it is nevertheless 
indisputable that a considerable proportion of the Italian 
clergy, from the Mendicant Friars to the highest digni 
taries, were participators to a large extent, in most of the 
evils that we have been describing. The more intimately 
the Church was bound up with the public and social life of 
the community, the more must the corruption of the world 
affect her, and its perils menace her members. Cupidity, 
manifesting itself in the prevalence of simony and the 
accumulation of benefices, selfishness, pride and osten 
tatious luxury were but too common amongst ecclesiastics. 
The extent of the corruption is seen in the complaints of 
contemporary writers, and proved by well authenticated 

self in almost identical lan^ua^e : K. Fiscin-R, C.esrh. d. Tliil., I., 86, 
ed. 3. (../] also 1 IAITXKR, in tin- Katholik 1875 I., 234 ; C.ASl ARY, 11., 
356 ,s\v/. ; CAXTU, I., 192 scq., and CARKIKRK, 217 \<y., for Machia 
velli s exaggerated idea of the State. 

* This opinion is expressed by RFAJMONT,Bonncr Lit. -r>latt.( 1872 . 147. 

t VARCHI, I., 150: BURCKHARDT, I., 82, ed. 3. 

: CiRKC .OROVlUS (L. IJor^ia, 124 is also of opinion that this Humanist 
culture was tottering on the edye of an abyss \vhi< h nuisi ha\ e b\\alloued 
it up. 

< Conlinint; ourselves to tin testimony of devout Catholics \\hich i- 


Unhappily, the infection spread even to the Holy See. 
The corruption begins with Paul II.; it increases under 
Sixtus IV.* and Innocent VIII., and comes to a head in 
the desecration of the Chair of S. Peter, by the immoral life 
of Alexander Vl.f The depravity of these times struck 
even such outside observers as the knight Arnold von 
Harff, with horror. J 

The lives of many cardinals, bishops and prelates, are 
a sad spectacle at a time when one man could hold any 
number of benefices, and squander unabashed the revenues 
derived from them in a career of luxury and vice. The 
serious corruption in the College of Cardinals, began under 
Sixtus IV., i! and during the reign of Innocent VIII. *| it 
increased to such an extent that it became possible by 
bribery to procure the election of such a successor as 
Alexander VI. A glance at the lives of Ippolito cl Este, 
Francesco Iloris, Caesar Borgia, and others, is enough to 
shew the character of the members admitted under this 
Pope into the senate of the Church.** It was not till the 

doubly weighty, let us compnre the words of Pius II., Nicholas of Cusa, 
and Dornenico de ; Dominichi, quoted in a previous volume (cf. PASTOR, 
Hist. Popes, Vol. III., 269 scq., Engl. trans.), with RODERICUS DE 
AREVALO, Speculum vitae, II., 20: BAPT. MANTUANUS, DC calamitatibus 
temp, libri III., especially, p. 56 scq., and the numerous denunciations 
of the preaching Friars, many of which have been collected by Gu DE- 
MANN, 218 scq. 

* PASTOR, Hist. Popes, IV., 210-35 scq., 413 scq. (Engl trans.). 

t For particulars see infra, Books I. and II. 

J A. VON HARFF, Pilgerfahrt, 36-7. 

Instances are given by ROSCOE, Leo X., I., 21 ; CANTU, I., 21, 
and in subsequent chapters in this history. 

I] Cf. PASTOR, Hist. Popes, IV., 409 scq. (Engl. trans.) ; BAPT. MAN- 
TUANUS, De Vita Beata, 182, complains that the most unsuitable persons 
tried to obtain bishoprics. 

H See infra, Book I., c. 6. 

** Details in regard to these persons will be given later. For Cardinal 


reign of Julius [I. that a partial improvement look place, 
and even lie bestowed the purple on such \vorthlesspersons 
as Sigismondo Gon/aga and Francesco Alidosi.*" Strict 
ecclesiastical discipline \vas not re-established in the College 
of Cardinals till the middle of the iGlh Century. 

It is not surprising when the highest ranks of the 
clergy were in such a state, that among the regular orders 
and secular priests, vice and irregularities of all sorts 
should have become more and more common. The salt of 
the earth had lost its savour. Moreover, where moral 
purity languishes, faith cannot fail to suffer ; and thus 
when to this was added the influence of the false renais 
sance, man\ were led astray. It was such priests as these 
who gave occasion to the more or less exaggerated descrip 
tions of the clergy given by Erasmus and Luther, who 
visited Rome during the reign of Julius II. ;f but it is a 
mistake to suppose that the corruption of the clergy was 
worse in Rome than elsewhere ; there; is documentary 
evidence of the immorality of the priests in almost every 
town in the Italian Peninsula. J In man} places, Venice, 

Iloris, see PARIS DE GRASSIS, ed I)o!lin-er, 372. Of Cardinal Ippolilo 

cVKstc, v, e arc told that he hired assassins to put out the eyes ot his 
natural brother Julius, because one of his mistresses had remarked lint 
they were beautiful ; GRF.GOROVIUS, VIII., 72, ed. 3; CIAX, Cortcxiano, 
35 ; TilUASXK, Djem-Sultan, 304 st </. For the extravagant expenditure 
of the Cardinals see, inter ulios, C.Aiik. DA liAki.r.TTA, Sermoncs, f. 87. 

* Particulars of Alidosi s career will be i^iven further on l \ 
Hist. Popes, VI., P)0ok II., Kn;^l. trans.). For the immorality of Cardinal 
S. Cionxa^a, cf. Ll /io, F. (ion/aura, 46 7. The state of things that 
j)revail(. d e\"C n undc r [ulius II., is shewn in the L-errarese Ambassadoi s 
Report dated Rome. June 17, I 506, of the hi^h favour \\hich the co 
Imperia enjoyed \\ith several Cardinals. State Archives, Modena. 

t XoLIIAC, I !rasme <.:n Itahe, 76 9. 

1 l "or a general description, cf. CANTT, T.. 201 Fur C.enon, 

cf. P)l-:i.( ,RANo, 47^ sei].\ for N erona, Tiib. Ouartalschrift, i S ; >. [6 ; 
for Fermo. Ll .OPARDi, X. P.uonafede. io: tor Ferrara, Sol.lkll. Vita 


for instance, matters were far worse than in Rome.* No 
wonder that, as contemporary writers sadly testify, the 
influence of the clergy had declined, and that in many 
places hardly any respect was felt for the priesthood. 
Their immorality was so gross, that suggestions in favour 
of allowing priests to marry f began to be heard. Rodericus 
de Sancta Ella composed his treatise dedicated to Pope 
Sixtus IV. against a proposal of this kind.J 

Many of the monasteries were in a most deplorable 
condition. The three essential vows of poverty, chastity, 
and obedience, were in some convents almost entirely dis- 

Ferrarese in Atti d. Romagna, 3 Serie, X., 18 ; for Nepi, Diario Nepe- 
sino, 121, 131, 157 ; for Chieti, Hist. Jahrb., V., 347 ; for Pavia, ^Alan- 
date of the Duke of Milan to the Podesta of Pavia, dated Sept. 27, 
1470, containing" complaints of the priests who went about at night in 
secular attire. (Municipal Archives of Pavia.) Much scandal was also 
given by the clergy in Sicily. Cf. the " :: Brief of Sixtus IV. to the Abbots 
of S. Maria de Bosco and S. Placidimo, dated Rome, Nov. 4, 1475. 
^Ordinance of the Viceroy, dated Palermo, Oct. 26, 1500, on priests who 
kept concubines. Both documents are among the Archives at Palermo. 

* Cf. BROSCH, in SVHEL S Histor. Zeitschrift, XXXVII., 309 scq.; 
Cenni sul libertinaggio, 22 scg., 30, and INNOCENT VII I. : s **Brief of 
Oct. 31, 1487. (State Archives of Venice.) The clearest evidence of the 
state of things in Rome is to be found in BURCHARDI Diarium, I., 
240 scq. ; II., 79 scq. See also **P. CANDIDUS, Venerab. fratri Antonio 
Orel. Jesuator., dat. Mediolani, 1453 Jun. 5 (Cod. J. 235 in the Am- 
brosian Library at Milan); a contribution by P. BARROCIUS, 1481, in 
the Anccdota Veneta, ed, Contarini, f. 202 ; cf. also Fl. AMBROSIUS, De 
rebus gestis ac scriptis openbus Bapt. Mantuani, 186 (Taurini, 1784); 
FREIIER, III.. 186 ; VOIOT, Pius II., III., 502 scq. ; REU.MONT, III., 2, 
457 seq.\ GOTTLOIJ, Cam. Ap., 25 scq. 

t Cf. GAHR. DA BARLETTA, Sermones, f. 35. 

J Roderici de Sancta Ella (cf. GRAESSE, Tn sor VI., i, 143 ; HAIN, 
Rep., IV., 13 scy., 31-2 ; MAZZKTTI, Prof. Bol. [1847], 266 scg.\ contra 
impugnatorem celibatus et castitatem presbyterorum ad Xistum P. ?\I., 
a magnificent Renaissance-Codex, \\ith the arms of Sixtus IV. Cod. 
Vat., 3^39 Vatican Library. 


re< ;mic(l * Too mam" regulars. s;ivs the I Yanciscan Roberto 

*""> ^ D * 

da Lecce, were- monks in nothing but the name/ - The 
painter Fra Filippo Lippi, and tin: novelist Bandello, though 
these men lived mostly at Court, are instances of the sort of 
characters to be found in some monasteries.* 1 lie discipline 
of many Convents of Xuns was equally lax. 

In the face of these scandals, hmvevcr, \ve have undeni 
able evidence that there were, during the Renaissance, many 
faithful Generals of Orders, such as Aegidius of Viterbo, 
holy bishops like SS. Antoninus and Lorenzo Giustiniani, 
and zealous Popes, unwearied in their efforts for reform." 
A fr reat deal was done to raise the tone of the religious 


houses. In the year 1412, the Benedictine congregation 
of S. Giustina was founded at Padua by the Venetian, 
Lodovico Harbo. The influence of this community had 
a lasting effect throughout Italy, both on public morals 
and in reviving the spirit of religion in convents.* 4 New 

* Cf. Cronica de IJnlogna, 736; Aloi.MKXTf, 291 ; C.L DK.MAXX, 218 
sct/.\ GiihRARhi, Document!, 69 scq.\ C.-\NTL , I., 205: RKUMONT, 
Kl. Srhriften, 19-; Kl. A.MIJROSIUS, lia])t. Manluanus, 190: MOKSOI.IX, 
L Abate di Monte Sul)iaM\ 4 scy. : I.ollct. St. d. Sui/x., Ital., VIII., 23}. 

t Rnp,. PI. LlTIO, Quadra.^, de I et catis, 53. The prea< her also com 
plains of the interference of the regulars \\ilh the parish priest in the cure 
of souls. 

; Cf. supra, ]). f) Avy., and for LiriM, infra, die great evil was that 
many persons entered religion \vlio had no vocation, and were tar tco 
ea: ily admitted. This is pointed out by Ron. l>K LlTIO, Serin., 35. 

^ Examples are given in tlie Annal. Honon., 897, and by IjKT/ .RA 
477 jty., 482. Cf. SAXL TO, IV., 305, and the (iiorn. LigUatieo, XII.. 

57 << </ 

! ( / . I.AMMI- .IS, /nr Kirchcngescli., 65 sn/. 

" rorthc endeavours of the I apacy see PASTOR. Hist. Popes, II., 
104 sctj.\ III., 269 scq. n-:ngl. trans.] and infra, numerous passages. 
For a genera account, cj\ Wl .iss, \ or der Reformation, 2 

** Cf. Katholik(i859;, II., 1301 ^y., and Dirn-MCH in 1 li^t. Jalnb. 


Houses were founded at Bassano, on Monte Agriano near 
Verona, in Genoa, S l Spirito near Pavia, S. Dionisio at 
Milan, and in other places, and monks were sent to already 
existing monasteries to assist in reforming them. As time 
went on, many of the older Benedictine monasteries in 
Italy took up the movement, amongst others, S. Maria in 
Florence, S. Paolo in Rome, S. Giorgio Maggiore in 
Venice, S. Polironc in the Duchy of Mantua, S. Scvcrino 
in the Neapolitan States, S. Pictro near Perugia, S. Proculo 
near Bologna, S. Pietro near Modcna, S. Pictro de Glisciate 
in Milan, S. Sisto near Piacenza. Unfortunately, many 
convents which had submitted to reforms, soon fell back 
into their former disorders, but this was not the case with 
the Benedictines.* The Dominican, Felix Fabcr of Ulm, 
who visited S. Giustina in 1487, gives a glowing account 
of the fervour and progress of this community, and the 
good that the example set by the Benedictines was doing 
amongst the other orders. f 

A glance at the list of the great preachers of Penance, 
almost all of whom belonged to some order, affords further 
evidence that side by side with the corrupt and relaxed 
members, there were, even in the worst monasteries, many 
good and even fervent monks. 

* Katholik, 1859, pp. 1360^-7., 1489 .SYY/. ; 1860, 200 sey., 425 seq. ; 
DITTRICFT, in the Hist. Juhrb., V., 320 j> t y., where references to other 
books are given. 

t F. FAIJRT, Evag atorium, eel. Hassler, III. (Stuttgardiae, 1849), 393- 
One of the sternest preachers of the day says : " Xonne viclemus in hac 
vita multos religiosos et religiosas qui propter Deum mundum contemnunt, 
castitatem perpetnam et voluntariam paupertatem observant, quique 
rejecta propria voluntate usque ad sepulturam obedientiae praelatorum 
se submittunt." AXT. YKRCELL., Serin., fol. 244. 

Amongst the: characteristic features of tin- a->e of the 

< > 

Renaissance, one of the most remarkable is that of the 
preaching Friars. In every Italian city, great or small, 
their voices were heard admonishing, exhorting, and 
denouncing sin. The good done by these men has been 
hitherto but little studied. All that is as yet known of 
their labours, shews them to have been most successful. 
They were truly the benefactors and saviours of society 
in those days. They knew how to touch the consciences 
of their hearers. " Their discourses are purely moral, 
containing no abstract ideas, but full of practical appli 
cation, driven home by the ardent devotion and ascetic 
spirit of the preacher. They dwelt but little on the terrors 
of hell and purgatory. The argument on which they relied 
\vas a vivid description of the " malcdizionc," the curse 
which sin brings with it, and which haunts the evil-doer on 
earth. The consequences of grieving Christ and His saints 
are felt in this life. It is only thus that souls steeped in 
passion, vindictivcness and crime, can be aroused and 
brought to repentance and conversion, which is the really 
important point." * 

Some of the chief preachers at the time of the Renais 
sance were S. Bernardino of Siena (d. [444); Alberto da 
Sarteano (d. 1450); Antonio da Rimini (about 1450); 
Silvestro da Siena (about 1450); Giovanni da 1 rato (about 
1455) : S. Giovanni Capistrano (d. 1450") ; Antonio da Bitonlo 
(d. 1459); S. Jacopo della Alarca (d. 14/6): Roberto da 
Lecce (d. 1483); Antonio da Vcrcelli (d. 1483); Michele 
da Carcano (about 1485): Bernardino da Feltre Ul. 1494); 
Bernardino da Bustis (d. I 500). All these were Franciscans, 

* liURCKIIARDT, Clllllir, II., 239 40. cd. 3. 


but other religious orders produced equally distinguished 
preachers. We may mention as among the most pro 
minent, the two Servites, Paolo Attavanti and Cesario de } 
Contughi, the Dominicans, Giovanni Dominici, Giovanni 
da Napoli, and Gabriele da Barletta, the Carmelite Battista 
Panezio, and the Augustinians, Aurelio Brandolino Lippi 
and Aegidius of Viterbo.* 

We have seldom read anything more striking than these 
sermons, in which the evils of the period arc ruthlessly 
laic! bare, often with exaggeration.-]- The series, so far as 
any order is observed, follow that of the Commandments 
of God and the Church. The corresponding sins and vices 
are portrayed in instances taken from life, and denounced 
in scathing terms. Most of the arguments are drawn from 
Scripture or from the Fathers. The instruction of the 
people in the truths of the Faith was left to the parochial 
clergy. The preaching Friars aimed mainly at the con 
version of their hearers, and found their best opportunities 
during the penitential seasons of the Church, such as Lent 
or Advent ; when the cities were torn with factions or 
private feuds ; when some glaring scandal had occurred ; or 
in times of peril or plague. Then the preachers appeared, 
devoting themselves with indefatigable zeal to the task of 

* To the list of works in note 1 on p. 32 of PASTOR, Hist. Popes, I., 
(Engl. trans.) should be added : TiRABOSCHl, VI., 2, 422 scq. ; and GRASS*;, 
Lehrbuch der Litteraturgescli., II., 173 scq. The printed sermons are 
enumerated by HAIN, as well as by GRASSE. An immense number 
have remained imprinted, the national library in Florence being especi 
ally rich in them. The registers of the various churches shew how 
diligent the preachers were. Cf. for instance : Nota de ; predicatori che 
hanno predicate in S. Martino di Lucca de : quali si e conservata la 
nota nell Archivio de Signori Canonici from A. D. 1406 (MS. in the 
Library at Lucca); Aegidius of Viterbo will be mentioned again later, 
particularly in our next forthcoming volume where details will be given. 

* See GUDLMANX, 259. 


converting sinners, encouraging the good, and strengthen 
ing the weak ; while the part they had in the establishment 
of the Monte di Pieta shews their energy in the further 
ance of such practical social reforms as came within their 
sphere of action. Occasionally, courses of sermons were 
in ven to promote the honour of some particular saint ; 
thus, the two SS. Bernardino both Franciscans, in their 
time, gave a great impetus to the devotion to S. Joseph. 
The preaching Friars tried to use the simplest language, 
such as would be most readily understood. The} made 
use of anecdotes of daily life and personal experiences to 
fix the attention of their hearers. Sometimes they scolded 
or sternly rebuked the people, at others they talked to them 
in a friendly and familiar fashion. f Most of the preachers 
we have named were immensely popular, and the crowds 
which flocked to hear them shewed ho\v exactly they hit 
off the taste of their audiences. Their appearance set the 
whole city and all the country round in commotion ; the 
shops were closed as a rule, and they were often obliged to 
preach in the pubh c squares, because the churches were not 
large enough to hold the vast concourse of people. I loin- 
after hour the dense throng stood patiently hanging on their 
words, for the sermons were usually very long. 1 1 is recorded 
that 15,000 inhabitants of Perugia and its environs came to 
hear Roberto da Lecce preach in that city in 1448. All the 
places were occupied long before the sermon began, and it 
lasted nearly four hours."; 

* BI.I>SKL, in the Stimmen aus Maria-Laarh., 38, p. 28.4 r< 

t Cf. with BURCKIIARDT, II., 240, ed. 3 : ToUKACA, Rob. da Lei re, 

in the Arch. St. Napolil., VII., 151 sa/. 

% (iKA/iANi, 597 j^., describes Roberto da Lcrre s sermon. \Yiih 

this, cf. the account of S. Bernardino s appearance at IVni;.;ia. in the 

Cronache di Perugia, ed. Fabretti, II., 5 tty., and h ., lor the 

sermon by S. Jacopo della Maira. 

VOL. V. N 


These sermons by Roberto da Lecce in 1448, were 
accompanied by dramatic presentations of their subjects 
which enormously added to their effect. A procession 
with Christ in the centre bearing His Cross, issued from 
the Cathedral, Mary, robed in black, advanced to meet 
Him, and then the whole cortege advanced together to the 
foot of the preacher s tribune where the Crucifixion, the 
weeping women at the foot of the Cross, and finally, the 
Descent from the Cross were represented. Sobs and loud 
lamentations from the crowd filled the air while these 
scenes were being enacted. Similar representations are 
mentioned as accompanying the sermons of other Fran 
ciscan preachers.* 

The first results usually achieved by the sermons were 
the release of insolvent debtors, and the burning of 
" vanities," that is, of dice, cards, masks, false hair, charms, 
indecent pictures, frivolous song books, and musical instru 
ments. Things of this sort were piled in a heap in some 
open space, a figure of the devil perched on the top, and 
the whole set on fire. After this " the more or less 
hardened sinners began to come in. Men who had 
long absented themselves from confession approached 
the Sacrament of Penance, goods unjustly withheld 
were restored, injurious and insulting words taken back." 
Towards the end of the course, when all hearts were pre 
pared and softened, the speaker would approach whatever, 
under the circumstances, seemed the most urgent evil of 
the moment. This, in those days of bitter party feuds, 
was generally some exasperated quarrel, or some cruel 
project of vengeance. The preacher, holding the Cross 
aloft, would call upon the people to forget and forgive. 
Chroniclers graphically describe the sounds of weeping and 
cries of u Jesu mercy ! " that would burst from the crowd, 

* CRKIZEXACH, I., 313-14 ; D ANCONA, I., 280^77., cd. ?,. 

St. Mid-ni l s College 
iuluraii o Library 


and how overtures of peace were made on the spot from 
quarters where peace had long been unknown. " Knemies 
who had been such for years embraced each other, and 
even blood-feuds were relinquished. Outlaws were allowed 
to return, to forgive and be forgiven. Reconciliations (/""/) 
thus effected, seem, on the whole, to have been kept to, 
even after the excitement had subsided, and in such cases, 
the memory of the Friar was blessed by many genera 
tions : but now and again a crisis (occurred, such as that in 
1482, between the Roman families of Yalle and Croce, in 
which the hatred was so violent that even the great Roberto 
da Lecce lifted up his voice in vain." However, on the 
whole, the preaching Friars were wonderfully successful in 
effecting reforms, both social and moral. Few epochs 
can boast such splendid records of conversions of whole 
towns and provinces as the age of the Renaissance.* 
The preaching Friars were frequently revered by the 
common people as saints. After the closing sermon 
had concluded with the benediction " Peace be with 
you," it was customary to hold a solemn procession, in 
which the whole population, including the city magistrates, 
took part. Sometimes, at the close of a mission, all the 
adults of the place, from the magistrates down to the 
craftsmen, received the Blessed Sacrament. J - When the 
preacher was leaving the city, enthusiastic demonstrations 
of popular gratitude towards their spiritual benefactor 
would frequently occur.}; 

\Ve cannot but admire the manner in which high and 

* In addition to the works mentioned in PASTOR, Hist. Popes, I.. ;,.(, 
note * v Kn-1. trans.), amongst which P.rkCKHAki >T, II., 240 .v.-y., ed. 3, 
is as usual foremost, see also BARZELLOTTl S treatise, 55 - V( / 

t Cf. Cronache di Perugia, ed. Fabretti, II., 34. 

i Bl kCkliAkDT, 11., 240 42, ed. }. Cf. TokRACA, loc. <Y /.. 14 
and ("ronache di Perugia, ed. F.\l:ki-TTi. 11.. f>S 


low, Popes and Princes, submitted to the rebukes of these 
Friars ; and equally admirable is the fearlessness dis 
played by the preachers in denouncing the sins and vices 
of all ranks and conditions.* 

The more earnest of these men lamented, among other 
evils, the extravagances which some of their brethren 
allowed themselves in their discourses.! We hear of 
preachers whose sermons were overcharged with vain 
learning, or full of hair-splitting theological questions, and 
again, of others who condescended too much to the taste 
of the populace. The newly revived pagan philosophy 
was too often brought forward in the pulpit at the expense 
of Christianity. Passages from the works of heathen poets 
and teachers replaced the customary quotations from the 
Fathers. The glamour of the new learning obscured the 
old simple doctrines, and heathen Mythology was mixed 

* Cf. PASTOR, Hist. Topes, I., 33-4, and IV., 389-90 (Engl. trans.) ; 
also BURCKIIARDT, II. ,244, ed. 3, and GUDKMAXX, 218-59. The most 
despotic Pope of that brilliant period, Julius II. was one of the most 
strenuous supporters of those bold preachers. Time after time he sent 
them out. Cf. Lib. brev. 25 f., f. 44 : 1506, Dec. 20, Bonon. (A 4) : fratri 

Martino Sennensi Orel, de Monte Carmelo in ecclesia Cruci- 

ferorum Venetarum verbum Dei et doctrinam evangelicam iuxta traditam 
tibi a Deo facultatcm festis nativitatis et quadragesimae proximae futurae 
praedicare. Ibid., f. 117 : 1507, Jan. 28, Bonon. (A" 4) : Timolheo de 
Medicis Lucensi Ord. S. Francisci, is sent as a Lenten preacher to 
Siena. The *Brief of Nov. 4, 1 505, addressed to Aegidius ofViterbo, 
printed in the Appendix, proves the importance attached by Julius II. 
to the sermons to be preached by Aegidius in Rome (Secret Archives of 
the Vatican). The Augustinian Mariano de Cavi also preached in Rome 
during the reign of Julius II. Cardinal Gonzaga in a letter dated Rome, 
Jan. 20, 1508, commends the learning and exemplary life of this monk, 
whose preaching in Bologna. Florence, and Naples had produced great 
results. Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

t Cf. Ron. J)K LITIO, P. II., Senn. 8 ; see also Alien. DK MF.DIOLAXO, 
P. III., S. ro. Others arc referred to by ( i( DIM ANN. 258. 


up with Christian dogma.* Kqually objectionable was the 
conduct of those preachers \vho, instead of aiming at the 
conversion and edification of their hearers, thought only 
of making a name for themselves. Sucli men invented all 

sorts of miracles, sham prophecies and sill) fables, painted 
exaggerated pictures of prevalent abuses, and gross ones 
of vices, recklessly attacked ecclesiastical dignitaries, 
even the Tope himself, and pronounced tin: Church to be- 
utterly corrupt. Their sermons were full of omens and so- 
called revelations announcing the most appalling judg 
ments, such as the destruction of Rome-, the annihilation of 
the Church, and the coming of anti-Christ; dealing with 
politics and all sorts of worldly matters, and leaving out 
the one thing needful. f 

Many of these characteristic qualities of the sermons of 
the day, both the good and the bad, were combined in the 
man who developed them to their fullest extent, and for a 
time made Italy ring with his name. (Jirolamo Savonarola. 
A mission sermon preached by an Augustinian monK, led 
this highly-gifted youth, a scion of an ancient family of 
Ferrara, to resolve, without his parents knowledge, upon 

* It was ai_;ain-4 thi> that the reaction of the Thentine father^ was 
afterwards directed. See Tub. Theol. Quartalsehrift (185 ; . 12 viv/. 

t C/\ S. ANTONINUS, Summa Thcol., I . III., tit. 18, <. 4, and infr,t, 
the provi.-ions made by the Lateral! Council. Previous to this ( nimril 
there was doubtless a lack of due control, although, as a rule, only 
friar:, or priests were allowed to preach ; but, as P>UKCKll.\KI>T observes, 
I., 2 |T, ed. 5, "It is difficult to draw any very sharp distinction in tl 
matter, because the Church and the pulpit too, had so Ion- been used to 
^ive publicity to all sorts of announcements, to acts ot the legislature, tor 
lectures, etc., and even at rc-ular sermons, Humanists and laymen were 
sometimes allowed to speak." For the proceedings against a preacher 
at Milan in 1492, see GlIIN/ONI, in the Arch. St. Lomb., XIII., 42 sc-j. 
These documents are unfortunately not explicit enough to indicate the 
jtrecise ottence of \\hich the preacher was accused. 


entering the Dominican Order. Savonarola (born Sept. 21, 
1452) chanced to hear this sermon on his way to Faenza 
in 14/4. A year later he was a novice in the Dominican 
monastery at Bologna. Amongst his papers, his parents 
found one " On contempt of the world/ in which the 
young enthusiast paints a terrible picture of contemporary 
morals. For the good, of which so much remained, he 
seems to have had no eye. He could have known but 
little of the world, but he sees only the evil, which reminds 
him of Sodom and Gomorrah. Early in his monastic 
career, Savonarola composed his famous poem " The decay 
of the Church/ in which again we find only the dark side 
of the life of the period. The Church appears as a chaste 
virgin, because her faith had remained pure. Savonarola 
asks her " Where are the teachers, where is the learning, 
the Christian charity and the purity of former days ? " The 
maiden takes him by the hand and says " Seeing how 
pride and vain-glory entered Rome and corrupted her, I 
withdrew and hid myself here, where I spend my life in 
mourning." Then she shews him all the wounds which she 
has received from the malice and rage of men. Profoundly 
grieved, he bids the saints and martyrs weep for her ; 
" The temple, the sanctuary of purity, is defiled." lie 
asks whose fault it is, and the Church replies that it is 
caused by pride, and the lust of the flesh and of the eyes. 
" Oh that I could stem this tide of wickedness ! " cries 
Savonarola. " Weep " she answers " and be silent, for this 
is the better part." * 

Henceforth the young Dominican seeks relief in prayer 
and penance from the torturing spectacle of moral and 
religious depravity. In Bologna, Savonarola had only 
been entrusted with the instruction of novices, but in 1481 
or 1482, he was sent by his superiors to preach in Florence, 
* Poesie di Fra G. Savonarola, ed, Guasli, 10-15. 


the very heart and centre of the Renaissance. The deep- 
seated corruption which encountered him in the capital of 
Lorenzo il Magnifico, the widespread immorality of the 
Florentines, and their scornful infidelity, caused him tin: 
most acute anguish. lie overlooked, in his passionate 
indignation, the immense amount of good which remained ; 
and seeing only the evil, he attacked it with a violence 
which turned many people against him. It was no wonder 
that his first sermons in S. Loren/o met with no response. 
The speech and manners of this stranger were too rough 
and rude to please the Florentines, his Lombard accent too 
harsh, his expressions too homely, his gesticulations too 
vehement. They missed, too, the quotations from poets and 
philosophers, which they so much relished. Savonarola s 
reckless bitterness, the exaggerated severity of his ful- 
minations against the immorality of his contemporaries, and 
their fanaticism for the classics, made him utterly repulsive 
to them. Their darling was Fra Mariano, a favourite ol 
the Medici, whose sermons were so popular that the 
vast nave of S tu Spirito could hardly contain his audi 
ence. Angelo Toli /iano praises Mariano s sonorous voice, 
his refined expressions, his well-turned sentences, the har 
mony of his cadences. " I never knew, he continues, " a more 
discreet and agreeable man. lie neither repels his hearers 
by over severity, nor deceives them by too great leniency. 
Many preachers deem themselves lords of life and death, 
abuse their powers, look askance at everything, and weary 
men by perpetual admonitions. Mariano is moderation 
itself. A stern censor in the pulpit, he has no sooner 
quitted it than he becomes genial and courteous." Savo 
narola was not discouraged by the coldness of his reception, 
but rather roused to a yet fiercer combat with vice. The 
stories of the heroes of both the Old and the New Testa- 

* l\ i L .MOXT, Lorenzo, 1 1., 39.0, cd. 2. 


mcnts possessed his brain, the imagery of the Hebrew 
Prophets and of the Apocalypse became a living reality to 
him ; " he thought one day that he had seen a heavenly 
vision, and had heard a voice bidding him to announce the 
afflictions which were to come upon the Church and the 
people. Thus assured of his divine mission, and having 
once entered the charmed circle of dreams and visions, he 
never emerged from it until after his imprisonment."* 

The young Friar must have been glad when his 
Superiors sent him to preach the Lenten sermons for 1485 
and 1486 in the small hill-side town of S. Gimignano near 
Siena. Here he could venture to unfold his prophetic 
programme ; and here for the first time he uttered his 
three famous sentences. "The Church will be punished, 
then she will be purified, and that soon." Preaching at 
Brescia in 1486, he expounded the Apocalypse, threaten 
ing divine vengeance, and calling to repentance. The 
response which these sermons elicited gave back to Savona 
rola the confidence which he had lost in Florence. " I am 
more determined than ever," he wrote to his mother on Jan. 
2 5> J 489; "to devote body and soul and all the knowledge 
which God has given me, for the love of Him, to the good of 
my neighbour ; and since I cannot do it at home I will do 
it abroad. Bid all men walk honestly. I depart to-day for 
Genoa." He returned the same year to Florence : f entered 
the pulpit of S. Marco on Aug. i, 1490, to preach upon the 
Apocalypse, and at once achieved a triumph. The re 
vulsion in his favour was as sudden as it was great. In 
consequence of the crowds who flocked to hear him, the 
cathedral pulpit was placed at his disposal during the 
Lent of 1491. For hours the close-packed throng would 
await the arrival of the small sallo\v-faced Friar with his 

* Sen WAD, in the IJonncr Litcraturblatt, 4, 8cj$. 

t VII.LAKI, Savonarola, I., 89 scy. (Engl. trans., eel. 2). 


furrowed brow, aquiline nose, and piercing firry eyes.* 
To tlie Florentines Fra Girohuno was an entirely new 
phenomenon, and his sermons were totally unlike those to 
which they were accustomed. " A parallel to him could 
only be found by going back to the old Hebrew prophets, 
whose spirit filled him, and whose traditions he sought to 
revive." f " He introduced an almost new method of 
preaching the Word of God," writes the Florentine 
chronicler Cerretani, " in fact, the method of the Apostles. 
His sermons were not divided into parts, there were no 
intricate questions, no cadences or rhetorical devices. His 
sole aim was to expound Holy Scripture, and restore the 
.simplicity of the primitive Church. ;; It is very remark- 
Next to the delicately cut i^ems of (iiuvanni delle Corniole. the 
portrait now exhibited in the convent of S. Marco i.-, the most faithful 
rendering of the ^reat man s features. It is a ropy, not as Woltmann, 
1 1., 602, and most recent critics think the original picture by Hartolonieo 
della I orta, vdiich is lost. 67. RumKki, II ritiatto di Fra (iirolamo 
(Firen/c, 1^55), and FKANTZ, Fra Bartolomeo, 94 srt/. where more will be 
iuund about the other portraits and coins. The Dominican Fra IJKNK- 
DKTTO -ives the following description of Savonarola in liu epic poem. 
u The Cedar of Lebanon," edited by Marchese. 

Era parco di corpo, ma ben sano 
Era di membra a modo delicato 
Che (juasi relucia sua santa mano. 
Hare sempre, e non ^ia mai turbato ; 
l)i sguardo desto e penrtrante e belli > . 
Del occhiu sullormato uscuro e i^rato. 
Denso di barba e d oscuro capello 
La bocca svelta, e la fact ia distesa 
Aixato el naso alquantu aveva quell i." 

For the two medallions of Savonarola and Domcnico da Pesua in tl:c 
Vienna Museum, see Rivi^t. Hal. di Xumismatica, iS jj. 

t I KUKKXS, Savonarola, 79. 

i VILLARI, Savonarola, I., 143, n. i (En^l. trans., ed. . . 


able that this Friar should have steadily continued to rise 
in the esteem of the Florentines. While trampling with 
unsparing and often exaggerated scorn on all the pre 
dilections of this " race of artists, and worshippers of art/ 
he told them that " their love of beauty was mere lust, 
the works of their painters immoral, and that even the 
pagan Aristotle had warned his disciples against indecent 
pictures, such as would corrupt the soul of youth. He 
described the whole of life in Florence as vain and 
frivolous, and merely sensual, in spite of all their intellect 
and wit." * Savonarola s manner in the pulpit was so 
impressive that his hearers accepted everything that he 
said, and frequently burst into tears. In the notes taken 
of his sermons, one constantly comes upon the remark 
" Here I began to weep, and could not continue." In 
reading these notes one cannot, of course, gain any 
adequate idea of the words as they were uttered ; but 
" the phrases, even when written down, are so forcible in 
their simplicity and originality, as to have almost the effect 
of spoken words." f His vivid descriptions caught the lively 
fancy of the multitude, his awful threats of impending 
judgment were irresistible to an emotional people. 
Lorenzo de Medici, who could never be satisfied until he 
had drawn whatever was remarkable or distinguished 
into his own circle, did all he could to attract this 
influential Friar, but in vain. Savonarola went out of 
his way to inflict a slight on the haughty magnate by 
omitting to pay him the customary visit after his elec 
tion as Prior of S. Marco, a convent rebuilt by the 
Medici family; but Lorenzo had the prudence to take 
no notice of this. His attitude towards this most out 
spoken and even virulent opponent was that of a finished 

* WKISS, IV., 231. 

t FUANTZ, Sixtiis IV., 76. 


man of the world and wise statesman. Never, under 
any provocation, was he betrayed into a rash step ; hearing 
with proud indifference all the annoyances and insults 
which the passionate preacher heaped upon him.* At 
the last, when he felt that his end was near, Lorenzo 
even sought spiritual consolation in that dread hour, 
from his fearless censor, f Had Savonarola known how 
to be moderate, he might have exercised an incalculable 
influence over this Prince, who, with all his worldliness 
and frivolity, was open to religious impressions ; but he let 
himself be carried away by his impetuosity, and in his 
efforts to effect that searching reform which was his ideal, 
he overstepped the bounds of what was prudent and pos 

Savonarola s influence was materially increased by the 
separation which Alexander VI. effected between the 
Tuscan and the Lombard congregations of his order. A 
stringent reform was instituted at S. Marco; the Prior being 
himself a living example of the precepts he enforced, lie 
always wore the coarsest dress ; his bed was the hardest, 
his cell the smallest and meanest.^ 

* RKUMONT, Lorenzo, II., 396, cd. 2. 

+ In regard to llic famous controversy ;is to whether Savonarola 
really made bis absolution conditional on the restoration of the liberties 
of Florence, and whether Lorenzo refused this, cf. Yn,i,\RT, I., 146- 
149, 1 68 sci/. (En-1. trans., ed. 2), and Arch. St. Ital., 5 Serie, I., 201 
set/. ; SCHWA r. s examination into this question in the Bonner LiteraUir- 
blatt, IV., 899, was apparently unknown to Yillari as al>o to Frant/ ; sec 
Fra ]>AKTOT.OM !;(>, 75 sc</. Cf. for the whole matter, IT.u.Ki .RIM S 
observations in the (iiorn. St. d. Lett. Ital., X., 2.}n scq. The latter 
justly remarks that Yillari relies too much on the I seudo-lkirlamacchi. 
See also Rev. Hist., XXXVIII., 168 ; AR.MS IROXC, in the Enyl. Mist. 
Review, IV., 448 set/.; and 1 L\R lwi< , in the Ili.->i. Zeitschr., L.\l\ ., 181, 

I 88 St </. 

+ \iLLAki, IOL. Lit. i., 179. I i:.RKi ..\>, no scq. The entrance to 


In 1493 Savonarola preached a course of Advent sermons 
in which with growing boldness and in very intemperate 
language he denounced the corruption of the clergy and 
the vices of the princes. The clergy he says " tickle men s 
ears with talk of Aristotle and Plato, Virgil and Petrarch, 
and take no concern of the salvation of souls. Why, 
instead of expounding so many books, do they not expound 
the one Book in which is the law and spirit of life. The 
Gospel, O Christians ! ye should ever have with you ; not 
merely the letter, but the spirit of the Gospel. For if thou 
lackest the spirit of grace, what will it avail thee to carry 

Savonarola s cell was through an oratory, on the outer wall of which 
there is the following inscription : 

Leo X. P.M. die Epi I| 

ph. A1DXYI hoc [| 

ora m ingr us X annos || 

et X quadr. fribus || 

totiens visitant! || 

bus concessit. 

This orator\- has, properly speaking, nothing to do with Savonarola, 
and it was irrespective of him that Leo X. granted Indulgences to those 
who visited it. It is only in recent times that it has been linked with the- 
person of the great Dominican, owing to the monument erected there 
in his honour. Adjoining it are Savonarola s study and dormitory ; 
both cells are very small, each only four paces square, with one narrow 
window about 2 feet in height and rounded at the top. See BkUXXKK, 
Studien, I., 71. One was his sleeping apartment, the other the study. 
The first cell contains the " relics ; of Savonarola, formerly preserved in 
the sacristy : his rosary, cloak, hair-shirt, under-garment, and a fragment 
of the stake at which he suffered. Two Bibles are also kept in S. Marco, 
with marginal notes attributed to Savonarola. YII.LARI, Savonarola, I., 
122, note (Engl. trans., ed. 2), disputes this, but believes the glosses in the 
two Bibles in the Bibl. Naz. and Riccardiana to have been really written 
by Savonarola. A Bible with copious marginal notes in Savonarola s 
handwriting was shewn me in 1 888, among various treasures, by Count 
Paar, the Austrian ambassador to the Vatican. 


about the whole book; and again still greater is the fool 
ishness of those that load themselves with briefs and tracts 
and writings, so that they are like unto stalls at a fair. 
Charity doth not consist in written papers ! The true- 
books of Christ are the Apostles and the Saints ; the true 
reading of them is to imitate their lives; but in these days 
men are made books of the devil. They speak against 
pride and ambition, yet are plunged in both up to the eyes ; 
they preach chastity and maintain concubines; they pre 
scribe fasting and feast splendidly themselves. Those arc 
useless books, false books, bad book s, and books of the 
devil, for the devil hath filled them with his malice. These 
prelates exult in their dignities and despise others ; these 
are they that would be feared and reverenced ; these arc 
they that seek the highest place in the synagogues, the chief 
pulpits of Italy. They seek to shew themselves by day in 
the public squares, and be saluted and called masters and 
rabbis, they make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the 
hem of their garments : they spit roundly ; step gravely 
and expect their slightest nod to be obeyed." " Sec how in 
these days prelates and preachers are chained to the earth 
by the love of earthly things; the cure of souls is no longer 
their concern." " In the primitive Church the chalices were 
of wood, the prelates of gold ; in these days the Church 
hath chalices of gold and prelates of wood." 11 

Savonarola s Lenten sermons in 1494 were still more 
startling. He now began to connect the impending judg 
ments with the advent of a new Cyrus who would overrun 
Italy without opposition. In September he spoke again 
on the same subjects. Dim rumours of the French expedi 
tion were already afloat and the agitation increased in 
force. On the 2ist September the excitement was at its 
height. The vast aisles of the Cathedral of Florence could 

* YlU.AUl. Savonarola, I., \7<) 180, 182, 1 1 | ( Kir. -1. tr;m-.. o I. 


hardly hold the throng which for hours had stood waiting 
for the arrival of the preacher. At last Savonarola mounted 
the pulpit and gave out his text. " Behold I bring the waters 
of a great flood upon the earth. Ecce eyo adducam aquas 
super tcrram! The words fell like a thunderbolt; terror and 
dismay took possession of the multitude. So great was the 
alarm, writes the chronicler Cerretani, that sobs and lamen 
tations burst from all, and the people went about the city in 
silence and only half-alive. Poliziano says that his hair 
stood on end.* A few days later the Medici were driven 
out and the French King entered Florence in triumph. So 
striking a fulfilment of Savonarola s predictions, together 
with his wonderful success in maintaining order in the city 
during the French occupation, of course enormously in 
creased his prestige. The people regarded him as a 
true prophet, and in addition to this, he, and he only, 
had been able to mollify the French King previous to 
his entry into Florence, and it was he who had induced 
him to depart. Counsel, assistance, and even commands 
were now expected of him in the difficult task of 
remodelling the constitution.! Thus it was that circum 
stances forced the Friar of S. Marco into an unnatural 
position, and one full of peril. He justified his inter 
ference in politics on the plea that he found it necessary 
in order to save souls. " O my people ! " he cries, " thou 
knowest that I have always refrained from touching on the 
affairs of State ; thinkest thou that I would enter upon them 
at this moment did I not deem it necessary for the salva 
tion of souls ? Thou wouldst not believe me, but now thou 
hast seen how all my words have been fulfilled ; that they 
are not uttered of my own will, but proceed from the Lord. 
Hearken ye, then, unto him that desireth nought but your 

* VILTARI, Savonarola, I., 231 .sr</. (Enyl. trans., ed. 2), 
t Ibid., 259 scq. 


salvation. Purify the spirit, give heed to the common 
good, forget private interests, and if ye reform the city to 
this intent, it will have greater calory than in all past times. 
In this wise, O, people of Florence, shalt thou begin the 
reformation of all Italy and spread thy wings over the 
earth to bear reform to all nations." This reform, he goes 
on to say, must begin with spiritual things, and all temporal 
good must be subordinate to moral and religious good. 
Cosimo cle Medici had said that States could not be 
governed by Paternosters^ but this was the speech of a 
tyrant. If they wanted a good Constitution, everything 
must be referred to God he would have nothing to do 
with politics conducted on any other principle. In regard 
to the Constitution to be established, in his sermon in the 
cathedral he insisted especially on four points : First, the 
fear of God and reformation of morals; secondly, zeal 
for the popular government and public welfare, in prefer 
ence to all private interests ; thirdly, a general reconciliation 
whereby the friends of the past Government should be 
absolved of all their crimes, their fines remitted, arid indul 
gence shewn to all debtors of the State; fourthly, a 
form of universal government comprising all citizens who 
in virtue of the city s ancient statutes were entitled to a 
share in the State.* Savonarola, like many of his contem 
poraries, believed in the "great modern fallacy," that Con 
stitutions can be manufactured, that a well-considered 
system of checks and counter-checks will produce a Govern 
ment^ Incredible as it seems, the Friar of S. Marco 
succeeded. He introduced a democratic form of govern 
ment, and the ideas which he had preached became law. 
The Great Council was founded at his suggestion, the 
system of taxation altered, usury suppressed by the insti- 

* Vn.r.Aki, he. cit. I.. 262, 265. 

t I5i"kCK.ll.\Kirr, (Jultur, L, <Si, ed. -]. 


tution of a Monte di Pieta, the administration of justice 
regulated, and the tumultuous meetings misnamed Parlia 
ments, which had been the tools of the Medici were abol 

Political reform was only a part of the great task which 
Savonarola had set himself; his scheme embraced the reno 
vation of social life, as well as science, literature, and art. 
Christianity was to reassert its sovereignty over the paganism 
of the false renaissance in every department of life. His 
" Evviva Christo" was to echo from lip to lip. Politics, society, 
science and art, were to have the commandments of God 
for their basis. Christ was to be proclaimed King of Flor 
ence and protector of her liberties. j- 

Savonarola had, however, another meaning also in thus 
entitling Christ the King of Florence. He claimed to be the 
organ of Divine messages and revelations. His poetic tempe 
rament, his ardent fancy steeped in the prophetic and Apo 
calyptic books of Scripture, and the predictions of Joachim 
and Telesphorus, at that time so much in vogue, combined 
to produce in him a firm conviction that he had direct inter 
course with God and the angels. He imagined that he 
heard voices and saw faces. " Gradually the visions gained 
such mastery over his reflective consciousness that in the 
midst of an ordinary conversation he would see the heavens 
opened and hear voices, and it seemed impossible to him 
to doubt the reality of his immediate intercourse with the 
world of spirits." " That which I saw in the spirit and put 
into words was to me far more certain/ he writes in the 

* Savonarola, as the reformer of the Florentine constitution, cf. in 
addition to Yn/LARl, I., 269 scq., 298 scq. (Engl. trans., ed. 2); FRAXTZ, 
Sixtus IV., 58 scq. See also (in J.RARDI, 323 scq. THOMAS, Les Re 
volutions Polit. de Florence, 348 scq. (Paris, 1881), and UKRXON, in 
the Rev. des Quest. Hist., LXXXYIII., 563 scq. 

t Cf. FRAXTZ, Fra P>artolomeo, 74, 76-9; cf. 1 ERRKXS, 175 scq. 


treatise on visions, " than first principle s arc- to philosophers." 
An accidental circumstance confirmed him in his fancies, 
and induced him resolutely to shake off any lingering 
doubts. There was in the convent of S. Marco a Friar 
named Silvestro Maruffi, who happened to IK: a somnam 
bulist, and had frequent visions. Savonarola believed in this 
man so blindly as even on one occasion to publish a vision of 
Maruffi s as his own, commanded, as he supposed, by angels 
to do so. In his judgment of other people s dreams and 
visions, Savonarola was inclined to be critical, but he never 
admitted the possibility of any mistake in regard to his 
own.* " I know the purity of my intentions," he declares: 

I have sincerely adored the Ford ; I try to follow in His 
footsteps ; I have passed my nights in prayer and watching ; 
I have renounced my peace ; I have consumed health and 
strength for the good of my neighbours. Xo, it is not 
possible that God should have deceived me. Tin s light is 
Truth, itself; tin s light is the aid of my reason, the support 
of in.}- charity."-!* 

Too often in his fulminations against the growing corrup 
tion, for which the Medici were so largely responsible, the 
impetuous Hominican, carried away by the torrent of his 
own eloquence, allowed himself to be betrayed into very 
extravagant statements. In one sermon he said "The 
only good that Plato and Aristotle did, was to provide a 
good main* arguments which can be turned against heretics. 
The)- and the other philosophers are fast in hell. Any old 
woman knows more about Faith than Plato. It would be 
good for the Faith if many of these seemingly precious 
books could be destroyed." On another occasion he de 
clared that only a very few should occupy themselves with 

* lH kCKn.\Ri)T, 1 1., 24;, c<l. 3. 

t Cf. YlLLART, I.. }iS (Kn^l. trans., ed. 2]. SrilWAr,, in tin- IJonnci 
LiUM-uturbkiU, IV., 905 scq., ami Tot CM, m La Vita Ital., II.. ; v Si . 

VOL. v. o 


learning. All that was needed was a small body of intel 
lectual athletes to refute heretical sophistries, the rest should 
confine their studies to grammar, good morals, and religious 

Larunia^c of this kind led to the belief that Savonarola 

o o 

was opposed to Art and Science, but recent investigations 
have proved the injustice of this accusation. It is certain 
that he made provision for study among his own friars, 
and wished them to learn Greek and Oriental languages 
with a view to missions, though not aiming at any great 
results in scholarship. It is also certain that Savonarola 
rescued the magnificent Medici Library for Florence. How 
then could he have been an enemy to science ? We have 
his own defence of himself against the reproach of being 
an enemy of poetry and poets. " I have never been 
minded," he says, " to condemn the art of verse, but only 
the abuse made of it by many, although not a few have 
sought to calumniate me in their writings." He then pro 
ceeds to explain in what this abuse consists : " There is a 
false race of pretended poets who can do nought but run 
after the Greeks and Romans, repeating their ideas, copy 
ing their style and their metre ; and even invoking the 
same deities, as if we were not men as much as they, with 
reason and religion of our own. Now, this is not only false 
poetry but likewise a most hurtful snare to our youth. 
Were this not already as clear as sunlight, I would labour 
to prove it, experience, the only teacher of all things, 
having so plainly manifested to all eyes the evils born of 
this false kind of poetry, that it is needless to pause to 
condemn it. And what shall we say on finding that even 
the pagans condemned poets such as these ? Did not 
Plato himself, whom nowadays all extol to the skies, 
declare the necessity of making a law expelling from the 

* BUKCKIIARDT, II., 249, ed. 3. 


city Jill poets, who by the example and authority of must 
iniquitous deities, and the allurements of most shameful 
verse, filled the world with ignominious lust and moral 
destruction? Why do our Christian rulers make no sign? 
\\ hy do they dissemble these ills? Why do they not pass 
a law banishing from the city not only these false- poets, 
but even their works, and those of the ancient writers treat 
ing of vicious subjects, and in praise of false gods? It 
would be an excellent thing were such books destroyed, 
and only those inciting to virtue preserved."* 

Savonarola held similar views in regard to painting. 
What he there rightly opposed, was the Pagan false renais 
sance. " It was not Art itself which he condemned, but its 
desecration, the introduction of earthly and even immodest 
sentiments and dress into sacred pictures. On the con 
trary, pious and genuinely religious art would have been 
an efficacious support in building up that ideal State which 
he dreamt of, and for a while even made a reality." 
Again and again Savonarola explains what he finds fault 
with in contemporary Art, and what he desires to put in 
place of it. For him edification is the main object of Art : 
he will tolerate none which does not tend to the service of 
religion. lie denounces the delineation of the undrapecl 
human form as unchaste and demoralising, all the more so 
because for women and children the church pictures serve 
instead of books. f " llis quarrel was with the tendency to 
emphasise the sensuous side of Art, to please the taste of 

* YII.I.AKI, II., 141;, 150, 151 (Kn-1. trans., ed. 2). 

+ I>MI>K, 223. (_ /". MINT/, I recurseurs, 227, 229^77. and 2^7. 
Savonarola was no enemy of Art is ronvinrinxly demonstrated l>y I.. 
(iRUVJ.R, Les Illustrations dcs errits de J. Savonarnle publics en Italic 
an xv. et an xvi. siucle, et les paroles de Savonarole sur 1 Art (I aris, 
Didot, 1879); KIM, De I An Chretien, II., 368; I- KAXT/, II., 
11 KTTXl K, ItalicnLi he Studien, 145 53. 


worldlings, ami to ignore its true vocation, which is spiritual, 
and leads to God. Savonarola s fulminations against the 
nude in pictures were not directed against the study of the 
nude, nor the use of it in Art in general, but only on its 
use with the purpose of pandering to sensual thoughts." * 
His protest was against naturalism in Religious Art, although 
he admitted that all Art was based on the study of nature. 
His advice to artists was to dwell more on expression and 
ideal beauty, and less on perfection of form. 

His endeavour was to eliminate the sensual taint from 
Art ; but here, too, he generalised and exaggerated till he 
frequently overshot the mark. " Ye trick out the Mother 
of God in the frippery of a courtesan, ye give her the 
features of your paramours. Then these young men go 
about sayincr of this woman or that : Here is a Macrda- 

/ o o 

lene, here a Virgin, there a S. John. And then ye paint 
their faces in the churches, the which is a great pro 
fanation of divine things. Ye painters do very ill ; and 
did ye know, as I know, the scandal ye cause, ye would 
certainly act differently, ... Ye fill the churches with 
vain things ; think ye the Virgin should be painted as ye 
paint her ? I tell ye that she went clothed as a beggar." f 

In contrast to this, Savonarola inculcated a severe and 
serious treatment of sacred subjects ; " The figures should 
be larger than life, and thus be easily recognised as typical. 
Their drapery should be simple and correspond in its form 
with the age in which they lived." 

Too many of Savonarola s criticisms on Art are certainly 
open to the charge of one-sidedness, harshness, and ex 
aggeration ; but his quarrel with the debasement of con 
temporary art was in many respects a just one. There is 

* Sec Avc;. REICHENSPERGER S Essay : "Zur Charakteristik clcr Re- 
nuisance," in No. 347 of Koln. Volkszeitimg, Dec. 16, iSSi. 
t VILI.ARI, II., 147 (Engl. trans., eel. 2). 

AIJUSKS i\ r. \i\Ti\r.. 197 

no denying the sensual pagan tendency which hud crept 
into Italian Art towards the close of the 15111 century, a 
tendency which, even from un aesthetic point of view, was 
distinctly faulty. Again, a glance at many of the works 
of the period reveals a growing tendency towards realism, 
and an increasing delight in reproducing the hundred and 
one little accessories of daily life which pleased the eye of 
the painters and were dear to the Italian fancy. In Savon 
arola s time these two influences were doubtless w{ in the 
ascendant, and had become so prominent as on the one 
hand to obscure the typical meaning of the picture, and on 
the other, by an unintentional naturalism, serious!} to detract 
from its influence as an aid to devotion." 

The abuse of painting friends and acquaintances of 
the artist as Saints, grew apace during the latter half of 
the 1 5th Century. Donatello, in choosing a man like 
Poggio for a model of a prophet, was defying all sense of 
propriety. The same was, in a sense, true of Penozzo 
Gozzoli s frescoes in the Campo Santo at Pisa, and in S. 
Gimignano, and of those painted by Ghirlandajo in S 1 1 
Maria Novella in Florence.* The dissolute Carmelite, Fra 
Filippo Lippi, did even worse, for his Madonnas repro 
duce again and again the features of Lucrezia Uuti, his 
mistress. f 

Though up to the close of the F 5th Century the abuse of 
introducing mythological subjects and sensuous methods of 
presentation into sacred pictures was still comparatively 
rare, there were, nevertheless, many lamentable exceptions 
to the rule. Thus, before his conversion, Fra Hartolomeo 

* Many as are the beauties of ("diirlandaio s frescoes in the ("lion 
of S - Mafia Novella, \ve cannot but regard the introduction of twenty one 
portraits of members of the donors lanulie- as a ]>rotan.i!i<m (| l sai red 
history. Ml Niz, I recurseurs, 2y>. 

t ( -rii i., I., .-?.) : CR iWK-C.xv \i r.v i i.i.r. 1 1 1., 52 


painted a picture of S. Sebastian which, Vasari tells us, had 
shortly to be removed from the church, in consequence of 
the evil effects which the fathers found it to produce.* 
Many of Mantegna s pictures and etchings are by no means 

Luca Signorelli,in his "Last Judgment," at Orvieto, makes 
far more use of the nude than is allowable in a cathedral, 
and even introduces mythological characters. Sundry 
naked deities were painted by the same artist for the elder 
Lorenzo, and in the palace of Pandolfo Petrucci at Siena 
amongst others a Bacchante. J Another of his productions, 
" The Education of Pan," a group of naked gods, is in a 
private gallery in Florence.^ The frescoes painted by 
Correggio in the Camera di San Paolo at Parma are most 
indecent. These, however, belong to a later date, 1518. 
They were executed for Donna Giovanna, the abbess 
of a rich convent, a cultured lady of the Humanist 
school. The ceiling of the hall is painted to represent an 
arbour of vines, with genii and cupids hiding in its foliage. 
The sixteen lunettes contain figures in grey monochrome, 
the Graces, the Fates, Fortuna, sundry satyrs, and even an 
undraped Venus. On the wall of this bower of the gods 
Diana appears in diaphanous attire. The whole composi 
tion is mythological ; there is nothing Christian about it.|| 
There are pictures of Venus by Sandro Botticelli and Piero 
di Cosimo,*! which arc also extremely reprehensible. The 

* VASARI, III., i, 39 (ed. 1598). 

t PIPER, I., i, 326. 

J Ibid., i, 322. 

CROWE-CAVALCASELLE, IV., ist half, 85 scq. 

|| WOLTMAXN, II., 706; NAUMANN S Archiv. fur Zeichnende Kimste, 
VII., 117 scq.; and RUMOUR, Drei Reisen narh Italian, 159 (Leipzig, 

% Pll KR, I., I, 327. 


so-called "Temple of Malatesta " at Rimini, ;i church built 
by Leon Battista Albcrti, ;il the desire of this tyrant, is 
absolutely heathen. There is hardly a single Christian 
symbol or religious inscription in the whole of this magni 
ficent structure. The statue of S. Michael is a portrait of 
Malatesta s mistress, the famous Isotta. In the Chapel of 
S. Jerome we find a nude Olympian group Diana, Mars, 
Mercury. Saturn, and even Venus.* Again, the doors 
of the Cathedral at Como are decorated with classical 
figures purely mythological or historic. Centaurs bearing 
naked female figures on their backs, nymphs, and Heracles 
with Mucius Scaevola. These groups are partly borrowed 
from antique sarcophagi, coins and gems, and partly 
original. Similar mythological figures are to be seen in 
the arabesques framing the bronze doors, executed by 
Antonio Filarete in 1441-1447, for the old Church of S. 
i eter s.t Many of the monuments to the dead even bear 
no trace of Christianity. This is the case with Jacopo 
dclla Ouercia s sarcophagus in the gallery at Florence^ 
and Yerrocchio s tomb of Piero and Cosimo de Medici in S. 
Lorenzo in the same city.$ Xo vestige of Christianity is 
discernible on the tomb of Rolando de Medici in the An- 
nun/.iata. nor on that of Giovanni de Medici by Donatello 
in S. l.oren/.o." Mythological allegories are freely used 
in the monument to Cirolamo dclla Torre (d. 1500) and 
his son. executed by Andrea Riccio for the church ol 

* PASTOR, Hist. Popes, III., 118-119 (En^l. trans.^ 

t Pin u. !., 1,292 4; PASTOR, Hist. Popes, I., 360 Kn-1. trans.). 

I Cupids, Tritons, and Centaurs mingle with P.ibliral scenes in tlic 
font tlesi-ned l>v Ouerria, in the Cathedral at Siena. Cf. Pli l u I. 

2^)2 S <. (/. 

$ Ml NT/, I., 59. 


S. Fcrmo at Verona. Even on the tomb of Pope Sixtus IV., 
erected by his nephew Giuliano clella Roverc, we find that 
medley of Christian and Pagan ideas which marks the 
transition stage between the Christian conception, and that 
utterly mundane treatment which prevailed later.* On the 
whole, however, during the I5th Century the Popes kept 
the vagaries of artists within bounds, although in Florence 
their extravagances were already deplorablc.f 

Thcsc transgressions had not as yet become common, 
but were numerous enough to account for the severity of 
Savonarola s censures. Perhaps he was sometimes unneces 
sarily severe, but the justice of his rebukes was acknow 
ledged by more than one painter. Indeed, the eloquent 
Dominican exercised great influence over many artists. 

The miniature-painters Benedetto, Filippo Lapacino, and 
Eustachio were then employed in the convent of S. Marco, so 
were the painters Agostino cli Paolo del Mugello, Agostino 
de Macconi, Andrea of Florence, and, most important of 
all, Fra Bartolomeo della Porta ; so, too, were the architects 
Domenico di Paolo and Francesco di Prato, as well as two 
of the Robbia family. Outside the convent also, Savon 
arola reckoned many an artist among his followers. We 
will mention only Sandro Botticelli and Lorenzo cli Credi, 
who, like Fra Bartolomeo, burnt their studies from the 
nude. Perugino must not be left out, nor the architect 
Cronaca, nor again the sculptors Baccio da Montelupo, 
Ferrucci, Baccio Baldini, Giovanni delle Corniola, and 
Michael Angelo. The tragic death of their master affected 

* GRKGOROVIUS, Die Grabmiiler der Romischen Papste, 101 (1857); 
101 sci/. ; and PASTOR, r.esch der Papste, II., 568, note i, ed. 2. 

t Mi NTZ, Pre curseurs, 224. " En these generate les papcs mon- 
traient unc reserve excessive vis-a-vis des beaux arts. On cbercherait 
vainement a Rome res compositions mylhologiques, cjui remplissaient 
des-lors les Dalais de Florence, 


both Fra Bartolomco and Sandro Botticelli so profoundly, 
that the former ceased painting for a time, and tin: latter 
laid aside his brush and never resumed it. Savonarola s 
influence can be traced in many of the works of Art pro 
duced by his contemporaries,* notably in those of Giovanni 
dclla Robbia, representing the dead Christ in Ilis mother s 
arms, with the other mourners. This incident, so graphi- 
cally described in many of Savonarola s sermons, became 
at that time a more frequent subject of Florentine Art than 
at any previous or later period. Pictro Pcrugino during 
the last years of the 1 5th Century painted hardly any 
pictures but these "Pieta" the immortal fresco of the 
Crucifixion in the chapter-house of S. Maria Maddalena 
ile Pazzi, the Deposition from the Cross in the Palazzo 
Pitti, Christ on the Mount of Olives, Christ on the Cross, 
and the Pieta in the Academy at Florence, all belong to the 
years 1494-1497. About the same time Michael Angelo 
painted the " Deposition/ now in the National Gallery in 
London, and Sandro and Filippino produced those in the 
Pinakothek in Munich. " The erection of the marble shrin:- 
containing a Pieta, from the hand of Andrea Sansovino. at 
S r " Spirito, and Filippino s commission to paint the great 
Descent from the Cross (in the Academy at Florence) 
belong to a somewhat later date. The latter work was 
finished by Perugino in 1504. About this time Fra Barto- 
lomeo painted a fresco of the Last Judgment for S Ia Maria 
Novella, and Michael Angelo carved the Pieta in S. Peter s 
at Rome, the crowning monument of this tendency in Art." J 
The Art of the period shewed a clangorous tendency 
towards excessive naturalism, and a baroque style which was 

I OIM ., 222-^ ; \YOI.TM.\\\. II., 602 ; Sciin.TZK, S. M;uv<>. f> I ; 1 - 
MAKCIIKSK, Mrmnric dt-i piii te insi;^ni 1 itiori, Srultori i- Aivhitetli 
1 )oiiu-ni( ;ini. I.. 512 \<vy.. ed. 4 : M I NTZ. 1 n tiii curs, 2 
t r.ohl., 224. 


apt to lose itself in irrelevant details. Thus the return to 
a more serious treatment of religious subjects, and to a 
greater simplicity of form and sobriety of colour, was in 
itself meritorious ; but in the majority of these works we 
miss that freshness and originality, in short, that sincerity, 
which we admire in other I5th Century artists. In these 
painters there is a certain constraint of manner and an 
affectation of exaggerated solemnity.* 

The tone of unreality in the Art influenced by Savonarola 
corresponds exactly with a certain extravagance and 
violence which characterised the whole of his teaching and 
work, especially in the matter of social reform. 

His sermons, particularly those of 1495, had an effect in 
Florence which for the moment was almost miraculous. The 
whole aspect of the city was changed. Women laid aside 
their costly ornaments and flaunting manners, and were 
transformed into patterns of plain dressing and modesty. 
Roystering youths became suddenly decorous and devout. 
Deadly enemies were reconciled. Rich bankers and mer 
chants hastened to restore ill-gotten gains. Feasting and 
amusements of all sorts were abandoned. Hymns took 
the place of licentious songs and carnival choruses. The 
churches overflowed, the number of communicants im 
mensely increased, and the stream of alms had never been 
known to flow so abundantly. There were now 238 
instead of 50 monks in the convent of S. Marco. Among 
the new comers were youthful sons of noble families, and 
men of mature acre who had made names for themselves in 


literature, or science, or politics, such as Pandolfo Ruc- 
cellai, Georgio Vespucci, Zanobi Acciaiuoli, Pietro Paolo 
Urbino, Professor of Medicine, a Jewish tutor of Pico della 
Mirandola, and many morc.t 

* ItoDK, 225. 

t ViLi-AUl, Savonarola, ]., 344-5 (Kni;l. trans., e<L 2). KXriTKMKNT IN l LORKN<T 

A new life had begun in Florence. The great question 
was, would it last? Unfortunately, in combating the 
corruption encouraged by the Medici, the zealous hnar 
had not only overstepped the bounds of prudence, but even 
those of fairness and justice. 

Savonarola introduced into the religious life a narrowncs^ 
and scrupulosity hitherto unknown in the middle ages. 
Essentially a rigorist of the type of Tertullian, to him due 
moderation was impossible. Starting with the false im 
pression that the whole community was corrupt throughout, 
he overlooked all the good which really existed. " The 
Renaissance was for him a foreign world, and he only kne\\ 
it in its extremes."* To these he opposed an extreme of 
his own, of a sort which in Florence, of all places, could not 
possibly have held its ground for any length of time. 

Savonarola, no doubt, was animated by the highest 
motives in his endeavours to purge the Church of all taint 
of worldliness : but, in his ardent zeal, he overlooked tin; 
fact that the Church, from her very nature and constitution, 
must remain in the world. lie had never seen much of 
practical life, and now, in attempting to carry the spirit of 
a religious house into the cvcry-day world and the relations 
of citizens with each other, he condemned many things 
that were quite permissible. The standing reproach of his 
enemies that he wanted to turn Florence into a cloister 
and all its inhabitants into monks and nuns was by no 
means without foundation. What the Church only incul 
cated as counsels of perfection to be embraced by a feu 
chosen souls, he endeavoured to enforce; as binding upon 
all. "A Dominican Friar," writes the Mantuan Envoy on 
November 17, 149.4, "has so terrified all the inhabitants of 
Florence that they are wholly given up t piety; three 
days in the week they fast on bread and water, and two 


more on bread and wine. All the maidens and many of 
the wives have taken refuge in convents, so that only men 
and youths and old women are ever to be seen now in the 
streets."* It actually became necessary to remit a portion 
of the taxes ordinarily paid by the butchers, as they were 
almost ruined. In direct contradiction with the rule of 
the Church, Savonarola permitted married women to enter 
convents, and even to separate from their husbands, against 
the wishes of the lattcr.f He forbade his penitents from 
joining in perfectly innocent amusements.^ The fever of 
religious excitement stirred up amongst the Florentines 
by Savonarola made the city the laughing-stock of Italy. 
Those who held aloof from the movement expressed their 
annoyance at being supposed to take part in proceedings 
so palpably extravagant and often absurd, with such 
vehemence that even some of his adherents began to think- 
that he was going too far, and he found it necessary to 
defend himself in a sermon. " Brother," he makes the 
objector complain, " thou hast brought us very low ; all day 
long we arc praying and fasting, and fasting and praying. 
We can endure no longer ; we are the talk of all Italy. 
Our neighbours jeer at us. What, they say, have they 
given up fasting in Florence ? We are persecuted about 
our incessant fasts. They say Florence has put on a cowl ; 
all her people have become monks. We can no longer 
endure the ridicule that our perpetual praying and fasting 
is bringing upon us/ Well, let us talk it over. Tell me, is 

* Arch. St. Lomb., I., 331. 

t PERREXS, 200^7., 203, 214. 

* Cf. GASPARV, II., 199 and 664, where he cites a remarkable passage 
from I). Gianotti. 

The followers of Savonarola writes Piero Yaglienti take every 
thing he say:; for Gospel, and believe more in him than they do in 
S. Paul. Rivista delle Piblioterhe dir. di G. P>IA( ,I, IY., 52. 

what you arc cluing good or bad ? You cannot say that 
it is a bad thing to fast and pray. If, then, it is good, go 
on your way, and let people say what they will." 

It is impossible also to approve of some of the means by 
which Savonarola sought to carry out his reforms. The 
penalties he imposed were immoderate. Gamblers were to 
be punished with torture, and blasphemers were to have 
their tongues pierccd.f lie required servants to act as 
spies on their masters, and did not shrink from any viola 
tion of the privacy of domestic life, which in Florence was 
very jealously guarded. Every possible method of coercion, 
espionage, and delation was to be employed in order to 
enforce a standard of perfection in conduct, for which the 
citizens of Florence were by no means prepared. If any 
thing were wanting to the proof that Savonarola was the 
last man who would have been likely to succeed in pro 
ducing a permanent social reform, * it would be found in 
the fact that this tyrannical police of his consisted entirely 
of children, mere boys who had not yet attained the age 
of reason. 

These inquisitors patrolled the whole city hunting out 
all evil-doers, and their jurisdiction extended even to 
girls and. women. They made their way forcibly into 
houses, seized the cards and dice and even the- money on 
the gaming-tables, and confiscated harps, lutes, perfumes, 
mirrors, masks, and poems, and carried them off to be burnt. 
The indignation aroused by this intolerable insolence 

t r.oiikixc.KK, 853 4. 

* Sec r>rkCKii.\K!>T, II., 2 \<) .v<y., cd. -,. who remark^: "The com 
plete transformation of public and private life. \vhii h tin- iron handed 
Calvin in later times could only succeed in producing in (ienevawith 
the help of an external state of sie^e, was foredoomed in Rorence to he 
no more than a futile attemt arousin the bitterest oppoMl 


increased from clay to day, but Savonarola only laughed at 
it. When some of the citizens took to defending them 
selves with sticks against the incursions of these children, 
he provided them with men from the city-watch to pro 
tect them. Parental authority had no sanctity in his eyes 
when exerted in opposition to his wishes. He publicly 
preached disobedience ; and when some parents spoke of 
sending their children to France, in order to withdraw 
them from his influence, he answered defiantly, " Send 
them where you please ; they will soon come back again."* 
The fanaticism of these children grew to such a pitch that 
they threatened to stone any one who ventured to say a 
word against their Prophet, who was now exercising abso 
lutely dictatorial powers ; but Savonarola only saw in them 
the saintly citizens of the Florence of the future.f The 
waves of party spirit, which the leader of the people should 
have been striving to calm, rose higher and higher, and the 
situation became daily more and more unnatural and 
unbearable. Instead of the promised peace, discontent and 
dissensions reigned in every family in Florence. As far as 
this goes, the charges against Savonarola made later by his 
enemies were perfectly true. 

" Every house," they said, "was divided. Husbands and 
wives, fathers and children, w r cre at daggers drawn, so that 
one heard nothing but threats and angry words all day 
loner. Mothers-in-law drove their sons wives out of the 


house, and men their own wives ; the only thing in which 
they were agreed was that they could not live together. 
Women wrote privately to Savonarola to inform him of 
their husbands plots against him." Parents abandoned 
their children in order to go into convents. Half-distracted 
.vomen rushed to the cathedral at midnight to argue with 

* PKKRMXS, 206-9 ; HOHRIXGER, 857. 
t SAXUTO, I., 79. 


the opponents of tin: Prophet, shrieking that In- was the 
true light, and any one who did not believe in him was a 
heretic.* They were only repeating what he had said 
himself a hundred times in asserting his divine vocation. 

From the very first there was often a want of dignity in 
Savonarola s way of speaking, that seemed difficult to recon 
cile with the inspiration which he claimed. " You live like 
swine," he said to the Florentine s. lie called the Princes 
who, he prophesied, were to invade Italy, barbers armed with 
gigantic razors: the distress which they would bring upon 
her was like a salad of borage, bitter in the mouth ; the 
reform of manners, like a mill which would grind out the 
Hour of wisdom. When they had been preached to in this 
style, his followers often behaved in strange ways, which 
they called being " fools for the love of Christ. f The 
burning of vanities" also began to assume a fantastic and 
theatrical character. At the sound of a bell from the 
Palazzo Yecchio, the Signoria came out on the balcony, 
and, accompanied by the singing of hymns and the clang 
of trumpets, the solemn procession issued for S. Marco s to 
celebrate what Savonarola himself called the feast of the 
Higher Folly (inaggior pazzid]. Three circles were formed 
enclosing the pyre: the innermost consisted of the Friars 
of S. Marco, interspersed with boys dressed to represent 
ancrels ; the next was of Youths, clerical and lav ; tin: outer 

o * J ^ 

one of old men, citizens, and priests. All were crowned 
with wreaths, and a solemn dance was executed round the 

* PKRRKXS, 210. Cf. Y.v.l II. NT! s description in the Kiv. ik lle 
Bibliot., IV., 53, r>i ; HASH, 35. 
t HAS]-,, 125 ; cf. 32. 

t BURCKHARDT, II., 251, C(l 3: Pl.KRI XS, 267 j<y.: II.\sr., 84 s 

The ways of the followers of Savonarola beein very similar to tho-e of 
the Salvation Annv in the ore-cut cl 


Savonarola was quite unable to see the absurdity of all 
this. He defended dancing by pointing to the example of 
David, and announced that stranger scenes than these 
would shortly be forthcoming.* It never struck him that 
such excitement of the religious sentiments must end by 
producing exhaustion, nor could lie see that his violent 
methods of conversion were paving the way for an equally 
vehement reaction. Another unsatisfactory side of the 
behaviour of Savonarola s disciples was, that they formed a 
church within the Church. This sort of separation was the 
first step towards the institution of a National Church, which 
would have been an inevitable result of the movement had 
it continued long enough.f 

Thc same unhealthy extravagance and narrowness of 
vision characterised Savonarola s action when, as very soon 
happened, he passed on from the field of morals into that 
of politics. Here also he claimed Divine inspiration, and 
had no perception of incongruity when, in his prophecies, 
God was always made to adopt the Florentine point of 
view, whether the subjects were the French King, the great 
ness of the city, or victory over her enemies and the 
reconquest of Pisa. He even went so far as to apply the 
words of Christ, " no iota shall remain that shall not be 
fulfilled," to his own predictions. It must not be forgotten 
that these predictions were not concerning the growth of 
the kingdom of God or spiritual things, but had to do with 
purely external and political matters, such as the future 
of Florence, the conquest of Pisa, and the like. Such a 
method of prophesying seems almost blasphemous.^ 

When Savonarola thus took upon himself the two func 
tions of a divine prophet and a political leader, the result 

* I KRRKNS, 268. 

+ liURCKHAKDT, II., 246, ed. 3. 

J BullRINGKK, 88 1-6. 


was not only to turn him aside from tin- straight path 
both of religious vocation and the work of the priest 
hood, but to drive him to the brink" of the abyss in which 
he was destined finally to be engulfed. It cannot be 
denied that the Friar of S. Marco not only stirred up 
political passions in others, but became himself the 1 victim 
of political fanaticism.* 

Even the warmest admirers of Savonarola must admit 
that in the pulpit he frequently allowed himself to use lan 
guage which was not befitting for one who should have 
been devoted to the cause of peace. Thus in his sermon 
against the tumultuous assemblies, misnamed parliaments, 
which the Medici encouraged to serve their own ends, he 
says: "If he that would summon a Parliament be of the 
Signoria, let his head be cut off: if he be not of it, let him 
be proclaimed a rebel and all his goods confiscated ; . 
should the Signoria seek to call a Parliament . . all may- 
cut them to pieces without sin." This sermon was preached 
on the 28th July, 1495, and a fortnight later Savonarola s 
proposals had become the law! When, in October, after 
Charles VIII. had left Florence, the Medici made an attempt 
to return, "Savonarola in the pulpit, crucifix in hand, 
open!}- and loudly counselled the citi/.ens to put to death 
all who sought to re-establish tyranny." A few days after 
wards a law was again passed putting a price on the heads 
of the Medici, which was virtually equivalent to a general 
summons to arms. + 

The man who proposed and carried out measures such 
as these, claimed at the same time to be the direct inter 
preter of the Divine will in regard to the 

* See SCIIWAH, in the I .onncr Thenl. Literal 
C.KISAR, ;//>. 

I- Vn.i.vKi, Savonarola, I.. 292 ;,, ami 1 !.. i ; 

r.l. 2). 

VOL. v. 


the city. He aimed at establishing a theocracy in Flo 
rence, resembling- that by which the Jews were ruled in the 
time of the Judges. Thus the religious idea took form in 
politics, and a monarchy was to be erected by the democracy, 
under the immediate guidance of God ; Savonarola, as the 
Daniel of the Florentines, was to be the medium of the 
Divine answers and commands.* Florence, at the end of 
the 1 5th Century, was utterly incapable of enduring for 
any length of time such a theocracy as this, in which 
Savonarola, in the last instance as the interpreter of the 
Divine will, represented the monarchical principle, and 
claimed a sort of Infallibility. This was the weak spot in 
all his ecclesiastical relations in Florence. The promise of 
magisterial Infallibility is only given to the Church in the 
Sovereign Pontiff; by what right could Savonarola pretend 
to be the immediate organ of the will of God in matters 
that regarded the government of the city ? The days were 
past in which the will of God was announced to His people 
by the mouths of prophets and judges. The fulness of truth 
has now been manifested in Christ and committed to His 
Church, ordained by Him for all time to be the one Fount 
of Salvation, and endowed with the gift of Infallibility in 
her teaching office.^ 

Savonarola s claim to be a prophet was a two-edged 
sword, which in the end turned against him, and brought 
about his ruin. Easy as it had been at first to win the 
confidence of the people, it was equally easy, when they 
found their hopes disappointed, to persuade them that he 
was an impostor, and that they had been betrayed.^ 

After the tragic downfall of the great preacher, it soon 
became evident how feebly rooted his teaching had been in 

* MARCHKSK, I., 181. 

t FRANTZ, Sixtus IV., 88 seq. 

t IttmuiNfiKR, 886, 


the rock) r Florentine soil.* The reform which he had 
inaugurated, only held its ground in restricted and isolated 
circles; the mass of the people fell hack almost at once 
into their old ways. The revolution in manners had been 
carried into all sorts of trivial and harassing details, and 
was essentially a merely external one.f Even during his 
life-time Savonarola had learnt by experience how ephe 
meral was the effect of his sermons. The moment he was 
silenced, vice and unbelief began at once to raise their 
heads again, and he broke forth into bitter invectives 
against the people whom he loved so dearly, threatening 
them with the wrath of God, and declaring that all the 
promised prosperity would be turned into judgments. 
But all his eloquence was powerless to extinguish the 
passion for politics which was ingrained in the character 
of the Florentines ; and the breach between the prophet 
and his people was one that could not be healed. Savona 
rola in throwing himself into the revolution in politics was 
aiming mainly at the interests of religion ; the State was 
to be the instrument for doing away with corruption and 
carrying out a thorough moral and religious reformation. 
The Florentines, on the other hand, cared only for reform 
in religion in so far as it carried with it political freedom. 
Hence arose the curious phenomenon that whenever in a 
sermon Savonarola made no allusion to politics, he failed to 
interest his hearers. Then he found himself obliged to de 
clare Christ the King of Florence, and to announce from the 
pulpit that the Blessed Virgin desired the acceptance of the 
new constitution, and that the Lord had commanded that 
the Parliaments should be done away with. The hieran hy 
of the Angels and the seven days of Creation were made 

* On the conflict between Savonarola and Alexander VI., ami his end, 
see Vol. VI. of this work, Hook I., (-hap. (> . Kiv^l. trans. 

\~\ \\T/. Sixlns IV., ." i : </. 75, and M. \KCIII-SK, I., 292 -7 


to figure in the organisation of the constitution and the 
revolution in Florence. But it was all in vain. Savonarola 
could not eradicate the evil effects of the rule of the Medici. 
The religious and moral revival which he had evoked passed 
quickly away, a sudden flame which flared up for a moment 
and then went out.* 

In Florence itself Savonarola had achieved a certain 
measure of success, but his wider schemes of universal re 
form, boldly conceived though somewhat vaguely formulated, 
failed entirely. In the first place his reliance on so frivolous 
and profligate a monarch as Charles VIII. was fatal to their 
success. ] When this new Messiah quitted Italy, the French 
plans were wrecked, and the visionary hopes of his prophet 
melted away ; but, possessed by the delusive theory that a 
General Council was superior to the Pope,* Savonarola set 
himself in opposition to the, doubtless unworthy, but still 
legitimate, occupant of the Chair of S. Peter, and thus not 
only ruined himself, but damaged the cause of true reform. 
This was not to be attained by revolutionary methods. 

S. Catherine of Siena, writing to the Government of Flo 
rence, had said that even were the Tope a devil incarnate, 
he ought to be obeyed in obedience to God, whose vice 
gerent he is. Savonarola defied Alexander VI., disre 
garded his sentence of excommunication, and attacked the 
very foundations of ecclesiastical order by threatening 
the Tope with a Council. |j The calling together of a 

* VlLLARI, Savonarola, II., 84-7 (Engl. trans, ed. 2); and GKT.LI, 
Fra ("/. Savonarola. App. alle LeUure cli Fair.i^lia, 9 (Firenze, 1857). 

t HOFLKR justly says, Rom. Welt., 226, that from the moment that 
Savonarola identified his cause with that of Charles VIII. of France, 
failure became inevitable. 

:. Tocco in La Vita Ital., II., 391. 

>; PASTOR, Hist. Popes, I., 106 (Enyl. trans.). 

For further details on the point see Vol. V I. of this work, I. look I. 
< hap. i. (Fn-1. trans.). 


General Council to deal with the reform of the Church was 
certainly in itself a most desirable thing; but a Council 
assembled without, or rather in opposition to, the 1 lead of 
the Church, far from doing away with the evils that existed, 
would have enormously aggravated them.* The Synod of 
Basle, in the endless difficulties which it had raised, instead 
of the hoped for amendment had shewn what confusion 
the false doctrine of the supremacy of a Council over the 
Tope had introduced into the Christian world, and what 
disastrous consequences must necessarily attend the attempt 
to upset the natural constitution of any government, and 
most of all of that which was proper to the Church. f 

Savonarola, in the state of nervous excitement produced 
in him by his imaginary visions and revelations, was not 
fully conscious of the meaning of the attitude which he 
adopted. J What kind of forces he had set in motion when 
he thus abandoned that submission to the supreme lawful 
authority which is the corner-stone of all reform in the 
Catholic sense, was destined soon to appear.^ After 
his death a violent persecution broke out against his ad 
herents, in consequence of which many of them retired 
into the country ; j but in a short time the Fratcschi, as they 
were called, raised their heads again, and in March 1499 
they had possessed themselves of all the public offices. 
The old veneration for the Friar flared up again, although 
the General of the Dominicans repressed it to the utmost 
of his power.*! Towards the close of the year 1500, an 

* See the Dominican P. MAKCIIKSK (I., 254), a devoted adherent of 

t PASTOR, Gcsch. der Papule, I., 235 scq. ed. 2. 

KRAXTZ, Sixtus IV., 82. 

RnsKKK, Dominici, Co. 
SAXUTO, I., 969. 

" RAXKK, Studien, 328 ; MAKCIIKSK, I., 305 ,v,y. ; (;IIKRAKKI, Doc., 
3-9 scq. 


eccentric popular preacher, Martino cli Brozzi, appeared in 
Florence. 1 1 is ragged garments and matted hair, together 
with the fearful prophecies of impending judgments which 
he incessantly poured forth, almost gave the impression of 
a maniac ; but the inflammable populace of Florence were 
fascinated by the fool of Brozzi (Pazzo di Brozzi, which is 
a little village near Florence, on the road to Pisa). He 
gladly adopted the nickname. " God," he announced, " was 
going to punish Italy, Rome, and Florence for the death of 
Savonarola ; they would not believe the wise prophet, and 
so God had sent them a fool." The authorities twice put 
him into prison, but did not succeed in silencing him.* 

A little later it began to be known that a new and 
audacious attempt was being made to carry out Savon 
arola s notions of the constitution of the Church. " If any 
doubts yet lingered in men s minds as to the results which 
would follow if his ideas were pushed to their logical con 
clusions, the question was now decided. Not that this fact 
in any way justifies the proceedings of those who, by means 
of torture, extorted Savonarola s s/>-called confession ; but 
it puts us in a position to form a just appreciation of the 
judgment pronounced upon him by the authorities of the 
Church." f 

According to the account of the Florentine chronicler 
Cerretani,^ twenty of Savonarola s disciples belonging to 
the lower classes formed themselves into a society, holding 
frequent meetings and electing a " pope," to whom they 

* CAMI5I, XXL, 168; M.VRCHESE, I., 310. 

t HOFLER, Italienische Zustiinde gegen Ende des XV. Jahrhunderls, 

t Cf. in the Appendix for the beginning of the year 1502, the text of 
this remarkable narrative, to which HOFLKR (Italienische Zustiinde, 30 
scy.) was the first to draw attention. As, however, Hofler s transcript 
is in many places inaccurate and the account is extremely interesting, I 
have thought it necessary to publish it verbatim. 


yielded implicit obedience in all things both spiritual and 
temporal. This u pope " was a citi/en of Florence, of humble 
extraction, called Pietro Bernardino, aged twenty-five. lie 
was small in stature, had dark eyes, a long nose, and a 
hoarse voice. lie was absolutely illiterate but extremely 
cunning. This was the man who was to inaugurate a new 
series of " popes," who were to reign over the purified Church 
in opposition to the worldly successors of S. Peter.* By 
close attention to Savonarola s sermons, and diligent 
reading of his works, Bernardino had almost learnt the 
Bible by heart. Even during the Master s life-time, he 
had acquired a high reputation as a preacher to children 
and the poorer classes. On the death of the prophet he 
continued to exercise these powers in secret assemblies. 
Mis teaching was in the highest degree inflammatory and 
revolutionary. The Church, he said, must be purified by 
the sword ; now that Savonarola was dead, there was not 
one just man left on the earth. Until the Church had 
been reformed, it was useless to go to confession, as there 
were no priests or religious who were worthy of the name. 
Bernardino himself assumed priestly functions, and anointed 
the rooms which the brethren used as churches, with oil. 
This lie called the unction of the Holy Ghost. The new 
sectaries prayed in silence, did not hear mass, and dressed 
poorly. XVhen they were at meals together, Bernardino 
would often stop suddenly and say, "The Holy Ghost 
desires us to pray." Then all would cease to cat, and keep 
silence in prayer until he gave the sign to resume their 

* H< M l.i.R, 3 [, who observes that Bernardino s attempt recalls that 
of a similar prophet in Parma in the inili Century, who under the pre 
tence of a Divine Commission and special favour from the Holy Ghost, 
had attracted a lar-e following, professing evangelical poverty and sim 
plicity of life. Finally, the extreme licentiousness of his liic obliged the 
authorities, both spiritual and temporal, to inteifcrc. 


meal. The new " pope " was venerated by his disciples as 
a prophet. All his words and actions were believed to be 
significant, and to presage either political changes by means 
of the French, the Germans, or the Turks, or else the over 
throw of the Church. 

The secret meetings of these sectaries could not perma 
nently be concealed from the Inquisition and the Arch 
bishop of Florence. On their information the Council of 
Eight forbade the meetings and arrested several of the 
members. " The new pope told his followers that he had 
foreseen this, and advised them to leave Florence secretly." 
They betook themselves to Bologna, and thence to Miran- 
clola, where they were kindly received by an ardent 
admirer of Savonarola, the learned Count Gian Francesco, 
nephew to the celebrated Giovanni of Mirandola. The 
Count was shortly afterwards besieged by his brothers 
Ludovico and Federigo, who claimed to be the heirs of 
Mirandola, and were supported by Frcolc I. Duke of 
Ferrara, and Gianjacopo Trivul/i. Gian Francesco found 
himself in such difficulties that he lost courage and would 
have given way, but Bernardino s disciples assured him 
that it was the will of God that he should overcome his 
enemies. Fortified with this belief he continued the 
struggle, but was no match for his assailants, and was 
finally, in August 1502, driven out of his castle.* lie 
barely escaped with his life, and the sectaries, who called 
themselves " the anointed ones," fell into the hands of the 
victors. Their lives were judged to be immoral and their 
doctrines heretical. In consequence Pietro Bernardino and 
some of his associates were burnt and the rest banished, 
or delivered over to the Florentine authorities.! "Such 

* GUTCCIARDINI, V., C. 4 ; TlRAEOSCHI, VII., I, 397; Mem. di 
Mirandola, II., 53 ; UALAN, Assedii dclla Mirandola, 10. 

f lu lhc same year, 1502, Savonarola -, followers had a-ain been 

rkU! IIK.sVIX(, I RIAIiS. 

was the unhappy end of another of those attempts, so 
often repeated in Italy, to set aside the means of Salvation 
provided by the Church and her system of Orders, and 
to iound a new Ecclesiastical Society, in which laymen, 
unprepared and unauthorised, assumed the pastoral office: 
but owing to the increasing decay of discipline in the 
( hurch, this was by no means the last effort of the kind, 
and any person who pretended to have a special call to 
reform her, had no difficulty in finding followers."* Thus 
in Florence, where the veneration for Savonarola and the 
style of preaching on the reform and chastisement of the 
Church which he had inaugurated still survived,! a hermit, 
Ilicronymus of Bergamo, appeared in 1508 and drew many 
after him. Tall, haggard, and pale, with a long beard, he 
preached in the Church of S to Spirito and announced that 
Italy would be devastated, and Rome, Venice, and Milan 
destroyed by a nation hitherto unknown.^ Other preachers 
in the same city held forth in a similar style, prophesying 
terrible visitations, and a purification of the Church.^ 

In the following years similar voices were heard in 
Rome itself announcing the downfall of priestly domina 
tion, and the humiliation and reform of the Church. Under 
Leo X. these prophesying hermits and friars became so 
numerous that the ecclesiastical authorities were obliged 
to take the matter in hand. In the eleventh sitting of the 

;;i\ MI;,; trouble in Florence, as we see from an ordinance issued l>y the 
(iencral of the Dominicans, "Bandcllo. See Doemn., 335, in Gni-.RARDl. 

Ilni l.KR, Italienisrhe ZusLiinde, 33. 

t LAXDUCCI, 285; CAMIJI, XXI., 204, 256; VILLARI, Savonarola, 
II., 309 (Kiv^l. trans., ed. 2). 

+ H<"H.I-.R, Italienische Zustande, 33. The "preacher from I .cr- 
;.;amo " mentioned by S.\MTO, VII., 409, is prol)ably thi- 1 licronyinus of 


| Corp. Dip!. 1 ortirj,., L. 13^, and SAXUTO, XII., 323. 


Lateran Council (Dec. 19, 1516) it was decreed that no 
priest, whether secular or regular, should be allowed to 
preach until he had been carefully examined by his proper 
superior and found fit for the office by age, conduct, discre 
tion, prudence, and knowledge. Wherever he intends to 
preach he must submit his credentials to the Bishop of the 
place. Preachers are required by the Council to preach 
the Gospel, and explain Holy Scripture in conformity with 
the interpretation of the doctors of the Church, taking 
away nothing and adding nothing of their own. They are 
especially forbidden to assign any date for impending judg 
ments, the coming of anti-Christ, or the Last Day ; for 
Holy Scripture declares (Acts i., 7) that times are not for 
us to know. " All who have done this," the Council goes 
on to say, are " liars and tend to throw discredit on other 
preachers who announce the word of God in simplicity. 
No one may attempt to predict future events either out of 
the word of God, or as having any private revelation, or 
with the help of vain divinations. Preachers are to obey 
the Divine command of preaching the Gospel to every 
creature, teaching them to eschew vice and practise virtue, 
and to follow peace and have charity one towards another 
in accordance with the will of the Saviour. All must 
beware of rending the seamless garment of Christ, and be 
careful to say nothing tending to disparage bishops, priests, 
or superiors, before the world." In regard to prophecies 
nothing must be publicly announced until it has been sub 
mitted to the Pope or the Bishop of the Diocese for his 
approval, for not every spirit is to be believed, and therefore 
the Apostle requires that they should be examined. Any 
one who disobeys these ordinances is to be suspended from 
preaching and incurs the greater excommunication from 
which the Pope only has power to release him.* 

* IlKRGENROTlIER, VI 1 1., 707, 708. 

SKNSATIOXAL 1 R 1 A( 1 1 1 \( ;. 2IQ 

A glance at the preposterous things that were said and 
done in the earlier years of the reign of Leo X. by these 
preaching hermits and soothsaying friars will shew how 
necessary some such regulations as these had become. 

Jacopo Pitti tells us that in the year 1513 twelve friars 
belonging to the order of Franciscan conventuals, agreed 
to divide Italy between them into twelve districts and thus 
traverse the whole country in order to announce coming 
events to the people.* One of these, Francesco da Montc- 
pulciano, preached during Advent in S la Croce at Florence, 
and drew such an appalling picture of the doom which 
was to overtake the Italians generally, and the Romans 
and Florentines in particular, that his hearers almost went 
out of their minds. Cries of " miscricordia ! misericordia ! " 
filled the church, and the whole city was stirred as the 
terrible tidings, no doubt not softened in any way in the 
telling, passed from mouth to mouth and penetrated into 
its most distant quarters. Savonarola s predictions were 
recalled and repeated with redoubled emphasis, and those 
who were discontented with the government began to 
stir so that the administration became alarmed. The 
Archbishop s Vicar summoned the preacher to appear 
before him and found his conduct blameless and only his 
judgment at fault. On S. Stephen s day Francesco pre 
dicted the downfall of Rome and of the priests and monks. 
None of the bad ones would be left alive. For three years 
there would be neither mass nor sermons. The land would 
be bathed in blood ; nearly all the men would be slain and 
even women and children would not escape. All the bonds 
of social life would be loosed, mothers would destroy their 
own children. All these things were to happen when the 

* PlTTl, 112. This and the examples which follow shew that TOCCO 
(La \ ita Hal., II., 395) is mistaken in supposing that prophesying ceased 
when Savonarola died. 

220 HISTORY OF Til K i Ol KS. 

King of France should lose his power, the son of King 
Federigo return to his kingdom, and a canonically elected 
Pope occupy the chair of S. Peter. The preacher con 
cluded by exhorting his hearers to do penance. The con 
gregation remained motionless when the sermon ended, 
petrified with terror. The government despatched a 
messenger to Rome to consult the Pope as to what 
should be done; but suddenly on December the 3ist, 1513, 
Francesco died of inflammation of the lungs. The people 
came in crowds to kiss the dead man s feet as though 
he had been a saint. In consequence, the corpse was taken 
away and buried secretly at night. But once rekindled, 
the spirit of prophecy was not so easily extinguished. 
Other monks came forward and foretold terrible persecu 
tions for the Church, that an anti-Pope would be elected, 
and there would be false Cardinals, false Bishops and false 
prophets. Presently nuns, bed-ridden women, young girls 
and peasants began to prophesy on all sides. Finally the 
Bishops in Council forbade under severe penalties any one 
to preach or hear confessions without permission from the 
local authority, and prohibited all prophesying, arbitrary 
interpretations of Holy Writ, secret religious assemblies, 
and the wearing of relics of Savonarola or his companions.* 
In spite of these repressive measures the movement set 
going by Savonarola could not be arrested so quickly. For 
a whole generation after his death his followers lingered on 
in Florence as a hidden sect. Their views had developed 
into a system which aimed practically at forming a sort of 
national state religion for Florence. The prophet, in these 
circles, was looked upon as a saint. The power of working 
miracles was ascribed to his relics, and the fulfilment 

* I ITTI, i 12, 113. On Francesco dc Montepulciano, cf. also CAMPJ, 
XXII., 37-39 ; LAXDUCCI, 343-4 ; BURCKHARDT, II., 244 scg., ed. 3 ; 

U ANCONA, II., 163, cd. 2. 


of his predictions, in regard to tlic destruction of Rome 
and the restoration of the Florentine republic, was con 
fidently expected. Kven Michael Angelo appears not quite 
to have escaped the influence of these fancies. " In an 
old Florentine manuscript we find it recorded that in 
the year 1513, he saw a meteor in Rome of which he 
immediately made a sketch on a sheet of paper. It was 
a star with three tails, one directed downwards on Rome, 
the other towards Florence, and the third to the East. Any 
one might see the drawing at his house: and its meaning 
was clear. It evidently portended some fearful calamity 
for Rome, Florence and the Church, through the instru 
mentality either of the Sultan, or one of the great Christian 
powers. The barbarians would encamp in Rome and 
Florence, and things would be worse than when Trato was 
occupied in I 5 12." 

For many years Savonarola s prophecies of a reform in 
the Church, and a period of happiness and well-being for all 
Christendom, and especially a time of peace and freedom 
for Florence, were current amongst the lower classes in the 
city. Enthusiasts were always on the watch for the signs 
which were to be the harbingers of the great change. In 
the time of Machiavclli, a prophet of this sort appeared in 
the person of Francesco da Meleto,j- the son of a citizen 
of Florence and a Circassian slave. Apparently he had 
gone to Constantinople in 14/3, when quite a youth, on some 
commercial business, and there had frequent discussions 
with Jews whom he endeavoured to convert to Christianity. 
While residing in the city of the great enemy of Christen 
dom, his mind seems to have been \vrymuch occupied with 
a strong desire to penetrate the future, and see how the 

* (Ik [MM, MiclH l:in;j,clo, II., 30, 31, oil. ;. 

1 Cf. for \\h;it follows, the intcre.-.tinx ess. iy by S. I .oNt .l. in tin- Arch 
St. Hal., 5 Serio, III., f>2 .w/. 


world was to be delivered from the barbarity of the Turk. 
On his return to Florence he appears to have been drawn 
into the movement of which Savonarola was the leader. 
Later he devoted himself to the study of prophetical litera 
ture. Finally he came to believe that he had received from 
the Holy Ghost the gift of raising the veil which shrouded 
the future from the eyes of others. He embodied the 
result of his investigations, which were mostly founded on 
numerical calculations, in two treatises which he printed. 
The first of these, on the mysteries of Holy Scripture, was 
so well received as greatly to strengthen his belief in his 
prophetical mission. Thus encouraged, he .ventured to 
dedicate his second work to the newly-elected Pope, Leo X., 
who received it graciously. In this second treatise he an 
nounced that the great revolution \voulcl begin in 1517, 
with the conversion of the Jews, and be completed in 1536, 
by the annihilation of the Turkish Empire. Meanwhile, 
these views had been widely diffused in Florence and pro 
claimed from the pulpit by several preachers. From the 
point of view of the Church this was evidently dangerous. 
The Florentine Provincial Council assembled in 1517, 
under the presidency of the Cardinal Bishop Giulio de 
Medici (afterwards Clement VII.), decided to forbid the 
reading of Meleto s book, and also the preaching of his 
views. Leo X. confirmed their judgment, and the deluded 
prophet seems to have submitted at once, for we hear no 
more of him ; and his book is now so rare, that it is plain 
that all the copies of it that could be got hold of, must have 
been destroyed. 

It is especially noteworthy that, at this decisive period, 
similar prophets appeared also in other parts of Italy. 

In August 15 1 6, at Milan after its second conquest by the 
French, a Tuscan recluse Hieronymus of Siena began to 
preach in the Cathedral without the permission of the Arch- 


bishop. The appearance and demeanour of this prophet 
were so unusual, that soon the whole city flocked to see 
and hear him. Contemporary writers liken him to S. 
John the Baptist ; they describe him as a tall, gaunt figure, 
bare-headed and bare-footed, and clad only in a single 
garment of coarse cloth, surmounted by a ragged mantle 
of the same stuff. His unkempt locks and long matted 
beard added to the stern, almost savage, effect of his 
appearance. He seemed about thirty years of age, and 
spoke with ease and fluency. At the close of all his 
addresses he used to prostrate himself before the altar of 
our Lady, and remain for a long time in prayer. Every 
evening he caused the Cathedral bell to be tolled to call 
the people together to recite the Salve Regina. His 
popularity with the common people increased from day to 
day. The extreme severity of his way of living produced 
a great impression. He ate nothing but bread and roots, 
drank only water, and slept on the bare ground. He 
accepted no alms for himself, whatever was given to him 
he exchanged for candles to burn before the image 
of the Blessed Virgin, and for a lamp and altar to Our 
Lad) , which he erected in the Cathedral. Such proceed 
ings would have been impossible for a layman without the 
permission of the ecclesiastical authorities, had it not been 
that public affairs in Milan just at that time were in great 
confusion. But, even so, he could not fail in time to meet 
with opposition, especially as he was perpetually haranguing 
against priests, and still more against the Friars, and 
never preached without making some attack upon them. 
Meanwhile the people, especially the women, came to hear 
him in ever increasing numbers. When questioned as to his 
doings by the authorities, secular or religious, he answered 
curtly that he had come to proclaim the Word of God. 
One day a monk in the Cathedral interrupted him and 


told him roundly that he was incurring excommunication 
by preaching as he was doing, as only priests, deacons and 
sub-deacons had the permission of the Church to do this. 
Hieronymus replied that S. Paul, without being ordained, 
had converted the world ; and when against this it was 
urged that S. Paul had received the Holy Ghost, he 
answered that he too had been sent by God. At last, the 
annoyance caused by his attacks on the clergy, and the 
interruption of the ordinary services, became so great, that 
the doors of the Cathedral were closed against the 
preacher. Upon this, he left the city on December 28, 
and the excitement gradually died away.* 

In the May of the same year, 1416, a still more trouble 
some and mischievous person appeared in Rome. This 
was a certain Fra Bonaventura, who announced himself as 
the long-expected Angelic Pope who was to be the Saviour 
of the World. In him too, probably, as with the other 
prophets, we have another result of the influence of 
Savonarola, whose views were quite in harmony with the 
ideas of the Joachimites and of Telesphorus. It is also 
a striking coincidence, and one that no doubt is not 
accidental, that in that same year the prophecies of 
Telesphorus were printed in Venice by an Italian Atigus- 
tinian hermit. t Bonavenatura s followers were about 20,000 
in number. They used to kiss his feet, considering him as 
Christ s Vicegerent. lie wrote a paper addressed to the 
Doge of Venice, in which he called the Roman Church the 
scarlet woman of the Apocalypse. The title page of this 
began with the words " Bonaventura, chosen by God to be 
the Pastor of the Church in Zion, crowned by the hands of 

* PRATO, Storia rli Milano, in Arch. St. tlal., III., 357 359. Cf. 
BURIGOZZO S Report, ihid., 431, 432. 

1 Lj . Ou.U KRT, iii the DentsrlKT riaussrhatx, XVII., 710. In regard 
u.< 1 , lesphoriir, see PASTOR, Hint. Popes, I., [52-155 (Kiv^l. trans.). 


angels, and commissioned to be the Saviour of the World, 
sends greeting and his apostolic blessing to all believers in 
Christ." lie goes on to excommunicate Leo X. and all the 
cardinals and prelates, and warns all the faithful to separate 
from the Roman Church. All Christian kings are admon 
ished to support him. The Venetian government is specially 
recommended to stand by the King of France, because this 
monarch is the instrument designed by God for the reform 
of the Church and the conversion of the Turks. It is not 
surprising to find that this fanatic was imprisoned in the 
Castle of S. Angelo, whereupon his followers disappeared.^ 
The frequency of these phenomena shews the ferment 
that was going on in men s minds, and the urgent need 
that was felt of reform in the Church. The point upon 
which everything depended was, that this reform should 
not be the work of revolutionists and fanatics, but should 
be effected within the Church, on the right lines, and by 
her own divinely constituted authorities. Julius II. had at 
last put an end to the unfortunate procrastinations of his 
predecessors, and set to work in the best and only way to 
produce satisfactory results, by calling together the Lateran 
Council. Savonarola s adherents shewed how little in the 
way of true reform was to be expected from them, by 
choosing this decisive moment to throw all their weight on 
the side of the revolutionary mock synod at Pisa, support 
ing the purely political aims of the French King, as 
against the trtie Council of the true Pope, Julius 1 1> The 
death of this energetic Pontiff, just as the Council was 
approaching the most important question of the clay, made 
the next Papal election a doubly important one. 

* HOFLKK, Italienisehc Zusliinde, 36, 56 7. As early as the year 
1491, i prophet had appeared in Rome and announced the speedy 
advent of the I ope of the An-els. See infra, Hook I., Chap. 6. 

t I KRRLXS, II., 480-81. VILLARI, Machiavelh, II., 130. 

VOL. V. , 


The task that fell to the lot of the successor of Juliu^ 
II. was the most difficult that could be imagined. The 
fate of all human things had overtaken the human element 
in the Church and in the Papacy. The inner kernel, the 
essence, was untouched, but the canker had gone very 
deep, not only in Italy, but also in nearly every other 
country in all Christendom. Almost everywhere ecclesi 
astical life was full of abuses and evils, and the prestige of 
the 1 apacy was seriously shaken.* In many directions 
masses of inflammable material lay heaped together, so 
that the slightest spark might at any moment set up a 
conflagration in which good and bad would be destroyed 
together. A catastrophe such as had been dreaded in the 
days of the Eorgia,f such as in many countries, especially 
Italy and Germany,^ had been announced in the form of 
terrible prophecies, or a schism, with which the Topes had 
been repeatedly threatened by the rulers of Spain, Germany 
and France, could only be averted by a fundamental 
reform in both head and members. Whether this would 
be possible, was the important question on which the 
future of the Church and the world depended. 

* Further details on this subject will be found in a future volume 
of this History. 

t The common belief that the coins struck by Louis XII. with the 
inscription " Perdam Dabilonis nomen," belong" to the time of Julius II. 
(GlESELER, II., 4, 191, note), is mistaken. The Envoy from Ferrara 
to Alexander VI., in a ^Despatch dat. Rom. i 502, Aug. 1 1, says : Qui se 
he monstrato da diversi ducato novo facto stampare per la Maestu 
Christianissima, il quale da uno canto ha sculpita la testa de Sua 
Maesta, de Taltro ha li tri ziglii cum lettcre chc dicono : Perdam 
nomen Babilonis. Et pigliandosse universalmente Roma per Babilonia 
qui se ne fa vani iiidicii. State Archives, Modena. 

t See Doi, LINGER in the Hist. Taschenbuch, 1871, 281 scq. Cf. 358 
scg. In a future volume we shall revert to these German prophecies. 

?i In regard to these threats, see Vol. VI. of this work, Books I.- 1 1. 
(Kngl. trans.). 

ROOK 1. 

IXNOCHXT VIII. 1484-1492. 




Tin-: news of the death of Sixtus IV. which had taken 
place on the 1 2th August, 1484, set all Rome in commotion, 
and the most violent disturbances among the troops with 
which the city was scantily garrisoned, were the immediate 
result. A strong movement in favour of the Colonna and in 
opposition to the chief favourite of the late Pope, Girolamo 
Riario, soon made itself felt. With wild shouts of 
Colonna, Colonna," the infuriated populace invaded the 
palace of Girolamo on the I3th August, and devastated it 
so completely that nothing but the bare walls remained ; the 
rabble vented their rage even on the trees and shrubs of the 
adjacent garden.* 

The compatriots and partisans of the Ligurian Pope fared 
no better than the nephew ; on the very same da)- the 
granaries in Trastevere as well as two ships laden with wine 
which belonged to Genoese, were seized by the infuriated 
mob. Xo Ligurian property in Rome was now safe ; even 
the Genoese Hospital was destroyed. The provisions which 
Caterina, the wife of Girolamo had stored up in Castel 

Report of (i. Vespucci in Tni ASXK, I., 498. ( / . Report of Stefano 
Criiidotti in C lAX, Cat. S for/a, .S . line 25 read s<>? instead of i/i><\ and 
line 27 (it:\-/<i;i<) instead of {Icsotio}. INFKSSUKA, 161. (. /. aNo the 
continuation of the Chronicle of Caletiini by C.. .Ml.kl.xi > \ in Cod. I 
1 4 of the Chii^i LiliraiA". 


Giubilco shared the same fate ; they were either des 
troyed or carried off.* Caterina herself, full of courage, 
hastened to the Castle of S. Angelo, deposed the Lieutenant- 
Governor, and declared that she would give up the strong 
hold to no one except the newly-elected Pope.f The Car 
dinals, a number of whom assembled in the Palace of the 
Camcrlcngo Raffaele Riario, did their utmost to re-estab 
lish order in the city,* but for the present they were power 
less before the prevailing excitement. 

Girolamo Riario on hearing the sad news of the death of 
Sixtus IV., had immediately raised the siege of Paliano, and 
his retreat was so hurried as to bear all the appearances of 
a precipitate flight. Artillery, ammunition, tents and horses 
were left behind. On the Eve of the Assumption, Girolamo 
arrived with his troops before Rome, and by order of the 
cardinals encamped at Ponte Molle, where he intended to 
remain until the election was over. It w r as feared that the 
Pope s nephew would use force to ensure the nomination of 
a Pontiff of his own choice, and indeed the courage of the 
Count by no means failed him ; he trusted in his army, in 
the power of the Orsini and the possession of the Castle of 
S. Angelo, Riario also expected to be supported by some 
members of the College of Cardinals.!! However, after two 
days, lie deemed it advisable to retreat to Isola Farnese ; the 
old castle, which was situated in the vicinity of the ancient 
Veil, belonged to Virginio Orsini. " This change of tactics 

* INKKSSURA, 161-3 ; ^ Ol - di Nantiporto, 1089. 

t PASOUXI, I., 148. 

1 ^Despatch of 15. Arlotti, dnt. Rome, 1484, Aug. 15. State Archives, 

^ Despatch of L. LAXTUS of 141)1 August, 1484, Arch. d. Soc. Rom, 
XL, 618. On the siege of 1 aliano, see PASTOR, Gesch. cler Papste, II., 
565, eel. 2. 

|| Report of G. Vespucci of i 5th Aug., 1484, in Tni ASXi-:, L, 499-500. 
Not. di Nantiporto. 1089 : Tin ASXK, I., ^o~>. 


must be ascribed to the fart that the fortunes of his enemies 
were improving from day to day. The inhabitants of Cavi, 
Capranica and Marino had recalled the Colonna ; in Rome 
Cardinal Giovanni was received with enthusiasm. Prospcro 
and Fabri/io Colonna also returned there with a powerful 
army.* In a short time the city, to which all the armed 
vassals of both parties flocked in crowds, had become an 
open camp. Civil war threatened to break out ever} 
moment. All shops were closed ; no one could venture 
into the streets without endangering his life. The palaces 
of the Cardinals were changed into small fortresses ; 
according to the account of one of the ambassadors, the 
owners seemed to be prepared for an immediate attack. 
The Cardinals Giuliano della Rovcrc and Rodrigo Uorgia 
especially had filled their houses with troops, had erected 
outworks and provided themselves with artillery. In Tras- 
tevere bridges and gates were closed, so that all traffic 
was stopped. The Orsini had entrenched themselves in 
Monte Giordano, for they expected every moment to be 
attacked. The whole town was in arms and uproar.* 

Such was the state of Rome when the obsequies of 
Sixtus IV. began on the i;th August, 1484. Only a few of 
the Cardinals were present. Giuliano della Rovcrc did not 
leave his strongly fortified palace on the heights of S. 
1 Metro in Vincoli. The Cardinals Colonna and Savelli 
likewise refused to go either to S. Peter s or to the con 
clave in the Vatican, as long as the Castle of S. Angclo 
was in the hands of the energetic wife of Girolamo Riario. 
Not content with the number of their adherents who had 
llocked to Rome, they sent for troops from Aquila, Terni, 

* IXFKSSrKA, 104 5. 

t ( / . Not. di Nantiporto, io,Sg 90, al-;o the and Florrntme 
reports in the Arch. d. Sor. Koin, XL, 619 20. .mil in TllUASNK, I., 


Amelia, and other Ghibelline cities. The majority of 
the Cardinals, especially Cardinal Cibo, shared the 
opinion of the former, that it was absolutely necessary to 
secure a safe place for the Papal election.* In the mean 
while, the excitement and confusion increased from day to 
clay. A double election and an impending schism were 
already talked of,f when, owing to the energetic interfer 
ence of Cardinal Marco Barbo, affairs assumed a more 
promising aspect. This prudent and universally esteemed 
prelate possessed the confidence of all, even of Giuliano 
della Roverc. He began by bringing about an agreement 
with Girolamo Riario. In return for the payment of 8000 
ducats and other concessions, he obtained the surrender of 
the Castle of S. Angclo, which was entrusted to the 
Bishop of Todi, in the name of the Sacred College. It 
was further stipulated that Girolamo should repair to his 
own States, and Virginio Orsini with his adherents to 
Viterbo, whilst the Colonna were to evacuate the city, and 
Giacomo Conti was to give up the guard of the Palace ; a 
truce was also concluded which was to begin on the 
Coronation-clay of the new Pope and to last for a month.* 

When order had thus, to a certain extent, been re 
established, it was possible to think seriously of making- 
preparations for the Conclave in the Vatican. On the 
25th August the obsequies of Sixtus IV. were finished, 
and on the day following, the 25 Cardinals present in 
Rome went into Conclave. $5 



t Cf. the despatch of Vespucci in THUASNK, I., 502, 504, as also the 
Latin account in SCHAIARSOW, Melozzo, 377. 

I INFESSURA, 164 5; SAXUDO, Vite, 1235; PASOLIXI, I., 156^77.; 
THUASNK, 1., 507, 510, and Arch. d. Soc. Rom, XL, 622-3. Caterina 
made difficulties in the beginning, see PASOLINI, he. cit. 

(!.. 209) erroneously states Aug. 27th as the date on which the Cardinals 


I < or man)- years the number of the electors had not been 
so considerable; at the Conclave of Nicholas V., Pius II. 
and Sixtus IV., only 1<S Cardinals had been present: at 
that of Calixtus III. only I 5 ; at the election of Paul II., 20. 
With regard to the different nationalities, the proportion 
was about the same as in 1471 ; the Italian Cardinals had 
a complete majority over the 4 foreigners, 2 Spaniards, 
Horgia and Moles: I Portuguese, Giorgio da Costa, and i 
Frenchman, Philibert llugonet. 

We have she\vn in our account of the Pontificate of 
Sixtus IV. the disastrous effects of his having augmented 
the number of the worldly-minded Cardinals.* The Con 
claves of 1484 and 1492 are among the most deplorable in 
the annals of Church History. 

The first step taken by the Cardinals in Conclave was 
to draw up an election capitulation ; in doing so, they 
openly disregarded the prohibitions of Innocent VI. This 
capitulation, which was signed by all the Cardinals on the 
2Sth August, shews a notable increase in their demands ; 
the monarchical constitution of the Church was to be 
changed into an aristocratic one, and the personal interests 
of the electors were the primary consideration. The first 
clause in the document provided that each Cardinal should 
receive every month 100 ducats from the Apostolic 
Treasury, unless he had a yearly income of 4000 ducats 
from his own benefices. The next regulation, a new 

went into Conclave. The number ol electors varies in different accounts. 
Sec NOVAKS, 56 and ClACONIUS, III. ,92, 103 ; however, all the authentic 
source^ a-ree in the number of 25, see Sic.lSMOXDo DK ! COX J I, I., 209 
scq.\ PAOLO IM.U.O MASTRO, loc. dt.\ Iit/Kc:iiAki>i Diarium, I., 24: 
Arrivabene in a* Report of 25th Au-.. 1484 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua), 
and -Acta Con.^;>t., Arm. ^i, T. 52, 1. 09. Secivt Archives ot the 

* ( / I ASTOR, IIUt. 1 ope- , I\ r ., 409 ,v<v/. (Kn^l. trans. ), and supra. 
Introduction, p. I 70. 


one, secured a complete indemnification for such Cardinals 
as might be punished by secular Princes for their vote, with 
the confiscation of their revenues. Not till these matters 
have been settled do the really salutary measures affecting 
the public welfare appear, such as the vigorous prosecution 
of the war with the Turks, the reform of the Church, the 
convocation of a Council, the suppression of nepotism. " It 
does not seem to have occurred to the Cardinals that the 
good election of a worthy Pope would have been a much 
more efficacious remedy against abuses than the most 
detailed election capitulation."* 

There existed a great divergency of opinion as to who 
would be raised to the Pontifical dignity. The Mantuan 
Envoy reported on Aug. I5th that Cardinal Stefano Nardini 
had the best chance, because he was popular with the 
people of Rome, and favoured by a great number of the 
Cardinals. " Others mention the old Cardinal Conti who 
belongs to the party of the Orsini, a worthy man whose 
clever brother is held in high esteem. Cardinal Moles 
Spanish descent is objected to, but as he is a good and 
venerable old man, and a stranger to all the intrigues 
carried on at Rome, many think that he stands a good 
chance of being elected. Marco Barbo is also spoken of 
as a candidate ; he would make an excellent Pope, because 
of his noble character, his ability, and the general esteem 
in which he is held, " but," the Envoy adds, "he is a 
Venetian."-)- We have already mentioned the valuable 
DoLLINGKR, Kirchcngcschichte, 357. For the original text of the 
Election Capitulation, see RAYXALDUS, ad an. 1484,11. 28 scq. ARKTJX, 
P.eitr. z. Geschichte, I., 6, 73 seq.; and ] ,URCHARDI Diarium, I., 33 scq.\ 
in the same work, p. 62, is the confirmation by oath of these regulations, 
by the elected Pontiff. On the different clauses of this document, cf. 
Gon i. 01:, Cam. Ap., 238, 288, 291. 

t Report of Stefano Guidotti, dat. Rome, 1484, Aug. 15111, in CiAX, 
Cat. Sforxa, 9. 


services rendered by Barbo in the time of confusion after 
the death of Sixtus IV. : his election would no doubt have 
proved a blessing for the Church. Other contemporaries 
are of the same opinion. " All the courtiers," writes the 
Sienese Envoy, Aug. 22nd, " and those who are not blinded 
by passion, are anxious for the election of Barbo or Picco- 
lomini in the interests of the Church. Piccolomini is 
supported by Naples, Barbo by Milan ; Cardinal Borgia 
is zealously canvassing for himself."* The party of the 
Orsini, leagued with Count Girolamo, had exerted all their 
inlluence in favour of Borgia and eventually of Conti, ever 
since the death of Sixtus IV.f 

Italian diplomacy was of course not idle. All the States 
which had been in alliance before and through the peace of 
Bagnolo,* joined hands to procure the Tiara for a friend of 
the Italian League, or at least for one who would be neutral. 
Venetians, Genoese and Ultramontanes (non- Italians), were 
to be excluded ; but with regard to individual candidates, 
there was a great divergency of opinion among the allies. 
The personal ambition of the Cardinals also played an 
important part in the contest. Arlotti, the Envoy of 
Ferrara, says in a despatch of Aug. 26th : " The competition 
may possibly become so hot, that in the end a neutral 
candidate like Moles, Costa, or Piccolomini all worthy 
men may be elected. " Alfonso, duke of Calabria and 

* Arch. cl. Sor. Rom, XL, 023-4. 

t Report of the Sienese envoy of i6th August, 1484, Joe. cif. 6iS- i<). 

4 PASTOR, I list. Popes, IV., 38^ .SYC/. (KnLjl. trans.). 

s " Per quelli <la Milanose fa puncta per Xovara o Milano, per la M Kl 
del Re per Xapoli o Vire-cancellicro. Per altri S. Marco o Malfeta. Kt 
taut. i poteria essere la roncurrentia, tra costoro die la sorte poteria 
adiadere sujira uno tie c|iiesti tri (ierunda, Portu-allo o Sena die sono 
tenuti neutrali, rl pc r.^one di-ne. ^"Despatch ol Ailntti. dat. Koine, 1484. 
August .?oth. State Ardiix es, Modena. 


Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Bari, Vice-regent of Milan, tried 
to influence the electors more directly by a letter sent to 
their ambassadors at Rome, August 26th. It contained 
express orders to request Girolamo Riario and Virgin io 
Orsini to use all their influence to oppose the election of 
Cardinals Costa, Cibo, Savelli and Barbo, without, however, 
having recourse to violence. In this document, six other 
Cardinals are recommended ; unfortunately, however, their 
names are not mentioned. On the same day a correspond 
ing despatch was sent to the Cardinals Giovanni d Ara- 
gona and Ascanio Maria Sforza, to be handed at the 
Consistory to all the Cardinals, and to be read there in 
public. If this document had arrived in time, we should 
have the first instance of a formal interference, both 
exclusive and inclusive, by a Government in the Papal 

The real leader of the Cardinals who sided with the 
league, was the Vice-chancellor Rodrigo Borgia. All the 
reports agree in stating that this ambitious prelate was 
trying his utmost to obtain the Tiara. As early as August 
1 8th, 1484, the Florentine Envoy reports that Borgia was 
working hard for his own election, and that he had promised 
the post of Vice-chancellor and his own palace to Cardinal 
Giovanni d Aragona, and 25,000 ducats and the Abbey of 
Subiaco to Cardinal Colonna, and that he had held out 
similar bribes to Cardinal Savelli.-]- " Rodrigo Borgia cer 
tainly is one of the most active competitors," says the Envoy 
from Eerrara, three days later ; " however, it is impossible 
to give a decided opinion as yet, as to what his chances are." 
The Envoy then recalls the Roman proverb, which is here 
perhaps mentioned for the first time in writing. " He who 

GATTINA, I., 308 scg. ; SAC.MULLER, I apsiwahlcn, 104-5. 

t TlIUASNE, I., 503. 


enters the Conclave a Tope, leaves it a Cardinal."" 
Giovanni d Aragona, the son of Kcrrante of Naples, Ascanic 
Sfor/.a and the Camerlcngo Kaffaele Riario were entirely 
on the side of Borgia ; the latter counted with such 
certainty on success, that he had made all necessary pre 
parations for protecting his magnificent palace against the 
pillage which generally followed the election. f However 
in s])itc of all his promises of money, lands and benefices 
he was unable to obtain the decided majority. u Bornn 
has the reputation of being so false and proud," the Floren 
tine Envoy writes, August 21st, " that there is no danger of 
his being elected. * lie had given them a specimen of hk 
faithlessness immediately after the death of Sixtus IV. 
I litherto he had always sided with the Colonna, he now went 
over to the Orsini through whose help he hoped to secure 
his election : but at last he recognised the impossibility 
of attaining his object : he therefore began to promote that 
of his countryman Moles, whose age and infirm health 
would probably soon entail a fresh Conclave. ; The head 
of the opposition part)-, Giuliano dclla Eoverc, found him 
self in a similar position, lie could only count with 
certainty on the Cardinals Savelli, Colonna. Cibo and the 
two La Rovere. The weakness of both parties became 
apparent in the first scrutiny on the morning of the 8th 
August: Cardinal Barbo obtained ten, or according to 
other accounts eleven or twelve votes. Jakob Burchard, 
the master of ceremonies reports that for fear of Barbo 
Sopra tutti pin for/a de pratu a fa el Yice-cancelliero per se, ma 
rcrtamcnlc perlln a (|iia non so puo firmarc el iiuli< io. Am lie r (|tia pro 
verbio, chc per opinione intra pap;i in conclave UM SCC fuora cardinale 
* Report of 15. Arlotti, dat. Koine. 1484, Au-. 21. State Archives, Modena 

t Not. tli Nantiporto, K.KJI ; TllUASNK, I., 519. 

I TIIUASNK, I., 507. 

SCUM \KM >\v, Mehv/ 


obtaining the necessary seventeen votes it was resolved that 
in the first scrutiny there should be no accessit* 

Giuliano now began to bestir himself in earnest. His 
candidate was a man who owed everything to him : 
Giovanni Battista Cibo, Cardinal of S. Cecilia and Bishop 
of Molfetta. He threw himself into the contest with all the 
unscrupulous energy of his nature and did not hesitate to 
have recourse to bribery in order to attain his objcct.f The 
worldly-minded Cardinals were all the easier now to win 
over, because they were afraid that he might ally himself 
with the Venetians, in which case Barbo, whose principles 
in morals were very strict, would have ascended the chair 
of S. Peter. Giuliano succeeded first in gaining the Card 
inals Orsini, Raffaele Riario, then Ascanio Sforza. Sforza 
was followed by Borgia, and the latter persuaded Giovanni 
d Aragona to join their party. J Jakob Burchard, who took 
part in the Conclave, relates that Cardinal Cibo won the 
votes of his future electors by signing petitions for favours 
which they presented to him during the night in his cell. 

* liURCH AUDI Diariiim, I., 56-57. In the *Mandati of Innocent VIII., 
Vol. I. (1484-86), we find entered 28th Sept., 1484, a sum paid to Joanni 
Burkardo, clerico cerimoniar. State Archives, Rome. 

t The statements of the Envoys referring to this matter can nearly all 
be proved correct. Cf. HAC.KN, PapsUvahlen, 14-15. 

J Cf. Reports of Vespucci in TliUASNE, I., 516 scy. ; also INFESSURA, 
i/o scy., and SAOMULLKK, 108 scq.\ \\. Arlotti reports, ist Sept., 
1484, to his master : *Como sia proceduta questa ellection seria unlungo 
dire, ma questa c la verita che San Piero ad vincula e qucllo clie lo ha 
lac to papa et li rev 1111 car 1 Aragona et Visconti Thano seguito. Perche 
altramente tocavano cum mane, che San Picro ad vincula se seria inteso 
cum li cardinal! Venetian! el seria lie caduta la sorte in el car 1 S. Marco, 
cl qual nel ])rimo scrutinio hebbe piu voce cha niuno altro et per questo 
la segucnte nocte fuo voltata tutta questa pratica in modo che costui 
L papa et diiamase Innocentio ottavo. State Archives, Modena. 

; i T.L RCii AUDI Diarium, I., 61. I agree with S. \r,M ru.KR, i TO scy., 
igaiiibt llAdKX, 1 apbtwahlen. 8 scg., in the interpretation of this passage. 

The negotiations li;ul Listed through the whole night : by 
the morning of jfjtli August, 1484, Giuliano della Kovere 
had secured eighteen votes for Cibo. The opposition party 
now gave up all resistance as useless. At 9 o clock a.m. 
Cardinal Piccolomini was able to announce to the crowd 
assembled outside the Vatican, that Cardinal C ibo had been 
elected and had assumed the name of IXNOCICNT VIII. 
The people burst forth into acclamations, the bells of the 
palace of S. Peter s began to ring, and the thunder of 
cannons resounded from the C astle of S. Angclo.* 

The newly-elected Pontiff, who, for the first time, again 
assumed a name borne by a Pope during the Schism, was 
52 years old. lie was above middle size, strongly built, 
and his face was full, his complexion strikingly fair, and his 
eyes wcak.f He was descended from a Genoese family of 
good position ; who were related to the wealthy Dona.* In 
the accounts of his genealogy there is much that is 
legendary, and it remains uncertain whether the Cibo are 
of Asiatic origin, or whether they are connected with the 
Tomacelli, the family of Innocent VII.; but Aran Cibo is 
mentioned in Genoese documents of 1437 as having been 
made ^liiziaiio in that city, and employed for some time- 
both in the government and the administration of justice 

It can hardly he doubted any longer that the election of Innocent VIII. 
\\a - simoniacal. 

* UrRciiAuni Dianuin, I., 62 ; I AOI.O DKI.I.O MASTRO, cd. I elaex, 
1 06. 

t Cf. Reports in TIIUASNK, I., 517: Sir.isMoxno ni; Coxri, II., 57. 
Portrait of Innocent VIII., on the papal ioin in FkAKXoi, Math. Cor- 
vinu-, 227. 

I For an account of the family of Cibo sec Sr\i i i I I i, I., 5 \ t v/. 
Arrivabene specially mentions the relationship of tlie Pope \\iih La/.xaro 
Doria in a " x "Ke])ort dal. Koine-, 14^5, May loth: lie says, I.. l)ona c 
molto intimo al 1 apa; e lo pill ricc:ho citadino di quella c ita. (.on/a^a 
Archi\c^, Mantua. 


at Naples, and also as having been a Roman senator in 
1455.* He married Teodorina dc Mari, a Genoese lady 
of patrician birth ; Giovanni Battista Cibo, born in 1432, 
was the issue of this marriage. lie studied at Padua and 
at Rome, and in his youth had no intention of taking 
Orders, and his life at the licentious court of Aragon was no 
better than that of many others in his position. He had 
two illegitimate children, a daughter, Teodorina, and a son, 
Franceschetto.f It is characteristic of Cardinal Giuliano, 
that he did not scruple to help in promoting a man of such 
antecedents to the supreme dignity. However, it is certain 

* VlANI, Memone cl. famiglia Cibo (Pisa, 1808); Atti Mod., VII., 
509 sey., 319; CiAcoxirs, III., 104; MARIXI, I., 228; RKUMOXT, 
r,citnige, IV., 192 seq.\ VITALE, Storia de Scnat. di R., II., 450. The 
statements of CKRRI, 59 sc<]., are mostly unreliable. 

t The accusation brought against him by IXFKSSURA (p. 175) of his 
having violated his " votum castitatis" when a priest, is false, for SIGIS- 
MOXDO UK COXTI says expressly (II., 33) : Habuit Innocentius Francis- 
chellum et Theodorinam filios ante sacerdotium. I Jut the statement that 
these children were the offspring of a legitimate marriage is equally in 
correct, for Sigismondo adds immediately after : non ex uxore susceptos ; 
cf. also II., 37, and BURCIIARDI Diarium, I., 321, as well as the authors 
there quoted. It is doubtful whether there were any other children 
besides these, although this might be inferred from the Envoy s Reports 
in TnuASXK, I., 517-19; see CREIGHTOX, III., 120. The statements 
of Infessura and of the poet Marullus who speak of seven or sixteen 
children are exaggerations. In a matter of such weight an epigram 
matist is a.3 doubtful an authority as Infessura, whose untrustworthiness 
we have proved above. The epigram of Marullus : 

" Octo nocens pueros genuit, totidemqnc pucllas ; 
1 1 unc mcrito potuit dicere Roma pat re m" 

which has often been literally interpreted, is clearly a mere play of words. 
In 1883 the Museum of Berlin bought a more than life-size bust of 
Teodorina Cibo, with the following inscription on the pedestal : Teodorina 
(. ibo Inno. VIII., P. M. f. singul. exempli Matrona formaeque dignitatc 


that from the moment Giovanni Battista entered the 
ecclesiastical state, all the accusations against the purity of 
his private life cease. The fact also that the irreproachable 
Cardinal Calandrini took him into his service seems to 
indicate a reform in his morals. In April 1469, Paul II. 
bestowed on him the bishopric of Savona, which he ex 
changed under Sixtus IV. for that of Molfetta (situated near 
Bari on the Adriatic).* Cibo formed a close intimacy with 
Giuliano, the nephew of Sixtus IV., and to him especially 
lie owed his speedy promotion. The Pope liked the Bishop 
of Molfetta because of his gentle amiable character ; he 
made him his Datary, and gave him the Red Hat on the 
7th May, 1473.! Cibo was general 1)- called Molfetta from 
the name of his bishopric. 

In the exercise of his ecclesiastical ministry, Cibo gained 
great popularity. " Nobody left him without being con 
soled/ says a contemporary, " he received all with truly 
fatherly kindness and gentleness ; he was the friend of 
high and low, of rich and poor." * Sixtus IV. thought so 
highly of him, that at his departure! from Rome in June 
14/6, he left him behind as Legate. Cibo filled this post, 
an extremely thorn}" one in the state of affairs at that 
time, to the complete satisfaction of the Pope. 

* GAMS. R n2, 898, an d UC.HKI.I.I, IV.. ;.j i : I., 918 : |;irob. Vnlaterranus 
in MURATORI, XX II I., i 19. 

t 1 ). Arlotti writes i st Sept. i.icS.j to his Duke : *That he knew the new 
Pope very \\ell \\hen he was a Cardinal, hut honoivs mutant mores, ma 
certamente la beni^nita et afabilita 1 ha tanto innata et abiiuata c h 
ou;niuno sta in ferma speran/a die habiamo un bon I apa. (State 
Archives, Modena.) Acifidius of Vilerbo says of Innocent \ III.: " x "Oui 
cum omnium mortalium hunianissiinii.s ac comis maxima atque urbanus 
esset, Sixto cams effectus dalarius ac tandem cardinally e->l factus. 
ll iM. vix mti secul., C. od. c. t S, 19, f. 314. Angelica Liliraiy at Koine. 

.; DK Co\ l f, I., 2ii 12; Tlll ASNK, 1., 517 19: and 
also (ioTTI.Ol 1 ., in the 1 1 1 -toi IM he Jahrlj., \"II.. } I 6. 

VOL. v. K 


All accounts agree in praising the kindness, the benevo 
lent and amiable disposition of the newly-elected Pope, 
but they are equally unanimous in condemning his want of 
independence and weakness. " He gives the impression of a 
man who is guided rather by the advice of others than by 
his own lights," says the Florentine Ambassador of him, as 
early as Aug. 29th, 1484, and he also speaks of him as 
wanting in solid education and experience in political 
affairs.* It is not surprising that Giuliano della Rovere, to 
whom Cibo owed his promotion to the dignities both of 
Cardinal and Pope, obtained an unbounded ascendency 
over a character of this kind. " While with his uncle he 
had not the slightest influence, he now obtains whatever he 
likes from the new Pope," remarks the Envoy from Ferrara, 
Sept. 1 3th, 1484. "Send a good letter to the Cardinal 
of S. Peter," the Florentine Envoy writes to Lorenzo de 
Medici, " for he is Pope and more than Popc."f The 
practical result of these relations was that Cardinal della 
Rovere came to reside in the Vatican, while his brother 
Giovanni, already Prefect of Rome, was named Captain- 
general of the Church, in December. + 

* FABRONIUS, II., 257, 259 ; THUASXK, I., 517 ; REUMONT, Lorenzo, 
II., 200, ed. 2. 

t See FABRONIUS, II., 259, and BROSCIT, Julius II., 308. The 
Genoese Envoy at Rome, Lazzaro Doria, remarks in a * Report of 
231x1 Aug., 1485, that it was the same thing to treat with the Pope or 
with Giuliano della Rovere: rhe e tutto uno effecto. State Archives, 

BURCHARDI Diarium, I., 71, 124; Not. di Nantiporto, 1093; and 
CAPPKLLI, Cartegoj, I., 277. Innocent VIII. had communicated the 
news of his election to Giovanni della Rovere on the day itself, and had 
added an invitation to come to Rome. (* Lib. brev. 18, f. 2 1 , Secret Ar- 
< hives of the Vatican.) The ^Letter of Arlotti, dat. Rome, 1484, Sept. 13, 
says : Madama. Se la V. S. J. ha intcso de la gran bona gratia ha cum el 
novo papa tra et sopra 1 altri el r. car - Sanpiero ad vincula 1 ha inteso 


Immediately after his election, Innocent VIII. had 
pledged his word to the magistrates to bestow all civic 
offices and benefices on Roman citizens only. It was his 
failure in keeping this promise, which so incensed Infcssura, 
the secretary of the Roman Senate, that he composed a 
series of caustic epigrams against him.* In judging this 
matter we must consider, however, that it was very hard 
for the Pope u to keep his promise in the face of the claims 
of the greed} prelates." f The electors and their adherents 
had to be rewarded, personal relations and friends to be 
considered ; but the just complaints against this unpromising 
beginning of his Pontificate were kept in the background 
for the time being, by the brilliant festivities of the Corona 
tion and the possesso. 

On Sept. i ith, all the preparations for the Coronation, in 
which artists like Perugino and Antoniasso Romano were 
engaged, were completed. J The ceremony itself took 
place on the following day. In the morning the Pope 
went to S. Peter s, celebrated High Alass there, and gave 
his benediction to the people. Then Cardinal Piccolo- 
mini crowned him outside the Hasilica. After a short 
interval, he went in solemn procession to take possession 

molto ben el voro ; et la rausn e nota rlie Sanpiero ad vincula 1<> fere 
far vesrovo hut only <>l Molfetin) ; et poi rardinale el novissimnmenle 
li ha diirato faliea assay el havnto bona parte a larlo papa el S.S. vole 
li slia apresso el alo^ia in pallalio. (.State Archives, Modena.) Innocent 
\ 111. had proposed the nomination ot Giovanni della Ro\ erc in a 
Consistory held Nov. 26th, and all the Cardinals had a^i eed to it. 
"Letter of A. S for/a \\riilen on this day. State Archives, Milan. 

t ( iki.ookuvirs, \ II., 272, cd. 3. 

+ SciiMAksott , M elo//o. 371. In the * Mandnli, i.|N.( S6 \\e find 
entered for the 28th September, 14^4, payment lor XIII. tihianis qiii 
interfuernnt coronation! S.D.N. Un the i<;th January, 14^5, there are 
-.till several sums entered pro lesto eoronationis. Slate .Ai < 1m es. Rome. 


(posscsso) of the Lateran J ) alacc. The homage of the Jews 
usual on such occasion took place in the interior of the 
Castle of S. Angelo ; the object of this arrangement was 
to protect them against ill-usage from the populace. 
Burcharcl gives a minute description of the magnificent 
procession to the Lateran, and there exist several other 
accounts of it in Italian, and one in German, so that we 
possess ample information in regard to all its details. 
An immense crowd of people thronged the streets, which 
were decorated with green boughs and gorgeous hangings 
and carpets. Sixteen noblemen carried " the canopy, 
under which the Pope rode on a while horse richly 
caparisoned in white and gold. He had on his head 
a golden crown, and over his shoulders the pallium ; 
and wore round his neck a costly amice, and a cross 
of gold on his breast, and blessed the people as he 

Innocent VIII., whose affability is highly praised by the 
Envoy from Fcrrara,-f had all the more cause for being 
satisfied in so far that the day and all the ceremonies had 
passed over without any hitch or disturbance worth 
mentioning."} On the same day the solemn Bulls were 

* CllMEL, Materialien zur Ocsterrcirh. Gesch., II., 358 (\Yien, 1838). 
The above account taken from the Archives of Riedeck has been over 
looked both by Reumont and Gregorovius. Cf. also especially BUR- 
CHARDI Diarium, I., 90 scq. (see CANCELLIERI, Possess!, 46 seq. ; 
BERLINER, ll., 75); letter of Vespucci of Sept. 13111, 1484, in GENNA- 
RELLI, 48 ; PAOLO DELLO A I ASTRO, eel. Pelaez, 106, and the *Report 
of 13. Arlotti, tl. U. Rome, 1484, Sept. 13111. State Archives, Moelena. 

t For the Report quoted see supra, p. 242, note . 

J The Duke of Milan wrote to his envoy F. A. de Talentis, Sept. iQth, 
1484, that he learned with very great pleasure from his letter of the 
1 4th, that the Coronation of the Pope had taken place con tanta solemnita 
et qinete de quello populo ejuanto desyderare se fosse potato. (State 
Archives, Milan. ) Cf. also An h. d. Soc. Rom, XL, 629. 

<iUUl> INTENTIONS OF Till , [ OPE. 245 

drawn up which acquainted all Christian Prince.-, and 
States with the accession of the new Pope, and asked their 
prayers fora prosperous Pontificate. *" 

Prayers were certainly greatly needed, for Innocent 
VIII. entered upon the government of the Church and 
the Pontifical States under circumstances of great difficulty, 
aggravated by the deplorable state of the finances of the 
Holy Sec.f It cannot be denied that the newly-elected 
Pontiff was full of good intentions. Three things, he 
repeated on his Coronation-day, he was resolved to pursue 
with the greatest zeal ; peace, justice, and the welfare of 

* The Pope bad informed i-crne princes and prelates of his election, 
before bis Coronation. Cf. I\.\Y\.\I.I)L S, ad an. 1484, n. 46 sc</. The 
otli> lal " A T)ull Salvator nostcr, dat. prid. Id. Sept., has been preserved in the 
Archives of Florence, Cologne and Mantua. From F>N"\i.X, III., 8 So, it 
appears that a similar Uull bad been sent to the Universities of Cologne, 
however this P>ull no longer exists, though the one addressed to the 
I nivcrsity of Cracow is still extant, see Monum. Pol., XL, 306. The 
Universities of Paris and of I leidelberg wc> e also informed of the election 
by a .special letter, sec GUETTKE, VIII., 60 ; HALT/, I., ^54. The cities 
ot the Papal Stales / / . Cod. ( ., IV., r, of the Library of the University 
ot Genoa) and the chief prelates and archbishops received likewise a 
i (> ial notice. Cf. the Regest. of the Pull addressed to the An hbishop 
of Salzburg in the Archives of the Imperial and Royal government of 
Salzburg, Rub. I., fasc. 4- . The numerous Embassies of Obedience are 
all entered in lUinhardi I)iarium. Of the Envoys addresses of con 
gratulation to the new I ope, main" of which were printed at the time, 
those of Tito Vespasiano Stro//a (cf. the monographs of Albrecht 
[Dresden, 1891] 50;, and of John \on Dalbcrg, liishop of \\ orms, were 
the most admired; the latter was considered a wonderful production 
for a German ; the fact that it passed through two edition.-, in Rome 
proves how highly thought of it was. Cf. MoKNKWMC,, Job. v. Dalberg, 
95 99- Heidelberg, 1887. 

t lireve regibus Hispanic, dal. ut s. (7 Dec., 14X4) : Invcninuis in h.ic 
nostia ad apostol.itus api< em assumptionc aerarium (amere a|>o.4 non 
modo pe> uniis exhatistum, sed debitis eliam magnis gra\-atum. Lib. 
brev. 18, f. 74, Secret Archives of the Vatican 


the city.* .Accordingly, he provided for a stricter surveill 
ance and administration of justice in Rome, and com 
missioned some of the Cardinals to endeavour to bring 
about an accommodation between the Colonna and Orsini.f 
Even beyond the boundaries of his own territory, Innocent 
was anxious to extend the blessings of peace. He was 
especially desirous of putting an end to the prolonged 
dispute about Sarzana. On the i/th Sept. he had entered 
into negotiations on this subject with the Envoys of Naples, 
Florence and Milan. In accordance with the recent under 
standing, the Pope said on this occasion, he considered it 
a supreme duty of his Apostolic office to bring about this 
peace, so that all Italian States might enjoy its happy 
results, and might recover from the heavy expenses which 
had left the Holy See burdened with a debt of more than 
250,000 ducats. The dispute about Sarzana, complicated 
by the attack of the Florentines on Pietrasanta, caused him 
great anxiety, because of the character of the Genoese, 
who would not hesitate to set the world on fire, and who 
had already brought foreigners to Italy on other occasions, 
Genoa had applied to him to settle the affair by a judicial 
pronouncement. He knew that his predecessor had failed 
in his attempt to do this, but, being a Genoese himself and 
in a more favourable position than Pope Sixtus, he hoped 
to attain his object, especially as he felt sure that the 
Signoria of Florence would do their utmost to smooth the 
way 4 

* *Che ad trc cose vole attender cum studio et efficatia : a pace, 
iuslitia, et abundantia. * Report of B. Arlolli of 13111 Sept., 1484. 
Arlotti had already reported, Sept. 1st, that the dispositions of the Pope 
were extremely pacific. (Both ^Letters in the State Archives, Modena.) 

t IXFKSSURA, 177, and Ambassadorial Report in Arch. d. Soc. Rom, 
XL, 631. On the deputation of Cardinals cf. * Letter of Card. A. Sforza 
dat. Rome, Sept. 26, 1484. State Archives, Milan. 

t Report of Vespucci of i8th Sept., 1484, in GLXXAKLLLI, 51 sc<j.\ 

ILLNKSS OK Till ] I OI K. 247 

A fc\v clays hitcr, 22nd September, the names of the new 
Cardinal Legates were published. Xardini was to go to 
Avignon, Moles to the Campania, Savelli to Bologna, 
Orsini to the March of Aneona, and Ascanio Sfor/a to 
the Patrimony of S. Peter. Areimboldi was confirmed as 
Legate of Perugia.* Existing circumstances made it a 
matter of especial urgency that a Legate should be sent 
at once to Avignon,t however, neither Xardini nor Moles 
ever entered upon the duties of their office ; the former 
died October 22nd, the latter, November 2 1st, 1484.^ 

The Pope himself had fallen ill in October 1484. Soon 
it became evident that in spite of his good resolutions, he 
had neither energy nor prudence enough to be successful 
in his mediation between the jealous and quarrelsome 
States of Italy. His interference in the dispute about 
Sarzana had no effect. In the Spring of the following 
year, Innocent again fell sick, and at the same time the feud 
between the Orsini and Colonna broke out afresh. Sigis- 
mondo de Conti tells us, that on the I2th March, 1485, the 
Pope was seized with a violent fever, which kept him in 
bed for three months ; and he was in such a critical state 

RKl MONT. Lorcn/o, II., 208, cf. 197, 232 scq., cd. 2. See also the 
very rare treatise of G I ACT) MO DA FlKNO, Delia le^axione a Roma di 
La//, no I )oria il 1485: Sa^^lo di studi sulla diploma/ia (ienove^c. 
{ Sampirrdarena, 1863), which Reumont has overlooked. 

* In IU RCllARIH Diarium, I., 125, it is slated, without date, that thi^ 
took plate in the second Consistory. The date ^iven above is taken 
fmm a ** Report of A. Sfor/a of Sept. 22nd, see Appendix, X. i. 
Slate Archives, Milan. 

t C /] on this point the * Brief to the Kin# of France of Oct. i6th, 1484. 
Lib. l>rcv. 1 8, f. 36. Secret Archi\ es of the Vatican. 

; BURCHARDl Diarium, I., 113, 115; * Letter of Cardinal A. Sior/a, 
dat. Koine, 1484, Oct. 241)1. Slate Archive^, Mil, in. 

^ "Last ni-lU the Pope IV11 ill," Cardinal Ascanio Sfor/a reports 
in a ^Letter, dat. Koine, 14X4, Oct. nth. Stah Ari liives, Modcna. 


that one clay it was rumoured that he was dead. The 
Protonotary, Obbietto Fieschi, sent word at once to the 
Orsini that the Pope had expired. They immediately posted 
troops on the Ponte Molle and all the bridges of the Anio 
in order to secure free communication with the city ; but 
they had soon to repent of this manoeuvre, for the report 
of the Pope s death proved false. The skilful treatment 
of the famous physicians, Podocatharo and Giacomo da 
Gencsio, had saved the life of Innocent VIII. The Pope, 
who had always favoured the Colonna, now grew more 
partial to them than ever. The fortune of war also seemed 
to smile on them in the beginning ; in two clays they took 
Ncmi and Genzano, but they were afterwards defeated by 
the Orsini.* 

These endless disputes, which Innocent VIII. tried in 
vain to allay, were seriously aggravated by the estrange 
ment between the Pope and the King of Naples, which 
continued to increase from day to day. 

SlC.lSMONDO ])!; CONTI, I., 2l8-2O; BURCHARDI Diarilim, I., 142 ; 

IXFKSSURA, 178; Not. di Nantiporto, 1093. In a ^Letter dated 1485, 
April 5th, Cardinal A. Sfor/a specially mentions the weak state of the 
Pope after his illness. State Archives, Milan. 


ALTHOUGH King Ferrante of Naples had done his best 
before the Papal election to exclude Cardinal Cib<\ he now 
made a great show of cordiality, and immediately sent him 
a letter of congratulation. Innocent lost no time in send 
ing his thanks, and reminding him of his former relations 
with Naples, assured him that he would do for him all he 
conscientiously could, but he added, that he hoped Fcrrantc 
on his part would shew himself a true Catholic Prince.* 

The first note of discord in the relations between Rome 
and Naples was struck by the King s son, Alfonso, Duke 
of Calabria. He came to Rome on the 2Oth October, 14^4, 
on iiis return from Fcrrara, and was received by the Pope 
with all possible marks of honour and friendship ; f but 
when the Duke demanded the incorporation of Bcnevento, 
Terracina, and Ponte Corvo, with the territory of his father, 
Innocent VIII. refused to accede to his request. It is said 
that Alfonso replied in a menacing tone, saying, that 
before long he would make the Pope beg for the annexa 
tion, of his own accord. In consequence of this collision, 

* RAYXAI.DUS, ad. an. 1484, n. 47. 

t HfKCHAkDi Dianum, I., in; LEOSTKLLO, 43 set/. The Pope 
rereived Alfonso on (Jet. 22nd; alter that Cardinal Uor^ia ^ave i 
splendid banquet in his honour, see Appendix, X. 2, letter of Cardinal 
Aseanio Sior/.a of Oil. 22nd, 1484. State Arelme>, .Milan. 


it seemed doubtful whether the Neapolitan Embassy of 
Obedience would be sent to Rome. To bring this about, 
the Pope had recourse to a very strange expedient. Bulls 
were drawn up annexing the cities as demanded, but these, 
instead of being handed over to the King, were entrusted 
to the keeping of Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, while 
Innocent VIII. made a declaration before a notary, that 
the documents were only intended for show, in order to 
appease the impetuous King for the moment. It was not 
at all his intention to give up his claim to the cities, and he 
was resolved, if necessary, to meet force with force. As 
Alfonso drew up troops on the borders of the Papal States, 
the Pope also began to collect an army and to look out for 
allies.* Above all, Innocent VIII. tried to gain Venice. 
On February 28th, 1485, the canonical penalties imposed 
by Sixtus IV. upon the Venetians were withdrawn, and 
the Signoria responded by sending their Embassy of 
Obedience.f Tommaso Catanei, Bishop of Cervia, was 
sent to Venice, to arrange for the transference of Roberto 
Sanseverino, the captain of the mercenary troops, to the 
Papal service.^ 

The relations between Rome and Naples became more 
and more strained, owing to the conduct of Ferrante, w r ho 
not only refused to pay the tribute for his fief, but inter 
fered unjustifiably in purely ecclesiastical matters, de- 

* SlfJISMOXDO I)E J CONTI, I., 2l6. 

t The Bull of Absolution in RAYNALDUS., ad an. 1485, n. 45 ; cf. 
NAVACJIERO, 1 192 ; MALIPIERO, 301. *Brief to the Doge G. Mocenigo, 
of March 2nd, 1485 (State Archives, Venice). ^Letter of Cardinal A. 
Sforza, dat. Rome, 1485, Feb. 28th (State Archives, Milan), and 
^Despatch of Arrivabene, dat. Rome, 1485, March 26th (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). On the Obedience, see BURCHARDI Diarium, I., 
148-9 ; *Junc 29th, Innocent VIII.. thanked the Doge for it ; see Lib. 
brev. 1 8, f. 207 b, Secret Archives of the Vatican. 



spoiled the clingy by arbitrary taxes, and openly sold bi.*> 
bishoprics to utterly unsuitable persons. * In the Summer 
of 1485 the two Courts came to an open rupture. On the 
feast of SS. Peter and Paul, the Neapolitan Knvoy 
appeared with the customary white horse but without the 
tribute. It was impossible for the Tope to accept the lame 
excuse that the King was not able to pay because of his 
expedition against Otranto, as several years had passed 
since this event. When Innocent refused to accept the 
palfrey without the money, Ferrante s ambassador entered 
a formal protest. f 

Nearly at the same moment the Barons war broke out 
at Naples. This, " the most appalling of all the tragic 
dramas of the I5th Century," was caused by Alfonso of 
Calabria. This " overbearing, faithless and cruel " Prince 
persuaded his father to attempt to put down the discon 
tented nobles by a sudden and treacherous attack. In 
the Summer of 1485 he found an opportune moment. 
Count Montorio, who was Governor of the rich town of 
Aquila, was enticed to come to Chieti, and there taken 
prisoner ; the citadel of Aquila was immediately occupied 
by Neapolitan troops.* The Barons soon saw that the 
same fate awaited them which Louis XI. had prepared for 
his nobles ; they determined not to submit to the tyranny 
of the house of Aragon, but to take measures to defend 
themselves. In the autumn of 1485, the inhabitants of 
Aquila expelled the Neapolitan garrison and planted the 
banner of the Church on their walls. Their example 

* Sir.isMoxno HE CONTI, I., 226 sc</. Cf. RKUMOXT, Lorenzo, II., 

217. eel. 2 ; ClIRISTOPIlK, II., 51 I 12. 

t C, i AXXOX I., III., 350 .svy. 

; I ORZIO, 59 set/.; RLUMONT, Lorenzo, II., 217, ed. 2 ; (,01111. IN, 
Suclitalicn, 226. 

^ Cionichedi Xapoli, inArch. St. Nap., I., 57 ; XnTAR (ilACOMO, 156, 


was followed by several other Neapolitan cities arid terri 

Rome in July was visited with an outbreak of the 
Plague,f anc -l at the same time the course of events in the 
neighbouring kingdom was watched with anxious atten 
tion. "Innocent VIII.," the Mantuan Envoy reports, 
July i8th, 1485, "is entirely taken up with the affairs of 
the Barons." They had already laid their complaints 
against Ferrante before the Pope on a former occasion ; now 
again their messengers appeared in Rome to ask for help. 
Their language was that of men driven to desperation ; 
they would rather suffer any extremity than submit to the 
tyranny of Ferrante or Alfonso; if the Pope did not help 
them, they would put themselves under the protection of 
some foreign power. j" 

Thus we see that Innocent found himself forced into takin^ 


part in the war, and no great efforts were needed on the part 
of Giuliano, the sworn foe of the Aragonese, to bring him to 
a point. The danger was all the greater because both con 
tending parties were capable of seeking aid from the Turks. 
It was evident which side the Pope would take. Ferrante s 
conduct in ecclesiastical matters, as well as the experience 
of former Popes of his violence and treachery, left no room 

and RIYKKA, La dedizione clcgli Aquilani ad Innocenzo VIII., in Bollctt. 
(I. Soc. patria negli Abruzzi, I., 36 scq. Aquila, 1889. 

* NOTAR GlACOMO, 157 ; BORGIA, Bencvento, III., 422. 

t Cf. on tliis point the ^Letters of A. Sforza, dated Rome, July 2, 
11, and 22, 1485: many deaths numbers are flying from the city 
(State Archives, Milan). On the 7th July, Arlotti mentions the number 
of deaths ; on the iSth, he says that the Plague is spreading, and in 
October it was still raging. "Reports of the 7th, 8th, and loth October, 
all in the State Archives, Modena. 

I SIGTSMONDO DK CONTi, I., 227-8. ^Despatch of the Mantuan 
Envoy Arrivabene, dat. Rome, 1485, July iSth. Gonzaga Archives 
at Mantua. 


for doubt on this point.* At this moment Ferrante tried 
once more to avert the impending storm by sending his 
son, Cardinal Giovanni d Aragona as mediator to Rome ; 
but the Plague was raging there, the Cardinal was stricken 
and died on October ijth.t Whilst Ferrante s son was 
on his death-bed, the Cardinals^ discussed the affairs of 


Cf. LrrRT .T. VI., 345. and Rr.UMOXT. Lorenzo, II., 218, ed. ?.. 
As to Giuliano s motives, set- IJuosciI, Julitis II.. 54 scg. ; and also 
CiPOLLA, 632. Un calling in the Turks, see SlGlSMOXDO DF; COXTI, 
I., 228. 

f INFF.SSURA ed. Tommasini, 186 ^7.) makes out that Cardinal 
d Ara-ona died of poison (cf. MAZZUCIIFLLI, I., 2. 927). The editor. 
Tumma^ini, does not mention Gennarelli s remark "72) : Monumenta 
kgationum Florentinorum ne \-erbtim quidem f u iunt de veneno. 
NOTAR (il.U OMO, 153, does not speak of poi-.on either; LFOM I.l.LO, 
8r, expressly states that the Cardinal succumbed to a fever. Infessura, 
\viio moreover does not give the coi rect date tor the Cardinals death, 
is contradicted besides by several " "Reports of Ambassadors which I have 
di-c<)\ -ered. so that even Tommar-.ini \\ ill hardly maintain the accuracy of 
the chronicler in this case. The documents on which I rely are : i 
* Report of Arrivabene, dat. Rome, 1485, Oct. 171)1 : Questa nocte a 
le liorc X.. se ne mono lo card, de Arai^ona. (There is no mention ot 
poison. Gon/aga Archi\-es. Mantua\ 2) ^Letter of Arlotti, dat. Rome, 
1485. Oct. 7th,: 1 la-ueat Rome. Immediately after the arrival of Cardinal 
d Ara:jona t\\o of his companions dit-d. The Cardinal lumsell is in bud. 
(Jet. 8th : Numerous deaths in Rome. 1-11 ijiial cardmale ; d Ara^ona) sta 
pur cosi debile con la febre continua et doi proportional! (si\ ) brm IT 
mo-ti ano esser le^ieri, pur que^ta sira ha jjrcso una medicina de renbai- 
baro et prima per \ ia del stomacale se li e facta in piu volte bone evacua 
tion de sangue. S. S lla R" Kl spera ben de se et anche li meilici non 
desperano. C)> t. loth : The Cardinal is better. Oct. i 7th: Inquest horn 
el rev. et ill. quondam cardinale de Ragona \ estro cu-nato the Irtter is 
addressed to Duke Ercole) expiravit. C on gran de\ otion c-i religione e 
passato. 1 anegyric of the deceased. lo di- continuo me li sum trovato 
in la intirmita et in la moile. State Archive--, Modcna. 

J The absent C_ aidinaK \\ ere imitcd by *Iiriefs of Oct. 4;]]. !_} v> :. to 
return -needilv for the fo!l()\\iu- Saturday. I .rief- to ih;- effvct \\ere 

tchulaatic s Library 


Naples with the Tope. The result was, that the Holy See 
warmly embraced the interests of the ]>arons, took Aquila 
under its protection, and declared war against the King.* 
The Pull drawn up to justify this step is dated October 
1 4th, and was affixed to the door of S. Peter s ten days 


The King of Naples soon proved the insincerity of his 
proposals of peace to Rome, by openly declaring himself 
the protector of the Orsini who had a short time before re 
jected the offer of the Pope to act as mediator. J Ferrante s 
attempt to come to terms with his nobles completely failed, 
for nobody trusted him ; the rebellion soon spread over the 
whole kingdom. 

In order to intimidate the Pope, Ferrante now had re 
course to the expedient generally adopted by those who 

received by the Cardinals of S. Mark, Angers, Lisbon, and Naples. Lib. 
brev. 19, f. 12. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

* SIC.ISMONDO DE ; CONTI, I., 222. The *Bnefs to the episc. Bal- 
neoreyien., dat. 1485, Oct. i8th. (Joy expressed at the return of Aquila 
to the Church), dil. fil. camerario et quinque nrtium civil, nostre Aquil., 
dat. ut s. (the latter Brief is now printed in Bollctt. St. d. Soc. patria. 
negli Abruz/.i, I., 42), Lib. brev. 19, f. 21 ; in the same place, see a 
* Brief of Oct. 26th, by which the immediate despatch of troops to Aquila 
is decreed ; it is addressed to Giov. Franc, de Balneo. Hector de Forlivio. 
and other Papal captains. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

t The Bull is in SKIISMOXDO DK CONTI, I., 223-4. It is alluded to 
in the Report of Arrivabene, of Oct. 25th, 1485 : Heri la S 1 ^ di N.S. 
fece attachar a le porte di S. Pietro la bolla piombata cle la justificatione 
suoa circa questa impresa del Reame. (Gon/a^a Archives, Mantua.) 
FkAKN< )l, Mathias Corvinus, 227, is mistaken when he says the Bull 
was first published on the ist November, which is also contradicted by 
the Report in CAPPKLLI, 45. 

,t With JXKKSSURA, 180-83, cf. ^Letters of Cardinal A. Sforza, dat. 
Rome, 1485, July 3rd and 8th (State Archives, .Milan), and the *Des- 
patchcr, of Arlotti, dat. Rome, 1485, July 7th and i8th. State 
Archives, Alodena. 


had an} quarrel with Rome : he renewed the cjiiestion of 
convoking a Council. For this end he put himself in com 
munication with Mathias Corvinus, King of Hungary. 
The Xeapolitan Knvoy was instructed to ask Mathias to 
support his father-in-law by giving him material help, to dis 
suade Venice from taking the Pope s side, and to appeal to 
a Council against the greed and unbearable arrogance of 
Rome. * Mathias Corvinus agreed to these proposals, 
January 2<jth, 1486 ; he declared in a solemn assembly of 
the Hungarian prelates and magnates, and in presence of 
the Venetian and Florentine Knvoys that he would not for 
sake the father of his wife. He threatened the Tope with 
the withdrawal of his allegiance and an appeal to a Council, 
and the Venetians with war. At the end of March, 800 
Hungarian cavalry, and later on 200 cavalry and 700 in 
fantry started for Naples. At the same time Mathias made 
an alliance with the Turks in virtue of which the} were to 
prevent the Venetians from assisting the Pope.-f 

Milan followed the example of Hungary and declared 
for the King of Naples. The latter tried to gain Lorenzo 
de Medici also. In order to hinder this, the Pope sent the 
Florentine Archbishop Rinaldo Orsini to Loren/.o. lie 
explained to the Duke that " Innocent VII I. was determined 
to resort to arms; that for man}- months he had warned 
the King by the late Cardinal d Aragona and through his 
brother Don Francesco: but that Fcrrante had become 
more and more overbearing in his conduct, so that at last 
things must take their course." The mission of Orsini had 
no effect ; Loren/o declared for Ferrante. * 

The Pope now began to look for alliances and succeeded 

* Fl-.Kl>l\.\\lU IVimi Instruct., r<l. Yolpirdla , Xapoli, iS6i , n. 5. 
TALI. \KIGO, Gio\ . I ontano, I., iSi. S. Severino-Murche, i-^*; 71. 
t KKAKNY II. Maihi;r, Corvinus, 22S. 
J RKUMO.NT, Lorenzo, II., ?.?.?. ^y., cd. 2 : CURISTOPHK, II.. 31^. 


in concluding one with Genoa through the mediation of 
Lazzaro Doria in November, 1485. He next tried to win 
the Venetians, as did also the Neapolitan Barons, but 
neither the Pope nor they could obtain anything from 
that quarter. The utmost that Venice would concede 
was permission to Roberto Sanseverino, whose services 
Innocent VIII. was extremely anxious to secure, to depart 
" if he pleased."* 

The Pope was so impatient to see Roberto Sanseverino, 
that he ordered him to hasten to Rome without his troops, 
in order to arrange the plan of campaign. f Roberto 
entered the city on horseback, November loth, 1485, through 
the Porta del Popolo and was ceremoniously received. On 
the same day Innocent VIII. sent word to Aquila of his 
arrival, adding that after consultation with Roberto, he 
would inform them of his plans.t During the followinQ- 

t> fc> 

days, the Lord of Anguillara, Pierro Giovanni de Savelli, 
Francesco de Colon n a and others were called to Rome, to 
take part in the Council of \Var. On November 3Oth, 
Roberto swore fealty to the Pope as Standard-bearer of the 
Church. |1 It was not a moment too soon, for the enemy 
was already at the gates of Rome. 

Alfonso of Calabria had invaded the Papal territory with 

* RAVNALDUS, ad an. 1485, n. 43 ; ROMANIN, IV., 422 N. Cf. in Ap 
pendix, N. 3, the *Brief from the Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

t See in Appendix, N. 4, the *Brief of 3Oth Oct., 1485 (Secret Ar 
chives of the Vatican), and SiGiSMONDO DK CONTI, I., 230. 

J BURCHARDI Diarium, I., 158, and the Brief of Nov. 10, 1485, in 
Bollett., St. d. Soc. pair, negli Abruzzi, I., 49. 

*Lib. brev. 19, f. 46^: Dom. Anguillarie Pier Joli. militi de Sabellis, 
Paschali viceduci Gravine, dat. 131!! Nov. [1485] ; Francisco de Columna 
notario nostro, episc. Massan., dat. 14111 Nov. Secret Archives of the 

|j BURClfARlx Diarium, I., 166 scy. In SiGiSMOXDO Dl<; ; CONTI, I., 
239, read Deceinb. instead 0/Noveinb. 

T)isoKi>KKs IN KOMK. 257 

twelve battalions, and had joined Virginio Orsini at Yico- 
varo. Florence sent a considerable force, Milan only 100 
soldiers.* Hie enemy took possession of the Bridge 
of Nomcntana and carried their raids to the very gates of 
Rome. The greatest disorder prevailed in the city. Amidst 
the general alarm and excitement there was one man only 
who kept his head on his shoulders, and that was Cardinal 
Giuliano della Rovere. If Rome did not fall into the hands 
of the enemy, and if their hopes of help from within the 
city itself were disappointed, it was to the iron energy of 
that prelate that the Pope s thanks were due. Day and 
night: he allowed himself no rest. In the cold December 
nights, he was to be seen with Cardinals Colonna and Savelli 
making the round of the guards of the gates and walls. 
The Vatican was turned into a fort, the house of the 
Neapolitan Ambassador was pillaged, the castle of the 
Orsini on Monte Giordano was set on fire. Yirginio 
Orsini swore that he would have his revenge ; that the head 
ot Giuliano should be carried through the town spiked on a 
lance. f 

The courage of the enemy rose from day to day as they 
discovered how feebly Rome was garrisoned. Roberto 
Sanseverino and Giovanni della Rovere had as yet IK; 
troops : the Colonna with all their men were at Afjuila, so 
that in reality the city was only defended by the guards of 
the palace and a small force of artillery and cavalry.* In 
this extremity all criminal:- were allowed to return : this 
was done in order to reinforce the ranks of the defenders. 

SFC.ISMONDO m; Covn, I., 238; RKUMONT, Loren/o, II., 223, 
od. 2. As Lite as Nov. ist. 1485, the I ope had sent *I>riefV to Yirj^inio 
and I aolo Orsini commanding them to desist from their depreciation.^. hrev. 19, f. 41. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

t [XFKSSl RA, l8o,.Vt </., 192 ; SlOISMONDO hh COXTF, I., 239 .VtV/. 

VOL. V. 


It was not surprising therefore that robbery and murder 
became every-day occurrences.* 

Virginio Orsini carried on the war with Rome with the 
pen as well as with the sword. He wrote pamphlets 
calling for the deposition of Cardinal Giuliano, whom he 
accused of the most horrible vices, and of Innocent VIII. 
The Romans were urged to rebel against the degrading 
tyranny of the " Genoese sailor," who was not even a true 
Pope. Orsini offered to assist in bringing about the election 
of a new Pontiff and new Cardinals, and threatened to throw 
Innocent VIII. into the Tiber.f 

Although the Romans did not respond to this invitation, 
the position of the Pope was very critical ; none of the 
roads leading to the city were safe, travellers and even 
envoys of foreign powers were mercilessly plundered.^ 
The distress in the city, which in reality was in a state of 
siege, was becoming intolerable, when at last the troops of 
Roberto Sanseverino arrived, December 28th, 1485. He at 
once presented his soldiers to the Pope and the Cardinals, 
and then marched against the enemy. 

The situation now began to change for the better. In 
December of the same year the bridge of Xomentana was 
taken by storm, and in January 1486 Mentana was wrested 
from the Orsini. After this, Cardinal Orsini surrendered 
Monte Rotondo and repaired to Rome to seek recon 
ciliation with the Pope. I The desertion of Cardinal 

* Not. di Nantiporto, 1097 ; IXFESSURA, 190. 

t INFESSURA, 192-3 ; SlGISMONDO DK J CONTI, I., 241-2. 

t. SIGISAIOXDO I>E COXTI, I., 241. Cf. INFESSURA, 196, and Not. 
di Nantiporto, 1099, on the spoliation of the Envoy of Maximilian of 
Austria by mercenaries of Roberto Sanseverino in 1486. 

5< Cf. BURCHARDI Diarium, I., 171 scq., and ^Letter of Cardinal A. 
Sforza, dat. Rome, 1485, Dec. 27th. State Archives, Milan. 

J| Not. di Nantiporto, 1099 ; INFESSURA, 193 ; LEOSTEU.O, 97^7., 104 

scq.\ SlGISMONDO DE ! CONTI, I., 243 scq.\ CAPPELLI, 49-50. On the 


Or.-ini filled Duke: Alfonso with dismay, lie: left his army 
and lied to Pitigliano. 1 aolo Orsini took the command of 
the troops thus abandoned by their leader and led them 
to Vicovaro.* Innocent VIII., who had been in a pre 
carious state of health for several months of the preceding 
year, fell ill at this moment. On January 21, a rumour was 
started that the Tope was dead, and that Vir^inio Orsini 
had entered the city which spread like wild-fire. An inde 
scribable panic seized the inhabitants of Rome, for a general 
pillage was apprehended. The excitement lasted the whole 
day, and did not abate even when the Tope shewed himself 
in person at the window. In consequence of this false 
report Mentana rebelled, and Innocent VIII. ordered this 
fortress to be demolishcd.f 

After the miserable fashion in which these wars were 
conducted in Italy at that period, the stru^le draped on 
through the following months without any definite result. 
The Papal States suffered severely, and there seemed no 
prospect of any end to the devastations. 

As early as Jan. 3Oth. 14X6, Innocent VIII. had des 
patched an Envoy to the Kmperor to explain his position, 
and ask for help.* Init more efficacious assistance nii^ht 

eni;.iL;cinent at the bridge of Xomcntnnu, see also the * Letter of Cardinal 
A. Sfor/a, dat. Rome, 1485, Dec. 28. State Archives, .Milan. 

* Ki.rMOvr, Lorenzo, II., 224, ed. 2. 

t Ixl- KSSURA, 196 (S ; Not. di Nantiporto, 1099; SK ,I>MO\F >o m. 
COXTI, I., 240; C \iMM.i.i.r, 50; LOKOIA, L.encvento, III., 42^ se</. 
See " "Letter of Anixabene, dat. Rome, 1486, |an. 24th, ( .on/.a^a 
An hives, Mantua, and ^Anonymous Letter irom Rome of |,in. 21, 
1 480, in the State Archives, M ilan. 

+ See *Bricf of Jan. 3Otb, 1486. (Secret Archives of the Vatican.) Cf. 
"^ Brief to liable of the same day. (City Archives, Basle. < Mi the attitude 
of Innocent \ III., with regard to the election of Maximilian L, in ! eb. 
1486, see Ui.MAXX, in the Forschnn^cn, XXIL, 156. " x Lib. l>rev. 19, 
f. 257, Secret Archi\ es of the Vatican, i oniirms Ulinann .^ conjecture 


be expected from the Spanish royal couple than from 
Frederick III. This rising power from henceforth began 
to take a more and more active part in the affairs of 
Italy. Ferdinand and Isabella tried to negotiate peace, for 
which service the Pope expressed his thanks, February loth, 
1486. Fight days later, Innocent VIII. replied to the Duke 
of Brittany who had exhorted him to make peace, by a 
detailed enumeration of all Fcrrante s misdeeds, stating in 
addition that the tyranny of the King had driven the 
nobles to such desperation that they were prepared to call 
in the Turks if the Pope had refused to assist them.* 

As no assistance could be hoped for from Venice, the 
Pope, or rather Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, and Cardinal 
de La Balue,t who, from the February of 1485, had been 
acting as Fnvoy of Charles VIII., and protector of French 
interests in Rome, had begun to turn their eyes towards 
Rene, Duke of Lorraine. This Prince had inherited from 
his grandfather, claims on Naples and Sicily, which Inno 
cent VIII. now supported. The members of the Sacred 
College, however, were by no means unanimous on this 
point. On March 5th, 1486, the discussions in Consistory 
grew so warm, and La Balue and Ascanio Sforza came to 
such angry words, that the Pope had to silence them both.^ 

In spite of this opposition La Balue and Giuliano managed 
to persuade Innocent to adhere to his former policy, and 
to apply to the French for help ; on March 23rd, Giuliano 

expressed in his note I, with regard to the date of the Papal letter, 
that both letters (the one to the Emperor Frederick and the other to 
Maximilian I.) are dated March 91)1, 1486. 

* RAYXALDUS, ad an. 1486, n. 2, 3. 

t Cf. the excellent monograph by FORC,I;OT, J. dc La IJaluc, 125 sry. 

+ Cf. Letters of A. S for/a, in Arch. St. Ital., IV., 2, 66 seq., and in 
Arch. St. Napol., XL, 759 sc</., and the **Rcport of Arrivabene, dat. 
Rome, 1486, March 6th, (ion/.a^a Archives, Mantua. 

Un March loth, 1486, the Pope wrote to the French Kiny to ac- 


embarked at Ostia for Genoa, where he arrived at tlie 
beginning of April. To all appearances his mission was 
to proceed from thence to the Court of Charles VIII. of 
France, in order to induce the King to send assistance. 
However, the Cardinal remained at Genoa, where he 
occupied himself in negotiations with Rene s Envoy 
and in superintending the equipment of a fleet by the 

On May (jth, Innocent VIII. addressed a letter of 
encouragement to the Neapolitan nobles, and assured them 
that he would do his utmost to continue the struggle. + 
.About the same time Alfonso of Calabria defeated Roberto 
Sansevcrino at Montorio.J The enemy again marched 
upon Rome. Not only the city, but nearly the whole of 
the Papal States were in the greatest clanger. For months 
the Florentines had been secretly inciting Perugia, Citta 
di Castcllo. Vitcrbo, Assisi, Foligno, Montefalco, Spoleto, 

knowledge the receipt of hi-; letter on the situation in Naples : the Brief 
concludes by prai^in^ the Ring. Lib. brev. 19, f. 240; il>iJ. * Brief of 
commendation of the --aine day to duci Borbonii ; and f. 250, ~ x ~ Brief to 
the Kivnch Ring, of March i 5th, as an acknowledgment of his good 
dispositions the: Tope sent him some blessed candles. Secret Archives 
oi he Vatican. 

See BROSCII, Julius II., 36 .f<y., where, however, the departure of 
(iiuliano is wrongly stated to have taken place at the "end ot March/ 
The date given above in B( k( HAkni Diarium, I., iS2, and in C .M i i-.i.i.i, 
53 (Brosch was acquainted \\ith both sources, but preferred to cull 
from them the unaiithenticated rumours rather than the facts which they 
contain , is confirmed by the Report in cypher of Arrivabene, dat. Rome. 
i.jJ-io. March 23rd. (( ionx.aga Archives, Mantua.) Concerning this matte -. 
cj . also Bt SKk, Bexieliungen, 246 sc<]., and in the Appendix, \. 5, the 
" "Brief to ( iiuliano of May nth, i4<S6. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

t *Trincipibus et baronilnis regni Neapolit. Xobis cl S. R. S. adherent, 
Lib. brev. ig, f. 361. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

+ l < >k/i ). C. onx .ura de Baroni. lib. II. . c. ;}.sv</.; RosMlNf. Trivul/io, 
II., 143 .f >:/.: Cll OLA, 637 ; Bollett. d. Soc. ne^li Abruxxi, I.. 177. 


Todi and Orvieto, to rebellion, and although these intrigues 
were not crowned with success, they had the effect of 
obliging the Pope to divide his forces.* In April 1486, the 
condottiere Boecolino Guzzoni seized the town of Osimo ; f 
at the same time the news reached Rome, that Mathias 
Corvinus was sending an army to invest the important city 
of AnconaJ and that Turkish ships had been sighted on 
the coasts of the Adriatic. An exhausted treasury added 
to the difficulty of the situation ; this is mentioned in 
several of the Papal Briefs. 

When Innocent VIII. saw how things were going, 
he began to repent of having taken part in the Nea 
politan war trusting to the assistance of the faithless 
Venetians.!) Cardinal Giuliano, who might be called the 
soul of the resistance to Ferrante, had hitherto always 
succeeded in overcoming the misgivings of the Pope, but 
he was now far from Rome. On the last day of May, the 
Envoys of the French King and of Duke Rent- arrived in 

* SlSMONDl, XL, 289-90. The greater number of the cities remained 
faithful to the Pope. Cf. the * Briefs of commendation to Yiterbo of 
Feb. loth, and to Perugia of Feb. 28th, and of March 5th, 1486. Lib. 
brer. 19, f. 178, 215, 228b. \Ye see how the Pope was obliged to divide 
his forces, from the * Briefs to Perugia, dat. Rome, 1486, Feb. 5th, 2oth, 
and April I2th. Cod. C. IY., i. of the University Library, Genoa. 

t SlCISMONDO DE 3 CONTI, L, 272 scq. ; UGOLINI, II., 49 scq. ; 
CKCCONI, Carte dipl. Osimane, 71-2, and Boecolino (iuz/oni, 50 .sv</. 

J * Gubematori Marchie. K\ quodam magnae iidei \ iro e partibus 
Segnie nuper accepimus regem Ihmgariae aliquas ropias suas navibus 
versus Anconam transmittere decrevisse non tarn uti regi Xeapolit. 
auxilium ferat quam ut terris nostris damnuin aliquod inferat. Then 
follows an injunction to oppose him and not to allo\v Ancona to fall 
away. Dat. Rome, 231x1 April, 1486, Lib. brcv. 19, f .3 1 7. Secret Archives 
of the Yalican. 

ij For proofs of this, see infra Chap, \ I. 

II CAPPELLI, 52 ;.Sir,is.MO\i>o i>r. : COXTT, I.. 258. 


Rome* and entered into negotiations with Innocent about 
the affairs of Naples ; but the Ambassador of Ferdinand of 
Spain, who was naturally anxious to prevent the French 
from establishing themselves in Italy, did his utmost to 
frustrate their efforts and to persuade the Pope to come to 
terms with Ferrante. The Spanish Fnvoys were supported 
by the Cardinals Borgia and Savelli : La Halue and Portia 
had a violent altercation on the subject in the C on si story, t 
In Aquila a rebellion against the government of the Church 
broke out, whilst the army of Duke Alfonso made alarming 
progress. His victorious troops steadily gained ground: 
their skirmishers were almost at the gates of Rome. Dis 
affection was spreading so rapidly amongst the Pope s own 
people, that it seemed absolutely necessary to bring the 
war to a close. Treachery was the order of the day ; only 
a small number of the Castellans could be trusted.* A far 
less irresolute man than Innocent VIII. might have made 
peace under such circumstances. Messages were sent to 
Cardinal Giuliano and to Duke Ren. to the effect that, as 
they had delayed so long, it would be better now to post 
pone their arrival to a still later period, and that the ruin 
of Rome and of the Papal States could only be averted by a 
Treat) of Peace. 

Cardinal Michcli was entrusted with the negotiation of 

* r.rKCHARDi Diariuni, I., 204. On their journey, (/. *Lib. brev. i ( ), 
f. s/S6 7. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

f INFKSSURA, 202 : SisMONDI, XL, 2<;2 : FORC.KOT, J. de La I alue, 
1312. Concerning Aquila, sec ( AIMM.l.I.l. 55. 

; INKKSSURA, 206, 2CX), 210 14: L.KOSTKU.O, T TO J<y. 

|< SIC.ISMONDO DK : CONTl, I., 260. He states, ]). 259, that the Peace 
was concluded in August 1486, in order to prevent the Freneh from 
reaping the fruits of the war and thus rousing the jealousy ol the 
Spaniard,, and possibly causing them to side with Ferrante. 
returned to Koine, Sept. 12th, but found the Pope so little in< lined tor a 
ne\\ war with Naples, that he retired to O.tia. C \irini. ;>. 


the conditions of peace. The agreement was concluded 
without difficulty, as Fcrrante made great concessions out 
of fear of the French ; the captain of his forces, Gian 
Giacomo Trivulzio and the Humanist Pontano, repaired 
secretly to the Vatican, where, in the night of Qth-ioth 
August, 1486, the preliminaries were signed.* The princi 
pal clauses of the treaty, which was guaranteed by their 
Spanish Majesties, Milan, and Florence, were the following : 
Ferrante recognised the Papal supremacy, and engaged 
to pay the customary tribute with arrears : the revolted 
nobles were to submit to the King, who promised a com 
plete amnesty ; Aquila was to take its choice between 
Rome and Naples; Virginio Orsini was to ask the Pope s 
pardon ; and Innocent VIII. was to have the free disposal 
of all bishoprics and benefices. -j- 

Looking at the conditions that Ferrante accepted, no one 
would have guessed that his was the victorious side. In 
this he can hardly have been actuated by the fear of France 
alone. The clue to his apparent amiability must rather 
be sought in his subsequent conduct, for his facility in 
making concessions on paper was more than counter 
balanced by the skill with which he evaded the fulfilment of 
his engagements. The whole compact was as quickly 
broken as it had been concluded. There can hardly be 

* Cf. the Letter of Trivulzio in ROSMINI, II., 149-50. 

t INKKSSTRA, 214 so/.; SANUUO, Vite, 1238 scg.\ PORZIO, 148; 
ClPOLLA, 638-9 ; in the same place, details of the fate of R. Sanseverino 
whose fidelity (according to Sigismondo de ; Conti) the Pope had been 
led to suspect. Cf. also in Appendix, X. 6 the ^Despatch of Arri- 
vabene of Aug. nth, 1486. ((ion/a-a Archives, Mantua.) *The same 
Envoy announces in accordance with KukciiARDl Diarium, I., 208, on 
Sept. i 2th, the publication of the Treaty \\hich had not taken place till 
then. Cf. \OTAR GlACOMO, 160. An account of the festivities in 
honour of the Peace is to be found in (inikARDACCl, Istoria di lioloyna 
ad an. 1486. Cod. 768 of the University Library at 1 oloyna. 


found in Jill the annals of history a more scandalous 
violation of a treat) . Before the end of September 
Fen-ante had expelled the Papal troops from Aquila, 
murdered the Pope s representative, and taken possession of 
the city. Then came his revenue on the nobles. Not only 
the Barons themselves, but their wives and children also 
were thrown into prison, and all their property was confis 
cated, including even monies invested in foreign countries. 
When the Barons had been thus disposed of, the turn of the 
Pope came next. The payment of the tribute was refused, 
and benefices given away as before without any reference 
to the Holy See. " The hand of the King is heavier on the 
Church than ever." 4 

Not content with all this, Ferrantc set himself to harass 
the helpless Pope by stirring up disturbances in the Papal 
States.f To this systematic policy of violence Innocent 
VI 1 1. had nothing to oppose but the most abject irresolu 
tion and vacillation. By his feeble; policy of groping about 
for alliances first in one direction and then in another, lie 
had lost the confidence of all parties. In 1486, the Pope- 
had entered into fresh negotiations with Venice, which re 
sulted in a new Veneto- Roman league proclaimed at the 
end of February 1487 ; but before another month had 
elapsed he had swung round again and sided with Flor 
ence.^ A project of a marriage- between Lorenzo s second 
daughter Maddalena and Franceschetto Cibo was broached ; 
but on account of the youth of the bride its celebration had 

- - SKIISMOXDO DE CONTI, I., 261; II., 30; RKUMONT, Lorenzo, II., 
228 ^v/., eel. ".and Rom, III., i, 192; ("lOTHKiX, Siiditalien, 527 .sv</. 

+ LI-.I .KKT, VI., 34<j sty. 

I liKOM H, |uliiH II., v> () n llu league with Venire \\hirh had 
greatly startk-d Lorenxo, see C APl Kl.LI, 63; SuilSMONUO UK 1 CONTI, 
I., 281, 42^; . ( /.; I .ri f H \i-:i >i hiariuin. I., 237 .v<y. ; and IH-ik, 
I.oren/.o, 82. 


to be postponed for a while. " In the meantime several 
events occurred of which Lorenzo might have taken advan 
tage had not other circumstances tended to strengthen his 
desire of obtaining a footing in Rome, and his hopes of 
domineering over the feeble Pope."* 

In 1487 Lorenzo de Medici had already had an oppor 
tunity of laying the Tope under an obligation. In Osimo, 
the condottiere Boccolino Guzzoni had rebelled again and 
entered into communication with the Sultan Bajazet. It 
is a fact proved by letters which have been discovered, that 
this daring rebel was prepared to hand over the Marches 
to the Turks.f As the Sultan did not seem unwilling 
to accept the proposal, everything depended on prompt 
action. Innocent VIII. lost no time. In March 1487, Giuli- 
ano della Rovere was sent against Boccolino^ but was so 
crippled by want of funds that he found himself unable to 
achieve anything ; and the Pope appealed to Milan for help, 
The Milanese in May sent Gian Jacopo Trivulzio, one of 
the ablest generals of the period, but he too was unable 
to take Osimo. In July, Giuliano asked to be recalled, and 
was superseded by Cardinal de La Balue. By the time the 
latter arrived before Osimo, Trivulzio had reduced the city 
to such extremity that it was on the point of surrendering. 

By skilful management, the Florentine Ambassador suc 
ceeded in inducing Boccolino, " on the payment of 8000 
ducats, to give up the city and to repair to Florence. " The 

* RKU.MOXT, Lorenzo, II., 240-42, ed. 2. Cf. Pandolfini s * Re port 
on March 21, 1487. Stale Archives, Floicnce. 

t SlC.IS.MOXhO 1>K COXTI, I., 273 seq. 310; Sur.KXITF.TM, 361; 

BROSCTI, Julius II., 41, 309-10; ROSMIXI, II., 158. sv</.; UGOLIM, 
II., 54 seq. ; Cli OLLA, 641 scq. See also MORUS, Bibl. Picenn, V., 197, 
and Ci.ccoxi s monograph, Boccolino (.iuxzoni, 74 seq. 

\ Cf. the * Reports of Pandolfmi of 2nd, loth, and nth March, 1487. 
State Archives, Florence. 

RKUMOXT, Lorenzo, II., 2>S, ed. 2 : and CECCONI, Boccolino 


friendly relations of the Tope with the Medici were 
advantageous to the Orsini, for Lorenzo s wife was a 
sister of Yirginio Orsini. To no one was this change 
more distasteful than to Cardinal Giuliano. On July 
19th, 1487, he had returned from Osimo in very ill- 
humour, and when in August the Tope formally received 
the Orsini back into favor r he left Rome and retired to 
Bologna; however, he soon made it up again with 

Whilst the war at Osimo was dragging on without any 
decided result, Ferrantc took advantage of the Tope s 
embarrassment to bring his dispute with the Hoi}- Sec; to a 
climax. In May 1487, Trojano de liottuni was sent to 
Rome, Florence and Milan, as Fxtraordinary Ambassador, 
with instructions coolly to repudiate all the stipulations 
contained in the treaty of August i ith, 1486.-]- Towards 
the end of July 1487, Innocent VIII. held a Consistory to 
deliberate on Neapolitan affairs. The whole college of 
Cardinals agreed with him, that it was incompatible with 
the honour of the Holy See to remain passive any longer. 
It was resolved that letters should be sent to Spain, Milan 
and Florence, the co-signatories of the treat} , to inform them 
of its violation. A Nuncio was to be sent to Naples to 
remonstrate, and in case of any fresh breach of faith with 

(iti/xoni, 83 JtV-j 91 - f <Y-) I0 - V Y- THUASXK, Djem-Sultan, 156, 164 
xey. ; KORGKOT, 142. In a * Brief of i th Aug., 14^7. Innoient VIII. 
thanked the Duke of Milan for having sent Trivnl/io to take Osimo. 
(Ori-inal in the State Archives, Milan.) Innocent VIII. likewise thanked 
the I erugians in a * Brief of Sept. 1st, 1487, for subsidies sent. C. IV. i 
of the (. niverHty Library, (lenoa. 

* IXb KSSi RA, 227 ; Not. di Nantiporto, 1 105 ; BROSCII, Julius II., 4.1. 
According to a * Despatch of Arlotli, dat. Koine, 1487, July 
( iiuliano returned on that day. 

t FKRUIXAXI)] Instruct., I.., 217 si*</.: KITMONT, I.oren/o, 11.. 242 


the Barons to assist them in obtaining redress through the 
ordinary means." These resolutions were embodied in the 
instruction dated 24th July, 1487, to the Nuncio Pietro 
Vicentino, Bishop of Cesena.* The way in which the 
Nuncio was treated at Naples, is characteristic of Ferrante. 
He was denied an audience, whereupon he stopped the King 
at the gate of the palace when he was going out hunting, 
and forced him to listen to the demands of the Pope. 
Ferrante s reply was a flat refusal expressed in the most 
scornful terms. He had not forgotten the tribute, but he 
had spent so much on the Church that he had no money 
left. With regard to his interference in ecclesiastical 
affairs, Ferrante remarked that he knew his subjects, 
whereas the Pope did not ; he would therefore continue to 
confer benefices on those whom he considered worthy, 
and Innocent VIII. must content himself with the right 
of confirming his nomination. When, finally, Vicentino 
reproached him with violating the treaty by imprisoning 
the Barons, the King reminded him of the arrest and 
subsequent release of the Cardinals Colonna and Savelli by 
Sixtus IV., and added : I choose to deal in the same 
way with my traitorous subjects. Then he ordered the 
bugles to sound, and rode off without even saluting the 

In face of Ferrante s insolence, Innocent VIII. seems to 
have completely lost his head. " Gian Jacopo Trivulzio," 
the Envoy from Ferrara writes 6th September 1487, "speaks 
of the pusillanimity, the helplessness, and incapacity of the 
Pope in the strongest terms, and adds that, if some spirit 

* REUMOXT, Joe. cit. The text of the instruction is in RAVXAI.HUS, 
ad an. 1487, n. 10. On the Consistory, see CAPPELLI, 67, and a ^Letter 
of Arlotti, dat. Rome, 1487, July ic/h. State Archives, Modcna. 

t Cf. the Modencse despatch in lUi.AN, 242, note 3, with INFESSURA, 
229-30. See al-:o NUNZIANTE, Lettere di Pontano, 3. 


and courage cannot he infused into him, the consequences 
will he very serious."* 

Kmboldened by the Pope s weakness, Ferrante s next 
step was to publish a solemn appeal to a Council.-!- A few 
days after the news of this had reached Florence, the Papal 
secretary Jacopo Gherardi arrived there, with secret 
instructions to endeavour to bring about a league between 
Milan and Venice against Naples ; as, however, Lorenzo 
was determined not to fight, and dissuaded the Pope from 
pronouncing ecclesiastical censures, this came to nothing. J 
In Rome a rumour began to be bruited about in October, 
that Innocent was preparing a decree of excommunication, 
interdict, and deposition against FctTanle, but as negotia 
tions with Milan and Florence continued to be kept up, it 
was inferred that these extreme steps might possibly be 
avoided and an accommodation arranged. Lorenzo had 
considerable influence with the Pope at that time, for the 
marriage of Franceschctto Cibo was just about to take place. 

On November I3th, the bride entered Rome, accom 
panied by her mother. On the iSth, the Pope gave a 
banquet in honour of the bridal pair, and made them a 
present of jewels worth 10,000 ducats. At the beginning 
of his Pontificate, Innocent had refused to allow Franccs- 
chetto to reside in Rome;" now with almost incredible 

* C APPI-.F.T.I, 68 ; RI.UMMXT, Loren/.o, II., 247, ccl. 2. 

t ( /. tin- Report^ in IH .-i.K, Loren/.o, 85 .sry. ; and in CAPPKLLI, 68, 
also BALUZK, I., 518 si-t/. 

I TAHAKKIM in An h. St. Ital., 3 Serif, VII., 2, ^ sct/.\ X., 2. 3 
.v,y. ; Rl.l .M >.\T, Loren/.o, II., 248 -VtV/., eel. 2 ; and 1H >I.1:, Loix-n/o, 86 

Si i/. 

< ** Lett CM- of F). Arlotti, dat. Koine, 1.187, ( )l L -5 1 1 - State An hives, 

liURCUAKDi Diariinn, I., 275 ; ( APPKI.I.F, CK; ; Si MI i ri i, 4. 

r \Ve lia\ e thi-> iroin ,i \<MV authentic source, vi/. a ^Letter troin 
C ardinal A. Sfor/.a, dat. Koine, !4<- ; 4, Out. utli. * Sono eiiva tre di 


weakness he celebrated the nuptials in his own palace. 
The marriage contract was signed on January 2Oth, 1488.* 
Lorenzo was vexed at finding that Innocent VIII. shewed 
no disposition to make an extensive provision for the newly 
married couple, but his annoyance was still greater at his 
delay in the bestowal of the Cardinal s Hat which had been 
promised to his second son Giovanni.")" 

The marriage of Macldalena with Franceschetto, who 
was by many years her senior, was not a happy one ; 
though utterly rude and uncultured, Cibo was deeply 
tainted with the corruption of his time ; he cared for 
nothing but money, in order to squander it in gambling 
and debauchery; but quite apart from this the alliance 
between the Cibo and Medici families was a most question 
able proceeding. " This was the first time that the son of 
a Pope had been publicly recognised, and, as it were, intro 
duced on the political stage." J Aegidius of Viterbo justly 
passed a very severe judgment on Innocent VIII. on account 
of this deplorable aberration. 

chel figliolo clc N. S. e vcnuto qui con porn dimonstratione de S. S t;i et 
sta molto privatamente ct per q nan to intemlo vole parta da qui ct v.ida 
stare a Napoli o allrove nc li lochi de la chiesa. State Archives, Milan. 

* GRl.r.oKOvn/s, Archive of the Notaries of the Capitol, 503. 

t Cf. RKUMONT, Loren/o, II., 359 set/., ed. 2; who remarks: "The 
complaints in the letters addressed by the bride s relations to her father- 
in-law are more creditable to Innocent VIII. than to those who wrote 

J RKU.MOXT, Lorenzo, II., 240 A<V/., ed. 2; STAI-TKTTI, 5, S scg. 

^ In the November of the following year Innocent VIII. celebrated 
also in the Vatican the marriage of his grand-daughter Perelta (daughter 
of Teodorina) with the (icnoe^e merchant (iherardo Usodimare : the 
f ope himself sat at table at the banquet. Sec IJUKCHARDI Diarium, I., 
320-22, he remarks : Res hec secreta non fuit, sed per totam urbem 
divulgata et prcscita. Kgo non intcrfni, sed f rat re prcfati Guillielmi 
eameiain secreti, qui interfuit, hec mihi rcfercnte, notavi, licet contra 
normam ceremoniarum nostrarum acta bint, que express prohibent 


(ii, i vrioN HKTWKKN KOMK AND NAN, ]:.-. 

Till-. Spring of the year F.jXX witnessed the outbreak of 
serious disturbances in the Romagna. On the i.jtli .April 
Girolamo Kiario, wlio was hated for his brutal tyranny and 
rruelty, was treacherously murdered by three conspirators. 
The downfall of the Riario family now seemed inevitable ; 
but ("aterina, the courageous consort of the assassinated 
noble-, held the citadel of Korli till it was relieved by the 
Milanese troops, and thus preserved the government for 
lu r youn;.>; son Ottaviano. 

muliorcs osse iii < onvivio < inn pontiilcc. The verdi t of Ai. ( .n>ir> of 
Viterbo in his *Hist., XX. saecul. (not complete in (ikhOOKOViUS, \"II., 
-/i, ed. 3 1 , runs thus : Primus pontih< HID hlio-, filias(jue palam o.Ttcnta- 
\ it, primus coruni apcrlas fecit nupleas, pnnuis donicsticos hymciicos 
celeb ravit. Utinam ut exemplo prius < a nut, i la po^tca imitatoi c caruissct 
if. 315;. ( >n satitcs upon the nephew-, of Innocent \ III., sec Lr/io in 
(iiorn. d. Ldt. Ital., XIX., 09, and also Cod. 9846 of the Court Library, 

" Cll oi,i,A, 647 ; I ASOI.IXI, 1., \(j() xi i/., 207 sty. Little is kno\vn of 
the relations between (iirolamo l\iario and Innoient \ II1., who, >oon 
alter hi.i election, had invested him \\itli Imola and Korh. In ic^ard to 
this matter a * Letter of Cardinal A. Sfor/a, written p;irtl\ in < ypher, 
dated Koine, 14X5, Sept. l/th, \\lu<li rtin.~> thtr-, is of i;reat interest the 
])assaxes in < ypher aie as follows;, * Da bon loco sono avisato he el C. 
Hieronymo ha fa> to ol lei ire al papa s< juadrc de< e de ^ente d arme per la 
ini])ii--,i del Keame et lo I apa le ha a< < eptate. .State An hue-, .Mil, in.) 
I do not know of any continuation of this statement. 


The conspirators had immediately applied to Lorenzo de 
Medici and Innocent VI II. for help. The suspicion expressed 
by Checho Orsi, the real instigator of the conspiracy, that 
the Pope was implicated in the plot, is without foundation. 
Apart from the untrustworthiness of the testimony of such 
a man, Checho refuted himself by asking Lorenzo to act as 
mediator with the Pope, and to induce him to favour the 

Part of the population of Forli eagerly desired to be 
under the immediate rule of the Church, and despatched 
envoys to Rome with a petition to the Pope to take the 
town under his protection. Innocent VIII. in consequence 
sent troops under the command of the protonotary Bernar 
dino Savelli. from Cesena to Forli ; they were, however, 
captured by the Milanese. Upon this the Pope gave up 
all further interference, although he had a perfect right to 
support the party which had formally offered the town to 
him. Although Girolamo had been most unfriendly to 
him during the reign of Sixtus IV., Innocent recommended 
his infant children to the people of Forli, and gave instruc 
tions in the same sense to his Envoy, Cardinal Raffaele 

Innocent VIII. had a special reason for abstaining from 
interference in the troubles in the Romagna, for just at that 
time the Neapolitan King was straining every nerve to stir 
up the cities of the Papal States to rebel against their 

* Report of Stefano dc Castrocaro in GKXXARKLLI, 101-3, ar >d 
THUASXK, I., 521 4. It is also worthy of note that the other assassin, 
Lodovico Orsi, said in his evidence that no one in the world beside him 
self, Checho, and the third conspirator had any knowledge of the plot. 
Cf. also PA so UNI, I., 248 ; III., 116 ; CIAX, Cat. Sforza, 15, agrees with 
Pasolini, hut he thinks the attitude of Innocent VIII. in regard to the 
troubles in the Romagna wa.-> similar to that of Sixtus IV. towards the 
Pazzi conspiracy. 

t SK.I.-MOXDU DK ! COXTI, I., 315-16. 


rightful ruler. The revolt of the important city of Ancona, 
which had been apprehended for the last two years, now 
actually broke out. In the beginning of April 1488, the 
Council of Ancona hoisted the Hungarian flag on the 
belfry of the town hall and on the masts of the ships, as 
a sign that the city had placed itself under the protection 
of Ferrantc s son-in-law, Mathias Corvinus.* If Innocent 
was not strong enough to retain his hold on his most impor 
tant seaport on the Adriatic, how useless would it have been 
for him to think of taking Forli in hand. The reproaches 
showered upon him by the impetuous Roman chronicler 
Infessura on this subject, are quite unjust.f If the Pope 
had responded to the requests of the citizens of Forli, he 
would have had Florence as well as Milan to contend with. 
Lorenzo cle Medici said openly that he would rather see 
Forli in the power of Milan than under the rule of Rome. 
The Church, he said to the Envoy from Fcrrara, was more 
to be feared at that moment than Venice itself, and this 
had decided him to assist King Ferrante against the 

Innocent VIII. was once more alarmed by another 
piece of bad news from the Romagna. On the 3ist of May 
Galeotti Manfredi, lord of Faenza, was killed through the 
jealous} 7 of his wife . This led to disturbances, and for a 
time war between Florence and Milan seemed imminent. 
The Pope, through the bishop of Rimini, did his best to 
maintain peace. In Perugia, also at that time sadly torn 
with part) strife, Innocent laboured in the same cause-, but 

* Fk. \K\oI, Mathias rorvinus, 22 st i/. In the same place the details 
of the rupture between Ancona and Hungary, which soon followed, \\ill 
be found. 

t INK I SSURA, 2^2, whose u ut fertur," is noteworthy. 

; C Ai i i l.i.i. 72 ; IvKUMONT, Lorenzo, II., 270 Jv/., i-d. ?. 

; SU;ISM< IN i>< ) i)i/ Oivii, I., ]i(>. 

VOL. V. i 


without much success.* In December 1489 he appointed 
his own brother, Maurizio Cibo, Governor of that city.f 
This " able and honest " man attempted to bring about a 
peaceable settlement of" these interminable quarrels, but his 
endeavours were as fruitless as those of Franceschetto 
Cibo, who was sent to Perugia in July 1488.^ At the end 
of October the hereditary feud between the families of 
Baglione and Oddi broke out afresh, to the great grief of 
the Pope, and filled the unhappy city with rapine and 
murder. The conflict terminated in the expulsion of the 
Oddi, and as the Baglioni were expecting military assist 
ance from Ferrante, Innocent VIII. thought it advisable 
to refrain from stringent measures against them. In 
November 1488 he sent Cardinal Piccolomini to Perugia, 
who, by his admirable tact and indefatigable perseverance, 
succeeded in pacifying and winning over the Baglioni, and 
thus preserving the city, which seemed on the point of 
being lost to the Holy See.|| 

Cardinal Piccolomini also displayed great skill in adjust 
ing the ancient dispute about the boundary line between 
Foligno and Spello, and thus freed Innocent VIII. from 
one cause of anxiety ; *| but, on the other hand, it must 

* Cf. the * Brief to Perugia, clat. 1487, Januar. 10. Cod. C. IV., i, of 
the University Library, Genoa. 

t * Brief of iSth Dec., 1487, Joe. cit. The vice-governor for M. Cibo, 
who did not go to Perugia till 22nd Feb., 1488 (t i RAZIAXI, 669), was Angelo 
da Sutri. 

Cf. the Papal * Briefs to Perugia, of 9th and I ith July and 22nd Sept. 
1488, with GRAZIAXI, 670 scg. Cod. cit. of the University Library, Genoa. 

,S Cf. * Brief to Perugia of Oct. 31, 1488, he. cit. 

\\ SICISMONUO UK COXTI, I., 317 ; RKU.MONT, Lorenzo, II., 279 seg.j 
ed. 2. Regarding the nomination of Piccolomini cf. GRA/IAXI, 690 
AY</., and a * Letter from Arlotti, dat. Rome, 1488, Nov. 9. State 
Archives, Modena. 

IT Sirjs^nxno nr; COXTI, I., 317. 

1)0 confessed that Ferrante s attitude of persistent and 
insolent hostility kept the rope in a constant fever of 
alarm and perplexity. "When, in the Spring of 14^0,, 
the Spanish Court attempted a mediation, Ferrante did 
everything in his power to irritate the Pope by attacks 
on liis person and his family, and seemed bent on bringing 
about an immediate rupture. His conduct can only be 
explained on the supposition that he thought he might now 
with impunity vent all his spite against his enemy, or that 
he wished to provoke a contest which might lead him with 
a victorious army to the gates of Rome, regardless of the 
risk that it might also lead a foreign power into Italy. The 
events of 1495, so fatal to Ferrante s dynasty and kingdom, 
were thus the results of his own conduct six years earlier. 
It was through no merit of his or of his son, who was worse 
than himself, nor yet of the Pope, that the catastrophe was 
delayed for so long. Neither Ferrante nor Innocent had 
any inkling of what was coming ; the one was blinded by his 
grasping tyranny and pride, the other by his short-sighted 
weakness. That the impending ruin was averted for the 
time being, was chiefly due to Lorenzo de Medici, a merit 
which would suffice to outweigh many shortcomings."* 

The King of Naples received considerable support in 
his defiance of Rome from the Hungarian King, Mathias 
Corvinus, who at that time was trying to get the Turkish 
Prince Dschcm into his own hands. Failing to obtain 
this through his Ambassador at Rome, Mathias threatened 
to bring the Turks into Italy. He felt himself bound in 
honour, he declared to the Papal Nuncio, not to forsake the 
King" of Naples. f 

Tlu; Kim;" of Hungary had not felt it inconsistent with 

* Kl-.U MONT, Lorenxo, II., 370 71, ccl. ?. 

t FKAK.NOI, Mailiia-, Corvinus, 2(>?.. On the Mibjei t ot Dschem, 
see the Mil >\\ in i i hauler. 


his honour to seize Ancona, neither did it now prevent him 
from tampering with the vassals of the Pope and with the 
famous condottiere, Giulio Cesare Varano.* He hoped by 
stirring up a revolt in the Papal States to reduce the Pope 
to submission. Innocent defended himself as well as he 
could. In May 1489 he resolved to pronounce the extreme 
penalties of the Church against Fcrrantc.f On June 27th 
Niccolo Orsino, Count of Pitigliano was named Captain- 
general of the Church. Three days later Ferrante was 
threatened with excommunication if he did not carry out 
the stipulations contained in the Treaty of Peace within two 
months. J Ferrante shewed no greater inclination than 
before, either to pay the tribute, to release the Barons, or 
to abstain from interference in ecclesiastical matters ; and 
Innocent VIII. thought the time had come to adopt 
decisive measures. He relied on the assistance of foreign 
powers, and was encouraged in this hope by Cardinal de La 
Palue. Charles VIII, of France and Maximilian of Austria 
had just concluded a peace at Frankfort-on-Main (July 
1489). " Might not the two reconciled Princes combine 
together as loyal sons of the Church to restore order in 
Italy and then begin the crusade against the Turks ? Might 
not one or other of these Princes, on behalf of Genoa or 
Milan, bring pressure to bear on Loclovico and oblige him to 
give up his ambiguous attitude towards the Pope and 
render him hearty and effective support against Naples ? 
Could Ferrante still hold out if he saw the whole of Christen 
dom ranged on the side of the Pope ? " Anticipations such 
as these certainly corresponded very little with the real state 

* FRAKN(>I, Mathias Corvinus, 262-3. 

t Cf. the letter of PIER YKTTORI, Florentine Ambassador at Naples, 
of May 3Oth, 1489. Av. il princ., LI., n. 8. State Archives, Florence. 
J INFKSSURA, 245 ; BURCHARDI Diaiium, I., 360. 

* FOR.-.EOT, J. Balue, 136. 


of affairs, but were nevertheless cherished in Rome, especi 
ally by the sanguine Cardinal dc La Baluc and by some of 
the French Envoys.* From Spain Innocent VIII. also 
expected assist ancc.f 

At the beginning of September 1489, the term assigned 
to the King of Naples had expired. On the iith of that 
month, the Pope held a Consistory, to which all the 
Ambassadors at Rome were invited. In a lengthy dis 
course Innocent VIII. explained the historical and legal 
relations between Xaples and the Holy See. He set 
forth in detail the behaviour of the two last Kings to 
wards the Church, and especially Ferrante s refusal to 
pay the dues for his fief, and to fulfil his treaty obliga 
tions, and he enlarged on the consequences of these 
acts. Then the notary of the Apostolic Chamber read 
a document drawn up in the last Secret Consistory, 
which declared Ferrante to have forfeited his crown, and 
Xaples to have fallen to the Holy See as an escheated fief. 
The Neapolitan Ambassador, who was present, asked for a 
copy of this document, and for permission to read a reply 
in defence of his master, to which the Pope consented. 
The defence explained the reasons why the King did not 
hold himself bound to pay the tribute, and stated that he 

* F>usKK, lic/cielum^cn, 269 2/r ; FOKC.KOT, loc. cil. Innocent VIII. 

had a claim on Maximilian s L;ratitude, having previously u>ed In.- influ 
ence to release the Kmu; out of the hands of the rebels in Flanders ; 
bte ForM.hun,L;en /ur DeutM hen ( lite, XXII., 158; MOI.IXKT, 
Chroniques, ed. liuchon, III., 294. We can see from a despatch, in 
(.. . M l Kl, I, I, 70, overlooked by Ulinann, how the French were Mill in 
triguing at ihe Papal Court against Maximilian I. ; this despatch con 
firms the historian s conjecture, that it was owing to French influence 
that Maximilian s confirmation was only conditionally granted by Rome 
on the Peace of Frankfort ; cf. infr<t. 

t LAXFKKDIXI S Report of Oct. 231-1!, 148 ), in Arch. St. Ital., 3 Scne. 
XV., 296-7. 


had already appealed to " the Council." According to 
him the right of convoking a Council had, on account of 
the Pope s opposition, devolved on the Emperor ; conse 
quently that of Basle having been illegally dissolved, was 
still sitting. It was no difficult matter for the Bishop of 
Alessandria to shew the untenability of King Ferrante s 
position, whereupon the Neapolitan Ambassador declined 
all further discussion, and the Pope closed the Con 

War between Rome and Naples now seemed inevitable, 
for the only effect of the Pope s energetic proceedings was 
to make Ferrante still more obstinate and defiant. In 
October 1489 he had written to Charles VIII., who had 
tried to dissuade him from making war against Rome, that 
far from having any thought of taking up arms against the 
Holy See, his sentiments towards it were those of the most 
filial devotion and submission.^ His conduct in the follow 
ing years shewed how much these hypocritical declarations 
w r ere worth. He tried ineffectually to turn Maximilian 
against Rome, by sending him a pamphlet in which the 
life of the Pope and of his Court were depicted in the 
darkest colours. J His language to Innocent VIII. himself 
was invariably scornful and menacing. In January 1490, 
he announced that he would send the palfrey to Rome, but 
not a farthing of the tribute money, and that he would not 

* On the Consistory of Sept. 1 1, 1489, of winch INFESSURA, 250, and 
BURCHARDI Diarium, I., 564, j-ive short and inexact accounts (Burchard 
says quite honestly : non interfui, etc.), I consulted a very detailed and 
as yet unpublished ** Report of the Ferrarese Envoy Arlotti, dat. ex tirbe 
die i ith Septemb., 1489. (State Archives, Modena.) Cf. in the same place 
a * Letter from Arlotti of Sept. 15, 1489, and a * Despatch from G. L. 
Cataneo, dat. Rome, 1489, Sept. I2th. Gon/aga Archives, Mantua. 

t NUNZlANTii, Lettere di Pontano, 12-13. 

1; INFESSURA, 256; LICHNOWSKV, VIII., Regest, N. 1415, 1417, 


pardon a single one of his nobles.-* In May a Neapolitan 
Envoy said at Florence, that his master would no longer put 
up with the overbearing and discourteous conduct of tin: 
Pope; if the latter persisted in his unjustifiable demands, 
the King would appear in Rome in person, with spur and 
lance, and answer him in a way which would make his 
Holiness understand his error/!- All the great Powers 
seemed to have abandoned the I lead of the Church, and this 
emboldened Fcrrante to treat him in this shameful manner. 
The aged Emperor Frederick admonished the Neapolitans 
in March to make peace,} but like his son Maximilian, he 
was too much occupied with his own affairs to take an 
active interest in those of the Pope. In Italy no one 
stirred a finger to protect the Holy See against the insults 
which Fcrrante so persistently heaped upon it, and Inno 
cent VIII. complained bitterly of this to the Florentine, 
Pandolfini. " In deference to the representations of the 
Italian powers," he said " he had shewn great indulgence 
to Ferrante. The only result had been that, the King 
became more and more insolent, while the Powers stood 
by and allowed him to insult the Pope as much as he 
pleased. If the Italians cared so little for his honour he 
should be driven to look abroad for protection. Never, 
Pandolfini adds, had he seen the Pope so moved. lie did 
his best to calm him, and represented to him that his 

* CHI.KKII.K, I., 341. 

+ Report of the Kcrraresc Envoy in C AIMM.I.I.I, So. On the conduct 
of the Neapolitan Envoy, who threatened to determine hi* claim to 
precedence by force of arms, cf. BURCHARDl Diarium, I., 410 s 
and * Letter of Cardinal A. Sforza, dat. Koine. 1490, May 3 oth. State 
Archive.-, Milan. 

t Emperor Krederick III. to Kiny Kerrante, dat. Linx, 1490, Ma 
29 th. The original in the House, Court, and State Archives at Vienna, 
~Rom,ina, I., is not mentioned in CUMKL S Rcgestcn, nor in the Reycsten 
of LiciiNoWsKV, VIII., nor, as far as I can see. printed anywhere. 


patience would be rewarded, and that he might count on 
the support of Florence, Milan, and Venice. But Innocent 
would not hear him out. lie was perpetually put off with 
words, he exclaimed. Florence was the only power on 
whom he could reckon, Sforza s vacillation made Milan 
useless, and Venice would never do anything. He was 
resolved to make an end of this. He would excommuni 
cate the King, denounce him as a heretic, and lay his 
kingdom under Interdict. He would call upon all the 
States of the League to bear witness that he had ample 
justification for what he was doing ; and if Ferrante made 
war upon him, as he had threatened, and no one would 
help him, he would take refuge abroad, where he would be 
received with open arms and assisted to get back what 
belonged to him ; and this would bring shame and harm on 
some people. Unless he could uphold the dignity of the 
Holy See, it was impossible for him to remain in Italy. 
If he were to be abandoned by the Italian States, it 
would be out of the question for him to resist Ferrante, 
on account both of the insufficiency of the resources of 
the Church and the disloyalty of the Roman Barons, 
who would be delighted to see him in trouble. He 
held himself to be fully justified in leaving Italy, if the 
dignity of the Holy See could be safeguarded in no other 
way. Other Popes had done this and had returned with 

Thus a repetition of the exile of Avignon seemed 
imminent, for France was the country to which Innocent 
VIII. would have turned. The position of the Pope was 
indeed almost intolerable. Each day brought fresh alarms 
of hostile action on the part of Fen ante; in July came the 
news that Naples had induced Benevento to throw off its 

* RKUMOXT, Lorenzo, II., 377-8, cd. 2. The original text of 
Pcindolimr s Report of July 28, 1490, is in F.VUKONIUS, II., 353-8. 


allegiance.* A few months later, accounts arrived that 
Ferrante was intriguing with the Colonna, in order to win 
them to his interest.! Just at this time Innocent VIII., who 
had been far from well in August,* had an attack of fever, 
and was so seriously ill that he received the last Sacra 
ments, which he did with great devotion. He rallied a 
little for a time, but grew worse again, and was given over 
by his physician. On the 26th September it was reported 
in Rome that the Tope was dead. The news seemed so 
certain that the Envoy from Ferrara sent a special 
messenger to Ferrara to announce it. i: On the following 

* *Die ultima Julii, 1490, L e vcnuto letterc de P.enivento < lie la terra c 
ribellata < onlru pontifiecm pro rc;>;c Ferdinando, tamcn ancor non si 
crcde. *Commiss. S. I). N. Pape ad episc. Tarvisin. Codex N. 90 (chart. 
r-aec. XV.), t". 32 . (Town Library, Verona.) Cf. also iNFhssUKA, 258, 
and LKOSTKI.LO, 351. 

+ DKSJ. \RIMNS, I., 438, note 2. 

} TlIUASNE, Djem-Sultan, 273. 

^Report of C.iov. Lucido Calaneo, dat. Rome. Sept. 21, 1490: 
The Pope has febra continua e vehemcnte. Sept. 24: The Pope is belter 
vero die la S UI S. ha habuto molto tie sbatcre e sc communicho cum 
multa de\ otione tanto ([iiaiUo dir se possa. .Sept. 25 : There is an impro\ e- 
ment in the Pope s condition, but he still lias fever. Sept. 26 : The Pope 
is suffering an ratanx) e .si tene da i media per spiaciuto. ((ionzaga 
An hives, Mantua. ) On the precarious state of the l o])e .-. health, if. 
SH/</ >>. pp. 247, 259, and i Arl<>tti > ^"Reports of Xo\\ 29, 1488, I he 1 ope 
was ill. Dec. 8 : The Pope is well a^ain. (2)* Card. A. S for/a, Rome, 
May 30, 1490: I he Pope is poorly. (State Archives, Milan.) (3; On 
the i :;th AUL;., 1 490, the Venetian Envoy ^ivc.^ Mich a bad account of the 
condition of Innocent VIII. that the (iovernmcnt on the 2oth -end him 
instim tions as to what he is to do in case the Pope dies. Mon. Hun-., 
IV., 263. 

I I found Arlotti s ^Despatch on the subject, dated Rome, Sept. 2 f \ 
1490, in the State Archives at Modena. It is marked on the outside : 
Subito, subito ; cito, cito. Cf. also Appendix, X. 7 (Despatch of Sept. 26). 
The date- in C, KKOOKOVIUS, VII., 289, ed. 3, and CRK1G11TOX, III., 136 
v \\ho quote.- Infe-Mira. 260;, are therefore erroneou^. 


morning Rome was like a camp ; every one armed in pre 
paration for the disturbances which would probably follow. 
Franceschetto Cibo attempted to take advantage of the 
prevailing confusion to get hold of the papal treasure and of 
Prince Dschem, who was then residing in the Vatican, with 
the object of selling him by means of Virginio Orsini to 
Ferrante. Fortunately the Cardinals were on their guard, 
and the attempt failed. An inventory was drawn up of the 
papal treasures, and Cardinal Savelli was given charge of 
the monies.* The report of Innocent s death was soon 
found to be false. He had had something of the nature of 
a stroke which had brought him very near death, but on the 
28th he had already begun to recover f and is said to have 
declared that he still hoped to outlive all the Cardinals. 
There did not seem, however, much likelihood of this, for his 
health continued very feeble. He hoped to find restoration 
in the bracing air of Porto d Anzio and Ostia, but it was 
not to be. On his return to Rome on the 3Oth November, 
it seemed at first as if he had benefited a little from the 
change,* but a few days later the Mantuan Envoy writes 
that he has had a fresh attack of fever. In blaming 
Innocent VIII. for the vacillation and weakness of his con 
duct, allowances should be made for the state of his health, 
and also for the financial difficulties which hampered him 
through the whole of his Pontificate. || 

* Cf. the Florentine Despatch in DKSJARDIX?, I., 484, n. 2 ^the 
editor has erroneously placed it in the year 1491), and INFESSURA, 
260-61. The accounts here givenof course with the observation nt 
fa fur of the great amount of his treasure are untrustworthy, and con 
tradict all other reliable statements on the point ; cf. infra. 

t Arlotti s * Report, dat. Rome, Sept. 28, 1490. State Archives, Modena. 

+ Arlotti s * Letter, dat. Rome, Dec. 2, 1490. State Archives, Modena. 

^ *E1 papa sta cum la quartana a modo usato hora mancho male hora 
pin, G. L. Cataneo, Rome, Dec. 3, 1490. Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

|| Cf. infra, Chap. VI. 


Under these circumstances active measures against 
Naples were out of the question. Ferrante \vas well aware 
of this, and calmly persisted in his outrageous conduct. On 
the feast of SS. Peter and 1 aul this year, as in 1485, the 
palfrey was sent without the tribute, and was returned, 
in spite of the protest of the Neapolitan Envoy/ Accord 
ing to Sigismondo dc Conti the Tope at this time still 
hoped for support from Florence and Milan. It seems 
strange that he could have continued to cherish such futile 
expectations, but it appears that he was not finally un 
deceived until the conduct of these States, on the occasion 
of the disputes, between Ascoli and Fermo, had made 
further illusions impossible. In 148; Cardinal Giuliano 
della Rovcre had clone his best to restore order and make 
peace, but in vain, and the strife, had been going on ever 
since from bad to worse. In the Summer of 1491 the 
people of Ascoli had attacked Offida ; the Vice-Legate of 
the Marches was besieged and a Papal Knvoy was murdered. 
In August, Innocent despatched Cardinal de La lvalue and 
Niccolo Orsini of Pitigliano with a body of troops to punish 
this crime, and put an end to the state of anarchy which pre 
vailed throughout the district. They took Monte Brandone, 
and would soon have reduced the people of Ascoli to order, 
but for the intervention of Virginio Orsini at the head of a 
Neapolitan force. Innocent now applied to Venice, Milan, 
and Florence for help, but with absolutely no result. These 
powers vvere, on the contrary, determined to do everything 
in their power to hinder the pacification of the Papal State 
and weaken the power of the Pope.* Lorenzo s participa 
tion in these intrigues and also his action in securing the 

* CAITKM.I, Si. 

t SIUISMONDO MI; CONTI, II.. 32; IH*RCH.\RI>I Diarium, I., 415; 
r.\T.\x, V., 250 sty. For Fen-ante :; unHu -hiii- denial <>i his implica 
tion in the Abeoli disturbance,, bee TklNCULKA, II., I, I set/. 


victory for the Baglioni in Perugia shew his character in a 
very unfavourable light, considering his relationship to the 
Pope, and the many favours that he had received from 

These painful experiences, reinforced by the entreaties of 
the Romans and the Cardinals, at last induced Innocent to 
consent to make direct overtures to F crrantc for an accom 
modation ; j- and the King, alarmed at the increasingly 
intimate relations which were growing up between France 
and the Holy See, in reply offered better terms than could 
have been expected. Gioviano Pontano came to Rome in 
December, and, though there were many difficulties to over 
come, an agreement was at last effected, which was an 
nounced in a Secret Consistory on the 29th January 1492.^ 
The con .itions were that the imprisoned Barons were to be 
tried and judged by the Pope ; that the King was to pay 
36,000 ducats down for his fief, and for the future to main 
tain 2,000 horsemen and 5 triremes for the service of the 
Church, and to continue as before the annual present of the 

From this moment Ferrante s behaviour towards the 

* RKTMOXT, Lorcn/o, II., 280 sc</., ed. 2. 

t SIGISMOXDO DK CONTI, II., 31-3, represents Innocent s decision 
as having been determined by the conduct of the Italian powers in the 
affairs of Ascoli, and he is fully corroborated by the Reports of the 
Fenarese Envoys in BAI.AX, V., 251, n. j. Accordingly REUMOXT, 
II., 380, ed. 2, who has entirely overlooked Balan s work, requires cor 
rection on this point. 

I CAi PliLU, 82 ; Bi RCHAkni Diaiium, I. ,442 ; TALLARK .o, Pontano, 
234 scy. (Xapoli, 1874); TJIVASXK, Djem-Sultan, 289 scq.\ Nux- 
ZIANTE, Lettcre di Pontano, 4 scq.< and a ^Letter from G. L. Cataneo, 
dat. Rome, Feb. 15, 1492. (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua.) The date in 
RAYNALDUS, ad an. 1492, n. 10, is incorrect. 

SIGISMOXDO DL ; CONTI, I., 33; GOTTLOB, Cam. Ap., 233; and 
THUASXL, loc. cit., 293. 


Pope underwent a complete transformation. Amidst 
effusive professions of gratitude and devotion he commenced 
negotiations for a family alliance between himself and 
Innocent VIII. He proposed that his grandson. Don 
Luigi of Aragon, should marry Battistina, a daughter of 
Teodorina and Gherardo Usodimare. Fear of France was 
the cause of the complete change of front ; the wily King 
saw at once how dangerous the growth of this rising power 
must be to his kingdom ; and, in addition to this, there was 
the other danger from the Turks. Ferrante despatched an 
Knvoy to Innocent VIII. to discuss this subject.* On the 
2/th May, Ferdinand, Prince of Capua, son of Alfonso of 
Calabria and Ferrante s grandson, came to Rome and was 
received with royal honours. f A chronicler of the time 
says that he will not attempt to describe the splendours of 
this reception as no one would believe him,* and the con 
temporaneous reports of the Envoys corroborate his state 
ment. A banquet, given by Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, which 
lasted six hours, seems to have surpassed in sumptuous- 
ness anything hitherto imagined. Dramatic performances 
were included in the pleasures provided for the guests. 
The entertainment given in honour of the betrothal 

+ Cf. infra. Chap. 4. 

t In addition to JH RCHARDI Di.irium, I., 477; and The *Chronidr 
of i ARKMl .National Library, Florence), see also (i. A. Uoccacrio s 
* Report, (hit. Rome, May 27. 1492. State Archives, Modena. 

1 IXFKSSURA, 273 4. 

^ *H1 rev 1110 Mons. Ascanio fa uno apparato quodfimmodo incredibile 
per honorare el dido principe a rasa soa ad uno pranso die sera tuto il 
i^iomo ; la ruprire tute quelle strade ot cosi il cortillo com quello suo 
orto guasto dove se fara el jjranso con uno apparato resale et dove se 
recitarano molte comedie et representa< ione ; mm se attcnde ad altro 
se noil de fare una cosa singulare all di nostn. Second ~ ! Letter ot ( .. A. 
Boccaccio, on May 27. (. / . ** Report of June 5. 149?. State Archives. 


of Lufgi of Aragon to Battistina Cibo furnished an occa 
sion for a fresh display of magnificence in the Vatican 
itself.* But all this time, side by side with these festivities, 
serious negotiations were going on. The object of Ferdi 
nand s visit was to obtain for himself the investiture of 
Naples, and thus secure the succession for the family. This, 
the French Envoys, who were then in Rome on important 
business for the King of France, did their utmost to pre 
vent. They had been sent thither on account of Anna, the 
heiress of the Duchy of Brittany, who had been betrothed 
by procuration to Maximilian, King of the Romans. 
Charles VIII., anxious to get possession of this important 
province, had carried her off, and now required a Papal dis 
pensation to set her free from her betrothal ; and other 
dispensations were also needed, as Charles was himself 
betrothed to Margaret of Burgundy, and was also related 
to Anna. These dispensations were granted, but privately, 
and disavowed by Innocent and the Ambassadors, j- 

The French King was encouraged by this success to hope 
that he might also be able to hinder the investiture of 
Ferdinand. In the Spring of 1492, the Master of the Horse, 
Perron de Baschi, came to Rome ostensibly on other busi 
ness, but in reality for this purpose, and to request that it 
might be conferred on France."! 

But, accommodating as the Pope had shewn himself in 
regard to the dispensations, this was quite another matter, 
and Baschi s mission failed utterly. On the 4th June, in a 
Secret Consistory, a Bull was read regulating the Neapolitan 
succession. It provided that Ferrante s son Alfonso was to 
succeed him, and in the event of Alfonso predeceasing his 

* BURCIIARDI Diarium, I., 487-8. 

+ ULMAXX, Maximilian I.. I., 1,74 set?., 139 seg ; cf. also GRAUERT, 
Hist. Jahrb., VII., 451. 

+ Bu-hR. Be/iehum-en, 304, 531 seq. 


father, the Prince of Capua.* The French Ambassador 
wished to enter a protest against this, but, by the Tope s 
orders, was refused admission to the Consistory.^ 

* IH kCliAKDl Diarium, I., 488 ; SlGISMONDO DK CONTI, II., 34; *1 J A- 
RKNTI, Chronicle (National Library, Florence); RAYNALDUS, adan. 1492. 
n. i i 13; liokciA, Uom. temp, nelle due Sicilie, 198 9. Koma, 1789 

t TRINCHKRA, I., 1 15-6, 



OF all the evil consequences produced by the disputes 
between Naples and the Holy See, which lasted throughout 
almost the whole of the Pontificate of Innocent VIII., the 
worst was their effect in checking the war against the 

Disturbing news from the East was perpetually arriving. 
Just at the time of the Papal election the hordes of Sultan 
Bajazet had overrun Moldavia and conquered the two 
important strongholds of Kilia and Akjerman.* Deeply 
impressed by this event, and by further news of an increase 
in the Turkish navy, Innocent VIII., immediately after his 
election, issued an address to the Italian .States and all the 
European powers, pointing out the magnitude of the danger 
which threatened the Church and western civilisation, and 
asking for immediate assistance to repel it. He summoned 
all the Christian States to send Ambassadors as soon as 
possible to Rome, provided with full powers to decide on 
the measures to be adopted, as the situation was so serious 
as to brook no delay .f This Encyclical is dated Nov. 21, 

* FRAKN6I, Mathias Corvinus, 220. 

t RAYNALUUS, ad an. 1484, n. 61, from the *Lib. brev. 18, f. 63, to 
which is added : *Similia regi Ferdinando, dud Mediol., Florenl., dud 
Sabaudiae, dud Ferrariae, march. Alantuae, march. Monlisferrati, card, et 
duci ac ant. Januen., imperaton, rcyi Frandae, dud 13ritaniae, dud Maxi- 


1484, and on the same day a special letter was despatched 
to Mathia^ Corvinu.-., King of Hungary, who was at war 
with the Fmperor Frederick, admonishing him to put forth 
all his strength against the enemy of the Faith/ .About 
the same time the Tope wrote to Ferdinand, King of Aragon 
and Castile, desiring him to protect Sicily, which belonged 
to him, and was threatened by the Turks. f I le also exerted 
himself to have measures taken for the defence of Rhode. ^ 
and in February 1485 proposed to he King of Naples a 
detailed scheme for the protection of the Italian sea-board 
from the Turkish ships. A fleet of 60 triremes and 20 
ships of burden would be necessaiy to defray the expense 
of this, Naples and Milan should contribute 75,000 ducats, 
Florence 50,000, Ferrara and Siena 6000, Montserrat and 
Lucca 2000, Piombino 1000. It boded no good for the 
success of this plan when Florence, with all her wealth, 
Ton ml a flimsy pretext for evading her share of the assess 
ment. I lcnty of money was forthcoming lor the war with 
Genoa, but all the Pope s warnings as to the far greater 
importance of that against the Turks, on which the pre- 
serva ion of Italy and the Christian Faith depended, fell on 
deaf cars. ^ In the beginning of 1485, Innocent VI II. wrote 
i?gain to Ferdinand of Aragon and Castile on the defence 
of the Sicilian coast, and meanwhile set a good example 
himself by taking energetic measures to strengthen the 
fortifu ations of his own ports on the Adriatic, and more 

mil., rc^i Angliae, regi I Ii-paniae, rc^i Scotiae, re;/. Datiac, re^i rortu- 
^alliae, re^i 1 olomae, duei Saxomae, inarch. Brandeb., < omiti I alat. 
Rheni, Joh. archiepisc. Treviren., Hcnnano archiepisc. Colon., Bertoldo 
archiep. Mo-unt., ad conrcdcral()>. duci Austriac, duci Ba\ anar, Scncn- 
bibu , TAiccnsibus. Secret Archi\ cs of the \ T atican. 

* I lir.iM.R, Mon. Un^., II., 501 2; and RAVXALDUS, ad an. 1484, 
n. 62 3. 

t RAVNAI nus, ad an. 1484, n. 67 S, if. 69 and 71. 

liud., ad an. 140^ n. 4. 
VOL. V. U 


especially of Ancona. The Legate of the Marches, Car 
dinal Orsini, the Governor of Fano, and finally the citizens 
of Ancona, all received stringent orders to this effect.* 
When, in April, more reassuring ne\vs arrived, according to 
which no attack was to be apprehended from the Turks in 
that year, the Legate was desired by no means to relax his 
efforts on this account. f 

The disputes which arose between Rome and Naples in 
the Summer of 1485 had the effect of completely shelving 
the question of the Turkish war. The Pope was obliged to 
content himself with providing for the defence of his own 
sea-board and doing what he could to assist the numerous 
refugees who were fleeing northwards to escape the Turks.* 
From this time forward Innocent VIII. was always in such 
difficulties that he ceased to be able to give effective atten 
tion to these larger questions. The ink of the Treaty of 
Peace concluded between him and Ferrante in August 1486, 

* * Legato Marchie, cl;it. lit s. (1485, Januarii 22) : Yarii rum ores quot- 
tidie atTeruntur dc apparatibus Turd qui in Italiam venire meditatur ct 
diverse etiam rationes extant ut id credatur. Measures were to be taken 
for the defence of the coast, and more especially of Ancona. Lib. brev. 
18, f. 105 ; ibid., f. 114; Anconitatis, dat. /// s. (1485, Febr. i); il>id., 
f. 115 ; *Gubernatori Fani, dat. ut s. (1485, Febr. 4). (Secret Archives 
of the Yatican.) Q. GOTTLOl?, Cam. Ap., 126 seg. 

t "*Bapt. Card, de Ursinis, legato Marchie, dat. Romae, vi. Aprilis, 
1485. Lib. brev. 18, f. 163. In June of the following year some Turkish 
vessels appeared in the Adriatic, and a "Brief of June 12, 1486, warn.-, 
the Governor of the Marches to watch the coast. Lib. brev. 19, f. 416. 
Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

J Cf. " >; Tjricf to the Legato Marchie Anconitane, dat. id s. (1485, Oct. 
1 8): Placet nobis admodum quod provider! fcceris locis maritimis pro- 
vincie ob Turcorum incursionem. Lib. brev. 19, f. 21. (Secret Archives 
of the Yatican.) Cf. the resolution of the Senate of Loreto for protect 
ing the church containing the Holy House, against the Turks, in Arch. 
St. dcll : Artc, I., 419 scg. On piracy, if. GUIM.IEI.MOTTI, 481 sey. ; on 
Innocent YIIl. s pensioners, GOTTi.oi;, Cam. Ap.. 63, 203. 


was hardly dry before the King had violated all its provi 
sions. In the- following year Innocent had the distres; 
seeing the Lord of Osimo, Boccolino Gux/.one, allying him 
self with the Sultan in order to incite him to attack the 
Marches." Harassed as he was, however, the Pope still 
c ung to the project of a Crusade. In December 1486, 
Raymond Peraudi ( Perauld) was sent to the court of the 
Kmpcror Frederick, who at that time was not well disposed 
towards Innocent, and the Carmelite, Gratiano da Villanova, 
to that of Maximilian. Contrary to all expectation, both 
Prince-, were inc ined to listen favourably to the Popes 
proposals for a Crusadc.t Upon this, Innocent on the 2/th 
of May, I4<S6, published a Bull in which he described "the 
dangc from the Turks; which menaced both Germany 
and Italy, and expressed his determination to leave no 
means tinUicd whcre.jy all Christendom might be roused 
and encouraged to resist them. He announced the willing 
ness of the Kmpcror and other kings and princes to under 
take a Crusade., and decreed that a tithe of one year s 
revenue shou d be levied for this purpose on all churches, 
incumbencies, and benefices, and all ecclesiastical persons 
of whatever rank, and whether secular or regular, through 
out the provinces of the Kmpire. Raymond Peraudi and 
Gratiano da Villanova were nominated collectors-general 
of this tax, and endowed with the usual faculties and 

* Cf. sitpra^ p. ?/i2. 

+ S( HM.ii U:, Peraudi, 10 ; and COTT1.or., Peraudi, : 

: C.oTTLOn, Teraucli, 450 drawn from Vatican .ource-- . c /. 

Sooi. A Papal Brief to Kr< ole of dated 148; 
summoning him to assist in UK; Crusade, no doubt belon-s to tin* time ; 
unfortunately it is a tfoocl deal torn. The original is in the State 
Arehives, Modena. Probably the embassy from Henry VII. of Kntf- 
land \vlio\vasatt1iat time on very -ood terms with Innocent winch 
arrived in Rome on May 8, 1487 ^ee An h. d. Soc. Rom., III., 8: si 


In Germany Peraudi made an excellent impression. 
Trithemius says that " he was a man of spotless life and 
morals, and of singularly blameless character, in every 
respect. He had an immense love of justice and a genuine 
contempt for worldly honours and riches. I know of no 
one like him in our day." Such praise seems almost ex 
travagant ; but all the German Princes and learned men 
with whom Peraudi came in contact, express themselves in 
similar terms.* lie was burning with zeal for the Crusade, 
but here he was doomed to bitter disappointment. The 
political confusion throughout the Empire and the egoism 
of the States was too great; neither laity nor clergy were 
in a state of mind to be capable of apprehending any 
general interest. In this matter he accomplished very little. 

On the 26th June, 1487, Berthold, Archbishop of Mayence, 
and the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg addressed a 
letter to the Pope, in which they begged to be exempted 
from the proposed tithe. They said it would be impossible 
for them to pay this in addition to the requisitions for 
maintaining the personal dignity of the Emperor. " We 
abstain/ they say, " from mentioning the permanent 
charges which the Church has to bear, and which are by 
no means insignificant: but frequent wars, and the oppres 
sion and extortions which the Church and the clergy have 
had to endure for so long, have brought them so low that 

had also to do with the Crusade. In 1487 and 1489 Henry VII. con 
sented to the publication of Papal Hulls on the Crusade, but the Papal 
collectors had but small success, and got little help from the Court. See 
BUSCH, England, I., 243-388. 

* SCHNEIDER, Peraudi, 12, where the original document is given. 
Florex speaks unfavourably of him, and calls him vain and garrulous 
(BROWN, State Papers, I., 191) ; but as he was an opponent, his opinion 
is not an impartial one. At any rate, even if he were not entirely devoid 
of vanity and a little too fond of talk, it is evident that Peraudi made a 
good impression in Germany. 

nil 1 H ULTII. 1 ; RAISKD I ,V CKKMANV. 293 

neither in the churches nor personally arc they able to 
maintain the splendour of former days, and it is to In 
ferred that they will soon be completely ruined. Your 
Holiness can imagine of what men become capable when 
tin-} are driven to such straits. They persuade themselves 
that all things are allowable, just or unjust, good or bad. 
for extreme need knows no law."* 

According to Trithemius, the clergy in all parts of the 
Kmpire held meetings to deliberate on what was to be done, 
and finally resolved to appeal from the Tope ill-informed 
to the Pope better-informed.-!- The resistance was so great 
that Innocent was forced to give up the imposition of the 
tithe in (ierman\ r .* lie did not give up the Crusade, 
and since next to nothing was to be got from Germany he 
now turned to France. On the i6th November, 1.487, the 
Knvoystothc French Court, Lionello Cheregato of Vicen/a, 
P-idiop of Trail, and a Spaniard, Antonio More/., started 
from Rome. 5 On the 2Oth January, 1488, Cheregato de 
livered a stirring address, in the Royal Palace at Paris, 

* Mi U.KK, Reirhsta^stheat. Friedr. III., 130 scq.\ C.esrh. d. Xun- 
ticn, II., 700 711 ; WKISS, Uerlhold von llenneber- , I-"?; (iKMUARUT, 
:S. On the -rievanres \\hich the Emperor at that time had ayainst the 
J ,,JH-. cf. [AXSSKX, Rcichsrorrcsp., II., 477 scy., ami Korsrh. air Deuts- 
fhc n ( .c. h., XX., i 57. 

t TRITHKMU S, 1!., 529; Wl .ISS, he. elf. 

i ( iuo i l.l I.Xh, Ouclicn. I., 46. 

( ;, n i i.Di;. I cratuli, 451, makes Nov. [3 the date of their departure; 
but r.oulV. AHotii, who is always wcll-infonnod, says in a ^Despatch 
of Nov. 17, 1487, that the Knvovs to I-Yanrr had started "yesterday. 
Suite Archives, Modena.) Hero, as aUo in a Report in C xi i i.i i I 
\\hii li has not hitherto been noticed by any historian, it is stated the 
Kinovs, besides the inauguration of the Crusade, were commissioned to 
endeavour to negotiate the abrogation of tin- I raymatic Sanction. ( /. 
SIC.ISMOXDO DK COXTI, 11.. 22, and Tin \SNK. I )jem Sultan, iS|. 
Tin \-M (174 erroneously put- ot l" the departure ol tlie XunciOs 
the tir- 1 davs of 1 )ereinl>er. 


before Charles VIII., on the Turkish question. Referring 
to the glorious feats of arms accomplished by the King s 
predecessors and the Popes in the past times against the 
Turks, he contrasted in glowing terms those days with the 
present. " In the days of your forefathers, who went forth 
to fight against the Crescent and for the Christian Faith, 
who would have thought it possible that we should be 
coming here to-day to urge you to come to the rescue of 
Italy and the States of the Church from those same 
inhuman enemies of the Christian name?" 

In order to shew how great the danger was, the Xuncio 
referred to Boccolino Guxzoni s attempted treason. Its 
failure had only made the Sultan still more eager to attack- 
Italy. The Italian States were not strong enough to defend 
themselves single-handed, and therefore the Tope required 
assistance from the other Christian Powers. The) would 
not be able to give this help unless they were at peace 
among themselves, and therefore Innocent urged the King 
to use his influence to put an end to the present deplorable 
divisions. As these wars were evidently a Divine chastise 
ment brought upon nations through the faults of the Princes 
and people, now was the time for the King to reform the 
abuses which had crept into ecclesiastical affairs in France. 
The way in which Cheregato expressed himself on this 
subject confirms the statement, which we have from other 
sources, that he had instructions to endeavour to combat 
the anti-Roman spirit which found its chief expression in 
the so-called Pragmatic Sanction, Finally, he strongly 
urged that the well-known unfortunate Prince Dschem, who 
had been brought to France by the Grand Master of Rhodes 
in 1482, should be handed over to the Pope.* 

* CitKRLC.ATO s speech was printed in Rome (probably by Steph. 
I; the same year, and was republishecl in the App. of SlGlSMONDO 
in: CONTI, I., 428 *eq. 


Later, the task of the Nuncios was rendered much more 
difficult by the course of events in Flanders, where, ever 
since the 1st of February, 1488, Maximilian had been ; 
prisoner in the hands of his subjects. At the request of 
the Emperor, the Pope, through the Archbishop of Cologne, 
laid an Interdict on the rebels.* When the news reached 
the French Court, it was observed there that as Flanders 
belonged to France so severe a punishment ought not to 
have been imposed without consulting Charles VIII., and 
also that it was undeserved, as the Flemings had just 
grounds of complaint against Maximilian.t The anti- 
Roman part) made great capital out of the event. 
Roval Advocate, Johannes Magistri, an enemy of God 
of the Holy See," writes Cheregato from Tours on the i6th 
Max-, 1488, "is delighted at the Interdict, because it gives 
him an opportunity of calumniating the Holy See." 
Raymond Feraudi was sent to France to support Chere- 
o-ato. Being a Frenchman, and having had great influence 
with Louis XL, he seemed the best person to make peace 
between Charles VIII. and Maximilian. From France 
Pcraudi hastened back to Germany to promote the con 
vocation of the States-General, which was to assemble at 

The Assembly at Frankfort was opened on the 6th July, 
1489 A Brief addressed to it depicts the extremity of the 
danger in eloquent language. " The L opcs had made ever 
possible effort to induce the Christian Princes and nations 
to unite together to repel their hereditary foe. 

< ( y w/W, ].. 277, note * and also TUUASXK, Djem- Sultan, 405 s 
an(! Frt ,lrn, k Ill. s letter to the Collie .,f Cardinal*, in Y.M.i N 
Lettcre Lai. di 1 rincipi Austrian. Vene/ia, 1856. 

t Cherey;;ito s Rrjiort in Ljl l .lC, 5 1. 


be in vain ? The matter admitted of no further delay, and 
Innocent urged the Princes to send Envoys as soon as 
possible to Rome, with adequate powers to agree together 
upon a plan of concerted operations. It was essential that 
all jealousies and disputes should be laid aside, and his 
Legates would do all in their power to bring this about. 
Not only would he devote all the resources of the Holy See 
to the expedition, but, if it were deemed advisable, he would 
himself accompany it. He had written in the same sense 
to all the Christian Princes, and hoped that they, as well as 
the Germans, would not refuse to attend to his paternal 
warnings and prayers."* These stirring words were ably 
seconded by Peraudi s diplomatic skill, and within ten days 
he had succeeded in inducing the King of the Romans 
and the French Envoys then in Frankfort, to come to 

During the following months Peraudi was occupied in 
proclaiming the Indulgence for the Crusade in German)-, 
and assisting the Papal Nuncio to the Court of Hungary, 
Bishop Angelo d Orte, in his negotiations to bring about a 
reconciliation between Mathias Corvinus and the Emperor. 
These were so far successful that, on the ipth of February, 
1490, a truce was agreed to which was to last till the 8th of 

* GOTTLOH, Peraudi, 452. The zeal of the Pope for the Crusade is 
also manifested in a *Brief to Lucca of April 12, 1489. State Archives, 
Lucca, Arm. 6, n. 429. 

t Du MONT, III., 2, 237. Cf. BURCHARDI Diarium, I., 362 ; 
KERVYN DK LKTTKXHOVK, Lettres de Philippe tie Commines, II., 68 
seq. ; SCHNKIUKR, Peraudi, 14 seq. ; Ui.MAXX, Maximilian I., 1. 70. 
On Peraudi s Letter of Indulgence of the year 1489, see Proyr. des 
Gymnasiums m Felclkirch, 1860, p. 186 seq. ; on another of the year 
1490, Serapeum (1849) p. 330. 

% Si iixiiDKK. he. <//., 14-19; ULMAXN, Maximilian L, I. 82: 
FRAKNOI, A lath, Con inus, ?6n. 


Before the opening of the Assembly . it I Yankfort, Innocent 
had achieved a signal success in a matter which was very 
closely connected with the Crusade; he had obtained pos 
session of the person of the man upon whom, according to 
the general opinion, the prospects of the whole enterprise 
would depend. This was the famous Prince Dschem, who, 
on account of disputes in regard to the succession, had been 
obliged to fly from his own country and had taken refuge 
with the Knights of Rhodes.*- lie had arrived in the island 
in 1482. The Grand-Master of the Knights of S. John, 
Pierre d Aubusson, at once saw the use that could be made 
of the Prince for keeping the Sultan in clunk. He agreed 
with Baju/.et to keep the Prince in safe custody in con 
sideration of an annual payment of 45,000 ducats, and as 
long as friendly relations were maintained between the 
Sultan and himself, f Ever since then, Dschem had lived on 
a demesne belonging to the Knights in Auvergne. During 
this time Charles VII I. of France, the Kings of Hungary 
and Xaples, Venice, and innocent VI II. had all been 
endeavouring severally to get the Grand Turk, as he was 
called, into their own hands. 

As earl} as the year 1485 the Pope had made great 
efforts in this direction :+ but he had been unsuccessful, his 
enemy Ferrante having found means to counteract all his 
endeavours. At last, the Papal Nuncios in France, 
Lionello Chercgato and Antonio More/, succeeded in 
obtaining possession of the Prince , but at the cost of large 

^ Sen \F.ii>KR, Tiirkeimigscon^ ress, 4, and e- ]>rt i.illv THUASXK, 
Djein-Sultan, -, .^y. On one- of D.sdiem s prcderessoi . sec I ASTOR. 
Cifsdi. du- 1 apsle, II.. 26.?, Amu. 4, .: 1 Aiifcalx-. 

t THUASXE, Djem-Sultan, 84 w</.\ FOROKOT, J. l;.iluc. 143. 

I RAVNAI.DVS, ad an. 1485,11. 12; ZINKI .ISKX, II., 404: fHUASXi:, 
1 )jein- Sultan, 131 set/. 

: Fk\kN(Si, Mull) CoiviniKS, 22\. 


concessions on the side of Rome. The Grand-Master 
received a Cardinal s Hat for himself and important rights 
and immunities for his Order. The French King was won 
over by the elevation of the Archbishop of Bordeaux (after 
wards of Lyons) to the Cardinalate, and apparently also a 
promise that, by delaying the granting of the necessary dis 
pensations, a hindrance should be put in the way of the 
marriage of Anne of Brittany with the rich Alain d Albret* 
The treaty concluded between Innocent and the Knights 
of S. John, with the consent of Charles VIII., provided 
that " the Prince, for his personal security, should retain a 
body-guard of Knights of Rhodes, while the Pope was to 
receive the pension of 45,000 ducats hitherto paid to the 
Order for the maintenance of Prince Dschem, but to pledge 
himself to pay 10,000 ducats if he should hand over his 
charge to any other monarch without the consent of the 
King of France/ ^ 

The King of Naples was almost out of his mind with 
rage when he heard of the Pope s success, and meditated 
all sorts of impossible plans for seizing Dschem during the 
course of his journey from France to Rome.* Meanwhile 
the voyage was safely accomplished, and on the 6th of 
March, 1489, the Prince landed at Civita Vecchia, where, on 
the loth, he was handed over to Cardinal de La Balue by 
his custodian, Guido de Blanchefort, Prior of Auvergne. 
On the evening of the I3th March the son of the conqueror 

* Pil sr.R, Pe/iehuny-en, 261-62 ; THUASXK, Djem-Sultan, 173 set/. ; 
LjTBlC, 56; CllK.RUIKR. I., 187. Oil the nomination:; of the Cardinals, 
see infra, Chap. Y. 

t ZIXKKISKX, II. ,485. Other accounts make the Pension only 40,000 
ducats. Sue 1 iKinKXHriMKk, Correspondenz, 515, note i. 

I Alon. Hung ., IY., 6; FRAKNOI, he. cit. 

;< P.URCIIARDI Diarium, I., 335; THUA5NE, Diem-Sultan, 226; 
\ ( >RGE( >T 1 SCO 


of the Koine of the Fast entered the Internal City by the 
Porta Portcse. All Rome \vas astir ; so large a crowd had 
assembled that it was with the greatest difficulty that a 
path could be cleared through the throng for the cor 
tege. The mob were insatiable in feasting their eyes on 
the unaccustomed sight, and were, penetrated with the 1 
belief that it betokened an escape from a great danger. 
A prophecy had been current throughout Christendom 
that the Sultan would come to Rome and take up his 
abode in the Vatican. Great was the relief and joy when 
it was seen to be so happily fulfilled in so unexpected a 

]))- the Tope s orders Dschem was received with royal 
honours. At the gates he was met by a deputation of 
members of the households of the Cardinals (amongst 
whom, however, there were none of the rank of a Prelate), 
the Foreign Envoys, the President of the Senate, and 
Franceschetto Cibo. " The son of Mahomet disdained to 
vouchsafe them a single glance. With his head enveloped 
in a turban and his gloomy countenance veiled, he sat 
almost motionless on the white palfrey of the Pope." The 
only sign which he gave of being aware of the greetings of 
which lie was the object was a slight inclination of the 
head, and he hardly noticed the gifts, consisting of 700 
ducats and brocaded stuffs, which were sent to him by the 
Pope. He rode in stolid silence between Franceschetto 
Cibo and the Prior of Auvcrgne. The long procession, 
with the trul) Oriental tokens of respect from tin. Fnvoy 
of the Sultan of Kgypt, passed slowly across the I sola 
di S. Bartolomeo and along the Pia//a Giuclea and the 
Campo di Fiore to the Papal Palace-, where tin- Prince 



was conducted to the apartments reserved for royal 

The next day an open Consistory was held, at the 
close of which the Pope received the Grand Turk. Prince 
Dschem was conducted into the hall by Franceschetto Cibo 
and the Prior of Auvergne. The customary ceremonial 
was dispensed with, in order that nothing might be done 
which would dishonour the Prince in the eyes of his 
countrymen. Making a slight inclination and laying his 
right hand on his chin, Dschem went up to the Pope and 
kissed his right shoulder. He addressed Innocent VIII. 
through an interpreter, and informed him that he looked 
upon it as a great favour from God to have been permitted 
to behold him ; when he could see the Pope in private he 
would be able to impart to him some things which would 
be advantageous to Christendom. The Pope in reply 
assured Dschem of his friendly disposition towards him, and 
begged him to have no anxiety, for that everything had 
been arranged in a manner suitable to his dignity. Dschem 
thanked him, and then proceeded to salute each of the 
Cardinals in order according to their rank.f 

* Cf. BURCHARDI Diarium, I., 336 scq., and Sir.iSMONPO DE J CONTI, 
I., 325, who were eye-witnesses. See further, INKKSSURA, 241 seq. ; and 
among modern writers, (iRKGOKOVlus, VII., 286 see/., ed, 3, and 
THUASNK, Djem-Sultan, 227 set/, to 422 scq. Cf- also ^Report of the 
Ferrarese Envoy, March 14. State Archives, Modena. 

t Cf. BURGH ARDI Dianurn, I., 341, who in all essentials agrees with 
SIC.ISMOXUO HE CONTI, I., 326. The * Report of Arlotti, of the j_}ih 
March 1487, which differs from them, is not trustworthy. Cf. also 
SERHOXATJ, 66, and THUASNK, Ujem Sultan, 233 seq. G. L. Cataneo, 
in a * Letter dat. Rome, March 17, 1489, says: *E1 fratello del Tmrhn 
ho/i de essere in audientia cum el papa. El di die se ^e apresentoe in 
publico [consistorio] non disse altro per interprete se non die li piaceria 
molto vedere S. B e per haver cosi desiderato lon^amente e se li prestava 
orechie li daria alchuni born ad\ isi. Goir/aga Archives, Mantua, 


The numerous descriptions of Dschem s outward appear 
ance that \ve find in contemporary writings, testify to the 
interest which lie excited in Rome. The best known of 
these is that by the celebrated painter Mantegna, in a 
letter of June 15, 1489, to the Marquess Francesco Gonzaga 
of Mantua. "The brother of the Turk/ lie writes, " lives 
here in the Palace, carefully guarded. The I ope provides 
him with pastimes of all sorts, such as hunting, imiMC, 
banquets, and other amusements. Sometimes he come.? 
to dine in the new palace, where I am painting, and 
behaves very well for a barbarian. His manners are proud 
and dignified ; even for the Pope lie never uncovers his 
head, nor is it the custom to uncover in his presence. lie 
has five meals in the da}*, and sleeps awhile after each ; 
before meals he drinks sugared water. lie walks like an 
elephant, with a measured step like the beat of a Venetian 
chorus. Mis people speak highly of him, and say he is 
an accomplished horseman, but as yet I have had no 
opportunity of seeing whether this is true. Me often 
keeps his eyes half-closed. Mis nature is cruel, and they 
say he has killed four people; to-day he has severely 
maltreated an interpreter. Me is credited with great 
devotion to liacchus. Ill s people are afraid of him. Me 
takes little notice of what passes, as if he did not under 
stand. Me sice}).-, completely dressed, and gives audience.^ 
sitting cross-legged, like a Parthian. On his head he 
wears thirty thousand (!) yards of linen, his trowsers are 
so wide that he can bur)- himself in them. The expression 
of his face is ferocious, especially when Bacchus has been 
with him."* Several of the traits, as here depicted, arc 

* BOTTAKI, VIII., 2:.. ( /". RKUMONT, III., i, 193, and (-mi. I,, 
55 56. Reunion! inako no comment <>n M antenna - exaggerations. 
On I)M-licm :> poem.-, bcc HAMMKK-PURGSTAIJ., Gest h. tier (Joiiuir. 
Diditkun.-t, I., 1.45 .y<y 


obviously caricatured, but most of the rest are corroborated 
by other accounts. His age at this time is variously com 
puted by different writers. Guilleaumc Caoursin makes it 
28, v/hile Sigismondo de Conti speaks of him as 35 years 
old ; the latter dwells upon the savage expression of his 
countenance, and his uncertain and cruel temper. In all 
other respects these two writers agree in their descriptions 
of him ; they portray him as a tall, powerfully-built man, 
with a swarthy complexion, a hooked nose, and blueish, 
glittering eyes.* The Fcrrarcse and Mantu:in Envoys, who 
were acquainted with the beautiful medals of the Con 
queror of Constantinople, executed by Italian artists, men 
tion the resemblance between the Prince and his father as 
very striking.-)- 

To the Pope, Dschcm was a valuable hostage for the good 
behaviour of the Sultan. At fir:-t Spoleto or Orvieto were 
talked of as places where he could be safely confined ; * but 
finally, it was decided that he could be kept most securely 

* G. Caoursin in THUASXK, T.UKCHAKDI Diarium, I., 557; cf. M. 
! > LJS 5 (!(.. ription, ibid. 527. Sec also Feuillet dc Conche.-, Causeries 
d un Cnricux, IV., 461 scg. (Paris, 1868); Li: BoudV, in the Rev. 
Contemp., 1862; TIIUASXL, Diem-Sultan, 231 scq., and Rev. des Quest. 
Hist. (1892, Juillet) p. 289. 

t Cf. A ^Letter from Arlotti of March 14, 1489 (State Archives, 
Modena); and G. L. Cataneo s ^Report, dat. Rome, March i 7, 1489 : *Lui 
e del aspetto die ho significato et dc anni ( in In trentann<|iic e assai si 
a.">imi;_;lia a la fa/a del pat re sccundo le medaglie (impressions are ^ivcn 
in I I] ; .iv i /i;i-:Rf., 618, and FRAKXOI, M. Corvinus, 97) si ritrovano. 
(jon/:,ii;a Archi\-es, Mantua. 

% Arlotti s " x "J\e])ort of March 14, 1489 (State Archives, Modcna), and 
(i. L. Cataneo s " "Letter of March 17, 1489: "Esso Turcho ha facto 
I > retire X. S ro lo toglia de mane a quclli da Rhodi e lo tcn^ a a Tvoina. 
In summa S. S tu pcrsc\ ei"a in volcrlo mandarc a Orveto e ncl tenijio 
die 1 sta c|ui sc li da oi^ni ])iacere bsirlo \ edere el })aki/:o vechio e novo 
e simile cose. Gonzaya Archives, } T a Uua. 

1 RKl AKATIONS l- Ok Till. < KUSADK. 303 

in the V;itic;m. 1 1 ere the Prince lived in sumptuously 
furnished apartments, commanding an extensive view of 
vineyards and gardens. Ilis maintenance \\ as provided 
for with the greatest libendily, costing i^ooo ducats a 
year. This, says Sigismondo, was a severe drain on the 
overtaxed resources of the Pope, but he submitted to it 
for the sake of the advantages which the whole of Christen 
dom derived from the custody of the Prince.* 

In the autumn of 1489, Innocent VIII. was busily 
occupied with the preparations for the Crusade. t The 
Sultan fully recognised the standing menace which the 
possession of Dschem constituted for him : and his anxieties 
were increased by the negotiations opened by the I ope 
with the Sultan of Egypt,* and his plan for assembling 
representatives of all the Christian Powers in Rome to 
deliberate on the Eastern question. In this difficulty 
.Haja/.et had recourse to an expedient, which, unfortunately, 
in those days was not unfrequently resorted to by European 
Powers also. I le hired a renegade nobleman of the Marches 
of Ancona, by name Cristofano di Castrano (alias Magrino), 
to poison the Belvedere fountain, from which the table of 

* SinisMOxno DI. COXTF, I. ,528 ; TJIUASXK, Djcm-Sultan, 250, 240. 
t Four, i. < >T, j. Iniluc, 147. 

C/. Al.LKCRKTTI, 825 ; K\Y\ \U >l S, ;ul an. 1489, 11.4: Ml I.I.I. K. 
Relax., 237 ; TllUASXK, Djcm-Sultan, 254; and \Yi.lL, Geseh. d. 
Kalilen, \ ., 345, n. i. Stuttgart, 1862. 

vj SK;I>MO\I><) m; (Jovn, I., ^S. In the be;.; inn in;..; of 1490, .he 
celebrated Callhnachus appeared in Rome, sent by the IMIV^ ol Poland. 
1 le :M)ii-ht to (li.-^nacle the I ope from hi:-. ])lan of uniting all ( hi ; lend >m 
in a i ru.-.ade a^ain^t tlie Turks, and to ^liew that it \\ould be far nion 
advantageous for him to conclude a se])aratc agreement \\itli the Kin;-; d 
Poland, \vho \\as (juite prepared to undertake the war a^,un-t i 
believers, and possessed special facilities lor doinj^ so. Xl ".l>sr.i- .I\<;, 
I oln. Geschichtschreibung, joc^ ; Mon. 1 olon., XL. 521 ; CAKO, \"., .:, 
953 scg., 646 sty. 


Dschem as well as that of Innocent VIII. was supplied . the 
poison would take five days to work its effects, and the 
assassin was promised Negroponte and a high post in the 
Turkish army. Apparently there were some accomplices in 
Rome who were aware of the plot. Magrino betrayed him 
self in Venice before he had even arrived in Rome, and was 
arrested, carried thither, and executed in May 1490.* 

The Pope s letter of May 8th, 1489, proposing a Congress, 
met almost universally with a favourable response. f In 
consequence, Briefs were sent out in December appointing 
the 25th March, 1490, as the opening day in Rome.j 
Raymond Peraudi was indefatigable in his labours to 
promote it. In an eloquent letter to the King of Poland, 
he describes how " from the very beginning of his Ponti 
ficate, the mind of Pope Innocent had been incessantly 
occupied in devising means for the defence of the Christian 
Commonwealth, and how the possession of Prince Dschem, 
the Sultan s brother, renders the present moment a specially 
favourable one for action. Dschem has promised, if he 

* IXl KSSURA, 254- 6 ; SlGISMONDO DE CONTI, II., 39; andTlIUASNEj 
Djem-Sultan, 261 scq., 269 scq. In *Commiss. S. I). N. Pape ad episc. 
Tai visinum, we have the history of the strenuous efforts made by the 
Pope in December 1489, to get hold of this malefactor. (Cod. 90, of the 
Library of Verona, f. 5 ll -6.) The conspirator is here called Macrino 
Castracan : *Xon vidi mai homo piii apassionato del X. S 01 per questo 
et dehbera sipere che sono quelli de urbe che ano intelligentia cum 
Macnno ; de lui non fa tanto computo quanto de li complici et fautori. 
The following passage out of the ^Report of G. L. Cataneo of March 17, 
1489, mentioned in note + of p. 302, shews what fears were entertained of 
mtngues in Rome on the part of the Sultan in connection with Dschem: 
*Un Turcho che desmonto a Napoli capito in questa terra nel arivare 
del Turcho e per suspetto e sta carcerato. Gomaga Archives, Mantua, 

t SCHNKIDKK, Tiirkenzugscongress, 4. 

* ~* Brief to Krcolc of Ferrara, dat. Rome, Dec. 6, 1489. (Original in 
the State Archives, Modena.) Cf. the Brief of Dec. 7, 1489, in THEINER, 
Mon. Pol., II., 251. 

MKKTIXC- OF Tin-: coxdkKSS. 305 

obtains the Caliphate through the Christians, to withdraw 
tlie Turks from Europe, and even to give up Constanti 
nople. The Pope has therefore sent Legates to all the 
European Courts, to implore them to lay aside all private 
quarrels and to unite in a common Crusade. lie had himself 
been to France and to Germany, and the result had been 
that Charles and Maximilian had made peace with each 
other. Peace was re-established also in Brittany, Flanders, 
and Brabant. He was now endeavouring to bring about an 
accommodation between the Emperor and Hungary. He 
implored and adjured his Majesty by the mere)" of Christ, 
that he too would shew himself to be a good Cathulic 
and pious King by complying with the Pope s desires.* 

At the request of Frederick III. and Maximilian, the 
Congress was put off till a little later. On the 25th March, 
Pietro Mansi of Vicen/a, Bishop of Cesena, delivered a 
stirring address for the opening,! but the actual business 
did not begin till after Pentecost. Venice took no part in 
this assembly, in order to avoid disturbing her good rela 
tions with the Porte.* 

The history of the Congress is to be found in the pages 
of Sigismondo de Conti ; and elsewhere a series of 
documents serve to complete it. On the 3rd of June, all 
the Cardinals and the Envoys met in the Papal Palace. 
Innocent VIII. delivered a long address, retracing the 
history of his efforts up to the present time, to set on loot 

* Gorn.oii, Peraudi, 453. 

t Printed in the App. to SIC.ISMONDO ni-; TOXTI. II., 41^5 23, and 
repeatedly published. 

J THUASNK, Djem-Snltan, 265. 

_^ Especially the -Report of the Envoy from Cleves and Julier-;, 
Johann Xa^ ell, to Duke \\ illiain I., in the State Archives at 1 hissrldoi f 
(section Ji.ilich-Bery, 1 olit. Be^ cbenheiten, I. A.), \\hich is accompanied 
by lonnal documents, and ot which Schneider h i - made n-e in hii 
Turkenzn^sconijress, i st </. 

\ < >L. \ . X 


an expedition against the Turks. He had taken infinite 
trouble and made large pecuniary sacrifices to obtain 
possession of the person of Dschem, which appeared to him 
to be a matter of great importance. The Sultan Bajazet 
was very much afraid of his brother, a party among the 
Janissaries and people being bent upon stirring up a revolt 
in his favour. It was their bounden duty not to permit 
this heaven-sent opportunity to pass without taking advant 
age of it. They had therefore to consider where and with 
what soldiers the attack should be opened ; whether by land 
or by water, or by both at once ; how large the army should 
be, how the fleet should be equipped, whether the land 
and sea forces should operate separately, or combined in 
detachments. They must also deliberate as to the number 
of generals, whether there should be one Commander-in- 
Chief, or several of equal rank ; what money will be re 
quired, and how it is to be collected ; whether there should 
be a reserve fund in case of mishaps ; how long the war was 
likely to last ; \vhat amount of provisions and war material 
will be requisite ; and how the expense of the whole is to 
be apportioned. The Cardinals ought also to consider all 
these questions so as to be prepared to give their advice 
when needed. Perhaps it would be well also to take 
counsel as to whether it might not be possible for the 
Pope to follow the example of Sixtus IV., and by his 
Apostolical authority impose a truce between all Christian 
Princes for the time being.* 

As time went on, there was no lack of the usual disputes 
in regard to precedence ; and the Envoys, divided into two 
parties, Germans and Italians, made but slow progress with 
the negotiations. At last, however, mainly thanks to the 
German, and especially to the Imperial Envoys, a reply to 
most of the questions proposed by the Pope was agreed 

* SCHNEIDER, Turkenzugscongress, 5-6. 


ARMY. 30; 

to. The address was handed over in writing to the Pope 
and the Cardinals. It began by thanking God, first, that 
he had put such desires into the heart of the I ope, and 
next, Innocent himself for his exertions in the matter of 
Dschem, who was most valuable as a standing menace to 
the Sultan, and a means of breaking up his Kmpire. He 
should be carefully guarded in Rome for the present, and 
later on, counsel should betaken as to how he could be most 
advantageously employed in the campaign. As regarded 
the constitution of the arm} , the Knvoys were of opinion 
that it should consist of three divisions: a Papal and Italian 
army, a German army, including Hungary, Poland, and the 
Northern States, and a third force made up of the French, 
Spaniards and English. In addition to the separate chiefs 
of these various corps, a single Commander-in-Chief should 
be appointed. The Germans considered that if the 
Kmperor, or, failing him, the King of the Romans, person- 
all} took part in the Crusade, he should be, iflso f^clo, 
Commander-in-Chief. The other Knvoys wished that the 
Generalissimo should be elected at the beginning of the 
war by the Princes and the Pope. The} further expressed 
their opinion that it would be extremely desirable that the 
Hoi}- Father should accompany the expedition. To pro 
vide for the expenses of the war they suggested that each 
Prince should levy a toll on his subjects, clergy and laity 
contributing alike. The duration of the war might In- 
calculated at three years. 

It was important that the troops should be collected 
simultaneously and as quickly as possible : the German 
contingent in Vienna, arid the rest in Ancona, Hrindisi. 
or Messina. The German troops were to march through 
II nngar} and \Vallachia ; the fleet would attack the 
Peloponnesus and Fubn-a : the French and Spaniards with 
the Italian horsemen were to concentrate in Valona and 


thence bear down upon the enemy. A simultaneous attack 
should be directed against the Moors ; but it seemed an 
essential preliminary to the whole undertaking that the 
Pope should endeavour to put an end to the disputes be 
tween the Christian powers, or, at any rate, secure an 
armistice for the time. 

In his reply, Innocent thanked the Envoys for their 
approval of his plan of fighting the Turks by means of 
Prince Dschem. The question as to whether the Turkish 
Prince should accompany the expedition in a captive or 
active capacity, must be left to those who were best ac 
quainted with the enemy and their country ; but the 
decision of this point should not be long delayed. In 
regard to the assembling of the forces, the simultaneous 
commencement of the war, the route selected for the attack, 
and the pacification of Europe, the Pope agreed in all essen 
tials with the views of the Envoys. The Commander-in- 
Chief must be either the Emperor or the King of the Romans, 
as they were the natural protectors of the Church. With 
regard to the expenses of the war, the levies from the 
laity should be collected by the Princes, while he would 
charge himself with the taxation of the clergy ; but this 
subject might be further discussed. He thought that a 
force of 50,000 horsemen and 80,000 infantry would suffice ; 
but the strength of the army and fleet would be a matter 
for future agreement between the Christian Princes. In 


regard to his personal participation in the Crusade, Inno 
cent declared that he was prepared in everything to follow 
the example of his predecessors. The war must be counted 
as likely to last five rather than three years, and should be 
begun in the following year, when the Sultan of Egypt was 
expected to make an attack on the Turks. Referring to 
the hostile attitude of the King of Naples towards himself, 
Innocent further observed that it was one of the primary 


duties of the 1 Christian Princes to maintain order in tin- 
States of the Church. He insisted earnestly on the great 
importance of immediate action, as the main tiling on 
which the chance of success depended.* In conclusion, lie 
expressed his surprise that the Envoys declared themselves 
unable to come to any definite decision without further 
reference to their respective governments, seeing that he 
had expressly requested that they should be provided with 
full powers for this very purpose. He hoped, at any rate, they would lose no time in obtaining them, lest the 
favourable moment for making use of Prince Dschem 
should be lost by further delay.f On the 3Oth July the 

* "The recommendations of the Roman Court in regard to the condu< t 
of the war," observes SCII.XKII >i,u (Tiirkeimigsconyress, in, betoken 
reat prudence and knouled^e of the subject; for the mo.^t part they 
a^ i cc \vith those of the Emperor s Envoys. Xo doubt they were to a 
L;rcat extent inspired by the military experienre of Cardinal Ciuliano 
della Rovcre, afterwards lului-. II. ;; The I "ope had also obtained much 
useful information on the internal condition of the Turkish Empire from 
Callimachus. See st//>r<t, p. 30 ^ note .i\ 

t SK;ISMOM>O in, CONTI, II., i 4, and the documents from the 
Ar< hives of the Capitol there printed in the App., 424 ](>. These latter 
arc generally ([noted ; I discovered the following MSS., which, in part, 
i.ontam better readings : (i) Collection in Codex, without signature, in the 
Altieri Library, Koine ; 2) Cod, Oitob., 1888, f. 161 -73, Vatican Library ; 
(3) Cod. I)., IV., 22, f. 2(32 17, of the Casanat. Lib., Rome ; (4) I olitii or. 
varia, \TL, f. 330 .sy</., Seci el Archives of the Vatican; (5) State 
Arclmes, Dusse dorf. ( / . Scnxi.iiu.R, Tiirken/u^^c on-re>% / ii,\\ho, 
however, lias ox-erlooked the copy in Sic,!s\io\i>o ni-. CoN i i in the State 
Archives, Venice, Cod. Mix elk, 692. The Roponsio Inno< entn \TIL, 
is in Codex 6, I hit. XIV. of the Capitoline Archives, as \\ell as in the 
MS. in the Casanat. Lib., dat. die lunae xx\i. Julii : the MS. in the 
Diisseldorf Archives and that in the Venetian Archives hears the same 
date. That in the Cod. Ottob. is dated lunae 10 Julii. As in 1490, the 
26th and not the i6th July fell on a Monday the former seems to be 
the correct date ; X. FRANCO, however, appears to contradict this view, 
as, in i-jiviny an extract in his notes from the ans\\et of the I ope, he 


Congress was closed by the Pope, to be reopened when the 
Envoys had received the requisite full powers ; but this 
never took place.* 

According to the somewhat optimist view of Sigismon- 
do de Conti, the Crusade would really, in spite of all 
difficulties, have been carried through, had it not been for 
the death of the King of Hungary, Mathias Corvinus, at 
the early age of 47, from an apoplectic stroke.f The 
blow to the Christian cause was all the greater because 
this event at once plunged that country into a bitter con 
test for the succession to the throne. Maximilian seized 
the opportunity to endeavour to recover his hereditary 
possessions in Hungary. On the igth of August he 
marched into Vienna, where he was warmly greeted by 
the inhabitants. On the 4th of October he started 
from thence to make good his claim to the Hungarian 
throne by force of arms ; but want of money and a 
mutiny amongst his retainers checked his otherwise 
victorious progress. As but little help could be got 
from the Empire, a Peace was concluded between him 
and King Wladislaw, on the 7th November, 1491, at Pres- 
burg. The Pope had done his best to bring this about ; 
but now the final blow to the prospects of the Crusade 
fell in the revival of the quarrel between Charles VIII. 

writer : *Die xii. Julii, 1490. Questa matina el N. S. in consistorio ha pro- 
posto questo et benche el sia piu diffuse, tamen sollicite collegi memoria. 
Cod. 90, f. 28b scq. in the Town Library, Verona. It should be noticed 
here that in 1490 the I2th July was a Monday. On the jist July, 1490, 
Innocent VIII. wrote a ^Letter to Frederick III., on the Congress for 
the Crusade. (State Archives, Vienna.) See Regest. in LICHNOWSKY, 
VIII., n. 1416. 

* SCHNEIDER, Tiirkenzugscongress, n. 

t SIGISMONDO DE CONTI, II., 4 ; FRAKXOI, M. Corvinus, 270; see 
also LASCARIS, in the Serapeum (1849), 68. 

PROPOSALS 01- I .AJA/I.T. 3 11 

and Maximilian, which broke out afresh with redoubled 
violence. * 

While political affairs in the North were thus developing 
in a very unfavourable manner for the Crusade, the Tope, 
who was also suffering from serious illness.-f was cruelly 
harassed by Ferrantc. Venice, the greatest naval power in 
Europe, steadily pursued her huckster s policy of giving her 
support to whatever state of things seemed most advan 
tageous for her commerce. Throughout the Congress, she 
kept the Sultan thoroughly informed of all its transactions.* 
Under such conditions as these, what chance could there be 
of a combined attack on the Crescent? We need to realise 
this hopeless state of things in order to understand how 
Innocent VIII. came to lend a favourable car to the pro 
posals made to him in November 1490, through a Turkish 


The Sultan Bajazet lived in perpetual terror lest Prince 
Dschcm might be employed as a tool wherewith to attack 
him. His attempt to poison the Prince having failed, when 
the news of the Congress to discuss the question of a new 
Crusade reached him, he determined to try another ex 
pedient. 1 Ic despatched an embassy to Rome, which arrived 
there on the 3Oth of November, 1490, bringing presents, 
and an unsealed letter to the Pope, written in Greek on 
papyrus. In this letter he requested Innocent VI 1 1. to 
undertake the custody of his brother Dschem, in Rome, 
on the same conditions as had formerly been arranged with 
the Grand-Master of the Knights of Rhodes. 

* ULMANN, Maximilian I., I. 97 Jty., nojnv/., 112 si r/.\ ULT.KR, III., 
2<)-, set/.; KKOXI.S, II., 484 .v<v/. 

t Cf. sitf>ni, p. 281. 

+ Cf. Sc, Tiirkenzugscontfress, n,note 4 and 12. I lie docu 
ments in Mru.F.u, Relax., 237, 288, shew what fliendly relations subsisted 
between Florence and the Sultan in 1487 and 1488 

< SKiis.MONDO i>i. : O>\ Ti, II., 23 J<Y., whose report i.-, confirmed 


The Pope accepted the Sultan s gifts and permitted the 
Envoys to visit Prince Dschem and assure themselves of his 
well-being-. In regard to the negotiations he considered 
the matter too important and affecting too many interests 
to decide it by himself, and therefore called a Council of 
all the Ambassadors then present in Rome to discuss it. 

The Turkish Ambassador had at first promised that as 
long as Dschem was kept in safe custody his master would 
abstain from attacking any part of Christendom. Later, 
however, he restricted this promise to the coasts of the 
Adriatic, and expressly excluded Hungary, with the result 
that no agreement could be come to. The Envoy left 

throughout by the letters of the Envoy. In addition to the reports from 
the Florentine State Archives, given by THUASNE, Djem-Sultan, 276 
scq.) I have made use of the following documents (a} **Report of Bon- 
francesco Arlotti, dat. Rome, Dec. 2, 1490 (State Archives, Modena) ; (/>) 
**Report of the Milanese Envoy (Jac. episc. Dherton. et Steph. Taberna), 
dat. Rome, Dec. 2, 1490 (State Archives, Milan). Here I found in the 
Series " Turchia ; a contemporaneous Latin translation of the Sultan s 
letter ; in substance it agrees with the account given of it by Sigismondo 
and Baluze ; the translation differs a good deal from theirs, and they also 
differ from each other in the wording in many places. For comparison 
I here subjoin the beginning: Sultan Parazit Chan Dei gratia magnus 
imperator ac utriusque, &c., omnium christianorum patri et domino dom. 
Rom. eccles. antistiti dignissimo. Post condccentem et iustam allo- 
cutionem. Significamus Tue Divinitati intellexesse nos a r. card, 
magno magistro Rhodique domino germanum nostrum isthic degere ad 
presens, qui a nominati cardinalis proceribus istuc adductus mine quoque 
sub illorum custodia est. Que res urbis quidem pergrata visa est admo- 
dumque letati sum us ipsum apud vos hospitari, etc. The translation in the 
Milanese State Archives differs from Sigismondo de Conti and Baluze, 
Miscell., I., 517, in bearing the date May 16, 1490, instead of May 17. 
Many MS. collections contain translations of this letter, as, for instance, 
Cod. 511 of the Chapter Library at Lucca, also (date May 20) Cod. 716 
of the Munich Library, and MS. 1238 of the National Library in Paris ; see 
THUASXE, Djem-Sultan, 277. The Greek text (cf. BRIEGKRS Zeitschr., 
VII., 152), in Cod. Vatic. Gr. 1408, f. 29 a - lj , is dated May 28, 1490. 


the pension for D.schem, which had hitherto been paid to 
Rhodes, in Rome, and t/)ok back an answer from the Pope 
to the effect that no definite reply could be given to the 
Sultan s proposal until the views of all the Christian powers 
had been ascertained.* Sigismondo de Conti reports that 
man}- men, whose opinion \vas not to be despised, thought 
it imprudent in the Pope to condescend so much to the 
Turkish barbarian, and out of desire of gain to conclude 
a sort of bargain with him; on the other hand he adds: 
Innocent had to consider that by this means Christen 
dom might be saved from war, and he might also obtain 
from the Sultan some sacred relics which were in his 
possession. t 

It may well be conceded to Innocent VIII. that the 
desire to obtain these relics for Rome and to shield Christen 
dom from the attacks of the Turks v;as not an unworthy 
one, and also that under existing circumstances and con 
sidering the unwillingness of the majority of the Christian 
Princes to undertake a Crusade, a compact of this kind was 
probably the most advantageous arrangement then attain 
able:^ but at the same time it is undeniable that the recep 
tion of this sort of subsidy from the Sultan, exercised a de 
cided influence on the Pope s attitude towards the Turks. 

While Baja/et was thus kept in check, and forced to pay 
a kind of tribute to the Holy Sec, by the fear that his most 
dangerous enemy might at any moment be let loose upon 

* I am able to .supply the date which is wanting in SiciiSMONPO m. 
CONTI, II., 25 6, from a contemporaneous copy in the .Milanese State 
An hives : it is 1490 tertio non. Januar. A. 7". 

* SlC.ISMONDO DE CONTI, loc. tit.\ IX KKSSt K A, 261. In regard to 
the Sultan s gifts see the: l- lorcntine report in Tlll ASXE, 2/8 
280, in his criticism of Infessura;, and the **Report of Arlotti, quoted 
supra, p. 309. note t. 

;:" AkT.U h vox MONTOK, (ieschichte dcr 1 apste, continued by 
Zaillar, IV., 172 , Augsburg, 1854); GK<>NE, II., 293. 


him, Ferdinand the Catholic was dealing- a crushing and 
final blow to the power of Islam in the West. Granada fell 
on the 2nd January, 1492, and the banner with the great 
silver crucifix, given by Sixtus IV., which had been borne 
before the army throughout the whole campaign, was 
planted on the Alhambra.* This event closed an episode 
in Spanish history which had lasted eight hundred years ; 
the whole of Spain was now united into a single nation, 
strong enough to make its influence felt henceforth in the 
development of Europe and more especially in that of 
Italy. " In this last and decisive contest with Islam, Fer 
dinand had learnt by experience the utter faithlessness 
of his cousin, the King of Naples. Ferrante had secretly 
supported the Moors against him, and now it only depended 
on the course of events whether, instead of prosecuting the 
war along the north coast of Africa, the Spanish monarch 
should not fix his eyes on the island of Sicily as the Archi- 
median point by means of which Italy could be drawn, bit 
by bit, within the sphere of the influence of Aragon."f 

The fall of Granada sent a thrill of joy through the whole 
of Europe ; it was looked upon as a sort of compensation 
for the loss of Constantinople. Nowhere, however, was the 
rejoicing more heartfelt than in Rome, where for many 
years the conflict with the Moors had been watched with 
sympathetic interest* In the night of February 1st the 

* PRKSCOTT, I., 402-3, 486; HKFKLK, Ximenes, 23 $cq.\ SCHIRR- 
MACHER, Gesch. Spaniens, VI., 712; G, VOLPI, La resa di Granata 
(1492), descritta dall oratore di Castiglia e di Aragona presso la s. sede. 
(Lucca, 1889.) FLORIAN, Gonzalo de Cordoba 6 la conquista de 
Granada ; historia de las acciones heroicas, etc., escrita en frances y 
vertida al espafiol por D. J. Lopez de Penalver. Paris, 1892. 

t HOFLER, Rodrigo de Borja, 54-5. 

J When, on the I7th June, 1485, the news of a victory of Ferdinand 
over the Moors reached Rome, a festa was organised at once to celebrate 
the good tidings. See ^Letters of Arrivabenc, dat. Rome, June iSancl 

Till-; 1 ALL OF GRANADA. 315 

news arrived in Rome; Ferdinand had himself written to 
inform the Tope.* The rejoicings, both religion.-, and secu 
lar, lasted for several days. Innocent VIII. went in solemn 
procession from the Vatican to S. James s, the national 
Church of the Spaniards, where a Mass of thanksgiving was 
celebrated, at the end of which lie ^ave the Papal Benedic 
tion. Cardinal Raffaele Riario entertained the Spanish 
Fnvoys with a dramatic representation of the Conquest of 
(iranada and the triumphal entry of the Kin<; and Queen ; 
while Cardinal Borgia delighted the Roman people with the 
novel spectacle of a bull fight, which had never before been 
seen in Rome.^ 

From the time that Ferrante concluded Peace with the 
Pope on January 22, 1492, he appears to have begun again 
to take an interest in the Turkish question, at least so his 
letters informing Innocent VIII. of the movements of the 
Turks would seem to indicate.^ In May 1492, Pontano 
was sent to Rome to discuss what joint-measures could be 
taken to repel the common enemy. The Sultan, always 

July 1 6, 1485 (Gonzaga Archives 1 , and aKo a ^Letter of Card. A. 
Sfor/a, dat. Rome, July 22, 1485. Milanese State Archives.) In the 
year 1488, Ferdinand sent. 100 captive Moors to Koine a> a thank- 
ottering to the Pope for his support in the war. See Sic,i.->MOxno m; 
Covn, I., 307 S. 

*In qucsta nocte passata circa le sette hore ^iunse la nova vera et 
eerta de la intrata del Re de Spai^na in (iranata cum .^randissimo 
tnumpho et online seyomlo ha scritto S. M -i al papa. *l)c.-pat<h of 
Boccaccio, dat. Rome, Feb. 1st, 1492. Modenesc Archives. 

t RURCHARDI Diarium, I., 444 .v,y. Cf. SK ;ISM< >xno m: C nxn, 
!< 3 2 S, 3/4 5 ; TRIXCHKRA, II., 45, and the collection of authorities in 
THUASNK, Djem-Sultan, 294 scq,, and also a " "Letter from P>occaccio, 
Rome, Feb. 8. 1492 (Modenese Archives), and one from (". . I.. Catanco, 
dated Rome, Feb. 15 anil 17, 1492. Gonzatfii Archives, Mantua. 

t TRIXCHI.RA, II., i, 57 8, 60, 79 j t y., <M. 101, iu6 scy., 124. (Jn 
Altonso s mission to ()tranto, sec ihiil.. 128 scq. 

^ XUNZIAME, Lettere di Pontano, 8. 


on the watch in his dread of mischief from Dschem. soon 
discovered the change in Ferrante s attitude, and sent 
fresh Envoys to Naples * as well as to Rome. The latter 
brought with them a precious relic, the head of the Spear 
of Longinus, which had pierced the side of Our Lord. By 
order of the Pope the sacred relic was received at Ancona 
by Niccolo Cibo, Archbishop of Aries ; and Luca Borsiano, 
Bishop of Foligno placed it in a crystal reliquary set in gold, 
and brought it to Narni. From thence it was taken by the 
Cardinals Giuliano della Rovcre and Giorgio Costa to Rome. 
Although Innocent was far from well at the time, he was 
determined to take part in its solemn reception. When, on 
May 31, 1492, the Cardinals arrived before the gates of 
Rome, the Pope went to meet them outside the Porta del 
Popolo, look the reliquary in his hands with the greatest 
reverence, and delivered a short address on the Passion of 
Christ. lie then carried it in solemn procession to S. 
Peter s, the streets through which he passed being richly 
decorated in its honour. From thence he had it conveyed 
to his private apartments, where it was kept.f In the 
farewell audience given by Innocent to the Turkish Envoys 
on June 14, 1492, he desired them to inform the Sultan that, 
in case of an attack by the latter on any Christian country, 
he would retaliate by means of Prince Dschem. He also 

* TRINCHKRA, II., i, 98-9, 102-5, 105-6. 

t BURCHARDI Diarium, I., 473 set/. ; SiniSMONDO PE CONTI, II., 
28-9; INFESSURA, 274; NOTAR GiACOMO, 175; Not. di Nantiporto, 
1108 ; Bernabei, in CIAVARIXI, Cronichc Anconit., 204 (Ancona, 1870) ; 
BERNALDEZ, I., 307 ; also Boccaccio s ^Report dat. Rome, May 27, 1492 
(Slate Archives, Modena) ; and *Brognolus, dat. Rome, May 31, 1492 
(Gon/aga Archives, Mantua). On the later history of this relic, and that 
of similar relics preserved in Nuremburg and Paris, cf. WETZER und 
\YELTE, Kirchenlexikon, VII., 1419-22, ed. 2, and THUASNE, Djem- 
Sultan, 298, where a number of new reports on the Turkish Embassy 
of 1492 have been made use of. 


sent , i private messenger of his own to Constantinople with 
the same message.* 

The reception of the Holy Spear, says a contemporary 
writer, may be said to have been the last act of Innocent 
YIII. During the whole of his rci^n this Tope had been 
so harassed by war and the fear of war that he had never 
been able to accomplish his earnest desire of visiting Loreto 
or any of the more distant portions of his dominions. He 
hardly ever left Rome, and then only to <^o to Ostia or Villa 
Mariana, f In addition to the war difficult) , the feeble 
health of the Tope was also an obstacle to his travelling 

In the autumn of 1490, as in that of the previous year, 
Innocent VIII. suffered from repeated attacks of fever, but 
recovered on each occasion : thanks to the skill of the famous 
physician Giacomo di San Genesio ; J T but from March 1492 
the Pope s health began again to fail. Just at this time the 
death of Lorenzo de Medici (April 8) seemed to threaten 
anew to disturb the peace of Italy ; Innocent at once took 
measures to meet the danger, as also in regard to the revolt 

* THUASXM, Djem-Sultan, 302. 

t SK .ISMOXDO DM CoN i i, II., 29. 

SldlSMONUO DM CoNTl, II., 36. Cf. LEOSTMMT.O, 398, and the 
Brief of Feb. 20. 1491, in LlCHNOWSKY, VIII., Keg., No. 1510. On his 
illness in the autumn of 1490, see C,K. \XIA\I, 737, and LMOSTMI.MO, 371. 

$ ^Report of G. L. Cataneo, dat. Koine, Maivh 19, 1492. During 
the last three days the Pope has been suffering from male di iianchi ; 
.\p n l 12 the Pope is better: tutavia non se reha no r per liberarsi 
cosi presto. (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua.) Cf. *Letter from ( aid. A. 
SKOK/A, April 16, 1492. Milanese State Archives. 

1 Cf. the *Letter from Cataneo, quoted in the previous note (in 
which he says that the Pope had written to Florence on the death <>t 
Lorenzo, et ha rasonato de far legato del patrimonio el car 1 de Medici), 
\\ilh KKUMONT, Lorenxo, II., 422 .s\y., ed. 2. The same Knvoy states, 
on the i 5th April, that the Pope had written to all the Italian Powers in 
<upport of the Medici interest. ( ion/aya Archive 


of Cesena, which took place shortly after.* In spite of these 
anxieties the Pope s condition improved so much that he 
was able to take part in the solemn reception of the Holy 
Spear, and the marriage of Luigi of Aragon with Battistina 
Cibo. In the latter half of the month of June, Innocent 
was fairly well ; after the feast of SS. Peter and Paul he 
thought of going somewhere in the neighbourhood of Rome, 
for change of air and to hasten his recover) : f but, on the 
22nd or 23rd June, the abdominal pains returned, an old 
sore on his leg broke out again, and the feverish attacks 
came back. The physicians differed in their opinions, but 
the worst was feared.* At the same time the Pope felt 
still so strong that at first he made light of the apprehen 
sions of his physicians. On the 3Oth June he was better. 
The fluctuations lasted on into the month of July, but the 
general opinion was that the Pope was slowly dying. 

The first effect of the hopeless state of the Pope s health 
was notably to increase the insecurity of life and property in 
the city. For a time it seemed as if all law and order would 
break down ; hardly a day passed without a murder some- 

* Cf. the * Brief to Ercole of Ferram, dat. Rome, June 21, 1492. 
Orig. in Modenese State Archives. 

t * Letter from F. Brognolus, dat. Rome, June 17, 1492 : El Papa 
sta pure asai bene. June 23 : El papa Dio gratia sta pur asai meglio ; 
fatto el di di S. Pietro S. B ne vol andare ad alcune terre qui continue a 
Roma per pigliare un pocho di piacere con speranza de fortiticarsi 
meglio. Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

Cf. with SIGISMOXDO DE CONTI, II., 37, a ^Letter from F. Brog 
nolus to the Marchioness Barbara of Mantua : lo scrivo al vostro ill" 10 
sig. consorte de la Ex. V. come el papa sta molto male per una gran 
pasione die li da sei di in qua in quella gamba dove la havuto male 
gran tempo ; the worst is to be feared. Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

^Letter from F. Brognolus to the Marquess of Mantua, dat. Rome, 
June 30, 1492 : the Pope is better. July 12 : El papa sta ora ben or 
male ; a iudicio de ognuno el si va consmnando a pocho a pocho, 
Gonzaga Archive-;, Mantua. 



where. The Cardinals kept a stricter watch over Dschem. 
An inventory was made of the treasures of the Church, 
and the Vice-Camerlengo, Bartolomeo Moreno, thought it 
prudent to retire first to the I ala/./.o Mattel, and finally to 
the Belvedere. The disorders at last became so serious 
that several of the Barons, at the persuasion of Cardinal 
Giuliano clella Rovere, agreed to waive their part)- feuds 
and combine with the Conservators of the city to maintain 
order. After this the town was quieter.* 

The Pope s end was that of a pious Christian. On the 
I 5th July he confessed, and received Holy Communion on 
the following day.-f On the i/th it was thought that the 
last hour had come,* but his strong vitality resisted death 
for another week. The resources of the physicians were 
exhausted, and there was no hope of recovery. " All hope 
is abandoned " writes the Florentine Envoy on July 19; 
" the Pope s strength is so entirely exhausted that the spirit 

*" Cf. the Florentine Despatch in TlTUASXE, I., 509 seq. : anil [\FKS- 
si RA, 274 6, where, however, the dates are inaccurate. 1 he taking of 
the inventory ib stated by Infessiira to ha\ e occurred die lunae 1 6, dicti ; but V. Brognolus reports it in a *Letter of July 12. 1492. (ion- 
/aga Archi\ es, Mantua. 

t Florentine Despatch of July 15, in TnrASXK, I., 567. 

t * Despatch of Ilrognolus, dat. Koine, July 17. 1492 : mine laborat in 
extremis, (ionzaga Archives, Mantua. 

S Ixi i.ssrkA, 275 6, relates Innocent YIII. s Jewish domestic 
physit ian had three boys of ten years olil killed, and brought their blood 
to the Pope as the only means by uhich his life could be preserved. 
On the Topes rejecting this he lied. If this account were true as 
(ikhiiokovirs seems to suppose, VII., 297, ed. 3) it would establish the 
lact that the Jews were in the habit of using human blood in medicine : 
but, in the imprinted detailed despatches of the Mantuan agents. 1 can 
find no mention of anything of the sort ; nor yet in Valoiis reports. As 
thc^e narrators minutely retail every drop of medicine that the Pope 
took cA THfASNK, 1., 571), it is impo^,ible that they -hould have omitted 
to mention a remedy -.o startling a- this. 


is all that is left of him ; but he retains his full conscious 
ness."* Except for his too great solicitude for his own 
relations, which occupied his mind to the last,f the death 
of Innocent VIII. was a most edifying one. Sigismondo 
de Conti and the Florentine Envoys agree in relating how, 
although by that time speaking had become very difficult 
to him, the Pope summoned the Cardinals to his bed-side, 
asked their forgiveness for having proved so little equal to 
the burden which he had undertaken, and exhorted them 
to be united among themselves and to choose a better 
successor. He then desired an inventory to be taken in 
their presence by the Chamberlains of all the money and 
valuables in the Palace, and gave orders that the Holy 
Spear should be taken to S. Peter s. After this lie dismissed 
the Cardinals and received the Holy Viaticum with tears of 

After a death-agony which lasted five days, Innocent 
VIII. passed away on 25th July, 1492, about the 24th hour 
(9 o clock in the evening). || His body was laid in S. Peter s. 

* THUASNE, I., 569. 

t Ibid. 

J SUIISMOXDO DE COXTI, I., 36-7. According to this narrator all 
tliis took place pridie quam expiraret. As Sigismondo s dates are not 
ahvays accurate, I prefer Yaloifs, \vho gives July 17 as the day of the 
Pope s address to the Cardinals. In everything else his account (though 
more concise) is in perfect agreement with Sigismondo s. See also the 
entry in FRANCESCHETTO S autographic diary, preserved in the State 
Archives at Massa, in Arch. St. Ital., 5 Serie. XII., 152, n. i. 

,s ^Letter from F. Brognolus, Rome, July 25, 1492. El papa e stato 
quatro o cinque di quodamodo in transito. (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua.) 
Cf. also RICORDI DI SACCHI, in N. di Tuccia, 426. 

|| * Despatch from Boccaccio, dat. Rome, July 25, 1492. The Pope 
died circa le 24 hore. (State Archives, Modena.) Brognolus letter, 
mentioned in the previous note, gives a later date : La notte seguente 
venendo li 26 el papa passo di questa vita fra li cinque c sei ore di notte. 
NOTAR (.TlACOMO, 175 : de iovedi venendo lo venerdi ad no< te ad hore 

TOMI; 01- ixxo< i.vr Yin. o 2 i 

lie IMS hern in a sense more remembered than many 
greater Popes, because his tomb, executed in bronze by 
Antonio Pollajuolo, is one of the few monuments which 
have been transferred from the old to the- new S. Peter s. 
It stands against one of the pillars in the left aisle of the 
nave. "The Pope, a colossal figure with massive drapery, 
sits on a throne, his right hand raised in blessing, and his 
left holding the Holy Spear; on each side of him, in 
shallow niches in the wall, stand the four cardinal virtues; 
on the hemicycle above, the theological virtues, graceful 
figures, full of life and motion, are portrayed in low relief. 
Kelow, on an urn, is the recumbent form of the Pope on a 
bed of State. Apparently this was originally placed on 
the wide projecting cornice of the hcmicycie, and the per 
spective of the whole design shews that it was meant to 
be seen from a much more level point of view. At the 
height at which it is now placed, much of its exquisite 
workmanship, especially in the decorative part, is quite lost 
to the spectator. For its originality, clearness of outline, 
and mastery of the technique of its material, this work 
deserves to be ranked amongst the masterpieces of Quattro 
cento Florentine .Art." *" 

The inscription on the monument, which was added at a 
later date-, contains a slight anachronism in regard to the 
discovery of America. It was not till August 5, 1492, 
that the Pope s great fellow-countryman Columbus set sail 
from the port of Palo:, to found a new world. 

nnf|iio. IXFKSSURA, 276 : sextavcl ^optima hma ; KICORDI DI Sue in, tni le sctlc c 1 otlo hore ; Valori, in THUASXK, I., 191, .says the 
siiiH. as Uorcuci io. 

* ni KCKHAKDT, Cicerone, 358 9; RKL .MOXT, III., i. 198,423, and 

Arch. St. dell Arte, IV.. 367.^77. Cf. BUKCIIAKM Diariuin, II., |$i 

vry. The Oratio rrv. dom. Leonelli epi:,c. Concord, habita Koine in 

Dcclc.sia S. 1 ctn in iunere Ic. re. doin. Innoi.cntii, pape \"III. miam 

VOL. V. v 


THE disturbed state of Italy, the exhaustion of the Papal 
treasury, and the want of energy arising from the state of the 
Pope s health are quite sufficient to account for the poverty 
of the records of the reign of Innocent VIII. in the matter 
of Art and Scholarship as compared with that of Sixtus IV. 
At the same time, as regards Art, so many of the works of 
his time have been either destroyed or become unrecogni 
sable that the creations in that department appear smaller 
than they really were. On investigation, we find that both 
in architecture and in painting a large number of important 
works were produced. 

In the Vatican, Innocent went on with the works begun 
by Paul II., whose love for precious stones he shared.* He 
erected a noble fountain in the Piazza of S. Peter s in marble, 
with two large circular basins, one above the other ; one 
of these now serves the drinking fountain on the right of the 
obelisk.")- A good deal of work by way of repair was done 

s. cetu rev. clom. cardinaliurn et tola curia die xxvnr. mensis Julii, 1492, 
was printed at the time. I found a copy of it in the Horjjhebe Library, 
now alas ! scattered to the winds. See also BEISSEL in the Stimmen 
aus Maria-Laach, XLYI., 490 ,sr</. 

* Details in I KRATK, 516. Arch. St. dell ; Arte, IV 7 ., 368 scg., and 
MUNTZ, Hist, de 1 Art, I., 102. 

Diarium, III., 173. Arch. St. dell Ane, IV, 368, and ADINOLFI, 
Portica, 1 23 scg. 

ill the time of Innocent VI I I. Restorations were: effected 
in the castle and bridge of S. Angelo, the I onte Molle, 
the Capitol, the fountain of Trevi, th gates and \valls of 
the city, and a large number of churches. Among the>c 
lattcr may be mentioned especially S. Agostino, S Crocc, 
S. Giuliano dc Fiamminghi, S. Giovanni in Laterano, and 
S. Stefano in Cceliomonte.* S ta Maria della Pace was com 
pleted, S !i1 Maria in Via Lata rebuilt. With tin- strange 
indifference of those days to the preservation of Roman 
remains, the ruins of an old arch were demolished in the 
prosecution of this latter work.j* 

In S. Peter s, Innocent went on with the building of 
the Loggia, for the bestowal of the solemn Blessing, which 
had been begun by Pius II.; commenced a new Sacristy, 
and constructed a Shrine for the Holy Spear, which, 
together with the chapel built by Cardinal Lorenzo ( ib<\ 
was destroyed in 1606.^: The diligence with which In 
nocent \ III. prosecuted the continuation of the new 
streets begun by his predecessors, was of great advantage 
to the city. The carrying out of these works was entrusted 
to the Treasurer-General, Falcone de Sinibaldi, who is so 
highh praised by Sigismondo de Conti. 

Outside Rome 1 , Baccio Pontelli was commissioned by the 
Pope to execute or set on foot architectural work in the 

* Mrvi/, Antiquite s, 129 .wy., i 19 .uy., 153, i -A 16: : lil KCHAI PF 
Dianum, II., 69 ; A?<li. St. ddl Arte, IV ., 4^0 ><.y. ; liORf.ATI, So, and 
Atxh. St. Ital., 3 SCTIC, \ l., i / ;. 

+ AlOlKI.l.lXI, 6 }4 ; Arch. St. dell Artc, 1\ ., \^-\ .vy. ( >n the dr -true - 
tion of Ancient Monuments, sec Mi NT/, AntK|intcs, ;^ 

+ S l!.\ I NX >\, Toiio-ralia c MDniuiH-nti, n ; Ar< h. St. tlcll Arte, IV., 
3^5 - V < V /M 45^ - v /- I lio remain.^ of tlic Cibonum arc 1 still t<> 1 c- ^rrn in 
the \ ,itican grottoes ; jANNKk, III., 579, mention- an iinpo>t lc\ icd ioj- 
the \vnrk > in S. I Vter s. 

si Sic.jsMOMH) hi; CONTI, II., 41 ; Art h. St. ha ., ; Serie, VI., i, 176. 
Aixh. St. dell Arte, 1\ ., 6j ^y., ^6:; scy, 


town of Argnano, Corchiano, Jesi, Osimo, Terracina and 
Tolfa, and in the Papal Palaces at Viterbo and Avignon.* 
Innocent VIII. also assisted in the building of the Cathe 
dral at Perugia. f The number of documents still extant, 
relating to works in the harbour and Citadel of Civita 
Vecchia, seem to indicate that they must have been some 
what extensive. These were, for the most part, managed 
by Lorenzo da Pietrasanta, who was frequently employed 
by the Pope.* 

In addition to the works already mentioned, Innocent 
VIII. also built the Belvedere in the Vatican, and the Villa 
Magliana in the Valley of the Tiber about six miles from 
Rome. He had begun the hunting lodge at Magliana 
while he was still a Cardinal. When he became Pope he 
proceeded to enlarge and decorate it as is shewn by the 
inscriptions over the windows. Unfortunately, it is now in 
a very dilapidated state. Magliana and Ostia were the 

* MUNTZ, in Arch. St. cleir Artc. IV., 466 scq.\ ibid., III., 296 seq., 
is an important new document on K. I ontelli, discovered by Muntz. 
SCHMARSOW, Melozzo, 344. Under the heading Pro fabnca Palatii 
Yiterb., I found in the *Lib. brev. 17, f. 37, a document in which 
R[aphael] acting on an order from the Pope, desires S. Georgii Card, 
to make sundry payments on account of the building of the palatium 
quod modo ad habitationem presidii provinne patrimonii in civit. Vitcibii 
extruitur. Dat. Yiterbii in arce die xvm. Maii, 1484. Secret Archives 
of the Vatican. 

t Cf. Innocent YIII. s *J)riefto the government of Perugia, dat. Rome, 
Feb. 28, 1485 (Kcgesta. in Cod. C. IV., I, in the Library at Genoa), 
and the *P>ull of Sept. 16, 1486, in Capitular Archives at Perugia. 

+ MiXTZ, in Arch. St. dell Artc, IV., 61 scy. ^Iiint/ hci e refeij to 
FRAXC-IPANI, Storia de Civita Vecchia, 124 seq., a ^-orl-: that I have not 
IDCCII alDle to see ; therefore I cannot say with certainty whether the Brief 
of Innocent VI II., to the thesaurarius provincie patrimonii, dat. Komae, 
XT. Sept,, 1484, ante coronat., \vhich contains the order for completing the 
harbour of Civita Yccchia, has been printed or not. *Lib. brev. 17, f. 37. 
Secret Archives of the Vatican. 


only country places to which lie could resort during his 
troublous reign ; the state of Italy was such, that it was 
impossible for him to visit the cities in his dominions or to 
fulfil his vow of making a pilgrimage to Loreto.* 

The interior of the summer residence built on the slope 
of the Vatican hill towards Monte Mario, which now con 
stitutes the central point of the sculpture-gallery, underwent 
a complete transformation by command of Innocent VI 1 I., 
in accordance, it is said, with a drawn by Antonio 
Pollajuolo. The management of the work was entrusted 
to Jacopo de Pietiasanta. The building was a square with 
pinnacles connecting it witli the round tower of Nicholas Y. 
Inlessura says that the Tope spent 60,000 ducats upon 
it.f This sum no doubt included the paintings with which 
the villa was decorated. The name of Belvedere was 
given to it on account of the splendid view which it com 
mands of Rome and its neighbourhood, from Soracte to the 
Alban hills. 

Unfortunately, the paintings executed for this villa 
by Pinturicchio and Mantcgna have almost entirely 

.According to Yasari, the whole of the Loggia of the 
Belvedere was adorned at the Pope s desire by Pinturicchio 
with views of various cities after the Flemish fashion" 
which, being a novelty in Rome, was then very much in 
vogue; Rome 1 , Milan, Genoa, Florence, Venice and Naples 
were thus portrayed. The same writer also states that Pin 
turicchio painted a fresco of the Plessed Virgin in the 

* Sic.iSMOXho I>K CUXTI, II.. .10. : cf. IXl-T.ssruA, 2iSo. In a future 
\olmne ue shall return to the ^ubjert ul the Villa Ma^hana, on \\hirh 
it uill be necessary to rompaie Rl .L .MOXT, III., i, .ji.| wy.. ami I.. 
(", RUXKR, Villa Mariana. Leip/.iy, 1847. 

t IXFKSSURA, 279; An-h. St. ilrll Aitc. IV., 4- : Jahrh. des 

iJetit.-i h. Aivluol. In- .mm- . \ .. 1 I . 

Michael s College 
,.,/ootVs Libra 1 ! 


Belvedere.* The poetical beauty of Pinturicchio s land 
scapes in his paintings in the Buffalini Chapel in S ta Maria 
in Aracoeli, enables us to conjecture the loss which the 
world has sustained by the destruction of the frescoes in 
the Belvedere. We may also gather from the fact that 
Innocent VIII. evidently recognised Pinturicchio s special 
gift for landscape painting, that this Pope was not so de 
void of artistic feeling as he is often represented to have 

More deplorable still is the loss of the frescoes of the 
other painter employed by Innocent in the decoration of 
this building. As early as the year 1484, Cardinal Giuliano 
della Rovere had commenced negotiations on behalf of the 
Pope with Gonzaga to obtain the services of Andrea 
Mantegna who already enjoyed a well earned celebrity in 
Mantua ;t but it was not till 1488 that Mantegna at last 
came to Rome, with the sanction of the Marquess of 
Mantua, who bestowed on him the honour of knighthood 
on his departure. The work of painting the chapel in the 
Belvedere was at once entrusted to him. He spent two 
full years in Rome, endeavouring, as he himself says, with 
all possible diligence, to do honour to the illustrious house 
of Gonzaga, whose child he considered himself.* This 
makes it all the more to be regretted that these frescoes 
should have been destroyed when the new wing was built 
by Pius VI. Vasari bestows the highest praise on the 
delicate finish of these paintings which were almost like 

+ YF.RMir.uou, Mem. <li Pintur. (Terugia, 1837) ! CROWE-CAV.vr.- 
CASF. I. I.K, IV., 275 seq., and Scii.MARsow, Pinturicchio, 27 seq., 93 seq. 

t ARCO, Degli Aili in Alantova, II., 69 (Mantova, 1857). On Mantegna, 
cf. BASCHKT, in Gaz. ties Beaux Arts, XX., 318 scy., 478 seq. ; BRAGHI- 
ROLLI, in the Giorn. di Erudix. Art., I., 194 sv</.; and LUZJO-RKXIKR in 
the Giorn. d. Lett. Ital., XVI., 128 seq. 

1 BOTTARI, VIII, . 25 : GUHL, I.. 52 scq. 


miniatures. He says, that among other subjects the 
baptism of Christ was portrayed in the Chapel of S. John. 
In consequence of the Pope s financial difficulties, the artist 
had a good deal to complain of in the matter of remunera 
tion. His discreetly mild observations on this subject are 
corroborated by Vasari. He relates that on one occasion 
Innocent, having asked the painter what one of the figures 
was meant to represent, Mantegna replied, " It is Economy" 
(discre/.ione), on which the Pope observed, " If you want a 
good pendant to it you had better paint Patience." On his 
departure, however, in 1490, Innocent VIII. seems to have 
done something to make up for this.*" 

Besides 1 inturicchio and Mantegna, Filippino Lippi and 
IVrugino were also employed in Rome. The latter was 
-enerously patronised by Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere,f 
while Lippi was commissioned by Cardinal Oliviero Caraffa 
to decorate the Chapel of S. Thomas Aquinas, which was 
built by the prelate in the Dominican Church of S 1 - Maria 
sopra Minerva. These pictures are clever but somewhat 
superficial. There can be no doubt that the Cardinal 
"himself arranged the scheme of the paintings. Numerous 
inscriptions explain the meaning of the frescoes, some of 
which are concealed behind the monument of Paul IV. 
The principal picture on the wall to the right of the 
entrance represents the victory of S. Thomas over heresies. 
In the lunette, Christ is painted on the Cross saying to the 
Saint, "Thou hast written well of me, Thomas, what shall I 
give thce in reward ? " to which S. Thomas answers, " Noth 
ing but Thyself, Lord." On the wall behind the Altar, 
Lippi has painted the Annunciation with the portrait of 
the founder. Here we see the hand of the master. 
* COKTKSIUS, I)c Cardinalatu, 87 : (inn.. I., 5.} : KKl MnxT, III., I., 

431 ; \\ t H. l MANN, 11., 255. 

t St. H.MAKSOW, I inturii hi<>. 21 St (/., J << 


Nothing could be more beautiful than the joyous soaring 

Pinturicchio was. employed by several of the Cardinals. 
He executed paintings in S t:l Maria del Popolo for Giuliano 
della Rovere and Giorgio da Costa, and in S ta Croce for 

It is interesting in connection with the development of 
Art in the time of Innocent VIII. to note, that in 1484 
he bought tapestries from some Flemish merchants, re 
presenting S. George accompanied by personifications of 
the liberal arts.* He encouraged art manufacturers by the 
bestowal of honorary distinctions, most frequently by the 
gift of a consecrated sword. One of these, still preserved 
in the Museum of Cassel, was presented in 1491 to the 
Margrave William I. of Hesse, who visited Rome in that 
year on his way home from the Holy Land. 

In the matter of scholarship and literature as in Art, 
Rome under Innocent VIII. compares most unfavourably 
with the Rome of Sixtus IV. Nevertheless it would not 
be correct to suppose that Innocent was entirely devoid of 

* HETTNF.R, 144; WOT/TMANX, II., 178. 

t Li TZOW, Kunstschiitze, 423^7. ; CROWE-CAVAI.CASELLE, IV., 273. 

I REU.MOXT, III., i, 432. 

BURCHARDI Diarium, I., 439 ; and LESSIXO, in the Jahrb. der 
Preuss. Kunstsammlungen, XVI., 117 scq. (1895). See here also 
much general information on consecrated swords supplementing what is 
to be found in ZAI/TSKI, Analecta de sacra in die natale Domini usitata 
caeremoniaensem, etc. benedicendi (Varsoviae, 1726); MOROXI, Diz., and 
All NT/, Les Kpees d honneur, in the Rev. tie FArt Chretien (1889) 408 
scq. (1890) 281 scy. On engravings and medals of the time of Innocent 
VIII., see MUXTZ, 1 Atelier Monet, de Rome. Doc. sur les graveurs et 
medailleurs de la rour pontif. depuis Innocent VIII. jusqir a Paul III., 
in the Rev. Ninnismat., II. ( 1884), separate pub. (Paris, 1884), 5 sey. On 
the Mint, see RET MOM, III., i, 281 $r</., and especially GARAMPI S rare 
work, App., 202 scy. 


literary tastes. lie made it evident that this was not the 
case when, in the year 1484, Angelo I oli/.iano came to 
Rome with the Florentine embassy of Obedience. On 
that occasion, the Pope in presence o! an illustrious corn- 
pan} , ordered him to make a Latin translation of the 
historical works of the Greeks, referring to the exploits of 
the Romans, so that they might be more accessible to the 
majority of readers. In obedience to this flattering com 
mand, Polixiano selected I lerodian for his translation, and 
endeavoured to make it read as it would have done had 
the author written it in Latin. Innocent VIII. rewarded 
the dedication of this work with a special Brief and a gift 
of 200 ducats, in order to set the translator free to devote 
himself more completely to work of this kind. Poliziano 
thanked the Pope in a beautiful Sapphic ode, in which both 
thought and language reflect the spirit of classical poetry.* 
Innocent VI II. accepted dedications also from 1 ito 
Vespasiano Stroxxi.t Peter Marsus,! and the celebrated 
physidan, Gabrielle Xerbi ; he bestowed marks of distinc 
tion also on foreign Humanists such as Johann Fuchs- 
rnagen. \ 

+ MriXFRS, II., 35, 124 seq.\ REUMONT, III., I. 358 scq. There are 
two copies of this translation in the Vatican Library in Cod. \ at. 1836 
(Bibl. Alteinp-J. anil 18591 T.ern. ( a rath- prior. Neapolit. libei . 

t The collection of poems dedicated by Stro//i to Innoi ml Vlib. \, 
to be found in the Hresden Library: see A u:kK( III , T. H. Stro//:i 
HJre-den, 1891); and Ciiorn. d. Lett, hal., XVI 1., 166,442. 

j [ . MAKSUS, I aiie-vrictis Innocentio V11I.1 . M. dicatus m memo 
riarn S. Joannis K\aiv_;. y. /. et a. (i ti. 1485, printed in Koine l>y 1 lank . 

^ The I ope rai^cnl the salary of this distinguisheff scholar from 15010 
250 iloiins, see MARIXI, I., 310. On Sept. .15, 1484, he reappointed 
Franciscus de I , ulna to the po-,t of Professor of Canon La\\ in Studio 
Romano. See *liricf on this day in the Lib. brev. 18, f. 16. i Secret 
Aivhi\cs of the Vatican. I his I .rief is punted in Ri NAZZI, 1., 290. 
/.INolRI.l-. Leitr iye, I I 4- 


Innocent VIII. had for his secretaries, Gasparo Biontlo, An 
drea da Trebisonda, Giacomo da Voltcrra, Giovanni Pietro 
Arrivabcne, Sigismondo de Conti and Giovanni Lorenzi.*" 
Tin s latter, a distinguished Hellenist, was born at Venice in 
1440, and came to Rome in 14/2 as secretary to his fellow 
countryman Marco Barbo ; Innocent VIII. made him one 
of his secretaries in 1484, and a librarian in the Vatican in 
the following year.f Financial difficulties prevented any 
additions worth mentioning from being made to the 
Vatican Library during this reign. It is noteworthy, how 
ever, that the greatest liberality continued to be shewn in 
regard to the use of manuscripts, which were frequently lent 
to students, even out of Rome. A considerable number 
were sent by Poliziano to Florence, at the request of Lorenzo 
de Medici. * The numerous marks of favour bestowed by 
Innocent VIII. on Giovanni Lorenzi are an additional 
proof of the friendly disposition of this Pope towards the 

An event which occurred in Rome in the Spring of 1485, 
shews how powerful the Renaissance had become there in 


t NOLI i AC, G. Lorenzi, in Mel. d Archeol., VIII., T seq. (1888), 
where further details of his history arc yiven, and also in regard to his 
eminence as a Humanist. Under Alexander VI. he fell into disgrace 
and was deprived of his post. 

; M.Akixi, II., 255; Mi XTZ-FAVRF., La P>ibl. du Vatican, 307-310. 
To complete the history of the Valicana I think it well to draw attention 
tot\vo * Despatches of the Ferrarese Envoy, Arlotti, which have escaped;: 
the notice of Miintx-Favre. On Jan. 3, 1488, he reports * Lo inventario 
de li libri de la bibliolecha apostolica e fornito e teiv^olo in casa eon- 
signalome da M. Demetrio [de Lucca, Custode of the Vaticana under 
Si.vtus IV. ; see Mrvrz, loc. cil. 299, and PASTOR, Hist. Popes, IV., 
433^., Engl. trans.], On Dec. 16, 1488, Arlotti writes: * Demetrio 
nostro cuslode de la bibliotecha apostolica has been very ill, but is now 
better. State Archive-.;, Modcna. 

i NOLHAC, Joe. cf/.. . 


the time of Innocent VIII. and how the movement h;ul 
penetrated to the lower classes.* 

Towards the end of April in that year some masons 
working in the Fondo Statuario belonging to the Olivetan 
Fathers of S ta Maria Xuova, came upon some ancient monu 
ments. This property is situated in the midst of the well- 
known bed of ruins, about six miles from Rome on the 
Appian way, which is called Roma Vecchia. The)- found 
here two pedestals of statues with inscriptions belonging to 
the Traefectus praetorie Herennius Potens ; the remains of 
a vault in which the freedmen of the gentes Tullia and 
Terentia were buried ; and finally a sarcophagus without 
an}- inscription, containing a body in a marvellous state of 
preservation. This was evidently owing to the efficacy of 
the composition which had been employed in embalming it, 
and which consisted of a mixture of balsam, cedar oil, and 

^ The most trustworthy account of the discovery of the body of the 
Roman maiden in 1485, is to be found in the diary of the Notajo di 
Xantiporto, 1094. See also 1>AKTH. I< ovnrsto Fr. Sacrhetti, published 
by JANTI sen IK, first, in the ( iesellsc haft der Renaissance, i 20, and then, 
m a better version, in the Kepert. f. Ivimstwissenschaft, \ IL, 239 40 ; also 
two other letters printed by Hri.SKX in the Mittheil. d. ( Kst. In^tituts, I\ ., 
4-55 38 (here too is the best criticism on the narratives). In addition to 
these i f, IXFKS.srkA, 178 se</. (< /. Arch. d. Soc. Rom. XI., 532 .sr</.). 
^ciuales, III., c. 2, and RAIMIAKI, VOLATKRRANUS, CoinmeiU. urb., 954 
(Lu-duni, 1552). I 1 omul another, as yet imprinted, account in the " x Proto- 
collo Xotarile of Paolo Hcnevieni (11. 494), entitled: Xuove Riconlo 
chome ne^li an. dom. 1485, del mese d Aprile ci fu letlere da Roma 
chome in \ ia Appia pi esso a S. Sebastiano IUOL;O detto capo de bo\c in 
Lino sepolcro mannoreo fu tro\ ala una fanciulla morla Integra nolle [ = 
non lej maneha\ a nulla ne naso ne capitelli [ rapczzeli] </. Ih/ion. d. 
Crusca, ed. 4, ne labra ne denti ne lingua ne capelli imo |-ii; che la 
carne cede\a e stemossi de circa 1700 anm fu>se -,tala sotterra con una 
cuttia ill lilo d oro all un^herest a c per certi inditii che hi r 1 ulliol i 
fi^liuol a di Marco Tullio L icc rone. State Ar- hi\e:s Florence. 


turpentine.* The body was immediately taken to the 
Palace of the Conservators, where it was exhibited to the 
public. The whole city seems, from the sensational cha 
racter of most of the accounts, to have gone mad with joy 
and excitement. The antiquarians and Humanists were in 
ecstasy ; the eager curiosity of the populace was insati 
able. Rome was flooded with all sorts of contradictor) 
reports and conjectures, many of them wild exaggerations 
or pure inventions. The extraordinary variations in the 
accounts, in which the few grains of personal observation 
or authentic history are largely outweighed by the matter 
supplied by the imagination of the narrator, betray the uni 
versal excitement. All are agreed as to the wonderful state 
of preservation of the body and as to its sex. The} describe 
with enthusiasm the suppleness of the limbs, the blackness 
of the hair, the perfection and whiteness of the nails and 
teeth. Ornaments are also said to have been found on the 
head and fingers of the body. 

The eager crowd which from morning till night beset 
the Palace of the Conservators to gaze on the dead Roman 
maiden could only be compared to the scene when a new 
Indulgence had just been proclaimed. This passionate 
enthusiasm about the body of a heathen seems to have 
aroused serious alarm in the mind of Innocent VIII., 
lest it should prove the harbinger of a paganisation of 
the lower classes which would have worse consequences 
than that of the men of letters. lie gave orders to 
have the bod} , which had begun to turn black from ex- 

* Ili LSKX, Joe. cit., 89, quotes a botanist \vlio thinks it most probable 
that the composition was mainly olive oil to \\hich resin and aromatic 
substances \\ere added. This conjecture is contradicted by SlGISMONDO 
DK ! Cox 1 1. II...J j, who expressly states that the mixture was believed by 
expert-> who had examined it to consist of the ingredients mentioned in 
the text. 

posure to the air, removed in the night and buried outside 
the Porta Pinciana.* 

f The ru (.ount given in the text ]., founded on Hi I.SKX S in the 
Mitthnl. d. (K>t. Instituts, IV., 433 49, \vhi<.h c orrei t.-. and <omplete-> H. 
Thode\ cs>ay in the same periodical, p. 75 91. Thode s conjc ture 
that the well-known liead of a girl at Lille is a true portrait of this 
maiden is here shewn to be unfounded. II. (ikiMM, in the lahrh. d. 
I rcu:-,s. Kunstsammlungen, IV., 104 -8, comes to the same conclusion ; 
and HKYDKMAXN, in Lutzow s Zeitschr., XXI. ,8 se</., equally rejects this 
hypothesis. The Roman accounts describe Ion:; black hair, small ear-, 
and a low forehead ; whereas in the head at Lille the girl has auburn hair, 
the ears are remarkably large, and the forehead too hi-h for beauty 
according to classical ideas. On this subject if. also RI:RCKH.\RI>T, I., 
230, cd. 3; GKKGOKOVFUS, VII., 555-6; RKUMOXT, III., r, 36^; 
Courrier de L Art (1883), 312; L Art, XXXV. (1883), T : Mittheil. 
d. Deutsch. Archaol. Instituts, VI., 18. In regard to the date of the 
discovery, Hiilsen has observed that it would be interesting to ascertain 
whether the English Envoys, whose arrival is mentioned by the Xot. di 
Nantiporto concurrently with the finding of the bodv, did actual!} come 
to Rome on April 19. Since Hulsen wrote, " lUirchardi Dianum" has 
appeared and solves this question, as (I., 145) the arrival of the Envoy:,, 
Aptil 20, 1485, is mentioned in it. 



IT was not in politics alone that Innocent VIII. found 
his authority contemned and attacked ; in purely ecclesi 
astical matters the case was no better. Next to Naples 
the Republics of Venice and Florence were the two States 
which gave him the most trouble by their persistent 
encroachments on the rights and independence of the 
Church. In the negotiations with Venice in connection 
with the removal of the ecclesiastical penalties imposed 
upon this city by Sixtus IV, Innocent had done his best 
to protect the Venetian clergy against arbitrary taxation 
and the interference of the State in appointments to bene 
fices, but with little success.* As time went on, it became 
evident that the Signoria had no notion of giving up its 
pretensions to absolute control in ecclesiastical as well as 
in temporal matters. In the year 1485 the See of Padua 
fell vacant. Innocent VIII. gave it to Cardinal Michiel. 
The Venetian government nominated the Bishop of Civi- 
dale, Pietro Baroz/1 Neither party would give way. The 
Pope sent a special Envoy to remonstrate with the Signoria, 
but he could make no impression ; the Republic refused to 
yield, and finally had recourse to violence. The revenues 

* NAVACIIKKO, 1192. 

Jo 5 

of all the benefices held by Cardinal Michiel \vithin the 
Venetian dominions were confiscated, and on this the Pope 
and the Cardinal gave up the contest.* 

The death of the illustrious Cardinal Marco Barbo, 
Patriarch of Aquilcia, in 1491, was the occasion of a new and 
sharp contest between Venice and Rome. Innocent VIII. 
had on 2nd March bestowed this dignity on the Venetian 
Ambassador at Rome, the learned Ermolao Barbaro, who 
had accepted it without first obtaining the necessary per 
mission from the Venetian government. For this the 
Signoria resolved to punish Barbara severely. They had in 
tended to obtain the Patriarchate for Niccolo Donate, Bishop 
of Cittanova, and that Barbaro should be forced to resign. 
The new Patriarch himself being out of reach, his father was 
threatened with severe pecuniary penalties, unless he could 
persuade his son to give way. On this Barbaro was anxious 
to resign ; but, as the Pope would not permit this, the Sig 
noria summoned him to appear within twenty days before 
the Council of Ten, under pain of banishment and the 
confiscation of all his Venetian benefices. Ermolao chose 
the latter alternative; he devoted the rest of his life to the 
pursuit of learning, and died in exile in 1493. During 
the life-time of Innocent VIII., the Patriarchate remained 
vacant, the Venetian government meanwhile absorbing its 
revenues ; under Alexander VI. it obtained the nomination 
of Donato.f 

Florence and Bologna did not fall far behind Venice in 
attacks on the rights and liberties of the Church. In 
Florence, Innocent was obliged to protest against the 

t M.xui iKRo, 687 8; XAVAHIKRO, 1200; SIC.I>M< >\i><> ih Covn, 
II., 35,47; SANUTO, Dian, I., 746 7; TiRAl -oscni, VI., 2, 151 .wv/. ; 
LV.II I. i.i.r, V., 150 51 ; Arch. St. Ital., j Scnc, II., I, 125 SL//. : 
ChCCHLTTI, I., jot;. 


arbitrary taxation of the clergy ; * in Bologna against the 
punishment of a priest by the secular tribunal, in contraven 
tion of the Canon-law.f He was equally forced more than 
once to make a stand against the Milanese Government in 
defence of the liberties of the Church. J 

Outside of Italy there was no lack of troubles of the same 
nature. Mathias Corvinus, King of Hungary, especially 
behaved towards the Church with a high-handed insolence 
that had to be resisted. In the year 1485 he promulgated 
a decree that no prelate who did not reside in Hungary, 
was to possess or draw the revenues of any benefice within 
the kingdom. He at once proceeded to put the law in 
force by intercepting one of the officials of the Cardinal 
Bishop of Erlau, taking from him 25,000 ducats which he was 
bringing to his master in Rome, and carrying the money 
back to Buda. In the same year he came into open 
collision with Rome by appointing Ippolito d Este, a mere 
child, to the Archbishopric of Gran. In vain Innocent 
represented to the King that to entrust the government of 
a diocese to a child " was as unreasonable as it was wrong." 
Corvinus replied by maintaining that " on other occasions 
His Holiness had accepted less capable, and from an 
ecclesiastical point of view, more objectionable persons 
than Ippolito: and further declared, that whoever else the 
Pope might appoint, no one but his nominee should touch 
the revenues of the diocese ; " and in order to give due 
emphasis to this declaration, he announced that 2000 ducats 
out of these revenues would be sent to Ferrara as " a fore 
taste." Finally, the King carried his point and in the 

* KAN XALHUS, ad an. 1486,11. 35. 

t ( / . the * Briefs to Bologna, clat. Rome, Sept. 4 and Oct. 50, 1486, 
Feb. 9 and May 26, 1487. State Archives, Bologna, Q. 5, 

; See * Brief to Milan, dat. Rome, April 18, 1492. (Milanese Stale 
Archives.) Autoy., III., and DhsjAKDlXS, I., 536. 


Summer of 1489 Ippolito came to Hungary and was in 
stalled in his Archbishopric.* 

Though in this matter Innocent was forced to give way, 
he stood firm in insisting on the liberation of the Arch 
bishop of Kalocsa, who had been put in prison by Mathias. 
Several Briefs having proved of no avail, in the Autumn of 
1488, the Nuncio, Angelo Pccchinolli was sent to remon 
strate by word of mouth. Mathias now said he was ready, 
pending the result of the proceedings against him, to hand 
over the Archbishop to the safe-keeping of the Papal Legate ; 
but the promise was hardly made before it was withdrawn. 
Upon this the Legate calmly but firmly pointed out to the 
angry King the difficult position in which he was placed by 
this action on his part, he having already informed the Pope 
of the promise made by Corvinus. " If I now contradict what 
I have just stated," he said, " either His Holiness will think 
that I am a liar, or that your Majesty s word is not to be 
trusted." With great difficulty Pecchinolli at last prevailed 
upon the King to undertake to release the Archbishop from 
prison and send him, at the Legate s choice, either to Erlau 
or Yisigrad, there to be kept under guard, and the promise 
was fulfilled.! 

In France as in Hungary Innocent VIII. had to with 
stand most unjustifiable attacks on the rights of the 
Church. In 1485 we find him complaining that in 
Provence the secular authorities set at naught and ill- 
treated the clergy. Throughout the kingdom Church 
matters were often tyrannically dealt with, Parliament 
withheld its placet from the Pope s Bulls, obedience to his 
commands was frequently refused, and the Universities 
persisted in appealing from the Pope ill-informed to the 

* FKAK.NUI, M;ith. Corvinus, 287 ,sr</., 289. 

t ll iti., 248, 258 set). \ T iKlXKk, Mon. Un-., II., 497, 508 scq. Set- 
also I- UA KN T t il in the periodical S<;i/adok ,1883)? 4^9 - " / 

VOL. V. / 


Pope better-informed.* Innocent VIII. had to enter 
repeated protests against the Pragmatic Sanction ; at 
the close of the year 1491 he endeavoured by means of 
a Concordat to place his relations with France on a 
better footing, f Similar encroachments on the part of the 
rulers of England and Portugal had to be resisted. In 
nocent succeeded in his energetic repudiation of the preten 
sion of John II. of Portugal to make the publication of 
Papal Bulls and Briefs depend on a placet from the Gov 
ernment, and the Pope forced him to relinquish it.* In 
January 1492 he promulgated a general constitution in 
support of the immunities and liberties of the Church. 
Notwithstanding all this, Sigismondo de Conti accuses 
Innocent VIII. of negligence in defending the rights of 
the Church. He adduces as instances of this negligence 
the Pope s acquiescence in the taxation of the clergy 
in Florence and other Italian States, and his toleration, 
after the treaty with Lorenzo de Medici, of things in 
Perugia which were derogatory to the dignity of the 

Perhaps he was really more to be blamed for the con 
cessions which, on purely political grounds, he made to 
Ferdinand of Spain. In December 1484 he bestowed on 
him the patronage of all the churches and convents in 
Granada and all other territories conquered or to be 


t Cf. THUASNE, Djem-Sultan, 184, 211 seg., 287, 291 seg., and supra 
Chap. IV.; and also BALUZE, IV., 28 seg. 

J HARUUIN, Cone., IX., 1511 scq.\ WILKINS, III., 617; HERGEN 
ROTHER, VIII., 286; BELLESHEIM, Irland, I., 572. In regard to 
Portugal, see SCHAFER, II., 645 seq., and the *Brief to the King" of 
Portugal of Feb. 3, 1486, Lib. brev. 19, f. 162. Secret Archives of the 

RAVNALDUS, ad an. 1491, n. 17. 



conquered from the Moors.* To these lie added later, 
extensive rights of provision in Sicily.f 

Only one canonisation, that of the Margrave Leopold 
of Austria, of the Babenberg family, took place during the 
reign of Innocent VIII. The Emperor Frederick III. had 
already asked both Paul II. and Sixtus IV. for the canon 
isation.^ and repeated his request to Innocent VIII. 
immediately after his election ; in consequence the date of 
the ceremony was fixed for Christmas 1484.5 It actually 
took place on January 6, 1485. || 

Requests were made to Innocent VIII. from Sweden for 
the canonisation of Catherine, daughter of S. Bridget,! 
from the Grand-master of the Teutonic Order ; for that of 

* Colecciondc los Concordats, 231 ; MORONI, 68, p. 112 ; PHILLIPS- 
Yi.kixc, VIII., 200. 

t SI.XTIS, 102 ; ibid., 108, on the Royal exequatur which was rigidly 
enforced in Sicily. In a ^Document of Ferdinand s, dat. in terra 
Tlatiae, 1484, Dec. 13, it is decreed, quod facta discussione cum ma^na 
curia et fisci patrono non procedatur ad execulorias alicujus bullae 
Apcne pi-aenotatae per fratrcm Manum de Patti de Abbatia S. Pantaleonis. 
(State Archives, Palermo : Rcgia Monarchia, I., 911.) In the same place 
is a *Bull of Innocent VIII.: Romanum decet pontificem, dat. Romae, 
1485, Non. Mali, in qua papa confirmat privileyia facta in fundatione 
monasterii S. Salvatoris ((-lose to Messina ; ordinis S. Basilii) per 
Ro-erium et alios surressorcs, ex qua bulla, says the compiler of this 
collection with marked emphasis confirmatur monarchia considerata 
fundatione dicti monasterii. 

I Cf. PASTOR, Hist. Popes, IV., i68(En;^l. trans.);, Melk., 
I., 637, and SCHLKCHT, Zamometc, 46. Cf. Instructio nomine Ces. Maj. 
pro ven. dom. Petro Kuener, 1481, Kal. Oct. in the " Romana " of the 
Hoi^e, Court, and State Archives in Vienna (so far as I know is yet 

$ *Bricf to the Emperor Frederick III., dat. Sept. 25, 1484, Lib. 
brev. 1 8, f. I4b. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

i Bull., V. 299 303 ; BrRCHARDl Diarium, I., 31 seq. ; Not. di Nanti- 

)ito, 109] ; 11. I K/, Hist. S. Leopoldi, 125 set]. Viennae, 1747. 

RAVNAi.Drs, ad an. 14-5, n. 61. 

1)01 ti 


Dorothea of Marienwerder,* and from King Ferrante for 
Jacopo della Marca ; -f- none, however, of these processes 
were concluded during his Pontificate. 

Amongst the ecclesiastical acts of Innocent VIII. men 
tion must be made of the much-contested privilege which 
he granted to the Abbot, John IX. of Citeaux, and to the 
Abbots of the four first Cistercian daughter-houses, of 
powers to confer sub-deacon and deacon s orders, the 
former on all members of the Order, and the latter on the 
monks in their own monasteries. J The Bulls of Innocent 
VIII., granting various privileges to the Franciscans, 
Dominicans, and Augustinians are undoubtedly genuine. 
In consequence of the decrease of leprosy, which, towards 
the close of the I5th century, had become very rare, in 
1490 Innocent dissolved the Order of Lazarists and united 
them with the Knights of St. John. But this Bull took 
effect in Italy only, and was not accepted by the French. j 

* See TIIEINER, Mon. Pol., II., 233. LAMMER in Kath. Wochenblatt 
cler Diocese Culm, 1860, p. 44; WoLKY, Urkundenbuch cles Bisth. 
Culm, I., 574 5 ; and HIPLER, Job. von. Marienwerder imd Dorothea 
von M., 122 (Braunsberg, 1865); and Zeitschr. fur Gesch. Ermlands, X., 
Heft, 2. 

t TRIXCJIERA, II., iio-n. 

I kill of April 9, 1489, Exposuit tuae devotionis, printed in 
HENRIQUEZ, Regula et Privilegia Orel. Cist., 109 (Antverp., 1630); 
JANAUSCHEK, Orig. Cist., I., p. x. (Vindob., 1877); and especially PAX- 
HULZE, in the Stud. a. d. Benediktin., V., 441 seq,, are in favour of the gen 
uineness of this Bull ; they do not seem to have noticed the fact that 
precisely in that year, 1489, several Bulls were forged ; cf. infra, p. 351. 

$ See in SERDONATI, 20, the Bull Ord. Praedic., IV., 7, 12, 29,32, 43 ; 
and KOLDE, Augustinercongregation, 206. Innocent also frequently 
exerted his authority in favour of the members of the various Third Orders 
and for their protection. Cf. his ^Letters to the Town Council and the 
Bishop of Basle, both dated Romae, Non. Mali A" 2". Franciscan 
Archives of Hall in the Tyrol. 

!| Leo X., at the request of Charles V., endeavoured to revive the 


Innocent VIII. shewed great /eal in the defence of the 
pin-it}- of the Faith against the numerous heresies which 
cropped up during his time in many different directions.* 
I he Waldensian and the Hussite heresies were the two 
which occupied him most. In Dauphin. the \Valdenses 
not only preached their false doctrines openly, but put to 
death those who refused to join them. Jn the Spring of 
T4S;, Innocent sent Alberto de Cattaneo to Dauphin/ who 
with the help of the King of France succeeded in almost 
entirely eradicating them in this province.f In Bohemia 
also, where Innocent recognised King Ladislaus title, he 

Order in Calabria and Sicily ; and Pius IV. sou-hl to secure freedom of 
election to its members, bm unsuccessfully. The French kni-ht., of 
this Order, whose Grand-master ceased, from the time of Inno(ent 
VIII., to be recognised in Rome, lingered on till the reign of Henry 
I\. I his kin- u>ok possession of all the property that still remained 
to them, estates, priories and benefices, and handed it over to a 
congregation which he founded and called the Order of S. La/arih, 
of Jerusalem and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which perished in 
the Revolution. See I list. -I olit. -Blatter XXVIII., 625 ; HAESI.K, I., 
862, ed. 3; III., 87; CIHRARIO, Les ordres religieux de St. La/airc. 
I. yon, i8(>o. 

* RAYXALDVS, ad an. 1486, n . 57 ; ,488, . 7 . ( The * Bricf herc 
uted is dated Rome, May 10, 1488. *Lib. brev. 20, f. 34) ; BERXIXO, 
212. Arch. St. Lomb., VI., 552^7.; GUETTKE, VI., 61 .v,y.; Bull ( ) r d. 
1 raedic,, IV., 5 ; I.KA, II., 143, 266 JIY/.; III., 621 ; Fui.cosiL S, De dictis 
hb. IX., c. i i. ("/: the ^Briefs to the An hbishop of Maycncc, dat. Rome, 
June 1 8, 1 486, and to the Abbot of Weingarten, dated the same day. Lib. 
brev. 18, (".203 4! . Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

+ Besides the detailed Report of SlGISMOXDO hi. Covil, I., ^o~ sea. 
i. RAYXALDUS, adan. 1487, n. 25; BERTH IKK, Hist, de 1 Eglise Gallic., 
hb. L., an. 1487; and especially CHEVALIER S exhaustive work, Mem. 
Hist, sur les lleivsies en Dauphinr. 38 scg. (Valence, 1890). See aLo 
GUKTTKI;, VIII., 64 sey.; and BEXDER, Gesch. der U aldenser (Ulm, 
1850, 8 i. and 125 on the persecution of the Waldenses in Piedmont : as 
also HAUN, 744 si-y.; and Ll-A, II., i 59 s>.-y. 


was successful in effecting the reconciliation of a number of 
Hussites with the Church.* 

The arrival in Rome of the famous Pico della Mirandola 
in the year 1486, brought to light the jealous care with which 
the integrity of the Faith was guarded in the Papal city. 
Many of the opinions put forth by this gifted but fanciful 
and impulsive philosopher were made up of a confused 
medley of Platonic and Cabalistic notions.f Brimming 
over with youthful ambition and conceit, Pico announced 
his intention of holding a public disputation in which he 
would produce no less than 900 propositions in " dialectics, 
morals, physics, mathematics, metaphysics, theology, magic 
and Cabalism " for discussion. Some of these would be his 
own ; the rest would be taken from the works of Chaldean, 
Arabian, Hebrew, Greek, Egyptian and Latin sages. In 
regard to those that were his own, and which he purposed 
to defend by arguments worked out in his own mind, he 
expressly declared that he would " maintain nothing to be 
true that was not approved by the Catholic Church and 
her chief Pastor, Innocent VIII." He invited learned men 
from all parts of the world, offered to pay their travelling 
expenses, and confidently expected to score a brilliant 
triumph. The reverse, unfortunately, was what happened. 
Some experienced theologians declared several of the 
proposed theses to be tainted with heresy, and in conse- 

* See PALACKY, V., i, 303, cf. 381, and RAYNALDUS, ad an. 1485, 
n. 19 ; 1486, n. 58 ; 1487, n. 24. 

t TIRAHOSCHI, IJibl. Mod., IV., 96 scq.\ MEIXKRS, Lebensbesch- 
reibungen, II., I scq.\ RlTTER, IX., 291 scq.\ SToCKL, III., 167 scq.\ 
BKRTI, in the Rivist. Contemporanea, XVI. (Torino, 1859); REUMONT, 
Lorenzo, VI., 80 scq., 460, ed. 2. PFULF in Wetzer und Weltc s Kirchen- 
lexikon, VIII., 1549 seq., ed. 2; VlLLANUEVA, XVIII. , 43 scq.; TRIPEPI, 
in the periodical II Papato, an. xvi., Serie 5, vol. XXL, p. i scq., and 
30 scq.; CALORI CESIS, Giov. Pico della Mirandola (Bologna 1872), and 
Gabotto s notice in Rassegna d. Lett. Ital. (1895) HI-) 2O2 sc q- 


qucncc the Pope refused to permit the disputation, and 
appointed a commission of bishops, theologians and canon 
ists to examine them. This commission pronounced some 
of Pico s propositions to be heretical, rash, and likely to give 
scandal to the faithful ; many contained heathen philo 
sophical errors which had been already condemned, others 
favoured Jewish superstitions. The judgment was perfectly 
just, and was adopted by Innocent,* and though a great 
number of the propositions were acknowledged to be 
Catholic and true, the reading of the whole series was for 
bidden on account of the admixture of falsehood. Never 
theless, since the character of the theses was purely 
academic, and since the author had expressed his willing 
ness to submit them to the judgment of the Holy See, and 
had sworn never to defend any similar assertions, no blame 
of any sort was to attach to Pico s reputation. The Papal 
Brief pronouncing this decision was dated August 4, 1486, 
but was not published till December. f Meanwhile Pico 
so his enemies assert in great haste " in twenty nights," 
composed an apology explaining his propositions in a 
Catholic sense, which he dedicated to Lorenzo de Medici, 
and had printed in Neapolitan territory, antedating it (May 
31), so as to avoid any appearance of defending what the 
Pope had condemned, after having previously declared his 
absolute submission to the judgment of the Church. Pico 
on his side maintained that he had not known of the Papal 

* Some of the theses are undoubtedly irreconcilable with Catholic 
dogmas. One, for instance, asserts that Our Lord descended into hell 
only virtually and not in reality ; that a mortal sin being limited by its 
relation to time cannot receive an eternal punishment ; that the witness 
borne by magic and Cabalism to the divinity of Christ was as valid as 
arguments drawn from legitimate science ; MKINKKS, II., 24 s\ t/. Cj. 
TIRAP.OSCHI, Stor. d. Lett. Ital., VI., i 32 . 

t This is expressly stated by the Ferrarese Envoy in CAITLU.I, 70. 
The Brief is to be found in Bull., V., 327 9. 


Brief, until told of it the 8th January, 1489, when he was on 
his way to France. This probably was literally net untrue ; 
but it can hardly be supposed that when he wrote his 
apology he had no inkling o f the contents of the Brief, 
which had been written on August 8. 

Matters now became more complicated. Pico was 
charged with having broken his oath, and endeavoured to 
give greater publicity to his views. In consequence he was 
summoned to Rome, and efforts were made to have him 
arrested.* Thanks to the energetic mediation of Lorenzo 
de Medici, Pico was permitted to retire to a villa in the 
neighbourhood of Florence. Meanwhile a complete change 
had been wrought in the young scholar s soul by the unex 
pected humiliation. Hitherto his life had been much the 
same as that of other young men of his rank and position. 
From henceforth he renounced all desire for fame and 
ambition, and gave himself up entirely to prayer, penance 
and works of mercy, except in so far as he still continued 
to prosecute his theological and philosophical studies with 
redoubled zeal. These resulted in the production of several 
exegctical and philosophical works ; one of which, on the 
seven enemies of religion unbelievers, Jews, Mahomedans, 
pagans, heretics, false Christians, and occultists (astrologers, 
magicians, etc.), was never finished. By Savonarola s advice 
he resolved upon entering the Dominican Order, but his life 
of eager and unremitting toil was cut short by death, before 
he had time to carry out his purpose. He died November 
I/, 1494. In the previous year the new Tope, Alexander 
VI. had, in an autograph Brief granted him absolution, in 
case he might have indirectly violated his oath, and also the 
assurance, that neither by his apology nor in any other way 
* Cf. the Bishop of Lucca s letter of Dec. 5, 1487, in CAPPKLU, 75, 
n. 3, and the Papal Letter of Dec. 16, 1487, published by FITA, in the 
Boletin de la R. Acad. de la Historia, XVI., 315-16 (1890). 

Till-: JKYVS IN SPAIN. 345 

had he ever been guilty of formal heresy. There is no 
mention in the Krief, as lias been asserted by some writers, 
of the theses condemned by Innocent VIII.* 

The Jews in Spain were a source of considerable trouble 
to Innocent VIII. They had become a real danger to the 
population by their usury and their proselytising. In 1484, 
the Pope took- measures to counteract the evil ; and in the 
following year he granted permission to several Jews and 
heretics to make their abjuration privately, but " in presence 
of the King and Quecn."f About the same time disturb 
ances broke out in Arai^on on account of the introduction 
into that province of the Inquisition. The Jews who had 
submitted to baptism, called Maranos, opposed the measure 
by every means that they could. Money proving of no 
avail they determined to resort to assassination. On 

" This disposes of the . lUcmpts oi some. Ko-,inim;m^ -ec (i. I \< .\NT, 
(iiov. 1 ico della Minindola, condannato da Innocen/o \ III., and pro- 
si iolto da Alcssandro VI., in the periodical II Rosmini, Vol. V., n. 4, 
|). 252-49, Miiano, 1889), to represent the pronouncement of Alexander 
VI. as contradicting that of Innocent \"III. Cf. Civilta Cattolica (1883), 
II., 616 sey.; ,1889; II., 2( >2 set/. (Js.->ervatorc Cattoln o (Milano, 1889), 
X. 91 and 95. Scnola Caltolica an. XVII., Vol. XXXIII., p. 560 si y ; 
TKii l .n, in the articles quoted supra, especially 57 set/, \\-heix- the Uricf 
of Alexander is printed . See also Ri:i SC H, Index, I., 5<;, wherein is to 
be found p. 58 the Constitution of the Papal Legate. Xi colo l- i anco, of 
the year 1491, \\hi<h contains the known prohibition of any 
piinted book ainon^.st others 1 ico s Theses appear in it. 1 . Retiseh 
U kno\vledgcH that l ico \\as treated with the greatest consideration at 
Ri >i ne. 

t R \VX.\I.Dt"S, ad an. 1484, n. 80, Si ; 1485,11.21. < )n Innocent \ 1 1 1. 
and the Spanish Inquisition see Li,oi<i ..\"i !:, I. ,281 sc</., 289 91, 307 .v<v/.; 
(i.\MS, Kirchen^esehichtc Spaniens, III., 2, 22 seq.\ I n.\, in Kol. de 
la R. Acad. de la Ilist., X\"I., 307 st y. she\\"s Llorcntc s inaccuracy : 
RoiiRKjO, II., 99 Jt y., 101 .v<y., 104 ; the 1 luill printed on p. KH .svv/., 
conlii ins the account j^ ix en of the Spanish Inquisition in 1 . \STOK, Hist. 
1 opes, 1\ ., 398 .v ; y. d^n^l. trans.). 


September 15, 1485, the inquisitor, Pedro Arbues, who has 
been quite groundlessly accused of extreme harshness, was 
attacked in the Cathedral of Saragossa, and mortally 
wounded.* This and other occurrences shewed that it 
was necessary to have recourse to severe measures. Cruci 
fixes were mutilated, consecrated hosts profaned ; in Toledo 
a plot was concocted by the Jews for obtaining possession 
of the city on Good Friday, and massacring all the 
Christians. Ferdinand finally determined to resort to a 
drastic remedy; on March 31, 1492, an edict was published 
requiring all Jews either to become Christians, or to leave 
the country by the 3ist July.f Most of the Spanish Jews 
crossed over to Portugal ; a good many went to ItalyJ and 
to Rome, where they were treated with great toleration by 
the majority of the fifteenth century Popes. Many 
Spanish Jews who had been banished in former years had 

* The Canonisation of P. Arbues in 1867 (cf. G. COZZA, P. de Arbues, 
Roma, 1867) gave rise to most violent attacks against the Holy See; 
REUSCH, Kleine Schriften 286 seq., has shewn that the bitterest of these 
were written or instigated by Dollinger. In regard to Dollinger, cf. 
HEFELE, in the Deutschenvolksblatt, 1867, Nos. 121, 134, 173, 185; 
Civ. Catt., 6 Serie, XL, 273 seq., 385 scq.\ Hist.-Polit.-BL, LX., 845 
seq. ; GAMS, Spanien, III., 2, 25 seq., and HERGENROTHER, Kirche und 
Staat, 599 seq. Cf. also ROHRBACHER-KNOPFLER, 73 seq. At Dollinger s 
instigation (see MICHAEL, Dollinger, 236 seq. [1892]), Kaulbach composed 
his partisan sketch " Arbues." The unhistorical character of this work 
is acknowledged by REUSCH, loc. cit., and LEA : The Martyrdom of 
S. P. Arbues, New York, 1889. 

t HEFELE, Ximenes, 290 seq. ; AMADOR DE LOS Rios, Hist, de los 
Judios de Espafia, III., 604 seq., and FITA, Edicto de los Reyes Catolicos 
desterrando de sus estades a todos los Judios, in Bol. de la R. Acad. de 
la Hist., XL, 512-28 (1887). On tne danger to Spain from the Jews see 
C. F. HEMAN, Die Historische Weltstellung cler Juden, 24 seq. Leip 
zig, 1882, ed. 2. 

% Rev. d Etudes Juives, XV., 117. 

Ibid., VI L, 228. 


settled in Rome, and even contrived to insinuate themselves 
into various ecclesiastical offices ; an abuse which Innocent 
took measures to prevent.* 

Torrents of abuse have been poured forth against Inno 
cent VIII. on account of his Bull of December 5, 1484, on 
the subject of witchcraft. It has been obstinately main 
tained that the Pope by this Bull authoritatively imposed 
on the German nation the current superstitions in regard 
to the black art, demonology, and \vitchcraft.f There could 
not be a greater distortion of facts than is involved in this 
assertion. All evidence goes to shew that long before the 
Bull of Innocent VIII. the belief in witchcraft had pre 
vailed in Germany. The " Formicarius " of the Dominican 
inquisitor Johannes Xidcr, which appeared at the time of 

* Ixi KSSURA-ToMMASiNi, 227. The Oratio passionis dominice habita 
r.oram Innocentio Octavo contra cervicosam iudeoruin perfidiam of Ant. 
Lollius, s./.a. et typogr. PANZER, IX., 185, has a certain connection 
with this. 

t K. MuLLKR, Hericht lib. d. Gegemv. Stand d. Forschung auf clem 
Gebiet der vorreformatorischen Zeit, 56. The first person who accused 
Innocent of being the originator of the infatuation which gave rise to 
the whole body of proceedings against witchcraft, was the Protestant 
pastor I. M. Schwager (Gesch. d. Hcxenprocesse, I., 39 [Berlin, 1784];. 
SOLDAN found himself unable to agree with this statement, as a large 
number of the trials for witchcraft had preceded the publication of the 
Hull. Nevertheless he vehemently accuses the Papacy of having by 
this "infallible pronouncement" raised the belief in witchcraft which 
hitherto had been condemned by the Church, into a dogma (I., 288 JT<Y/.). 
Dollinger reiterated this accusation (JAXUS, 269, and Festrcde der 
Munch. Akad., 1887). Although S.VUTEK (Z. Hexcnbulle, 65 [Ulm, 
1884]; and HKI.I.KR in the Kathol. Schweixerbl., VIII., (1892), 216 sty., 
had so c rushing! y refuted it that no serious investigator ought ever to 
have mentioned it again. Cf. also MiCHAF.r,, Dollinger, 257, 547 scq., 
(Innsbruck, 1894, ed. 3), and HKR<;KNR< >THKK, Kirche und Staat, 609 
scq. Against liuchwald s unhistor u al assertion^, cf. Hist.-Polit.-l>!., 
XCVIII., 312 j t v/., 318 sty.; and KAV>I-.K, in the Hibt. Jabrb., \ II., 326. 


the Council of Basle, shews what fantastic notions on the 
subject were current at the beginning of the I5th Century. 
Nearly all the delusions which appear in the later witch- 
trials are to be found here ; though there do not seem to 
have been so many executions as in later times, it is plain 
that the process of trial for witchcraft was in use long 
before the Bull of 1484. But the secular authorities had 
been accustomed to interfere in these trials, whereas in the 
process by the Inquisition, the co-operation of the secular 
power was only invited when the trial was ended.* 

What then did Innocent VIII. do ? 

The Bull of December 5th, 1495, begins by saying that 
he had lately heard " not without deep concern/ that in 
various parts of upper Germany as also in the provinces, 
cities, territories, districts, and bishoprics of Mayence, 
Cologne, Treves, Salzburg and Bremen, many persons of 
both sexes falling away from the Catholic Faith, had con 
tracted carnal unions with devils, and by spells and magic 
rhymes, with their incantations, curses, and other diabolical 
arts, had done grievous harm to both men and beasts. 
" They even deny with perverse lips, the Faith in which 
they were baptised." Two Dominican professors of theo 
logy, Ileinrich Institoris in Upper Germany, and Jacob 
Sprcnger, in many parts of the Rhine Country, had been 
appointed Papal Inquisitors into all forms of heresy ; but 
as the localities named in the Bull had not been ex 
pressly mentioned in these inquisitors faculties, several 
persons, clerics as well as laymen, inhabiting these places, 
had presumptuously taken upon themselves to deny that 
they had power there to arrest and punish these offenders. 

* Cf. FINKK, in the Hist. Jahrb., XIV., 341 jr^., and JANSSEN- PASTOR, 
CJcsch. ci. Deutsch. Volkes, VI II,, 495 .sv</., 507 scg. It is to be hoped 
that my respected colleague II. Finke will continue and complete his 


Ilcncc in the plenitude of his Apostolical powers Innocent 
now commands that these persons are not to be hindered in 
the exercise of their office towards any individual, whatsoever 
may be his rank and condition. After this, in accordance 
with the old Catholic custom, the Tope goes on to exhort 
the inquisitors to quench superstition by seeing that the 
Word of God is duly preached to the people in the parish 
churches, and employing whatever means may seem to 
them best calculated to secure that they shall be well 
instructed. He specially commands the Bishop of Stras- 
burg to protect and assist them, to inflict the severest 
penalties of the Church on all who resist them or put 
hindrances in their way, and if necessary to call in the 
assistance of the secular power.* 

The Bull contains no dogmatic decision of an} 7 sort on 
witchcraft. It assumes the possibility of demoniacal influ 
ences on human beings which the Church has always 
maintained, but claims no dogmatic authority for its pro 
nouncement on the particular cases with which it was deal 
ing at the moment. The form of the document, which 
refers only to certain occurrences which had been brought 
to the knowledge of the Pope, shews that it was not 
intended to bind any one to believe in the things men 
tioned in it. The question whether the Pope himself 
believed in them has nothing to do with the subject. His 
judgment on this point has no greater importance than 
attaches to a Papal decree in any other undogmatic question, 
/.//., on a dispute about a benefice. The Bull introduced no 
new element into the current beliefs about witchcraft. 
It is absurd to accuse it of being the cause of the cruel 
treatment of witches, when we see in the " Sachsenspicgel ; 
that burning alive was already the legal punishment for a 
witch. All that Innocent VIII. did was to confirm the 

* Hull., Y.. 296 seq. 


jurisdiction of the inquisitors over these cases. The Bull 
simply empowered them to try all matters concerning 
witchcraft, without exception, before their own tribunals, by 
Canon-law; a process which was totally different from 
that of the later trials. Possibly the Bull, in so far as it 
admonished the inquisitors to be on the alert in regard to 
witchcraft may have given an impetus to the prosecution 
of such cases; but it affords no justification for the accusa 
tion that it introduced a new crime, or was in any way 
responsible for the iniquitous horrors of the witch-harrying 
of later times.* 

Unfortunately, nothing of any importance was done 
under Innocent VIII. for the reform of ecclesiastical 
abuses. j- At the same time Infessura s statement that the 
Pope had authorised concubinage in Rome is absolutely 

* Cf. JANSSEN-PASTOR, VIII., 507 seq., where also details are to be 
found in regard to the witch-hammer. 

t Besides renewing the Constitution of Pius II., against the abuse of 
clerical privileges (RAYNALDUS, ad an. 1488, n. 21-22), Innocent VIII. 
gave various decisions against the abuse of Commendams (see Collecta 
quorundam privileg. ordin. Cisterciensis opera Johannis Abbatis Cistercii, 
Divione, 1491) and issued a number of enactments intended to introduce 
reforms in Italy (cf. Bull. Ord. Praed., IV., 15, 39), Spain and Portugal 
(RAYNALDUS, ad an. 1485, n. 26 ; 1487, n. 19-22 ; 1488, n. 7), England 
(WiLKiNS, III., 632 seq.\ MANSI, Suppl., V., 343 scq.\ and other 
countries (cf. RAYNALDUS, ad an. 1490, n. 22 ; CHRISTOPHE, II., 366; 
Stud, aus d. Benediktinerorden, VIII., 532 ; THEINER, Mon. Slav., I., 
520 -2 1 ; BUSCH, England, I., 239 ; Bull. Ord. Praedic., IV., 65). The date 
of the *Brief of Reform to the Portuguese Episcopate is 1488, May 8, 
Lib. brev. 20, f. 25 ^. (Secret Archives of the Vatican.) Two Briefs of 
Innocent VIII., dated Nov. 2, 1487, and April 3, 1492, in Cod. IV., VI., 
i, of the University Library at Genoa, refer to the reform of the clergy in 
Perugia. On reforms in the Bishopric of Ratisbon, see JAXXER, III., 
596, the Bull mentioned there is dated Roinae, 1490, 18 Cal. Maji A" 6. 
The copy is in the Diplomata of the Cathedral Chapter of Ratisbon, 
i, 128 in the Episcopal Archives, Ratisbon. See also SiNNACHER, Beit- 
nige zur Cicsrh. von Brixen, VII., 6 seg. Brixen, 1830. 


unfounded.* We have documentary evidence that in 
France, Spain, Portugal and Hungary, he punished this 
vice with severity.f No proof that he favoured it in 
Rome has yet been adduced. The mere assertion of an 
admittedly uncritical chronicler with a strong party bias 
and given to retailing without examination whatever gossip 
was current in Rome, could not be accepted in any case 
without further testimony. In this particular instance it 
is not difficult to find the probable origin of the calumny. 
In 1489 it was discovered that a band of unprincipled 
officials were carrying on a profitable traffic in forged 
Bulls. Neither entreaties nor bribes were of any avail to 
induce Innocent to abstain from punishing the crime with 
the utmost severity. Domenico of Viterbo and Francesco 
Aialdente who were found guilty were hanged, and their 
bodies burnt in the Campo cli Fiore.J 

Now it is notorious that some of the forged Bulls were 
to this effect, and the supposed permission accorded by 

* It is characteristic of Infessura s latest editor II. TOMMASIXI, that 
fp. 259} he lets this preposterous observation pass without any comment, 
whereas all sorts of trifling remarks are honoured with critical notes. 
He makes no mention of what Raynaldus, ad an. 1490, n. 22, says 
against Infessura. 

t Cf. page 350, note t. See in the ^Injunction to the Archbishop of 
Rouen to take measures against clerical concubinage : Nos igitur tales et 
tantos abusus cquo animo tolerare nequeuntes. Lib. brev. 20, f. 167. 
Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

t SK-.ISMOXDO DF: CONTI, II., 37 S eq.\ IXFESSURA, 250. Cj. 
IIERGENROTHER, Kirche und Staat, 357, and ZIXGKRLE, Beitni-r, 
XXVII. On the burning of another forger of lUills in May 1489, see 
LlCHNOWSKV, VIII., Regest, Xo. 1251, and Mittheil. d. Oesterreich. 
Instituts, II., 615 seg. This forged Bull is still preserved in the Vienna 
State Archives. 

S One instance of such a forged Hull may be mentioned which called 
forth a protest from the Pope. The *Lettor to the ArrhbMiop of 
Rouen of June 10. 1488, mentioned in note t above (cf. RAVXAi.nrs. ad 


Innocent VIII. to the Norwegians to celebrate Mass with 
out wine was also a forgery.* 

The existence of such a confederacy for forging Bulls, 
throws a lurid light on the state of morals in the Papal 
Court, where Franceschetto Cibo set the worst possible 
example. The increasing prevalence of the system of pur 
chasing offices greatly facilitated the introduction of untrust 
worthy officials. The practice may be explained, but can 
not be excused by the financial distress with which 
Innocent VIII. had to contend during the whole of his 
reign f and the almost universal custom of the time.* 

In the Bull increasing the number of the College of 
Secretaries from the original six to thirty, want of money, 
which had obliged the Pope to pawn even the Papal mitre, 
is openly assigned as the reason for this measure. Be 
tween them, the new and the old secretaries (amongst the 
later were Gasparo Biondo, Andreas Trapezuntius, Jacobus 
Volaterranus, Johannes Petrus Arrivabenus, and Sigis- 
mondo de Conti) brought in a sum of 62,400 gold florins and 

an. 1488, n. 7), states that the incumbent of St. Albin in Normandy 
asserted that he had obtained permission from the Pope to marry ; the 
Archbishop is desired to institute legal proceedings against the delin 
quent both for the crime and the libel. 

* Against this assertion made by Raphael Volaterranus (Geogr., 1. VII.) 
see ASCII BACH, Kirchenlexikon, III., 461 ; and TRIPEPI, Religione e 
storia o tre pontefici e tre calumnie. Roma, 1872. 

t Cf. CAPPELLI, 52 ; CECCONI, Boccolino Guzzoni, 140, 194 seq. ; 
GOTTLOi:, Cam. Ap., 206 scq., 213, 262; see ibid., 232 seq., for the 
expenses caused by the contest with Naples. Numberless Briefs de 
plore the terrible dearth of money. Cf. Hist. Jahrb., VI., 455 ; *Brief of 
Aug. 2, 1486 to Bologna (State Archives, Bologna); see also *Lib. 
brev. 19, f. 392, 406, 414. (Secret Archives of the Vatican.) A document 
on the relations between the Fugger family and the Papal Court in the 
year 1487. in Miuheil. d. Ver. f. Gesch. v. Nurnberg, 1890. 

% See nuRCKHARDT, Cultur, I., 48, ed. 3. 

^ Bull., V., 330 .svy. 


received in return certain privileges and a share in various 
taxes. Innocent VIII. also created the College of Piom- 
batori with an entrance fee of 500 gold florins. Even the 
office of Librarian to the Vatican was now r for sale.* No 
one can fail to see the evils to which such a state of things 
must give rise. Sigismondo de Conti closes his narrative 
of the increase in the number of secretaries with the words ; 
" Henceforth this office which had been hitherto bestowed as 
a reward for industry, faithfulness, and eloquence, became 
simply a marketable commodity.^ Those \vho had thus 
purchased the new offices endeavoured to indemnify them 
selves out of other people s pockets. These greedy officials 
whose only aim was to get as much for themselves as 
possible out of the churches with which they had to do, were 
naturally detested in all countries, and the most determined 
opponents of reform.^ The corruptibility of all the officials 
increased to an alarming extent, carrying with it general 
insecurity and disorder in Rome, since any criminal who 

* (iOTTLOP, Cam. A])., 248-49; IXFKSSURA, 230; Slf.lSMONDO DL 1 
CONTI, II., 59 scq.\ TANGL, in Mitthcil. cl. Instituts, XIII., 75; Arch, 
d. Sou. Rom, XII., 15 Jtv/., and a ^Letter from Bonfrancesco Arlotti, 
dat. Rome, Feb. 21, 1488: La St-> di X. S rt a questi di per liberate 
da ( erti dcbiti et interessc, premissa matura consultationc, ha vcnduto 
1 intrata del suo secretariate ch : e in expeditionc de brcvi et bolle che 
passano per camera cum certi altri menicoli adiuncti per 62 " et 400 
ducati partiti fra XXX. becretari novamenti creati. (State Archives, 
Modena.) In regard to the Auditors of the Rota the number of whom 
had been fixed by Sixtus IV. in 1472 at twelve, Innocent VIII. in 
1485 decided that the office could not be held with a bishopric that was 
not /// piirtihus injideliuni. Thus the whole of the honorarium for thi.^ 
service was reserved for the members of the Roman Court ; see 
HiNsCHlUS, Kirchenrecht, I., 398 99. On the post of segretario intimo 
created by Innocent, see PIEPKK, Xuntiaturen, 4. 

t SIC.ISMOXDO DE CONTI, II., 40; DOI.I,L\(,].K, Ueitni-c, III.. 221. 

+ I)( n .i.i.NdLK, Kirchenyesch., 357. 
VOL. V. 2 A 


had money could secure immunity from punishment.* 
The conduct of some members of the Pope s immediate 
circle even, gave great scandal. Franceschetto Cibo was 
mean and avaricious, and led a disorderly life " which was 
doubly unbecoming in the son of a Tope. He paraded the 
streets at night with Girolamo Tuttavilla, forced his way 
into the houses of the citizens for evil purposes, and was 
often driven out with shame." In one night Franceschetto 
lost 14,000 ducats to Cardinal Riario and complained to the 
Pope that he had been cheated. Cardinal de La Balue also 
lost 8000 to the same Cardinal in a single evening.^ 

In order to obtain the means for the gratification of such 
passions as these, or worse, the worldly-minded Cardinals 
were always on the watch to maintain or increase their 

This explains the stipulation in the election capitulation 
that the number of the Sacred College was not to exceed 
twenty-four. Innocent VIII. however did not consider him 
self bound to observe this condition, and already in 1485 we 
hear of his intention of creating new Cardinals. The 
College refused its consent,! and the opposition of the older 
Cardinals was so violent and persistent, that some years 
passed before the Pope was able to carry out his purpose. || 
In the interval as many as nine of the old Cardinals had 

* Cf. INFESSURA, 237 set/., 242 SC</., 256 scy.\ GREGOROVIUS, VII., 
283 cd., 2., points out that all the other cities in Italy were in the same 

t REUMONT, Rom, III., I, 197 set/.; and LORENZO, II., 402, ed. 2. 

J **Despatch from J. P. Arrivabcnc, dat. Rome, March 16, 1485. 
Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

Despatch of Arrivabcne, dat. Rome, Feb. 17, 1486, loc. cit. 

|| On the negotiations regarding the creation of new Cardinals in the 
years 1487 and 1488, see BUSER, Lorenzo, 73 scy., and a *Letter from 
Arlotti, dat. Rome, Nov. 29, 1488. State Archives, Modena. 


died: in 14X4. Phiiibert IIu<;onet (September 12),* Stefano 
Nardini (October 22), Juan Moles (November 21); in 

1485, I ictro Koscari (September) and Juan de Ara^on ; in 

1486, Thomas Bourchier (June) and the i^ood Gabriel 
Kangoni (September 27); in 1488, Arcimboldi and Charles 
de Bourbon (September i3).f 

Though, in one respect, these deaths facilitated the crea 
tion of new Cardinals, on the other, great difficulties were 
caused by the urgent demands of the various Powers for the 
promotion of their candidates.* In the beginning of March 
1489 the negotiations were at last brought to a conclusion, 
and on the 9th of the month five new cardinals were 
nominated. Two of these, the Grand-Master of the Knights 
of St. John, Pierre d Aubusson, and the Archbishop of 
Bordeaux, Andre d Espinay, were absent. The three who 
were on the spot, Lorenzo Cibo (son of the Pope s brother 
Maurizio), Ardicino della Torta of Xovara, and Antoniotto 

* In a * Letter from G. A. Vespucci, of Sept. 13, 1480. which says 
*Hcri da nocte mori el Rev 111 " Car lc di Matiscon (State Archive.-, 
Florence, F. 39, f. 508), the date differs from that in F.rRCHARni 
Diarium. I., 90. There exists a rare t ontemporaneous impression, Oratio 
in funere domini r. Card. Matisconensis (s. I. ct a. 4") by A. Lollius. 

t \\ith IH RCHARhi Diarium, I., passim, cf. PAXVIMUS, 329 .v^v/., 
and ClACONirs, III., 146, who, ho\vevcr, is not always accurate; ^ee 
also P.KRNAVS, P. Martyr, 6, and HATTAGGIA, Fr. G. Ran-oni, 21 26. 
\ ene/ia, 1881. 

^ **Report of J. L. Cataneo.dat. Rome, Dec. 17, 1488. (Gon/.a^a 
Ardiivcs, Mantua.) On the insistence of the Kin- of England that the 
Red Hat should l>c bestowed on his Lord Chancellor, John Morton, see 
r>k<AVX, I., 5^7, and ( . l.I .HAKDT, Adiian von Corneto, 6. In the 
bexinnin- of 1490, Callimachus made -reat efforts to obtain the 
cardinalate for the sixth and youngest son of C asimir of Poland, who 
had been elected to the Bishopric of Cracow by the Chapter of that 
Cathedral in 1488, but he was unsuccessful: /Klssr.KKC., Polnisrhc 
Geschichtschreibun-, 369. A later request to the same effect from 
Frederick III., also failed. Cf. LICHNOWSKY, VIII., Re-cst. No. 1598. 


Pallavicini of Genoa, received their Red Hats at once. 
Three others, Maffeo Gherardo of Venice, Federigo Sanseve- 
rino (son of Count Robert), and Giovanni de Medici were 
reserved in petto* 

Some of the new Cardinals, as Ardicino della Porta, 
were fit and worthy men,f which made it all the sadder 
that the natural son of Innocent s brother, and the boy 
Giovanni de Medici should have been added to their ranks. 
Raffaele cle Volterra severely blames this open violation 
of the prescriptions of the Church, and the Annalist 
Raynaldus rightly endorses his judgment. * 

Giovanni de Medici, Lorenzo s second son, was then only 
in his fourteenth year; he was born December 11, 1475. 
Mis father had destined him for the Church at an age at 
which any choice on his part was out of the question, and 
confided his education to distinguished scholars such as 
Poliziano and Demetrius Chalkondylas. 

At seven years old he received the tonsure, and the chase 
after rich benefices at once began. Lorenzo in his notes 
details these proceedings with appalling candour. In 1483. 
before he had completed his eighth year, Giovanni was 
presented by Louis XL to the Abbacy of Font Douce 
in the Bishopric of Saintes. Sixtus IV. confirmed this 

* Cf. IJURCHARDI Diaritim, I., 332 scq.\ Sir.TSMOXDO DE COXTT. I., 
326 scq.\ SAXUDO, Vite, 1244 scq.\ PAXVIXIUS, 328-9; CARDEI.I.A, 
229 seq.-, THUASNE, Djem-Sulum, 236 scq.\ * Ardicino della Porta. 
writes, ex urbe 9 Martii 1489, to Lorenzo de Medici : Nuntiamus eidem 
nos ambos (Ardicino and Giovanni de : Medici) hodie ad cardinalatus 
dignitatem assumptos fuisse. State Archives, Florence, F. 46, f. 557. 

t SIC.ISMOXDO DE COXTI, I., 327 scq. 

t KAYNALDUS, ad an. 1489, n. 19. The evil effect of Giovanni s 
elevation was at once apparent in the efforts which from that moment 
the Ferrarese Ambassador began to make to obtain the purple for the 
youthful Ippolito d Este. **Keport from Arlotti, dat. Rome, March 14, 
1489. State Archives, Modena. 


nomination, declared him capable of holding benefices and 
made him a Protonotary Apostolic. Henceforth "what 
ever good things in the shape of a benefice, commendam, 
rectorship, fell into the hands of the Medici, was given to 
Lorenzo s son." In 1484 he was already in possession of 
the rich Abbey of Passignano, and two years later was 
given the venerable Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino in 
coiniucmiaiu* But even this was not enough for Lorenzo, 
who with indefatigable persistency besieged the Pope and 
Cardinals to admit the boy into the Senate of the Church. 
He did not scruple to represent Giovanni s age as two years 
more than it really was.f Innocent VIII. resisted for a 
long time, but finally gave way ; and he was nominated 
with the stipulation that he was to wait three years before 
he assumed the insignia of the cardinalate or took his seat 
in the College. Lorenzo found this condition extremely 
irksome, and, in the beginning of 1490, instructed his 
Ambassador to do everything in his power to get the time 
shortened. The Pope, however, who wished Giovanni to 
devote the time of probation to the stud) of Theology and 
Canon-law, was inexorable, and Lorenzo had to wait till 
the full period had expired. When, at last, the day for his 
son s elevation arrived he was too ill to be able to assist at 
any of the ceremonial services.* The moment they were 
concluded the young Cardinal started for Rome, where 
great preparations were being made for his reception. On 
March 2.?, 1492, the new Cardinal Deacon of S l;i Maria 

* kr.rMOXT, Lorenzo, II., 361 .v<y., ed. 2: TOSTI. Monte Cassmo, III., 
l r ; ; CAIM KI.U, 65. 

t ROSCOK, Leo X., App., 2 seq.: lll SKR, Lorcn/o, 73 scq. 

koscor., Leo X., I., 37 ,v<y. : K.KU.MOVL Lorcn/o, II., 400 svc/., oil. 2. 

i< !)!: Rossi, kieordan/e, 278. 

Cf. *I)espal> h from I oeraerio. dat. koine, March 21, 14^2. Stale 
Archives, Modena. 


in Dominica entered Rome by the Porta del Popolo ; on 
the following day the Pope admitted him, with the 
customary ceremonies, to the Consistory.* The General of 
the Camaldolese, Pietro Delfino, says that the bearing and 
demeanour of the young Cardinal made a favourable 
impression upon all present, and that he seemed more 
mature than could have been expected at his age.f 
Lorenzo at once wrote to his son an admirable letter of 
advice and warning, displaying not only great political 
sagacity and knowledge of human nature, but the Christian 
faith and sentiment to which he had returned at the close 
of his life. It is touching to read the earnest exhortations 
to the young man to lead " an honourable, exemplary and 
virtuous life" which seemed especially needed by one going 
to reside in a great city which had become " a very focus 
of all that was evil." There would be no lack of " bad 
counsellors, seducers and envious men," who would 
endeavour to " drag you clown into the abyss into which 
they themselves have fallen. Counting upon your youth 
they will expect to find this an easy task. Thus it behoves 
you to set yourself to prove that this hope is unfounded, 
and all the more because the College of Cardinals is at this 
moment so poor in men of worth. I remember the days 
when it was full of learned and virtuous men, and theirs is 
the example for you to follow. For the less your conduct 
resembles that of those who now compose it, the more 
beloved and respected will you be. You must equally 
avoid the Scylla of sanctimoniousness and the Charybdis of 

* See in addition to BURCIIARDI Diarium, I., 454 scq., the letter of 
Delfino, cited in the following note and that of (liov. de Medici in 
ROSCOK, App., 17 seg. ; J. L. Cataneo s ** Report, dat. Rome, March 27, 
1492, in the (lOnza^a Archives, Mantua. 

t Letter of 1 . Delfino, in ROSCOK, App., 16, and in BURCHARDI 
Diarium, I., 557-9. 


profanity. You should study to be moderate in all things, 
and avoid everything in your demeanour and in your words 
that might annoy or wound others, and especially not make 
a parade of austerities or a strict life. Your own judgment, 
when matured by experience, will instruct you better how 
to carry out my advice than an} detailed counsels that I 
could give you at present. 

" You will have no difficult) in understanding how much 
depends on the personality and example of a Cardinal. 
If the Cardinals were such as they ought to be, the whole 
world would be the better for it ; for they would always 
elect a good Pope and thus secure the peace of Christen 
dom. Endeavour, therefore, to be such that it would be 
well for all if the rest were like you. J>e careful in all 
your intercourse with the Cardinals and other persons of 
high rank, to be guarded and reserved, so as to keep your 
judgments cool and unswayed by the passions of others, 
for many act irrationally, because their aims are illicit. 
Keep your conscience clear by avoiding in your conversa 
tion anything that could be injurious to others. I think 
tin s is of the first importance for you, for if any one from 
passion thinks he has a grudge against you, it is much 
easier for him to change his mind if there is no real ground 
of offence. It will be best for you, in this your first sojourn 
in Rome, to make much more use of your ears than of your 

"To-day I have given you up entirely to God and to His 
Holy Church. Be therefore a worthy priest, and act so as 
to convince all who see you that the well-being and honour 
of the Church and the Holy See are more to you than any 
thing else in the world. If you keep this steadfastly before 
you, opportunities will not be wanting for being of use both 
to this city and to our family ; for to be united with the 
Church is advantageous to the city, and y< >u must he the 


bond of union between the t\vo, and the welfare of our 
house depends on that of Florence. Though the future 
must always remain impenetrable, yet I am confident that 
if you are constant in generously pursuing the good of the 
Church, we shall not fail to find means to secure ourselves 
on both sides. 

" You are the youngest member of the College, not only 
of the present College, but the youngest that has ever as 
yet been made a Cardinal. You should, therefore, in all that 
you have to do with your colleagues be observant and 
respectful, and keep yourself in the background in the Papal 
Chapels and Consistories, or in deputations. You will soon 
learn which among them are deserving of esteem. You 
must avoid both being and seeming to be intimate with 
those whose conduct is irregular. In conversation keep to 
generalities as far as you can. In regard to festivities, I 
think it will be prudent for you to keep rather under the 
mark than to run any risk of exceeding what is per 

" Spend your money rather on keeping a well-appointed 
stable and servants of a superior class than on pomp and 
show. Endeavour to lead a regular life, and gradually get 
your household into strict order, a thing which cannot be 
done immediately where both master and servant are ne\v. 
Silks and jewels are for the most part unsuitable for you, 
but you should possess some valuable antiques and hand 
some books, and your circle should be rather select and 
learned than numerous. Also, it is better for you to enter 
tain your friends at home than to dine out often ; but in 
this matter you should follow a middle course. Let your 
food be simple and take plenty of exercise ; many in your 
present position bring great sufferings on themselves by 
imprudence. This position is one which is both secure and 
exalted, and thus it often happens that those who have sue- 


cecded in attaining it become careless and think they can 
now do as they like, without fear of consequences, whereby 
both it and their health are imperilled. In regard to this 
point I recommend you to use all possible caution, and to 
err rather on this side than on that of over-confidence. 

" Let it be your rule of life to rise early. Setting aside the 
advantage of the practice to your health, it gives you time 
to get through the business of the day and to fulfil your 
various obligations, the recitation of the office, study, 
audiences, and whatever else has to be done. There is 
another practice which is also very necessary for a person in 
your position, namely, always, and especially now that you 
are just beginning, to call to mind in the evening what will be 
the work of the da)- following, so that you may never be 
unprepared for your business. If you speak in the Consis 
tory, it seems to me, considering your youth and inexperi 
ence, that it will be in all cases best and most becoming for 
you to adhere to the wise judgment of the Holy Father. 
You will be often pressed to speak to the Tope about this 
thing or that, and to make requests. Make it your rule in 
these early days to make as few of these as possible, so as 
not to be burdensome to him : for he is disposed by nature 
to give most to those who are least clamorous. It will be 
useful to be on the watch to say nothing that would annoy 
him, but rather to tell him things that will give him 
pleasure : while modesty in preferring requests corresponds 
best with his own disposition, and puts him in a better 
humour. Take care of your health."* 

Lorenzo de Medici s low estimate of the College of 
Cardinals in the time of Innocent VIII. was unfortunately 
only too well founded. There still remained, no doubt, 
some good men in the Senate of the Church, but they were 

* FAHRONTUS, II., 308 seq.-. RI-TMONT, II., 406 vv </., ed. 2. 


quite borne down by the worldly majority ; Marco Barbo, 
one of the leaders of the nobler party, had died in the 
Spring of 1491 ; his death, says one of his contemporaries, 
was a great loss to the Holy See and to the whole of 

Of the worldly Cardinals, Ascanio Sforza, Riario, Orsini, 
Sclafenatus, Jean de La Balue, Ginliano della Rovere, 
Savelli, and Rodrigo Borgia were the most prominent. All 
of these were deeply infected with the corruption which pre 
vailed in Italy amongst the upper classes in the age of the 
Renaissance. Surrounded in their splendid palaces, with all 
the most refined luxury of a highly-developed civilisation, 
these Cardinals lived the lives of secular princes, and seemed 
to regard their ecclesiastical garb simply as one of the adorn 
ments of their rank. They hunted, gambled, gave sumptu 
ous banquets and entertainments, joined in all the rollick 
ing merriment of the carmval-tide,f and allowed themselves 
the utmost licence in morals ; this was specially the case with 
Rodrigo Borgia. His uncle, Calixtus III., had made him a 
Cardinal and Vice-Camerlengo while he was still very young, 
and he had accumulated benefices to an extent which gave 
him a princely income. In the time of Sixtus IV. he was 
already, according to d Estouteville, the wealthiest member 
of the College of Cardinals*. One of his contemporaries 
describes him as a fine-looking man and a brilliant cavalier, 
cheery and genial in manner, and winning and fluent in 
conversation ; irresistibly attractive to women. Mis im 
moral courses brought upon him a severe rebuke from 

* Sir.isMoxno DK COXTI, II., 35. 

t BURCKHARDT, II., 163, ed. 3. On the corruption amongst the 
upper classes, see supra, p. 1 14 scq. 

t JACOBUS YOLATKRRANUS, 130. After d Estouteville s death lie \va? 
rertainly richer than any other Cardinal. Sec Dr. Rossi, Ricordanze, 


rius II.* But nothing had any effect. Even after he had 
received priest s orders, which took place in August 1468, 
and when he was given the Bishopric of Albano, which 
lie afterwards exchanged in 14/6 for that of Porto, he still 
would not give up his dissolute life ; to the end of his days 
lie remained the slave of the demon of sensuality. 

From the year 1460 Vano/./.a de Cataneis, born of Roman 
parents in 1442, was his acknowledged mistress. She was 
married three times: in 1474 to Domenico of Arignano; in 
1480 to a Milanese, Giorgio de Croce ; and in 1486 to a 
Alantuan, Carlo Canale, and died in Rome on the 26th of 
November, 1518, aged 76. The names of the four children 
whom she bore to the Cardinal are inscribed on her tomb 
in the following order : Caesar, Juan, Jofre, and Lucre/.ia.t 

* PASTOR, Hist. I opes, II., 452 seq. (Kngl. trans.), where also will 
be found some observations on Rodriyos modern apologists. I have 
not mentioned the name of Xemec amongst these, because he himself 
acknowledges p. 38) that in his account of Rodriuj o s manner of life he 
lias relied entirely on Ollivier, who is now wholly discredited. Douais 
article in the periodical La Controverse : Les debats recent s sur la vie 
privee d ! Alexandre \ I., which agrees in all points with l/Kl LXOls, 
Rev. de Quest. Hist., XXIX. (1881), 357 .s\y., contains some very i^ood 
remarks on Alexander s apologists. 

t This inscription, originally in S^ Maria del Popolo, has disappeared 
from thence, like many others, but has been preserved in a collection of 
MSS. It is absurd to doubt its genuineness, as Ollivier does (REUMONT, 
in Honner Literatuiblatt, V., 690). It runs thus : 

Vanotiae Cathanae C csare Valentiae Joane C iiiliae. 
Jofrido Scylatii et Lucretia Ferrariae ducib. liliis nobili 
Probitate insi^ni religione eximia pari et aetate et 
Pnulentia optime de xenodochio Lateranen. meritae 
Hieronymus Pk us fideiromiss. procur. ex test. pos. 
Vix. an. LXXVI. m. IV., d. XIII., obiit anno MDXVIII., XXVI. Xo. 
FoKCl.LLA, Iscri/., I., 335. \ anoz/a is the diminutive of liiovanna, 
as Paluzzo is of Paolo ; according to Jo\ ius, in her later days she strove 
to make reparation for her sins bv her piety. See, in regard to her, 


Besides these, Cardinal Rodrigo had other children, a 
son, Pedro Luis, certainly born before 1460,* and a daughter, 
Girolama, but apparently by a different mother.f Rodrigo 
turned to his Spanish home for the careers of these chil 
dren, who were legitimised one after another. In 1485 he 
obtained the Dukedom of Gandia for Pedro Luiz ; in the 
deed of King Ferdinand he is described as the son of noble 
parents, and he is stated to have distinguished himself by 
his military acquirements and to have rendered valuable 
services in the war against the King of Granada. Pedro 
was betrothed to the daughter of Ferdinand s uncle and 
major-domo, Donna Maria Enriquez ; in 1488 he came to 
Rome, and in August fell sick there and died, certainly 
before the year 1491. He left all that he possessed to his 
brother Juan, the best of Rodrigo s sons, born in 14/4, who 
eventually married his brother s intended bride. * 

The Cardinal s third son Caesar, born in 1475, was 

(iRF.r.OROVirs, VII., 305 scq., ed. 3, and Lucre/ia, 10 scq. ; HENRI 
UK L Ki ixois, Alcxandre VI., in Rev. de Quest. Hist., XXIX. (rSSi), 
379 scq. ; Arch. St. Ital, 3 Serie, IX., i, So scq. ; XVII., 324 scq., 510 ; 
and Arch. d. Soc. Rom, VII., 402 scq. 

This may be gathered from the deed of legitimation granted by 
Sixtus I\ 7 ., Nov. 5, 1486, in which Pedro Luis is called "adolescens," and 
described as the issue de tune Diacono Cardinal! et soluta, and also from 
another document of the year 1483, according to which Pedro Luis must 
have been at least twenty years of age ; THUASXK, Burchardi Diarium, 
III.; Suppl. a 1 App., p. III. scq. ; Of.iVKR, 108, thinks that P. Luis must 
have been born about 1458, cf. 429. 

t CITTAUEI.EA, Albcro, n. 32 and p. 49.^.; ORF.GOROVIUS, Lurrezia, 
1 8 ; RKUMOXT, in Arch. St. Ital., 3 Serie, XVII., 330. 

^ HoFLKR, R. de Borja, 50 seq.\ OLIVER, 437 scg., 439 scq. 

$ RKUMOXT, in Arch. St. Ital., 3 Serie, XVII., 327, places the birth 
of C;rsar in 1473; THUASNK, Burchardi Diarium, I., 420, thinks that 
he was born in 1475 ; while GREGOROVIUS, Lucrezia, 12, and YRIARTE, 
I., 36, maintain that it was in 14/6 ; L KPIXOIS, Alcxandre VI., 371 scq.> 
shews that none of these dates are probable, and that 1475 seems more 


from childhood, without any regard to his aptitude or 
wishes, destined to the Church. Sixtus IV. on 1st October, 
1480, dispensed him from the canonical impediment for the 
reception of Holy Orders, caused by his being born out of 
wedlock, because he was the son of a Cardinal and his 
mother was a married woman.* At the age of seven years 
Cctsar was made a Protonotary, and was appointed to 
benefices in Xativa and other cities in Spain, and under 
Innocent VI 1 1. to the Bishopric of Pampcluna.t Jofre also, 
born in 1480 or 1481, was intended for the ChurchJ ; he is 
mentioned as a Canon, Prebendary, and Archdeacon of the 
Cathedral of Valencia. Lucrezia, born in 14/8, seemed, 
like her brothers, destined to make her home in her 
father s native land, for in 1491 she was betrothed to a 

The mother of these children, Vanozza de Cataneis, 
possessed substantial property in Rome, and a house on the 
Piazza Branca, close to the palace which Rodrigo Borgia 
had built for himself. This mansion, now the Palazzo Sforza- 

likcly to be the correct one ; HoFLEk, R. cle Borja, 53, is in favour of 
1474 5 ; OLIVER finally decides on 1475. See 409, and cf. 420, 427, 434, 
and this agrees with a document dat. Aug. 31, 1492, which has been 
discovered in the Secret Archives of the Vatican. Sec Appendix, N. 15. 
* De Episcopo Cardinal} genitus et conjugata ; L EPINOIS, 373 ; 

Ol.lVKR, 42O. 

t OLIVER, 427 jtv/., and infra, Appendix, X. 15. 

J Cf. L EPINOIS, 378, and the document of Aug. 31, 1492, which I 
found in the Secret Archives of the Vatican. See Appendix, Xos. 17 
and 19. 

;< (iREC.ORnvius, Lucre/ia, 12(13 in cd. 3), considers it certain that 
Liu rexia was born in 1480. This view, which is shared by RLUMONT 
in the Arch. St. Ital, 3 Sene, XVII., 331, and LEOXETTI, seems proved 
by L EPINOIS, 376, to be incorrect. ClTTADELLA also, Albero genea- 
logico, e di memorie sulla famiglia Borgia, 34, and the Civ. Catt., 3 Seric, 
IX., 724, hold to the year 1478. 


Cesarini, was considered the finest, not only in Rome, but in 
the whole of Italy.* 

In the reign of Innocent VIII. Jacopo da Volterra writes 
of Cardinal Borgia: " He has good abilities and great versa 
tility, is fluent in speech, and though his literary attain 
ments are not of the first order, he can write well. He is 
naturally shrewd, and exceedingly energetic in all business 
that he takes in hand. He is reputed to be very rich, and 
his influence is great on account of his connections with so 
many kings and princes. He has built for himself a 
splendid and commodious palace midway between the 
Bridge of S. Angelo and the Campo di Fiore. His reve 
nues from his numerous benefices and abbeys in Italy and 
Spain and his three bishoprics of Valencia, Porto, and Carta 
gena are enormous; while his post of Vice-Camerlengo 
is said also to bring him in 8000 gold ducats yearly. He 
possesses immense quantities of silver plate, pearls, hang 
ings, and vestments embroidered in gold and silk, and 
learned books of all sorts, and all of such splendid quality as 
would befit a king or a pope. I pass over the sumptuous 
adornments of his litters and trappings for his horses, and all 
his gold and silver and silks, together with his magnificent 
wardrobe and his hoards of treasure.f 

We obtain a highly interesting glimpse into the amaz 
ing luxury of Cardinal Borgia s palace from a hitherto 
unknown letter of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, dated 22nd of 

* Gasp. Veronen. in MURATOKi, III., 2, 1036; ROSMINT, Storia di 
Milano, IV., 32 ; CANCELUERI, in Effem. Lett., 1821 ; RATTI, I., 84 set/.; 
and LEONETTI, I., 151 sc</. Gregorovius is mistaken in saying that 
the Borgia Palace was not built till 1482. The authorities cited above 
shew that it was completed essentially in the reign of Paul II. Cf. the 
document from the Secret Archives of the Vatican, in Appendix, N. 13. 

t JACOB. VOLATERRANUS, 130; GREC.OROVIUS, Lucrezia, 17, who 
both here and in his 3rd ed. confounds Chartaginensis with Carthago. 


October, 1484. * On that clay Borgia, who, as a rule, was 
not a lover of the pleasures of the table, gave a magnificent 
banquet in his palace, at which, besides Ascanio, three 
other Cardinals were included amongst the guests, one of 
these being Giuliano clella Rovere. The whole palace was 
splendidly decorated. In the great entrance-hall the walls 
were covered with hangings representing various historical 
events. A smaller room opened into this, also hung with 
exquisite Gobelin tapestry. The carpets on the floor were 
selected to harmonise with the rest of the furniture, of which 
the most prominent piece was a sumptuous state-couch 
upholstered in red satin, with a canopy over it. This room 
also contained the Cardinal s credenza, a chest surmounted 
by a slab, on which was ranged for exhibition an immense 
quantity of table plate and drinking vessels in gold and 
silver, while the lower part was a marvel of exquisitely 
finished work. This apartment was flanked by two others, 
one of which was hung with satin and carpeted, the divan 
in it being of Alexandrian velvet: while in the other, still 
more splendid, the couch was covered with gold brocade 
and magnificently decorated. The cloth on the central 
table was of velvet, and the chairs which surrounded it were 
exquisitely carved. f 

Ascanio Sfor/.a, created a Cardinal from political motives 
in 1484, by Sixtus IV. and loaded with benefices, came 
next to Rodrigo in wealth and love of show, lie was an 
ardent sportsman, and " Rome stood amazed both at the 
splendour of his Court and the number of horses, dogs, and 

* Sec the text in Appendix, N. 2, from the original \vhnh I i ound in 
the Milanese State Archives. 

t This picture of the culture of the a^e has the advantage over 
G Rl-;r.OKOVll s ! description in Lucre/.ia, 15 seq., of the hou^c of Yano//a. 
It is the account of an eye-witness, and not the more or less fanciful 
composition of a writer living four hundred years later. 


hawks, which he kept. The enormous income which he 
drew from his many benefices and large temporal posses 
sions, hardly sufficed to meet his boundless expenditure. 
The Roman annalist says he dares not attempt to describe 
the feast which Ascanio gave in the latter days of Innocent 
VIII. in honour of Ferrantino the Prince of Capua, Fer- 
rante s grandson, lest he should be mocked as a teller of 
fairy tales." His friends justly praised his talent for 
diplomacy and politics. He had also a taste for literature 
and art, wrote Latin and Italian poems, and was a 
generous patron of learned men. It should also be men 
tioned that Ascanio, in dispensing his gifts, was not un 
mindful of the poor.* From a moral point of view 
Cardinal Federigo Sanseverinof and the wealthy Battista 
Orsini,:*; were not much better than Rodrigo Borgia. 

Another of the worldly-minded Cardinals was the astute 
and ambitious La Balue who, since 1485, had returned to 
reside in Rome. His two master passions were politics 
and the accumulation of riches. In spite of all the vicissi 
tudes of his tempestuous life, when he died in 1491 he was 
worth 100,000 ducats. 

Equally worldly was Giuliano della Rovere, undoubt 
edly the strongest personality in the College of Cardinals. 
Politics and war were the main interests in his life. He 
" bore the stamp of the I5th Century to which he belonged, 

* REUMONT, III, i, 199 scy., 263 ; Arch. St. Lomb., II, 379^. ; 
RATTI, I, 78 seq., gives way too much to his tendency to take a 
favourable view. 

t Cf. Costabile s ^Despatch chit. Rome, 1508, March 4. State 
Archives, Modcna. 

J SIGISMONDO DE CoxTi, II, 264. Cf. Dispacci di A. Giustiniani, 
I, 309. 

S Cf. the very complete monograph of FORC.KOT, 125 sey., 151 JYY/, 
in which the Cardinal s character is impartially and correctly estimated. 


and carried into the next age its strength of will, its im 
petuosity in action, and its largeness in aim and idea. 
He was proud, ambitious, self-confident and hot-tempered, 
bub never small or mean.* He paid no more regard to his 
vow of celibacy than the majority of his colleagues; but 
through all his worldliness there was in him a certain seri 
ousness, a capacity for something better, which was destined 
to shew itself in later years.f lie w;is ;i noble p;itron of 
Art, and maintained his interest in it through all the 
stormiest episodes of his lifc.J 

Between the wealth acquired by the accumulation of 
benefices and foreign bishoprics, and their connections 
with so many powerful kings and princes, the influence of 
the Cardinals had become so great that there was manifest 
danger of the subjection of the Papacy to the Sacred 
College. The power of Giuliano della Rovcrc, during the 
reign of Innocent VIII. and the high-handed manner in 
which he exercised it, went quite beyond the bounds of 
what was permissible. During the war of the Neapolitan 
Barons, he, on his own authority, had a Courier sent by the 
Duke of Milan, arrested, and his papers taken from him. 
The Milanese, Florentine, and Ferrnrese Ambassadors of 
that day complained that two Popes were more than they 
could do with ; one was quite enough. 

These too-human princely Cardinals are likened by a 

* GuKnoROvn;?, YIII., 19 scq, ed. 3. 

t r,iuli;mo dolln Roverc had three daughters (sec Lu/lO-RKNir.R, 
Mantova c Urbino, 159), also SANUTO, VIL, 32 and a * Despatch from 
the Mantuan Ambassador, dat. Rome, Jan. 25, I 506. (C.on/a-a Archives, 
Mantua.) The oilier accusations brought against him by his bitterest 
political opponents are not proved. See Svnr.i.s Hist. /eitschrift, 
XXXVII., 305, and our Vol. VI., liook 2 (Kn-1. trans.). 

MUXTX, Raphael, 269 scq. 

Concerning this influence, see suf>m, p. 2. p. For the Ambassadors 
remonstrance, see C.M l KM.l, .|S. 

VOL. V. 2 L 


modern historian to the old Roman Senators. " Most of 
them, like the Pope, were surrounded by a Curia of their own 
and a circle of nephews. They went about in martial attire 
and wore swords elaborately decorated. As a rule, each 
Cardinal had several hundred servants and retainers living 
in the Palace, and their number might be on occasion 
augmented by hired bravi. This gave them a following 
among the populace who depended on the Cardinals Courts 
for their livelihood. Most of these Princes of the Church 
had their own factions, and they vied with each other in the 
splendour of their troops of horsemen, and of the triumphal 
cars filled with masques, musicians, and actors, which paraded 
the streets during the Carnival, and on all festal occasions. 
The Cardinals of that day quite eclipsed the Roman 

The encouragement which they gave to Literature and 
Art, the patronage of which was looked upon as an indis 
pensable adornment of greatness in the age of the 
Renaissance, is the one redeeming spot in the lives of these 
Princes of the Church, which in all other ways were so 
scandalously out of keeping with their spiritual character. 
It was not strangers only who were scandalised by the 
behaviour of these unworthy priests ; f many born Italians, 
especially the mission preachers, \ complain bitterly of them. 
The most energetic and outspoken of all was the Domini- 

* GREGOROVIUS, VII., 280, ed. 3 ; ARTAUD, 166. The passage about 
the Carnival revels is on p. 265, in the new edition of INFESSURA. 

t Men were not wanting to whom these shameful courses became an 
occasion for altogether rejecting the institution of the Papacy. A Canon 
of Bamberg, Dr. Theodorich Morung, who had gone to Rome on some 
affairs of the Diocese in the spring of 1485, on his return home expressed 
himself in this sense, see KRAUSSOLD, Th. Morung, II., 76 (Bayreuth, 
1 878), and Suppl., VII. ; also J. SCHNEIDER, in the Archiv fur Gesch. v. 
Oberfranken, XVII. (1888), 5 seq. 

I Cf. suf>ra, p. 175. 


can, Girol a mo Savonarola. In his sermons, but more 
especially in his poems, lie paints a gruesome picture of the 
corruptions in the Church, and prophesies terrible mani 
festations of the wrath of God in the near future.* 

Anticipations of impending judgments prevailed widely 
during this period. Many prophets appeared, and predic 
tions of the complete overthrow of all existing institutions, 
and the condign punishment of the corrupt clergy, were 
passed from mouth to mouth. f One appeared in Rome 
in 1491. 

A contemporary writer describes the preacher as poorly 
clad and only carrying in his hand a small wooden cross, 
but very eloquent and well educated. He collected the 
people iii the public squares and announced in prophetical 
tones that in the current year there would be much tribula 
tion, and Rome would be filled with the sound of weeping. 
In the year following the distress would spread over the 
whole country ; but in 1493 the Angel Pope would appear 
(Angelicus Pastor), who would possess no temporal power, 
and would seek nothing but the good of souls. J 

The prophecies of Savonarola, however, produced far 
more impression than any of these, and the extraordinary 
influence of his sermons and writings is, for the most part, 
due to them. Many of them had their origin in visions, 
which he thought had been granted to him. In the Advent 
of 1492 he had a dream which he firmly held to be a Divine 
revelation. " He saw in the middle of the sky a hand 

* SAVONAROLA S poem Do ruina ecclesiae (1475), to be found in an 
edition by Guasti, of only 250 copies, entitled Poesie di Krad. Savonarola, 
10 15 (Firenze, 1862), is full of appalling descriptions. Cj. supra, p. 182. 

t Cf. MALIPIKUO, 372. The verses here i^iven are older. The text 
in a Vatican MS. is not the same. See r>Kk< .KK, in the liibl. de 1 F.cole 
d Athene-* et de Rome, VI., i 2 (1879). 

I iNl- KSSrKA-To.MMASIM, 264 5. 


bearing a sword, on which these words were inscribed 
Gladius Domini super terram cito et velociter." He heard 
many clear and distinct voices promising mercy to the good, 
threatening chastisement to the wicked, and proclaiming that 
the wrath of God was at hand. Then, suddenly the sword 
was turned towards the earth ; the sky darkened ; swords, 
arrows and flames rained down ; terrible thunderclaps were 
heard ; and all the world was a prey to war, famine and 
pestilence." * 

* YILLARI, Savonarola, 165-6 (Engl. trans.). 


ALEXANDER VI. 1492 150, 



DURlxr, the long sickness of Innocent VIII., there had 
been much disorder in Rome, and the approaching vacancy 
of the Papal throne was anticipated with some apprehen 
sion;* but the stringent precautionary measures adopted 
by the Cardinals and the Roman Magistrates proved 
sufficient, and all went off quietly enough. f One of the 
Envoys reports, August 7, 1492, " It is true that a few r were 
killed and others wounded, especially during the time that 
the Pope was in cxtrcinis, but afterwards things went 
better."* Nevertheless the situation was sufficiently critical 
to make the Cardinals anxious to get the funeral over as soon 
as possible. During the interval Raffaelc Riario, as Camer- 
lengo, was an able and energetic ruler. Jean Villier de La 

* *La parte Orsina e Colonncsc tutta in arme si levo secondo 1 usanza 
a guardia di Roma e per defender ciascuna se seguiva alcuna occisione. 
I ARENTI, Cod. Magliabech., XXV., 2, 519, f. 133 . (National Library, 
Florence.) See SANUDO, 1249; L. Chieregato in Sigismondo dc Conti, 
1 1. ,94, and Atti Mod., I., 429. Against Infessura, see CiPOLLA, 67 1, n. i. 

t See Florentine Despatches in THUASNE, I., 570 .w/., 573 AYV/., 575. 

+ *Vero e che le (1 e) stato amazato cjualche persona e feriti alcuni altri 
inaxime in quello tempo chel papa era in quello extreme : poi le cose 
tuta via sono asetate meglio. Despatch of Brognolo, dat. Rome, 1492. 
Augiibt 7. Conzaga Archives, Mantua. 


Grolaic, Abbot of St. Denis, for whom a few years later, 
Michael Angelo carved his Pieta, was then Governor of 

The question at once arose whether the two Cardinals, 
Sanseverino and Gherarclo, nominated but not proclaimed 
by Innocent VIII., would be admitted to the Conclave. 
The first arrived in Rome on the 24th July and was imme 
diately received into the Sacred College. j- Gherardo, who 
arrived on August 4th, bringing with him a strong letter 
of recommendation from the Venetian Council of Ten, was 
acknowledged as Cardinal on the following day. Many 
prophesied that his white Camaldolesc habit would be a 
passport for him to the supreme dignity.^ 

Immediately upon the conclusion of the obsequies on 
August 6th, the Conclave began ; twenty-three Cardinals 

* See supra, Introduction, p. 79. 

t INFKSSURA, 278, and *Lctter of Cardinal A. Sforza, dat. Rome, 
July 26, 1492. State Archives, Milan. 

% *Acta Consist. Alex. VI., Pii III., Jul. II., Leon. X., f. i. (Consis- 
torial Archives of the Vatican.) This unsigned volume will in future be 
simply cited as Acta Cons. Besides this, in the Consistorial Archives for 
the reign of Alexander, are (i) a vol. signed C 2 Acta Consist. 1489-1503, 
corresponding in all essentials to the one just quoted ; (2) another simi 
lar vol. marked No. 88 : Ex libro relat. Consist, ab initio pontif. Alex. 
VI. ; (3) another giving much fuller details, but only embracing a short 
period, marked C 303 : Liber relat. Consistorii tempore ponlificatus f. 
re. Alex. PP. VI. a die XII. Nov., 1498, usque in diem V. Julii, 1499. 
INFESSURA, 278, erroneously gives Aug. i, as the day of Gherardo s 
arrival. The recommendation from Venice is in BKOSCH, Julius II., 
312; the prophecy is mentioned by *PARENTI, loc. cit. National Library, 

$ The expense of these was considerable. In the Introitus et Exitus, 
vol. 524, we find on the 3<Dth March 1493 ; *Diversis mercatoribus 
(Medici, Sauli, Marcelli, Ricasoli, Gaddi, Rabatti) 16,033 ducat, de 
camera 58 Bolog. pro totidem expositis in pannis et cera et aliis rebus 
in exequiis pape Innocentii VIII. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 


were present in the Sistinc Chapel.* The usual address 
was spoken by the Spanish Bishop, Bcrnaldino Lopez de 
Carvajal. He drew an impressive picture of the melan 
choly condition of the Church, and exhorted the Assembly 
to make a good choice and to choose quickly. The foreign 
Ambassadors and a number of noble Romans undertook 
the guardianship of the Conclave.f 

In view of the foiling health of Innocent VIII., the 
Cabinets of the Italian Towers had for some time been 
occupied with the probability of a Papal election. In the 
Milanese State Archives there is an undated memorandum 
from an Envoy of Sforza, which probably belongs to the 
beginning of the year 1491, and gives much interesting 
information. According to it, Cardinal Ascanio Sforza 
seems to have believed that he could reckon with security 
on seven of the cardinals arid probably on four more. His 
rival, Giuliano della Rovere, had nine on his side ; neither, 
therefore, possessed the necessary majority of two-thirds. 
The writer of this account thought that Cardinal Ardicino 
della Porta or the Portuguese Cardinal Costa, most pro 
bably the latter, had the best chance.* 

On July 25, 1492, when the death of Innocent VIII. 

* HERNGEROTHER, VIII., 302 ; BROSCII, loc.cit., 50, andOREnoRO- 
VI US give respectively 20 and 25 as the number of Cardinals, both 
wrongly. The number given in the text, in which PAC.I, V., 325, 
NOVAKS, VI., 8 1, HAC.KX, Papstwahlen, 15 seq., and S.vdMULLEK, 
1 1 6, agree, is placed beyond doubt by the *Acta Consist, of the Con- 
si^torial Archives. 

t Atti. Mod., I., 429, and ZURlTA, V., T4 b - Speech of Carvajal in 
MARTKNK, Thes., II., 1775 scq.\ Cf. Rossr,\cn, Carvajal, 27, 9-32. 
*Regest, 867, f. 73, Secret Archives of the Vatican, shews that J. 
Burchard also took part in the Conclave. 

J See Appendix, N. 8, Milanese State Archives. See DKSJARDINS 
I., 549, on the negotiations concerning the Papal Election in .May 


was hourly expected, the intrigues in regard to the elec 
tion were at their height. After Costa and Ardicino della 
Porta, Caraffa and Zeno were most spoken of. Some 
were for Piccolomini and some again for Borgia. The 
Florentine Envoy writes, "In regard to these intrigues I 
will not attempt to enter into details which would only 
serve to bewilder you and myself, for they are innumerable 
and change every hour."* The same Envoy, on the 28th 
July, mentions strenuous efforts on the part of the Roman 
Barons to influence the election,-)- and the foreign Powers 
were equally active. It was currently reported that Charles 
VIII. of France had paid 200,000 ducats into a bank, and 
the Republic of Genoa 100,000, in order to secure the 
election of Giuliano della Rovere.J On the strength of 
this they fully expected that their countryman would be 

As soon as it became known that the Pope was seriously 
ill an eager interchange of communications at once com 
menced between the Italian Powers, but they were unable 
to come to any agreement. Naples and Milan were at 
daggers drawn. || The King of Naples, made doubly cautious 
by defeat, was anxious to conceal his views on the import 
ant subject as far as possible. On the 24th of July, the 
Milanese Ambassador at Naples reports that the King had 
declared that he would not meddle in any way with the 
Papal election ; he had seen what came of that at the 
making of the last Pope, and would let things take their 

* THUASNE, I., 572 scg., 575. 

t Ibid., I, 577. 

t Report of Cavalieri to Eleonora of Aragon, August 6, 1492, in Atti 
Mod., I., 429. 

$ * Anonymous letter elated Genoa, 1492, July 24. Milanese State 

|| PETRUCELLI, I., 343, and SAGMULLEK, 227. 


course at Rome, as far as he was concerned.* All the 
same, the Ambassador was convinced that Ferrante was 
busily occupied with the approaching Conclave. In his 
opinion the King would favour the election of Piccolomini, 
and Camillo Pandone would be sent to Rome to win over 
Giuliano della Rovcre to his side. Ferrante s letters to his 
Ambassador, Joviano Pontano, which however have not 
yet been fully known, throw somewhat more light upon 
this subject. 

From the first of these, dated July 20, it appears that the 
King favoured the election of Giuliano della Rovcre; he 
commissioned Virginio Orsini, who was in his pay, to 
promote it, and desired Fabricio and Prospero Colonna 
secretly to approach Romc.f The second letter in cypher 
t.j Pontano bears date July 22. The King here pronounces 
against the election of Costa and prefers Pictro Gundisalvo 
de Mendoza ; Pontano is told to inform Cardinal Giuliano 
of this.J Giuliano seems to have had the King s entire 
confidence, and the election of Zeno was only contemplated 
as an alternative in case that of Giuliano could not be 
secured. Naples and France, though preparing for a final 
and decisive hostile encounter, supported meanwhile the 
same candidate for the Papal Chair. 

Giuliano della Rovcre did not want for rivals. An 
extremely interesting, as yet imprinted report of Giovanni 
Andrea Boccaccio, Bishop of Modena, to Eleonora, Duchess 

* **Report of A. Stangha, dat. Naples, July 24, 1492. Milanese State 

t TKINCIIKKA, II., i, 143. 

J This letter, which is wanting in Trinchcra, is found in NUNZIAXTE, 
Letterc da Pontano, 26-27. 

SAf.Mri.i.KR, 116; SIC.ISMONDO DK CONTI, II., 56, says expressly : 
Ferdinandus post Innoccntii obituin omnibus inachinis est annixus, tit 
Alexandrum spe pontificatus cleiiceret ; totus nanujue iiu ubuit in Juli- 
anum Card. S. I etri ad vincula, etc. 


of Ferrara, gives Ardicino clella Porta, of the party of 
Ascanio Sforza, and universally popular on account of his 
kindly disposition, as the first of these. He puts Caraffa 
in the second place, Ascanio Sforza in the third, Rodrigo 
Borgia in the fourth. Of this latter he says, that on 
account of his connections he is extremely powerful, and 
able richly to reward his adherents. In the first place, 
the Vice-chancellorship, which is like a second Papacy, is 
in his gift ; then there are the towns of Civita Castellana 
and Nepi, an Abbey at Aquila, with a revenue of 1000 
ducats, a similar one in Albano, two larger ones in the 
kingdom of Naples ; the Bishopric of Porto, worth 1 200 
ducats, the Abbey of Subiaco including twenty-two villages, 
and bringing in 2000 ducats. In Spain he possesses 
upwards of sixteen bishoprics, and a number of abbeys 
and other benefices. Besides these, the Bishop mentions 
as aspirants to the Supreme office the Cardinals Savelli, 
Costa, Piccolomini, and Michiel, and many also, he adds, 
speak of Fregoso, Domenico della Rovere and Zeno. All 
these Cardinals had dismantled their palaces, for on such 
occasions it often happens that false reports are started to 
provide an excuse for plundering the house, as is customary 
when any one is elected Pope. Besides all these, con 
tinues the Ferrarese Envoy, the name of Cardinal Giuliano 
is whispered in secret, and yet after all, only one can be 
chosen, unless indeed there should be a schism.* A des 
patch dated August 4, from the Milanese Ambassador, 
confirms the statement that Ardicino clella Porta had good 
prospects. It says that Giuliano sees that neither he nor 
Costa are likely to succeed, and that he must therefore 
support some adherent of Ascanio, and among these 
Ardicino della Porta is the only satisfactory one. He will 

* See the text of this important ^"Document (which I found in the 
State Archives at Modena) in the Appendix, N. 9. 


not have Borgia at any price, and Piccolomini is an enemy 
of his; Ferrantc s opposition makes Caraffa impossible; 
there is a chance, however, that Cardinal della Rovere 
may prefer Zeno to Ardicino della Porta. The same Am 
bassador also mentions an interview on the 4th of August 
between della Rovere and Ascanio in the Sacristy of S. 
Peter s, in which the former was supposed to have offered 
the Milanese Cardinal his personal support and that of his 

The situation on the eve of the Conclave seemed to be 
that Giuliano della Rovere, who was hated for the influence 
he had exerted over the late Pope and for his French 
sympathies, had no chance whatever, while the Cardinals 
Ardicino della Porta and Ascanio Sforza, favoured by 
Milan, had good reason to hope for success. The chances 
were against Borgia because he was a Spaniard, and many 
of the Italian Cardinals were determined not to elect a 
foreigner ; f but the wealth of the Spanish Cardinal was 
destined to turn the scales in the Conclave, as the shrewd 
ness of the Ambassador had foreseen. 

The Conclave began on August 6th. An election Capitu 
lation was drawn up,J and then the contest began. For a 
long time it remained undecided. On the loth of August 
the Florentine Ambassador, who was one of the guards of 
the Conclave, writes that there had been three scrutinies 
without result ; Caraffa and Costa seemed to have the best 
chance. Both were worthy men, and one, Caraffa, was a 

* ** Letter of S. Taberna, dated Rome, August 4, 1492. Milanese 
State Archives. 

t CORIO, III., 403. This passage shews that Gregorovius, VII., 300, 
ed. 3, is wrong. 

J Florentine Despatch of August 6, in THUASXK, I., 577 ; RAYXAI.DUS, 
ad an. 1492,11. 31, and Cod. XXXI I., 242, in the IJarberini Library in 

^ I Ljive in Appendix, N. m. tln-^ "^ Despatch (which >tranu;e to say 


man of distinguished abilities. The election of either 
would have been a great blessing to the Church.* Unfor 
tunately a sudden change came over the whole situation. 
As soon as Ascanio Sforza perceived that there was no 
likelihood that he would himself be chosen, he began to 
lend a willing ear to Borgia s brilliant offers. Rodrigo not 
only promised him the office of Vice-Chancellor with his 
own Palace, but in addition to this the Castle of Nepi, the 
Bishopric of Erlau with a revenue of 10,000 ducats, and 
other benefices.-)- Cardinal Orsini was to receive the two 

is wanting in Thuasne), from the original in the Florentine State 

* SAGMULLER, 115 ; as to Caraffa, see PASTOR, Hist. Popes, Vol. IV 
t According to INFESSURA, 281, Borgia s Palace was to be given to 
Orsini, and Nepi to Sclafenati ; HAGEN, Papstwahlen, 20 seq., has shewn 
both these statements to be false ; Tommasini, who upholds Infessura 
in all his misstatements, entirely ignores this ; Valori, in his important 
Despatch of the i2th August 1492, in THUASXE, II., 610, states that A. 
Sforza received what I have mentioned ; cf. also Manfredi s Despatch of 
August 1 6, in CAPPELLI, Savonarola, 26. Valori s statements are 
corroborated from other sources, as is shewn by HAGEN, 20 seq. As, 
however, the simoniacal character of Alexander s election has of late 
been frequently questioned (see CERRI, 94, NEMEC, 81 seq. ; LEONETTI, 
and following him, TACHY, in the Revue des Sciences Ecde s., XLV. 
[Amiens, 1882], 141 seq.\ or entirely denied (see R. DE SORAGNA in 
the Rass. Naz., X., [1882] 133), it seems advisable to draw attention to 
some original documents hitherto unknown. The first of these is 
Brognolo s ^Despatch of Aug. 31, 1492, printed in Appendix, N. 18, in 
which it is true that A. Sforza is not named. But in FRAKNOI in the 
Erlauer Diocesanblatt, 1883, No. 20, the appointment of Ascanio Sforza 
to the Bishopric of that place appears [Fraknoi is mistaken in regard to 
the date ; according to the *Acta Consist, it took place on Aug. 31, and 
this agrees with the deed of nomination in *Regest. 772, f. 201^: R om , 
1492, Prid. Cal. Sept.] and the other gifts can equally be substantiated. 
Thus the appointment to the Vice-Chancellorship appears from *Decret 
Eximia tue Circ. industria, dat. Rom, 1492, VII. Cal. Sept, *Regest. 869, 
f. i. See also Cod. XXXV., 94, in the Barberini Library which reads 
(p. 2691.) Lena et publicata fuit suprascripta Bulla Romae in rone, apost. 


fortified towns of Monticelli and Soriano, the legation of the 
Marches and the Bishopric of Carthagena ; * Cardinal 
Colonna, the Abbacy of Subiaco with all the surrounding 
villages ; f Savelli, Civita Castellana and the Bishopric of 
Majorca ; J Pallavicini, the Bishopric of Pampeluna ; 

die lunae 27, mensis Aug., 1492. As to the handing over of the Palace, 
see Appendix, N. 13. The grant of Nepi is certain, see LEONETTI, 
I., 6 1 ; RATTI, I., 86, whose apology for Ascanio is quite futile. Besides 
this, Ascanio received ( *Regest. 773, f. 15^ ) two Canonries (dat. Laterani 
1492, VII. Cal. Sept. A i); f. 45 : the Priorate of a Convent in the 
Diocese of Calahorra, which belonged to Alexander VI. (D. ut S.) ; f. 
167 : an Abbey (D. ut S.) and various other favours, f. 187, 260 and 295, 
all dated, VII. Cal., Sept. 1492. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

See Brognolo s ^Despatch of Aug. 31, 1492 (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua), in the Appendix, N. 18; THUASNE, II., 610, and *Regest. 
772, f. 8S b ; Bapt. S. Maria Novae diac. Card, de Ursini creatur in 
provincia Marchiae Anconit. ac civit., terris, castris et locis Massae 
Trebariae, etc., nee non Asculi ap. sedis legalus ac pro S. P. et R. E. in 
temp, et spirit, vicarius generalis. Dat. Romae, 1492, Prid. Cal. Sept. 
A i. (Secret Archives of the Vatican.) As to Monticelli see HAGEN, 
23. Hagen is mistaken in regard to Carthagena, for it appears from 
*Regest. 772 f. 31, that Orsini obtained the Bishopric as administrator 
in 1492, Prid. Cal. Sept. This is confirmed by the *Acta Consist., 1492, 
tilt. Aug., in the Consistorial Archives. 

t See Appendix, N. 18 (^Despatch of Aug. 31), and THUASNE, II., 61 1. 
t The Florentine Ambassador merely remarks : Al card. Savello 
s e dato Civita Castellana et qualche altra cosa, while Infessura (281) 
adds, ecclesia S. Mariae Majoris ; Tommasini does not perceive that this 
cannot be true ; Hagen explains it by saying he was made Arch-priest 
of this church, but this also is incorrect ; Majoris should be read, 
Majoricensis. This appears from the *Acta Consist, and from Regest. 
772, f. 157, where we find that Job. Bapt. Card. s. Nic. in carcere 
received the ecclesia Majoricensis which hitherto had been retained by 
the Pope, dat. 1492, Prid. Cal. Sept. ; ibid., f. 4 ; grant of a monastery 
to Card. Savelli on the same day. (Secret Archives of the Vatican.) See 
also Appendix, N. 18, ^Despatch of Aug. 31. 

S *Regest. 772, f. 27 (1492, s.d.} and *Acta Consist. 1492 ult. Aug. 
Consistorial Archives. 


Giovanni Michiel the suburban Bishopric of Porto ;* the 
Cardinals Sclafenati, Sanseverino, Riario and Domenico 
della Rovere, rich abbacies and valuable benefices.f By 
these simoniacal means, counting his own vote and those 
of the Cardinals Ardicino della Porta and Conti who 
belonged to the Sforza party, Borgia had thus secured 
24 votes, and only one more was wanting to complete the 
majority of two-thirds. This one however was not easy to 
obtain. The Cardinals Caraffa, Costa, Piccolomini and 
Zeno were not to be won by any promises however 
brilliant ; and the young Giovanni cle Medici held with 
them.! Cardinal Basso followed Giuliano della Rovere, 
who would not hear of Borgia s election. Lorenzo Cibo also 
held aloof from these unhallowed transactions^ Thus 

* *Acta Consist, 1492, ult. Aug. and *Regest. 772, f. 55 b : Job. 
Michaelis received ecclesia Portuen., which hitherto had been retained 
by the Pope, dat. Rom, 1492, Prid. Cal. Sept. A i. Thus LEONETTI, 
I., 61 and HAGEN, 27, require correction. In *Regest. 869 we also find 
(f- 39) : J on - Episcopo Portuen., commendatur cantoria, dat. Rom, 
1492, IV., Non. Sept. A i ; ibid., 41 ; Job. etc., reservatur can. et 
praeb. eccl. Feltren., dat. Rom, 1492 ( = 1493) Prid. Id. Feb. A i. 

t Sclafenati, whom HAGEN, 27, could not find to have received any 
reward, was given the Cistercian Abbey of Ripolta (*Regest. 772, f. 104, 
dat. 1492, VII. Cal. Sept. See also TRINCHERA, II., i, 161-162); San 
severino (VALORI, loc. cit.\ was given "la casa del Cardinale die fu di 
Milano con qualche altra cosa." I am able to add a supplement to this 
from *Regest. 773, f. 206 : grant of an Abbey to Sanseverino, dat. Rom, 
1492, XIV. Kal. Nov. In the same document, p. 230, there is mention 
of a favour bestowed on R. Riario (dat. Rorn, 1492, tertio Id. Octob.), and 
*Regest. 772, f. 4o b and 43 : grant of benefices to R. Riario, dat. Rom, 
1492, Prid. Cal. Sept. (see HAGEN, 26). D. della Rovere received a 
Benedictine Abbey in the Diocese of Turin, dat. 1492, tertio Cal. Octob. 
*Regest. 772, f. 187. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

I Jovius, Vitae, II., 39, and HAGEN, 18. 

HAGEN, loc. tit. WAHRMUND S view (p. 58) namely that Rovere 
did not come out empty-handed and was instrumental in securing Borgia s 
election, is contradicted by all authentic sources, 

Gherardo, now in his ninety-sixth year ami hardly in 
possession of his faculties, alone remained, and lie was 
persuaded by those who were about him to give his 
vote to Borgia.* The election was decided in the night 
between the roth and nth August, 1492, and in the early 
morning the window of the Conclave was opened and 
the Vice-Chancellor, Rodrigo Borgia, was proclaimed 
Tope as Alexander Vl.f The result was unexpected ; * 
it was obtained by the rankest simony. Such were the 
means, as the annalist of the Church says, by which in 
accordance with the inscrutable counsels of Divine Pro 
vidence, a man attained to the highest dignity, who in the 
early days of the Church would not have been admitted 
even to the lowest rank of the clergy, on account of 
his immoral life. The days of distress and confusion 
began for the Roman Church ; the prophetic words 
of Savonarola were fulfilled ; the sword of the wrath of 

* See SAXUDO, Duchi di Yenezia, 1250 (also HAC.KX, 28) and the 
^Despatches of Vicomercatus of the iSth Aug. 1492 (Milanese State 
Archives), and of Trotti, 2Sth Aug. 1492 (State Archives of Modena), 
which are in Appendix, Xos. 12 and 14. 

t Despatch of A. SFOR/A, to his brother, Rom, 1492, Aug. 11 : Me 
rongratiilo cum la Kx. Y. (Milanese State Archives, Cart. Gen.) The 
notary Pictro Merili, .says that the election took place: Sumnio 
inane ante ortuin soils (( ,( >KT, Archivio, IY., 242). The Kit ordi di Sacclii 
in Tl/cciA, 426, say "AIT Aurora." Yalori (in BURCHARni Diariuin, 
ed. Thuasne, II., i 2;, mentions the loth hour. The Acta Consist., f. i 1 
say : De mane circa horain undecimam. Consistorial Archives. 

: Letter of FRAXC. TRAXCiiKhlxus ex Uononia, Any. 12, 1492: In 
quebta nocte passata circa le vn. ho re e portata qui la nova de la 
( reation del moderno pontelice (juale e ])er sorte venuta in lo r mo Mon " 
Yi< e-cancellero, prctcr omnium fere opinionem. (Milanese State Archives 
Cart, (ien.) See PARKXTI, loc. ciL, National Library, Florence. 

.s RAYNAT.DUS. ad an. 145^, n. 41 : 1492, n. 26; also D< il.UXC.l I , 
353 7, and 1 1 i.K<;i.\k< n nr.K, Kirchengeschiclite, II., i, 130. In regai d 
to Alexander Vl. b former lite, bee supra, p. 302 scq. 

^OL Y. 2 C 


God smote the earth and the time of chastisement had 

However just in itself this view of the matter may be, it 
must not be supposed that the general feeling of the time 
was unfavourable to the election of Alexander Vlth. On 
the contrary Rodrigo Borgia was looked upon as the most 
capable member of the College of Cardinals. He seemed 
to possess all the qualities of a distinguished temporal ruler ; 
and to many he appeared to be just the right man to steer 
the Papacy, now more than ever the fulcrum on which all 
the politics of the time were balanced, through the com 
plications and difficulties of the situation. That this was 
considered enough to outweigh all objections from the 
ecclesiastical point of view is significant of the tendencies 
of the time.f One of his contemporaries in describing him 
only says, he is an ambitious man, fairly well-informed and 
ready and incisive in speech ; of a secretive temperament ; 
singularly expert in the conduct of affairs. j Sigismondo 
de Conti who had opportunities of getting to know Borgia 
well, characterises him as an extremely accomplished man, 
uniting to distinguished intellectual gifts a thorough know 
ledge of business and capacity for it. " It is now thirty- 
seven years" he continues "since his uncle Calixtus III. 
made him a Cardinal, and during that time he never missed a 
single Consistory unless prevented by illness from attending, 

* VILLAKJ, Savonarola, I., 165 scy. (Kngl. trans., ed. 2). 

t Cf. similar appreciations in RKU.MOXT, III., i, 201 ; LANHE, 33 ; and 
GKKGOROVIUS, VII., 303 8, ed. 3, and Lucrczia Borgia, 9, who all justly 
observe that nothing can be more false than the ordinary conception of 
Borgia as a morose and inhuman monster. At the same time it is right 
to mention that the chronicler SCHIVENOGLIA, p. 137, for the year 1459, 
says of him : De uno aspecto de fare ogni male. This is, however, 
the only expression of the kind. 

Opinion of JACOPO DA VOLTEKKA. See supra^ p. 366 scq.\ and 
GKEGOKOVIUS, VII., 303, ed. 3. 


which very seldom happened. Throughout the reigns ot 
Pius II., Paul II., Sixtus IV. and Innocent VI 1 1., he was 
always an important personage ; he had been Legate in 
Spain and in Italy. Few people understood etiquette so well 
as he did ; he knew how to make the most of himself, and 
took pains to shine in conversation and to be dignified in 
his manners. In the latter point his majestic stature gave 
him an advantage. Also he was just at the age, about sixty, 
at which Aristotle says men are wisest ; robust in body and 
vigorous in mind, he was admirably equipped for his new 
position." Further on the same writer completes the 
picture, adding, "He was tall and powerfully built; 
though he had blinking eyes, they were penetrating and 
lively ; in conversation he was extremely affable ; he under 
stood money matters thoroughly."* The Spanish Bishop 
Bernaldino Lopez de Carvajal, in 1493 speaks in enthusi 
astic terms of the physical beauty and strength of the newly 
elected Popc.f Still greater stress is laid upon his imposing 

* SiCiSMOXDO DE CONTI, II., 53, 270 ; cf. also 268. The age of the 
T ope is wrongly given by some of his contemporaries, <?.., SCHIVENOGLIA, 
137, Porzio (TiiUASNE, II., 425), and Hieronymus Donato in SANUTO, 
II., 836. Alexander himself told the Cardinals in Burchard s presence 
that he was born Jan. i, 1431 ; see BiJRCHARU-TilUASNE, II., 425 ; III., 
228. HOFLER, Rodrigo de Borja, 56, says erroneously that Alexander 
VI. was fifty when he was elected. 

t Rossr.ACll, Carvajal, 35. As to the portraits of Alexander VI., 
which all agree in giving him a crooked nose, see YRIARTE, Autour 
dcs Borgia, 79 seq. The medal here reproduced represents coarse 
and, to our taste, far from beautiful features ; it does not quite corres 
pond with the fresco by Pinturicchio in the Appartamento Borgia, of 
which he also gives a copy, and which he considers "presente an point 
de vue de 1 ensemble un aspect de grandeur incontestable." A much 
better example of this portrait is to be found in the Documenta selccta 
e tabulario secreto vaticano, quae Romanor. Pontif. erga Americae popu- 
los curam ac studia turn ante turn paullo post insulas a Chr. Columbo 
repertas testantur phototypia dc-^cnpia. (Typib Vaticanis, 1 893, published 


presence, a quality that has always been highly valued by 
the Italians, in the description given of him by Hieronymus 
Portius in the year 1493 : " He is tall, in complexion 
neither fair nor dark ; his eyes are black, his mouth some 
what full. His health is splendid, and he has a marvellous 
power of enduring all sorts of fatigue. He is singularly 
eloquent in speech, and is gifted with an innate good breed 
ing, which never forsakes him.* 

In all these descriptions nothing is said about Borgia s 
moral character ; but it must not be inferred from this that 
it was unknown, but rather that public opinion in those 
days not only in Italy, but also in France and Spain, was in 
credibly lenient on that point/] Among the upper classes 
a dissolute life was looked upon as a matter of course ; 
in Italy, especially, the prevailing state of things was deplor 
able. The profligacy of the rulers of Naples, Milan, and 
Florence of that time was something almost unheard of.J 
The fact that the lives of many princes of the Church were 
no better than those of the temporal rulers gave little or no 
scandal to the Italians of the Renaissance. This was partly 
due to the general laxity of opinion in regard to morals, but 
the habit of looking upon the higher clergy mainly as 
temporal governors, had also something to do w r ith it. 

by J. C. Heywood, and dedicated to Pope Leo XIII., but unfortunately 
the edition consists of only 25 copies). On Caradosso s medals which 
give the head of Alexander, cf. Jahrb. d. Preuss. Kunstsamml., III., 38. 
On the busts said to be of this Pope in the Berlin Museum, see Preuss. 
Jahrb., LI. (1883), 408; BOOK, Portratsculpturen, 19, 42; and GRIMM, 
Michel Angelo, I., 547 scq. ed. 5. 

* GKEGOROVIUS, L. Borgia, 8. Cf. also CHRISTOPHK, II., 375 ; and 
Lord ACTON S description of him in the " North British Review," October, 
1870, January, 1871. 

t CIPOLLA, 672. In regard to Spain, see HOFLER, Aera der Bastar- 
den, 54. 

!fc Cf. supra, p. 114 scq. 


At the same time, while the irregularities of the Cardinal s 
earlier life were apparently easily forgiven, much indignation 
was aroused by the shameless bribery by means of which 
he had secured his election. There is a stinging irony in 
Infessura s words ; " Directly he became Pope, Alexander VI. 
proceeded to give away all his goods to the poor," which 
are followed by the enumeration in detail of the rewards 
bestowed on each of the Cardinals who voted for him.* 
In speaking of this simoniacal election, the Roman 
notary Latinus de Hash s exclaims : " Oh, Lord Jesus 
Christ, it is in punishment for our sins that Thou hast 
permitted Thy vicegerent to be elected in so unworthy a 
manner ! "f 

Nevertheless, it is a fact that Borgia s election was hope 
fully welcomed by many both in Italy and abroad. On the 
1 6th of August, 1492, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola des 
patched a letter of congratulation to Alexander VI. which 
is full of sanguine anticipations.^ In Rome it was said that 
the election of so distinguished and genial a Pope, whose 
good looks and dignified bearing also won the hearts of the 
common people, augured a brilliant Pontificate. As early 
as August 12 the conservators with some of the most 
notable of the citizens, 800 in all, came in procession on 
horseback with lighted torches to the Vatican to greet 


t C.ORI, Archivio, IV., 242. On the other I, and, Alexander s simoni 
acal election is mentioned in the Chronicle of XOTAk (JIACO.MO, p. 176, 
without a word of blame. 

See the interesting document by which Pico prepared the way for 
his reconciliation with the clergy in the C.iorn. d. Lett. Ital., XXV. 

^ C. RKr.OROVirs, VII., 308, ed. 3. The speech of C.. Maino here 
quoted, which is taken from a MS. in the Chi^i Library, has often been 
printed; see IL\IX, n. 10,975 78 ; :in( -l (JAUoTTo, (iiason del Maim . 
162- ;. 


the new Pope. Bonfires blazed in all directions throughout 
the city.* 

The coronation on August 26 was unusually splendid. 
Both the Florentine and the Mantuan Ambassadors aqree 


in declaring that they had never witnessed a more brilliant 
ceremony.-)- Innumerable multitudes flocked into Rome ; 
nearly the whole of the nobility of the Patrimony was 
assembled. The streets were decorated with costly hangings, 
exquisite flowers, garlands, statues and triumphal arches. 
All the grace and beauty of the Renaissance was displayed, 
but its darker side was not absent. The Roman epigraphists 
and poetasters, who some years later were remorselessly to 
load the name and memory of this Pope with opprobrium, 
surpassed themselves in the ingenuity and rank paganism 
of their compliments. It would be impossible to exceed 
the profanity of some of their productions, of which the 
following distich is a specimen * : 

" Rome was great under Cresar, greater far under Alexander, 
The first was only a mortal, but the latter is a God." 

* Cf. the account in BURCHARD, cd. Gennarelli, 206, and a ^Letter 
from the senator Ambrogio Mirabilia to Earth. Calchus, dat. Rom, 
1492, Aug. 13. (Milanese State Archives.) On the rejoicings in Bologna, 
see GHIRARDACCI, lib. 36, Cod. 768 of the University Lib. at Bologna. 

t See TIIUASNE, II., 615, in the Appendix, N. 18, *Brognolo s 
Report. (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua.) Corio s description reprinted in 
THUASNE, II., 615 scg., is very fascinating. Cf. CANCELLIERI, Possess!, 
51 seg.\ Atti dell Emilia, III., 2, 250; CHRISTOPHE, II., 377 scq.\ Arch. 
St. Ital, 3 Serie, VI., i, 187-93. On th e beautiful coronation medal, 
probably designed by Caradosso, see Jahrb. d. Preuss. Kunsts., III., 141. 
In the *Inlroitus et Exitus, Vol. 524, f. 147, we find entered : Nov. 24, 
1492 solvit [thesaurarius Camerae Apost.] ducat. 12,000 (=15,087 de 
cam. 36 bol.) pro pannis diversarum sortium datis officialibus urbis 
et aliis personis pro die coronationis. (Secret Archives of the Vatican.) 
Cf. *I)ivers. Alex. VI., 1492-94, I., Bulletar., 29 Aug. 1492 : Alme urbis 
conservatoribus due. quinquaginta pro emendis pannis ad coperiendas 
vias pa pales. State Archives, Rome. J RKUMONT, III., I, 202-3. 


It is not surprising that good men such as Dclfini, the 
General of the Camaldolcse, were scandalised at such un 
measured adulation. "An incident which I saw with my 
own eyes," writes Dclfini to a friend, " forcibly reminded me 
of the instability of all human things. In the Lateran 
basilica the Pope suddenly fainted, and water had to be 
dashed on his face before he could recover consciousness." * 
Indeed, at the end of the great day the whole Court was 
utterly worn out with fatigue, aggravated by the heat and 
dust. "Your Highness can imagine," writes Brognolo the 
Mantuan Envoy, "what it was to have to ride from eight 
to ten miles at a stretch in such a crowd." f Thus the 
statement of Guicciardini, a bitter opponent of Alexander, 
that the news of his election filled all men with dismay is 
proved entirely false. On the contrary, it was hailed with 
the greatest satisfaction by several of the Italian Powers, 
notably by Milan. An Envoy reports that Duke Ludovico 
il Moro was in the highest spirits at the success with which 
his brother Cardinal Ascanio Sfor/.a s efforts had been 
crowned.:; lie had good reason to rejoice. Senator 

* TiirASXE, II., 4. 

t Sec Appendix, N. 18 ( *Report, Aug. 3 T )- The lctlcrs in which 
Alexander VI. announces his election and begs for prayers for the 
prosperity of his reign, are all dated from the Coronation-day (see 
CiAOONirs, III., 156-7; SAXTARKM, X., no-n ; LKONKTTI, I., 312-3; 
a similar letter in MS. in Cod. 1461 of the Library at Grenoble ; another 
to the Archduke Si-ismund in the State Archives at Vienna). In the 
* Divers. Alex. VI., 1492-94 (cited supra, p. 390, note t) we find among 
the expenses, f. i, an entry on Sept. 10, 1492 (cf. f. 4), septem ma/eriis 
euntibus cum litteris assumptionis in Franciam, Ilispaniam, An^liani, 
Alamaniam, Neapolim, Mediol., Vc-net. State Archives, Rome. 

t Trotti s --Despatch, flat. Milan, 1492, Aug. 13: Lo ill. S. Ludovico 
per il singular honor chel pretende die in questa creatione del ponteiice 
habiahavuto et .^uadagnato il rev 1 "" Mons. Aschanio supra et ultra modum 
ne jubila. i State Archives, Modena.) Cf. a^o I ISTOJA S Sonnet, quoted 
by V. Rossi in the Arch. Veneto, XXXV., 209. I lence it is dearly untrue 


Ambrogio Mirabilia writes on August 13, that Cardinal 
Ascanio is the man who made Alexander VI. Pope, conse 
quently it is impossible to exaggerate the power and influ 
ence that he possesses ; indeed, he is held to be as much 
Pope as Alexander himself.* 

In Florence as in Milan the election was received with 
public rejoicing and ringing of bells. Before the coronation 
festivities both Sforza and Alexander himself had written 
letters to Piero dc " Medici, assuring him of their friendly dis 
positions;! and indeed, the son of Lorenzo had reason to 
expect kindness from the new Pope. The Grand-Master of 
the Knights of S. John was convinced that the wisdom and 
justice of Alexander VI. would rid the East of the tyranny 
of the Turks. J It is not surprising that in various parts of 
Italy there should have been some who were dissatisfied with 
the result of the Conclave. Some such malcontents were to 
be found even in Genoa, where grateful memories of Calixtus 
III. caused the majority to hail the elevation of his nephew 
with joy, and when Guicciardini says that Ferrante, King 
of Naples, wept when he heard that Borgia had been elected, 
we must not accept the statement too literally. ! In the 

to say, as VILLARI does in Savonarola, I., 164 (Engl. trans., eel. 2) : 
L Annunzia clella sua elezione fu ricevuto in tutta Italia con rammarico 

See in Appendix, N. 1 1,, the *Text from the original in the Milanese 
State Archives. 

t LAXDUCCI, 66; THUASNE, II., 113; CAPPELLI, Savonarola, 27. 


SENAREGA, 532, and *Rcport of C. Stangha, dated Genoa, Aug. 15, 
1492, Milanese State Archives. 

Ji GUICCIARDINI, Storia cl 5 Italia, I., i. Although GREGOROVIUS, VII., 
316 (310, ed. 3), doubts the correctness of this statement, VILLARI 
(Savonarola, I., 164, Engl. trans., ed. 2) holds to it; as, nevertheless, 
in his work on Machiavelli, I., 207, he seems to lean to the opinion of 
( ireirorovms. 


King s letters there is nothing to support it, nor was he 
the sort of man \vho would have been likely to shed tears 
on such an occasion ; at the same time, Borgia s elevation, 
which he had throughout strenuously opposed* could not 
have been agreeable to him; but Ferrantc had quite wit 
enough to conceal his sentiments. He immediately des 
patched a letter of congratulation to Alexander,-!- couched 
in the most friendly terms; and on the I5th of August 
desired Yirginio Orsini to assure the Tope of his devotion 
" as a good and obedient son."+ Ferrantc may at that time 
have thought it possible to win Alexander VI., though, con 
sidering the existing relations between Naples and Rome, 
which were such that open war might be declared at any 
moment, the task was not an easy one. 

At the Spanish Court the tension between Rome and 
Naples excited serious apprehensions. In Spain, Alex 
ander s enterprising disposition was well-known, and he was 
credited with an ardent desire to accomplish something that 
should be remembered. While only a Cardinal he had 
founded the Dukedom of Gandia ; and now that he was 
Pope, what might he not attempt for the aggrandisement 
of his family ? ;| 

The Venetians made no secret of their displeasure at 
Alexander s elevation. Their Ambassador at Milan, spoke 
very plainly to the Envoy from Ferrara of the means by 
which the election had been carried. It had been obtained, 

* SIC.ISMONDO i>K : Cox iT, II., 56 : and Dr.sjARnixs, I., 439. 

t Report of the Milanese Envoy, dat. Rome, AUL;. 20, 1492. Milanese 
State Archives. 

$ TRIXCHI.RA, II.. i, 147 8. 

Sec TRIXCIIKRA, II., i, 148, on the conduct of the 1 apal (lovernor 
of P>ene\ent<> at that moment. Also, Alexander did not so easily toilet 
the Kind s opposition to his election. See I )r.s|ARi >INS, I., .j?<) 
/TRITA, V., 15; II <")! I, ] R, Rodri-o de Horja. ; 


he said, by shameless simony and fraud ; and France and 
Spain would certainly withhold their obedience when they 
became aware of this abominable crime. Many of the 
Cardinals had been bribed by the Pope, but there were ten 
who had received nothing, and who were thoroughly dis 
gusted ; * the hone here insinuated that a schism would 
ensue was not realised, for almost all the Powers hastened to 
profess their obedience to the new Pope in the most 
obsequious terms. Lodovico il Moro had proposed that 
all the Envoys of the League, Milan, Naples, Fcrrara, and 
Florence, should present themselves in Rome together ; 
but the vanity of Picro cle Meclici, who was bent on com 
ing to Rome and making his entry with great pomp at 
the head of the Florentine mission, upset this plan.f After 
the Florentines, followed the representatives of Genoa, 
Milan, and Venice. According to the custom of the time, 
these delegates were chosen from the ranks of the most 
distinguished Humanists and scholars. Thus Florence was 
represented by Gentile Becchi, and Milan by the celebrated 
Giason del Maine. J The addresses delivered on this 
occasion were admired as master-pieces of humanistic 
eloquence, and extensively disseminated through the press. 
They were crammed with quotations from the classics ; but, 
" though the great qualities of the newly-elected Pope were 
eulogised in borrowed terms, a real underlying conviction 
that his gifts were of no common order can be plainly 

* ^Letter from Trotti, Aug. 28, 1492,111 Appendix, N. 14. State Archives, 

t GUICCIARDTNI, I., i ; SISMONDI, XII., Si ; BUSER, Beziehungen, 
308; DKSJARDIXS, I., 434. 

BURCHARDI Dhrium, I., 8 scy., 18 sey. ; GATOTTO, G. del Maino, 

8 GRKGOROYIUS, VII., 310, ed. 3; cf. Lord ACTON, Joe. cit. 353. 
Nearly all the congratulatory addresses delivered before Alexander VI. 


In foreign countries a high opinion was entertained of the 
new Pontiff. The German chronicler, Hartmann Schcdel, 
wrote soon after he came to the throne that the world 
had much to hope for from the virtues of such a Pope. 
The new Pope, he says, " is a large-minded man, gifted 
with -Teat prudence, foresight, and knowledge of the 
world. In his youth he studied at the University of 
Bologna, and obtained there so great a reputation for virtue, 
learning, and capability that his mother s brother, Pope 
Calixtus III., made him a Cardinal; and it is a further 
proof of his worth and talents that he was called at such 
an early age to a place in this honourable and illustrious 
assembly, and was also made Vice-Chancellor. Such 
things being known of him, he was quickly elected to 
govern and steer the barque of S. Peter. Besides being a 
man of a noble countenance and bearing, he has, in the first 
place, the merit of being a Spaniard ; secondly, he comes 
from Valentia ; thirdly, he is of an illustrious family. In 
book-learning, appreciation of Art, and probity of life he 
is a worthy successor of his uncle, Calixtus of blessed 
memory, lie is affable, trustworthy, prudent, pious, and 
well-versed in all things appertaining to his exalted position 
and dignity. Blessed indeed therefore is he adorned with 
so many virtues and raised to so high a dignity. We trust 
that he will prove most serviceable to all Christendom, and 
that in his pilgrimage he will pass safely through the 
raging surf and the high and dangerous rocks, and finally 

were printed in Rome by N. Plank, 149^93- The Borghese Library, 
sold by auction in 1 893, contained a great number of contemporaneous 
works of tins description. Many printed addresses of congratulation are 
also to be found in Clarorum hominum orat. (Coloniac, 1 559) : al ^ () m the 
Orationes -ratulatoriae in electione pontif. imperat., etc. (Hanoviae, 
1613) as well as in Li Nir,, Oiationes proceruin Kuropac, I., 113 * / 


reach the steps of the heavenly throne."* The Swedish 
Chancellor, Sten Sture, sent a present of horses and costly 
furs to Rome as a token of good-will.-]- 

The new Pope began his reign in a manner which 
tended to confirm these good opinions. He at once took 
measures to secure a strict administration of the laws. 
This had become exceedingly necessary, as in the short 
time which had elapsed between the commencement of 
the illness of Innocent VIII. and Alexander s coronation, 
two hundred and twenty murders had been committed in 
Rome. Alexander VI. ordered a searching investigation 
into these crimes ; he nominated certain men to visit the 
prisons, and appointed four commissioners to hear com 
plaints in Rome ; and on Tuesdays he himself gave 
audiences to all who had any grievance to bring before 
him.J He endeavoured by the strictest economy to repair 
the disordered state of the finances, as is proved by the 
household accounts. The whole monthly expenditure for 
housekeeping was only 700 ducats (140 sterling). His 
table was so plain that the Cardinals, unaccustomed to 
such simple fare, avoided invitations as much as possible. 
The Ferrarese Envoy, writing in 1495, says, the Pope has 
only one course at dinner ; he requires this to be of good 
quality, but Ascanio Sforza and others, such as Cardinal 
Juan Borgia and Cnesar, who, in former days, often dined 
with him, by no means relish this frugality, and avoid 
being his guests as much as they can." 

* SCHEDEL, Chron. Chronicar (Niirnberg, 1493), f. 257^. Cf. LANGE, 
47 seg. 

t These presents (nonnullus equos ac certas foderaturas de hermelinis 
et marta) are mentioned in the *Littera passus, dat. IV., Non. Mart., 
1492, A i Regest. 879, f. 100. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

% INFESSURA, 282-3. Cf. Constitution of April i, 1493, in Bull., V., 
359 scq., and DAL RE, 92 ; see also LEONETTI, I., 321 scq. 

$ (iRi-:c;OROVius, L. liorgia, 87 8; ami Svr.Ei.s I listor-Zeitsohr,, 


In other points also the new Pope made a favourable 
impression. lie said to the Florentine Envoy on the i6th 
of August, that he would do his utmost to preserve peace and 
to be a father to all without distinction.* The Envoy from 
Ferrara reports that Alexander means to reform the Court ; 
there are to be changes in regard to the secretaries and 
officials connected with the press ; his children are to be 
kept at a distance. f The Pope told the Milanese Ambas 
sador that he was resolved to restore peace to Italy, and to 
unite all Christendom to withstand the Turks : his uncle 
Calixtus had set him an example on this point which he- 
was determined to follow.* 

It is probable that there was a moment in which Alex 
ander really entertained the idea of restraining his family 
ambition and devoting himself to the duties of his office.^ 
Unfortunately these good intentions were but short-lived ; 
his inordinate attachment to his family soon burst forth 
again. To establish the power of the house of Borgia on 

XXXVI., i;8, if. 161 jtv/., and al-o CilAi .AS Spanish periodical, El 
An liivo Revista dc ciencias hist., VII., 90 (Valencia, 1895) ; GEI;IIART S 
description, 183-4 is misleading. 

* TUL ASXK, II., 613. 

t CAPPELLI, Savonarola, 27. 

1 ^Report of the Milanese Ambassador, dat. Rome, Aug. 20, 1492. 
Milanese State Archives. 

(iKKf.OROVirs, L. r>orgia. 46, who draws attention to the fact that 
Alexander did not permit Cesar to come to Rome immediately. In 
( )< tober 1493, he began to take measures for an expedition against the 
Turks who at that time were assuming a very threatening attitude (:?ec 
II \MMKR, II., 305) ; but the state of things in Italy almost immediately 
drove these plans into the background. Cf. the Briefs of Oct. 20, 1493, 
to ( iiangaleazzo and L. Moro (in the Notizenblatt, 1856, p. 421) and to 
Ferdinand of Spain (Orig. in the National Library, Paris: Espag ., 318, 
f . i ) ; A. S for/a, in a ^Letter dated Rome, Oct. 19, 1493, states that the 
result of the consultation on the Turkish question was a resolution that 
a tithe should be levied. Milanese State Archives. 


secure and lasting foundations became the one purpose of 
his whole life. Even in the Consistory of the 3ist August, 
in which the rewards to the electors were dispensed, Alex 
ander gave the Bishopric of Valencia, which was worth 
i6poo ducats, to his son Cajsar, although Innocent VIII. 
had already bestowed on him that of Pampeluna.* In the 
same Consistory he made his nephew Juan, the Archbishop 
of Monreale, Cardinal of S ta Susanna.f Six Legates were 
also either appointed or confirmed at thi.s Consistory : 
Giuliano della Rovere to Avignon ; Fregoso to Campania ; 
Savelli to Spoleto ; Orsini to the Marches; Sforza to 
Bologna; and Medici to the Patrimony.} 

Unfortunately for Alexander, as had happened with 
Calixtus, all his relations immediately flocked to Rome, 
fully and recklessly determined to make the most of the 
golden opportunity. Not only his near relations, but all 
who could in any way claim kinship or friendship with the 
new Pope, trooped thither to seek their fortunes. Gianandrea 
Boccaccio, writing to the Duke of Ferrara, declares that 
" ten Papacies would not have sufficed to provide for all these 

* The date of this Consistory has been variously given ; FRAKNOI 
(see supra\ and HAGEX, 24, make it Aug. 30 ; GkEGOROViu?, VII., 312, 
cd. 3, gives Sept. i ; in the *Acta Consist. J4S9-*53 c "> f - 44 of the 
Consistorial Archives, it is expressly mentioned as die Veneris ultima, 
Aug. 1492, and the ^Collation-records of the Bishopric of Valencia 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican), printed in Appendix, N. 15, and the 
-^Report of Boccaccio, dat. Rome, Aug. 31, 1492 (State Archives, Modena), 
agree with this ; GREGOROVIUS, L. Borgia, 45, is quite wrong in assigning 
the 26th of Aug. as the date of the gift of the Bishopric of Valencia. 
According to the *Acta Consist., Cesar also at the same time received 
in commcndam to the Monasterium Vallisdegnae Cist. Orel. Valent. dioec.; 
Kegest. 772, f. i b , Secret Archives of the Vatican corroborates this. 

t Cf. Appendix, N. 16, ^Nomination-Brief, August 31, 1492. Secret 
Archives of the Vatican. 

*Acta Consist., Alex. VI., I ii III., Jul. II., Leon. X., f. 2i>in the 
Consistorial Archives. 

St. Michael s College 
Scholastic a Library 


cousins."* The motive which only too soon brought about a 
complete and unfortunate revolution in Alexander s conduct, 
was in itself not an ignoble one, namely, his affection for 
his family, and more especially for his children, Cesar, 
Jofrc, and Lucrc/.ia.t The latter whose name has become 
historical, was her father s greatest favourite. " Chroniclers 
and historians have conspired with the writers of epigrams, 
romances, and plays to represent Lucre/in Borgia as one of 
the most abandoned of her sex, a heroine of the dagger 
and poison-cup. The times were bad, the Court was bad, 
the example of her own family detestable, but even if 
Lucrezia may not have been wholly untainted by the pre 
vailing corruption, she by no means deserves this evil 
reputation. The most serious accusations against her, rest 
on stories which, in their foulness and extravagance, sur 
pass the bounds of credibility and even of possibility, or on 
the lampoons of a society famed for the ruthlessness of its 
satire. Numbers of well attested facts prove them to be 
calumnies."; All that is known also of Lucrezia s personal 
appearance is out of harmony with such a character. 

* GREGOROVIUS, L. liorgia, 47- 

I- Cf. supra,?. 303 scy. MoHLKR, II., 523, says with great justice : 

"The ruin of this Tope was his family, and it was also the rum of the 

t RKUMONT, III., 1,204. Cf. p. 206 :." Luc rc/.ia must be acquitted 
of the great majority of the charges brought against her." See also 
RKUMONT in the Homier Litcraturblatt, V. (1870), 447 sc</.\ GRKOORO- 
VIUS omits all mention of Reumont, but in his investigation into the 
charges against Lucre/ia (p. 159 sey.\ comes to the same conclusion. 
" \o one can suppose that Lucre/ia I .orgia in the corrupt atmosphere of 
Rome and of her own personal surroundings, was likely to have kept 
herself absolutely blameless ; but, on the other hand, no impartial judge 
would venture to maintain that she was guilty of the horrible crime:, of 
which she is accused." In a critique in HlLDKI .RAND s Italia, I., 317, 
the result of Gregorovius investigations is summed up in the word;, : 


All her contemporaries agree in describing her as singu 
larly attractive with a sweet joyousness and charm quite pe 
culiar to herself. " She is of middle height and graceful in 
form," writes Nicolo Cagnolo of Parma, " her face is rather 
long, the nose well cut, hair golden, eyes of no special colour ; 
her mouth rather large, the teeth brilliantly white, her neck 
is slender and fair, the bust admirably proportioned. She 
is always gay and smiling." Other narrators specially 

"There was nothing to be discovered against Lucrezia. One would 
have thought that the learned writer might have contented himself with 
this sufficiently significant result ; but instead of this he goes on to 
read between the lines, to fill up gaps with hypothetical descriptions and 
quite superfluous sentimental observations of the kind which the French 
call rapprochements. and which are often in very questionable taste." 
When we find that Gregorovius can exactly describe Vanozza s Salon 
(p. 15-16), and even tell us what were her prayers during the Conclave 
(p. 42), we perceive thac this criticism is not unwarranted. For Reviews 
of the work of Gregorovius see also Hist.-Pol, Blatter LXXVIL, 577 scq.\ 
BLAZE DE BURY in Rev. des deux Mondes, XX. (1877), 243 seq., and 
S. MLNTZ in the English Hist. Review, VII., 699. GREGOROVIUS, 159 
scq., connects this investigation into the charges against Lucrezia with 
the statement of an agent of the d Este at Venice (dat. i5th March, 1498) 
that about this time she had borne an illegitimate child. He adds here 
that no persons except Malipiero and P. Capello "had been mentioned 
by name as lovers of Lucrez.a s." This is not the case. An imprinted 
letter, from Cristoforo Poggio, Bentivoglio s secretary, to the Count of 
Mantua, dat. Bologna, March 2, 1492, contains the following passage 
which, coming at the same time, confirms the story of the agent. 
*Dopo le altre mie per non ci esser cavalcata da Roma non ho altro di 
novo di la, se non che quelio Peroto (he is the same man whose death 
is shrouded in mystery, of which more presently) camariero primo di 
N.S., quale non se ritrovava, intenclo essere in presone per haver 
ingravidato la figliola de S. S la M a Lucretia. This rather important 
document is to be found in a hidden corner in the Bolognese correspond 
ence in the Gonzaga Archives at Mantua. It makes the opinion of R. 
Di SORAGNA (Rassegna Naz., X. [1882], 124), and those who agree with 
him that Lucrezia was entirely blameless, untenable. 


praise her long golden hair.* Unfortunately we have no 
trustworthy portrait of this remarkable woman ; f at the 
same time we can gather from some medals which were 
struck at Ferrara during her stay there, a fair notion of her 
features. The best of these medals, designed apparently 
by Filippino Lippi, shews how false the prevailing con 
ception of this woman s character, woven out of partisan 
ship and calumny, has been. The little head with its 
delicate features is rather charming than beautiful, the 
expression is maidenly, almost childish, the abundant hail- 
flows down over the shoulders, the large eyes have a far-off 
look. The character of the face is soft, irresolute and 
gentle ; there is no trace of strong passions ; and rather it 
denotes a weak and passive nature incapable of self-deter 
mination. J; Thus Lucrezia s fate was entirely in the hands 

* ANTONKT.U, L. Borgia in Fen-am, 39 (Ferrara 1867). Cf. GKKC.O- 
ROVIUS, 226. 

t This is the opinion of Crowe-Cavalcaselle, Gregorovius and Cam- 
pori ; YRlAR iT., Autour cles Borgia, 115 SL\J. tries to prove, " c|u a 
defaut d originaux incontestables dus a la main de quelque grand 
artiste dti temps, il existe au moins trois copies d nn memc portrait de 
I... Borgia" ; but he docs not succeed in establishing his point. 

1 Cf. BLA/K I>K BTRY in Revue des deux Mondes, XX. (1877), 2 4i 
and iliiit. GEBHART, LXXXVl. (iSSS), 142; the medal is described in 
FRII:I>LAM>I:R, Berl. Blatt. f. Mun/kunde (1866), Xo. 8 ; GRIMM, Tcbei 
Kiin^tler nnd KunsUverke, II., 81 scy. ; AXToXKLLI (loc. ci/.\ in 
( . RKCI tkovit s and in YRIARTK, i 18 ; in this Litter also a second medal, 
p. 117. See also Jahrb. d. I reuss. Kunsts., III., 34 .svy. On the character 
of I.ucre/.ia, 1 IILI >K!;kA\i , II., 47, remarks : " History does not recoi d a 
single deed or word of Lucre/la s ; she submits to everything, never 
resists, adapts herself with marvellous rapidity to each fresh situation 
imposed upon her by her father or her brother. Her letters, \\hich 
remain to us, reveal no personality ; they are correct, colourless, without 
passion, wit or observation, strangely contrasting in their utter emptiness 
with those of her correspondent and sister-in-law, the beautiful, clever 
and lively Marches Isabella Gon/a-a, who so well understands bow to 
VOL. V. 2 D 


of her relations. At eleven years old she was betrothed to 
a Spanish grandee, Juan de Ccntelles, and later to Don 
Gasparo, Count of A versa. Both of these engagements 
\vere broken off. The all-powerful Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, 
then proposed an alliance with a member of his own family, 
Giovanni Sforza, Count of Cotignola and Lord of Pesaro, a 
brilliant offer which Alexander gladly accepted.* 

manipulate the dry formality of the epistolary style of the day, so as to 
let her fascinating self peep out." In regard to her marriage, HILDE- 
HRAND, II., 49, says "Naturally, she was not consulted, any more than 
other Princes daughters were." 

* GREGOROVIUS, 39 .sw., 47 scq. Cf. Sitzungsberichte der Munch. 
Akad., Hist. Kl. (1872) 505 scq. As to G. Sforza, see RATTI, I., 163 scq. 
In regard to the Roman period, the darkest time in Lucrezia s life, 
Fourard has found some new documents in the Archives in Modena and 
inserted them in the second edition of Gregorovius (published 1876). 
The}- make no important change in the estimate of her character. The 
case is otherwise in regard to the letters mentioned supra, from the Gon- 
zaga Archives at Mantua, which confirm the statement made by an 
agent of the d Este at Venice that Lucrezia had had an illegitimate child. 
Since this document has been discovered, I think it quite on the cards 
that others also may turn up, which may make it possible to arrive at a 
final and decisive judgment in regard to Lucrezia. The MS. materials 
for Lucrezia s biography which were collected by Baschet must now be 
in the hands of Yriarte, and we may hope that he will be more careful 
than Gregorovius in the editing of these documents. Luzio, Precettori 
d : Isabella, 42, has already pointed out that the letter of Lucrezia given by 
Gregorovius in fac-simile No. 62 is not addressed to Isabella d Este, but 
to the Marquess Francesco Gonzaga, as is evident from the beginning, 
IUmo S">- mio. Many documents in Gregorovius are disfigured by glar 
ing mistakes, as may be seen by comparing them with the originals in 
the Gonzaga Archives in Mantua. Thus in the Report of El Prete of 
Jan. 2, 1502, printed in Appendix, N. 35, "zoia" should be read instead 
o/"zove, ; "uno cosino" instead of " so cosino," " strete de uso " instead 
of" strele " ; " tanti alle colti " instead of " tanti colti." In Troche s letter 
(App., No. 42), "cose" should be tz. A.&instcad of the unintelligible " ase." 
In the letter of the Marquess of Mantua of Sept. 22, 1503 (App., No. 49), 
"del rcspiro " sJioithi be " ch el spiri"; "cossi" instead of "assi"; after 


C.T.sar Borgia shared with his sister Lucrczia the smiling 
countenance and ready laugh which both inherited from 
their father, however little resemblance there may have 
been in their characters either to him or to each other. 
" Cii-sar possesses distinguished talents and a noble nature," 
writes the Ferrarese Envoy in 1493, " his bearing is that of 
the son of a prince ; he is singularly cheerful and merry, 
and seems always in high spirits. He never had any 
inclination for the priesthood ; but his benefices yield more 
than 16,000 ducats.* lie was well-versed in the culture of 
the time, loved Art, and associated with poets and painters 
and had a poet attached to his court. Personally, however, 
his taste was rather for war and politics. lie combined 
unusual military and administrative talents with an iron 
will. Like most of the princes of the day his one aim was 
to obtain power, and no means were too bad for him 
provided they would serve his end. When he had got 
what he wanted he shewed his better sicle.j- lie was a 
first-rate Condottiere, excelled in ail knightly arts, and 
surpassed the best "Kspadas" in a bull-fight; with one 
blow he completely severed the head of a powerful bull 
from the trunk. 1 1 is complexion was swarthy, in his latter 
years his face was disfigured with blotches. The expression 
of his eyes which were deep-set ana penetrating, betrayed 
a sinister nature, voluptuous, tyrannical and craft} . \ All 

"in contra" there should be a stop, etc. Count Malaguzzi-Valeri told 
me at Modena that the documents in (ire^ orovius, copied from the 
Archives of that city, also need man)- corrections. 

* (ikKC.OKOVius, L. Borgia, 54. Cf. also P. CAPKI.I.O S description 
in his relation of 1500 in SANUTO, III., 846. SK;ISMOM><> DK, 
11., 6 1, calls Ca\sar adolescentem spei ma^nae et indolis opiimae. 

t REUMONT, III., 2, 17. Cf. HIU)KI;KANI>, II., 45, who asserts that 
Ca sar was "not much worse" than Louis XI. of F ranee, Ferdinand of 
Spain, and Henry Y1I. of Finland. 

X Jovii s, Kloyia vir. illustr., 201 2 ( Basili. ie, 15 7.0- It is now universally 


the members of Caesar s household, his servants, and latterly 
his fighting men and even his executioner were Spaniards ; 
he and his father usually spoke Spanish to each other.* 

Ferrante had already taken umbrage at the project of an 
alliance between Sforza and Caesar s sister ; ] and soon, 
other events occurred which further disturbed the relations 
between Rome and Naples. King Ladislaus of Hungary 
had announced that he did not consider his betrothal to 
Ferrante s daughter binding, and there was reason to 
believe that the Pope would decide in his favour.} In addi 
tion to this family affair, the ambitious projects of Lodovico 
il Moro were a still more serious cause of apprehension 
to the King of Naples. Lodovico was bent on dethron 
ing his nephew Giangaleazzo of Milan, who was married 
to a granddaughter of Ferrante. France was already on 
his side and he further hoped to secure the assistance of 

admitted that the well-known picture lately transferred from the Bor- 
ghese Palace to Paris, is a contemporary portrait of Cresar, whether 
or not it be from the hand of Raphael. According to YRIARTE, Autour 
des Borgia, 113, the woodcut in Jovius is taken from a contem 
poraneous portrait ; a copy of the one which he possessed is in the 
Uffizi Gallery. YRIARTE, 112-13, published a likeness of Ciusar which is 
in the collection of Count Codronghi at Imola, and which he holds to be 
the most authentic of all his portraits. PASOLINI, II., 227, disregarding 
the observations of Lermolieff (Zeitschr. f. bild. Kunst., X., 102) is mis 
taken in setting too high a value on a portrait of Caesar ascribed (on no 
sufficient grounds) to Giorgione or Palmeggiani, in the Gallery of Forli. 
Dr. Vischer-Merian of Basle kindly sent me a hitherto unknown picture 
of Grsar which is in the Albani gallery at Urbino. Dr. Vischer looks 
upon this picture, which differs from Yriarte s, as the most genuine like 
ness ; other similar portraits are also to be found elsewhere in Umbria, 
e.if., one in the possession of Signer Giov. Bocchi at Pennabilli. 

* BURCKHARDT, Cultur, I., 104, ed. 3. 

t Report of the Ferrarese Envoy in GREGOROVIUS, L. Borgia, 48. 

I Cf. OVARY S Essay in Szazadok, XXIV., 761 seq. See also EHSES, 
Documente z. Gesch. d. Ehescheidung Heinrichs VIII., 60, n. i. 


the Pope through his brother Ascanio S for/a, whose influ 
ence in Rome was unbounded. Hence the King awaited 
with feverish anxiety the result of the visit of his second 
son, Federigo of Aragon, Prince of Altamura, to Rome. 
He had gone there on the nth November, 1492, to profess 
obedience in his father s name, and to persuade the Pope to 
enter into an alliance with Naples.* Cardinal Giuliano della 
Rovcre had prepared a handsome apartment for him in his 
palace.f Federigo proffered his obedience on the 2ist 
December, and on Christmas Day received from the Pope 
a consecrated sword. On the loth January, 1493, he left 
Rome without obtaining anything.^ There was no chance 
of an alliance, and in the matter of the betrothal the Pope 
was not encouraging. Nor indeed was this at all surprising, 
for just at this moment Alexander had received informa 
tion of an intrigue against the States of the Church which 
the King had been carrying on. 

After the death of Innocent VIII. Franceschetto Cibo 
had fled to his brother-in-law Piero de Medici, and from 
thence endeavoured to sell his property in the Romagna. 
On the 3rd September, 1492, an arrangement was entered 
into through the mediation of Ferrante and Piero by which 
in consideration of a payment of 40,000 ducats, Virginio 
Orsini became lord of Cervetri and Anguillara. It was 
clear Virginio could never have produced so large a sum 
without the assistance of Ferrante. Alexander VI. was 
completely taken by surprise, and fully determined \vhen 

* liURCHARDl Diarium, II., 14 set/. Cf. also NOTAR GiACOMO, 176. 

+ Sec the **Rcport of Brognolo, Nov. 29, 1492. Gonzaga Archive.^ 

I liURCHARDi Diarium, II., 22 set/., 26, 33 scq., and *Letter of a 
Milanese a^ent. (Sebastianus), dat. Rome, Jan. 14, 1493, Milanese State 

GRF.GOROVIUS, VII., 31314, ed. 3 (320 21, eel. 4) ; GoiTLor,, Cam. 
A})., 22 j ; Till A>M., Ijjem-Sultan, 309, and Arch, de Soc. Rom, X., 269. 


he heard of the sale, that this important domain should not 
remain in the hands of a man who had once threatened to 
throw Innocent VIII. into the Tiber. Virginia* Orsini was 
Commander-in-Chief of the Neapolitan army, arid altogether 
on intimate terms with both Naples and Florence. Thus the 
Pope had good reason to suspect that his neighbours had a 
hand in the transaction by which the most powerful of the 
Roman barons obtained an important accession of strength. 
There was no need of those machinations on the part of 
Lodovico il Moro and Cardinal Ascanio of which Ferrante 
complained ; the danger to Rome of a power like that of the 
Prefects of Vico springing up in its near neighbourhood 
must be patent to every one.* When the Pope heard that 
Virginio s troops had already occupied these cities, he 
entered a protest before the Cardinals in Consistory, and a 
formal complaint against Giuliano deila Rovere who had 
favoured the acquisition of this important territory by an 
enemy of the Holy See. Giuliano replied that it would 
have been a worse evil to have allowed these cities to fall 
into the hands of a relation of Cardinal Ascanio. f As in 
the Conclave, so now in the Consistory, Ascanio Sforza and 
Giuliano del la Rovere stood in bitter opposition to each 
other ; the latter could count on the support of Naples and 
the Orsini and Colonna. Nevertheless he did not feel him 
self secure in Rome, and retired towards the end of the year 
to the fort which Sangallo had built for him in Ostia.J 


Arch. St. Ital., 3 Serie, XIV., 390. In his Storia di Firenze, GuiCClARDiM 
(p. 99) says that these domains were intended to be "im osso in gola" to 
the Pope. Cf. also RKUMONT in Sybels Zeitschr., XXIX., 322. 

t SlGISMONDO DE CONTI, IL, 55. In order to weaken Ascanio s influ 
ence Card. G. della Rovere had secretly supported the nomination of 
Juan Borgia to the Cardinalate. See * Letter of Boccaccio, Aug. 31, 1492 
(State Archives, Modena) ; this confirms BROSCli S view, Julius II., 53. 

J INFESSURA, 284, and THUASNE, II., 622 seq. 


Ferrante approved of this step and promised his protection 
to the Cardinal.* At Ostia, Giuliano received Fcderigo of 
Aragon on his return journey from Rome, and soon after 
also Virginio Orsini, who promised to support him in 
every way. The Envoy who relates this adds that Ostia is 
thoroughly defensible, f 

The fort of Ostia was in those days supposed to be im 
pregnable ; it commanded the mouth of the Tiber, 
Giuliano s action in entrenching himself there was a direct 
menace to the Pope. An incident related by Infessura 
shews how much alarmed Alexander was. One day he had 
gone over to the villa Magliana intending to spend the day 
there ; on his arrival a cannon was fired off as a salute 
which so terrified him that he at once returned to the 
Vatican ; he apprehended an attack from some of Giuliano s 
adherents and thought the shot was a preconcerted signal.* 

At this time Civita Yecchia was fortified by his orders, 
which is another proof that he was thoroughly frightened. 
Disturbances also began to appear in the States of the 
Church, in which Ferrantc and Piero de Medici seemed 
to have a hand, and this further inclined the Pope to look 

* TRIXCHKRA, II. , i, 252 3. 

t SIC.ISMONDO I l: CONTI, II., 56 and * Report of Scbastianus, clat. 
Rome, Ian. 19, 1493: El S. Yir-inio e stato ad Hostia et dicto al Car 1 - 
die non dubiti che per lay vole mcUere il stato ct la vita, cosi dn ono 
Colonesi. Se terranno fermo cosi anche il Re Ferrando Ostia non ponno 
haver li adversarii; e ben inunita ct fornita di tutto. Milanese State- 

IXFKSsrkA, 284. For the same reason when the Pope went in Feb 
ruary to S - L Maria Ma^yiore, he was accompanied by an armed escort. 
I-JUKCHAKDI Diarium, II., 45. 

^ On the 2 ist February, 149^ there is an entry of payments pro mu- 
nitione arcis Civitevetulae in the "^Divers. Alex. \"I., 1492 94, Bullet., I. 
(State Archives. Rome.) In May 1493, Alexander s expenses for military 
purposes rose to 26,383 ducats ; see Hist. Jahrb., VI., 444 (i495 should 
be read, ins/Cini- of 1492). 


favourably on a proposal suggested by Ascanio Sforza and 
Lodovico il Moro, for entering into a defensive alliance 
with Venice.* The King of Naples now became uneasy 
and put forth all his diplomatic skill to prevent this. In 
March 1493, he sent the Abbot Rugio to Rome, to settle the 
dispute about Cervetri and Anguillara, and other Envoys 
to Florence and Milan with the same object. Overtures 
were made for a marriage between Cajsar Borgia, who 
wished to return to secular life, and a daughter of the 
King ; later, negotiations were begun for a marriage be 
tween Caesar s younger brother Jofre and a Princess of 
the house of Aragon. This proposal was eagerly accepted 
by Ferrante ; but both projects soon fell through ; j- 
probably Ascanio had a hand in bringing this about. 
Ferrante complained bitterly ; " the Pope ought to con 
sider," he wrote, " that we have come to years of discretion, 
and have no notion of allowing him to lead us by the nose." 
At the same time he kept up close communications with 
Giuliano della Rovere and threw troops into the Abruzzi.J 
The treaty between Alexander, Venice and Milan was now 
concluded. On the 25th April, 1493, the new League, in 
which Siena, Ferrara, and Mantua were included, was an 
nounced in Rome ; Milan and Venice engaged at once to 
send several hundred men to help the Pope against Virginio 


t TRINCHERA, IL, i, 317 seq., 320 seq., 325 seq., 330, 338, 343, 344 
Jty., 348, 35 r, 355 scq. GREGOROVIUS, VII., 316, ed. 3, and the Flor 
entine Reports in YRIARTE, Cesar Borgia, II., 322-3. Jofre was 
originally intended for the Church ; this fact, hitherto unknown, is to be 
gathered from the ^Documents printed in Appendix, N. 17, from the 
Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

I TRINCHERA, II. , i, 360, 369.^7., 382 ; REUMONT, III., i, 209. 

INFESSURA, 284-5; BURCHARDI Diarium, II., 67 seq.\ Arch. 
Napolit., IV., 774, 776-7; THUASNK, Djem-Sultan, 312; SIGISMOXDO 


Meanwhile Cardinal Giuliano clella Rovere still remained 
at Ostia. A Milanese Envoy reports on the /th of March, 
1493, that he never went out of the Castle without a strong 

Later, Giuliano asked Ferrante s advice as to some other 
strong place to which he might retire. All this time the 
Neapolitan King was doing his utmost to stir up the other 
Cardinals who sided with Rovere, and urge them on to 
resist the Tope s project of creating new Cardinals. In 
June he privately informed them that his troops were 
ready, in case of need, to support them against the Pope.f 
At the same time, Ferrante despatched a letter to Antonio 
d Alessandro, his Envoy at the Court of Spain, vehemently 
protesting his innocence, and accusing the Pope of being 
the only true disturber of the peace. Alexander s main 
object in all his policy, he said, was to stir up scandals and 
strife in Italy ; his purpose in his nomination of new 
Cardinals, was merely to raise money in order to attack 
Naples. "Alexander VI." he writes, "has no respect for 
the holy Chair which he occupies, and leads such a life that 
every one turns away from him with horror ; he cares for 
nothing but the aggrandisement of his children by fair 
means or by foul. All his thoughts and all his actions are 
directed to this one end. What he wants is war : from the 
first moment of his reign till now, he has never ceased 

!)]: CONTI, II., 58. A*Brief to G. Sior/a, chit. April 22, 1495, desires 
him lo hold a solemn Procession in thanksgiving for the conclusion of 
the League. (Florentine Slate Archives, Urb. Keel.) On the same day 
KrieiV, were despatched to the Governors of Perugia, Todi, etc., com 
manding them to publish the League. The publication was notified to 
the Doxe on April 25; the *lirief begins with the words: Quod felix 
faustumque div. M l:is esse velit, hodie, etc. State Archives, Venice. 

** Report of Stef. Taberna, dat. Rome, March 7, 1493. Milanese 
State Archives. 

t TKINCIIKKA, II., i, 369 ^v/., 383 ; 2, 48 j<v/., 50, 51, 68 sc</. 


persecuting me. There are more soldiers than priests in 
Rome; the Pope thinks of nothing but war and rapine. 
His cousins (the Sforzas) are of the same mind, all their 
desire is to tyrannise over the Papacy so that when the pre 
sent occupant dies they may be able to do what they like 
with it. Rome will become a Milanese camp."* 

A few months later, Ferrante entered into the closest 
relations with this same much abused Pope. Of course 
there can be no doubt that the charges against Alexander s 
conduct were well-founded. The proof is not far to seek. 
On the 1 2th June, 1493, the marriage of Lucrezia Borgia 
with Giovanni Sforza of Pesaro was celebrated at the 
Vatican with great pomp, in the presence of Alexander 
VI. At the wedding feast the Pope and twelve Cardinals 
sat down at table with the ladies who were present, among 
whom was the notorious Giulia Farnese. " When the 
banquet was over " says the F errarese Envoy, " the ladies 
danced, and as an interlude, we had an excellent play with 
much singing and music. The Pope and all the others 
were there. What more can I say ? my letter would never 
end were I to describe it all ; thus we spent the whole 

* TRINCHERA, II., 41-48. "This letter," says REUMONT (Hist. 
Zeitschr., XXIX., 337) "is an act of accusation against the Papacy, 
especially against Alexander VI. When we consider how anxious, only 
three months before, the King had been to connect his own family 
with that of the Pope, and how eventually he actually accomplished 
this, we cannot attach much importance to it from a moral point 
of view, as far as his personal motives are concerned. But as an his 
torical document, bearing witness to the decay of morals in high places 
at the close of the 1 5th Century, it possesses a painful interest. The 
King knew that the Court was full of Spaniards who thought of nothing 
but their own interests and would be very ready to injure him with their 
Sovereign ; thus he endeavoured to be beforehand with them in describ 
ing the state of things in Rome. The Datary Juan Lopez undertook the 
task of defending the Pope against Ferrante s accusations ; " see Bolet. d. 
Acad. d. Madrid (1885) p. 438 sey. 


night, whether well or ill, I will leave to your Highness to 
determine." " 

Directly after these festivities, Diego Lopez dc Haro, 
Ambassador of Ferdinand the Catholic, arrived in Rome 
to tender his obedience. According to Infessura, Lopez 
availed himself of this opportunity (June 19, 1493). to 
express the dissatisfaction of the King, who lived in inter 
necine conflict with the infidels, at the breaches of the peace 
in Italy, and to require that the Marani (crypto-Jews) 
who had been allowed to establish themselves in Rome, 
should be expelled. According to the same authority, the 
Ambassador also demanded the surplus revenues, amount 
ing to over 100 ducats, from the Spanish benefices, for the 
King, to assist him in his war with the infidels ; if this were 
refused, the King would find means to take it without leave, 
lie adds, that Diego Lopez complained of the simony which 
prevailed in Rome, and warned the Pope not to give away 
anything of more value than a parish benefice. The rest of 
his observations in regard to the reform of the Church, says 
Infessura, I pass over. On the other hand, not a word of 
all this is to be found in Burchard, who was present at the 
Ambassador s audience. As it is in itself extremely im 
probable that an Ambassador sent to tender obedience 
should have exceeded his commission in this way, grave 
doubts must rest upon this story of Infessura.f The 
statement of the Spanish historian Zurita, who only says 
that Lopez told the Pope that the King looked upon 

* Tagebuch Uurchards, herausge;;. von I lKPER, 21 sty. ; INFESSURA, 
287 (for remarks on this, see R.Y1TI, I., 166 sey., and PIKPKR, 9); 
( JKKGOROVIUS and P)ORGIA, 57 ; Appendix. X. 9 and 10, for the marriage 
contract of Feb. 2, 1493. ty- Al.LKGRKTTi, 827 ; Arch. St. Lomb. (1875) 
i So. A *Bull of May 29, 1494, confers sundry spiritual privileges on the 
young couple. Florentine State Archives, Urb. Eccl. 

t Tayebuch, lot. cit., 9-10, 27 28. 


the affairs of Naples and of the House of Aragon as his own, 
is probably nearer to the truth.* 

Ferrante was naturally greatly rejoiced at this declaration 
on the part of the Spanish Ambassador.f He saw clearly, 
however, that there was nothing in this to warrant any 
relaxation in his efforts to counteract Lodovico il Moro s 
plans, for obtaining through the mediation of his brother 
Ascanio, the investiture of Naples from the Pope for the 
King of France,! an< ^ continued to labour with feverish 
energy to avert this danger. Towards the end of June he 
again sent his second son, Federigo of Altamura, to Rome to 
endeavour to arrange the affairs of Anguillara and detach 
the Pope from the League. He now adopted a menacing 
attitude. Federigo joined the party of the Cardinals of the 
opposition, attaching himself especially to Cardinal della 
Rovere, while Alfonso of Calabria with his troops threatened 
the frontier of the States of the Church. The immediate 
effect of these measures, however, was to increase the 
influence of Ascanio Sforza. Ferrante then resolved to 
try other tactics. Federigo, who was at Ostia negotiating 
with the Cardinals of the Opposition, della Rovere, Savelli 
and Colonna, desired to return to Rome, at any price, to 
get the Orsini affair set to rights, to promise the payment 
of the investiture tribute without delay, and to conclude 
a family alliance with the Borgia before the French 
Ambassador Perron de Baschi could arrive in Rome. 
The matrimonial projects for Jofre Borgia again came to 
the fore. He was to marry Sancia a natural daughter 

* INFESSURA, 288 ; ZURITA, V., 26-7 ; HoFLER, R. de Borja, 61 (in 
which Burchard and Infessura are interchanged) ; ROSSBACH, Carvajal, 
33 scq. 

t TRIXCHERA, II., 2, 77. 

t ZURITA, V., 27. 

S TRIXCHERA, II., 2, 72, 79 scy., 84, 86. 


of Duke Alfonso of Calabria, and to receive with her the 
principality of Squillace and the countship of Coriata ; 
the engagement was to be kept secret till Christmas.* 
At the same time the Spanish Ambassador proposed a 
marriage between Juan Borgia, second Duke of Gandia, 
and Maria, daughter of King Ferdinand s uncle. j- 

It was not in Alexander s power to withstand the bait of 
such advantageous offers for his belonging s. At the same 

*r~> r~> o 

moment, also his allies in the League, Venice and Milan, 
adopted an attitude which seemed to threaten ultimate 
desertion, and this made him all the more ready to lend a 
willing car to these proposals. J The only remaining 
difficulty now was to come to a satisfactory arrangement 
with Virginio Orsini and Giuliano dcila Rovere. After 
much discussion the former agreed to pay 35,000 ducats to 
the Pope, and in return received from him the investiture 
of Cervetri and Anguillara. At the same time a recon 
ciliation between Giuliano della Rovere and Alexander was 
effected. On. the 2.|th July, Cardinal clella Rovere and 
Virginio came to Rome, and both dined with the Tope. 
On the ist August, Federigo was able to announce to his 
father that Alexander had signed the articles of agreement. 
On the 2nd of August his much-loved son Juan, Duke ot 

* TRINCHFRA, II., 2, 113 seq., 121 sc</., 129 scq., 135 seq., 141 scq., 
and an ** Anonymous Report, dat. Rome, Aug. 13, 1493. Milanese State 


t HOFI.KR, R. de Borgia, 62-3. 

1 C IPO LI. A, 678. 

I\i I.SSTRA, 292 ; THUASNE, II., 641 seq. ; TRINCTIF.RA, II., 2, 198. 
The stipulation that A. Sfor/.a should leave the Yatican was finally 
dropped by Federigo and Ci. della Rovere see TklXCiiKkA, II., 2, 189 
seq.\ BKOSCH, $3; Arch. St. Ital., 3 Serie, XVI., 392 3. The second 
of the three payments of the Neapolitan Investiture Money, 10,823^ 
tlorins sterling, was paid into the Apostolic Treasury on Au;_;. 31, 1493. 
( ,( > l 1 l.nn, ( am. Ap., 2-] -;. 


Gandia, gorgeously equipped, set out for Spain to be 
united to his Spanish bride." * 

A few days later Perron de Baschi arrived in Rome to 
demand the investiture of Naples for Charles VIII. The 
Tope sent an answer couched in vague terms, and in the 
subsequent private audience his language was equally in 
decisive. The French Envoy had to depart on the 9th 
August without having accomplished his mission. f 

Ferrante now flattered himself that the dreaded storm 
had blown over. He wrote in high spirits to his Envoy in 
France. " When Perron de Baschi gets back to France, 
many projects will have to be given up, and many illusions 
will be dissipated. Be of good cheer, for perfect harmony 
now reigns between me and the Pope." J On the i/th of 
August the deed of investiture was ready for Virginio 
Orsini ; on the previous day Jofre Borgia had been mar 
ried by procuration to Sancia the daughter of Alfonso of 
Calabria. Alexander communicated the arrangement in 
regard to Cervetri and Anguillara to Lodovico il Moro on 

* Cf. in IIOFLER (Rodrigo de Borja, 62 seg.\ the Documentos ineditos 
de Alejandro VI. in Soluciones Catolicas, I., 52 seq. (Valencia, 1893), ar >d 
Alejandro VI. y el Duque de Gandia. Estudio sobre documentos Va- 
Icncianos in the periodical El Archive : Revista de ciencias historicas, 
VII., 85 seq. (Valencia, 1893). Here the date of the Duke s departure 
wrongly given in Gregorovius and Hofler, is corrected. 

t ^Letters of A. Sforza to L. Moro, dat. Rome, Aug. u, and 13, 1493. 
(Milanese State Archives.) DELAUORDE, 283, knows only the second 
letter, the first, in a later copy, is in the Cart. Gen., wrongly placed in 
August, 1492. 

J TklNCHERA, II., 2, 205. 

S Florentine Report in THUASXE, II., 641 seq. On the document 
from the Orsini Archives cited by Gregorovius VII 3 ., 325 (332 ed. 4.), 
compare *Regest. 869, f. 88, and 90, dat. Romae, 1493, sexto dec. Cal. Sept. 
A. T. On the same day (Aug. 17) V. Orsini was absolved from all 
censures the *Bull, Consuetam Sedis Ap c clementiam, is in ibid. f. 98, 
Secret Arrhives of the Vatican. 


the 2 rst of August* Eight days before this a Milanese 
Envoy hrul written home " Some people think that the Pope 
has lost his head since his elevation ; as far as I can see, 
the exact contrary is the case. He has negotiated a League 
which made the King of Naples groan ; he has contrived 
to marry his daughter to a Sforza, who, besides his pension 
from Milan, possesses a yearly income of 12,000 ducats; 
he has humbled Virginio Orsini and obliged him to pay ; 
and has brought King Ferrante to enter into a family 
connection with himself. Does this look like a man whose 
intellect is decaying ? Alexander intends to enjoy his power 
in peace and quietude." As to Cardinal Ascanio, the 
writer believes that he will not lose his influence, in spite of 
the favour which Giuliano della Rovere nov/ enjoys.f He 
v/as mistaken in this, however, for the immediate result of 
the Pope s reconciliation with Ferrante, Giuliano and the 
Orsini, was the temporary disgrace of the hitherto all-power 
ful Cardinal Ascanio who was forced to leave the Vatican. 

* Exemplum brevis ap. Jo. Galeacio duci Mediolnni et Lud. Moro 
duri Bari. Copy in the Milanese State Archives (has been placed by 
mistake in 1495). 

t Molti vogliono dire chel papa da poi che le papa non ha piu ingcgno 
soleva havere. A me pare chcl ne habia anchora piu che da poi chel 
era papa e capcllano del Re ha saputo fare una liga con la quale da 
secore da sospirare al Re. Ha s;iputo maritare sun. figlia in c-asa Sfor- 
zescha in uno S rc chi ha 12 mila due. d intrata 1 anno senza el soldo che 
li da il duc.n di Milano. Ha saputo tochare dal S. Yirginio [35,000] due. 
et factolo venire piacevole ct ha saputo cum la reputatione de questa 
liga condurre el Re ad aparentare cum lui et darli tin tal stato con tal 
conditione per el fiyliolo. Non so se queste siano cose da homo chi non 
habia cervelo et ultimamente vole lui vivcre et godrr^i el papato in pace 
et quiete. Report of an anonymous writer, dat. Rome, Aug. 13, M93 
(wrongly placed in 1495). Milanese State Archives. 

There are two, unfortunately mutilated, * Reports by the anonymous 
author, relating to this subjort, dat. Rome, Aug. 26, 1493 (wrongly 
placed in 1492). Milanese State Archives. 


Meanwhile, the relations between Alexander VI. and 
Ferrante had, very soon after their reconciliation, been 
again disturbed, had then improved for a short time, but 
quickly changed anew for the worse. In any case it must 
have disagreeably affected Ferrante to find that in the 
nomination of the new Cardinals on September 2Oth, 1493, 
his was the only important State which was not repre 

Raimondo Peraudi was recommended by Maximilian of 
Austria; Charles VIII. asked for Jean de la Grolaie, 
Ferdinand of Spain for Bernaldino Lopez de Carvajal. 
A Cardinal was given to England in the person of John 
Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury ; Venice had the eminent 
theologian, Domenico Grimani ; Milan, Bernardino Lunati ; 
Rome was represented by Alessanclro Farnese (hitherto 
head of the Treasury) and Giuliano Cesarini ; Ferrara had 
Ippolito d Este. The Archbishop of Cracow, Frederick 
Casimir, was made Cardinal at the request of King 
Ladislaus of Hungary, and King Albert of Poland. Alex 
ander added Caesar Borgia, and Giovanni Antonio San- 


giorgio, Bishop of Alessandria, noted for his great juridical 
learning and the blamelessness of his life. 

In these first nominations of Alexander there is in the 
main, nothing to find fault with ; the various nationalities 

f TRINCHERA, II., 2, 208, 211, 221, 233, 235, 241, 244, 260, 271, 280, 


827. On the Creation of the 2Oth Sept. (ROSSBACH, Carvajal, 36, 
erroneously gives the date Aug. 20; CARDELLA, 249, Aug. 21) 1493. 
See *Acta Consist, f. 3 (Consistorial Archives). According to the same 
authority, the date of the Assignatio titulorum was Sept. 23. Cf. also 
S. Taberna s ^Report of Sept. 24, 1493. (Milanese State Archives.) A 
^Report of the Mantuan agent Brognolo, dat. Rome, Sept. 23, 1493, 
agrees with this. The same agent had written on June 24 that the nomi 
nation of Cardinals had been put off. Both ^Reports are in the Gon- 
zaga Archives, Mantua. 


were ;ill considered, and many both able and worthy men 
are to be found among the new Cardinals.* The elevation 
of Ippolito d Fste aged only fifteen, and that of Gusar 
Horgia who was far more fit to be a soldier than an eccle 
siastic, cannot of course be defended.! Sigismondo de 
Conti says that Alessandro Farnesc was nominated at the 
request of the Romans, while other writers speak of an 
unlawful connection between Alexander VI. and Farnese s 
sister Giulia (la bclla}. " If this was the case, Farnese s 
personal worth was such as to give him the means of caus 
ing this questionable beginning to be soon forgotten. "^ 

* SinrsMOxno DK J COXTT, II., 6r 62 ; RATTI, II., 258 ; IH scn. Eng 
land, I., 387 ; C.KKGOROVIUS, VII., 3, 330 (eel. 3). Sigismondo s account 
of Pcraudi s election is corroborated by the *Acta Consist., where in 
reference to Peraudi \ve read : instante S. Romanor. imperatore. Accord 
ing to the same authority there is an error in SCUXKIDKR, Peraudi, 33, 
\\hcre lie says that Peraudi was made Cardinal on April 21, 1494. 
According to the *A< ta Consist., Peraudi came to Rome on April 22, and 
was received in Consistory on the following day. The reason that the 
Red Hat was not sent to him or to his Polish colleague is explained in a 
^Letter of A. S for/a, dat. Orvicto, Nov. 26, [493, in which he says the 
Pope s object was, "die quest! dui cardinal! per desiderio di haver il 
capello procurasseno die quelli signori mandasscno la obedicntia el per 
honoraria venesscno cum cpsa ad pigliar il capello." Milanese State 

+ Cnesar received minor orders and the sub-diaconate on March 2(\ 
1494, at the same time, with his brother Juan (BURCHAKDI Diarium, II., 
99). He never received priests orders. 

J RKUMOXT, III., i, 267; IXKKSSURA, who indeed in the spirit of a 
partisan represents this whole Creation of Cardinals of Sept. 20, 1493, as 
a pecuniary speculation, calls (p. 293) Giulia, Alexander s concubine ; and 
MAT. \KAZZO in his pamphlet, p. 4, and SAXXA/AR, Epigr., i, 2, both use 
the same term. A stronger proof is to be found in a letter of Alexander 
to Lucrezia IJorgia, dated July 24, 1494, in which he expresses his 
annoyance at (iiulia s departure, Ur.ouxi, II., 521 2. Any further doubt 
in regard to these relations, which be^an while he was still a Cardinal, is 
dispelled by the letters of L. Pucci of the 2jrd and 24th December, 1493, 

VOL. V. 2 E 


The creation of these Cardinals on 2Oth September, 
1493, was a great addition to Alexander s power and a 
terrible blow to the Cardinals of the opposition. They 
could not contain themselves for rage, while the crafty 
Ferrante, with an eye to the future, took pains to conceal 
his annoyance.* Giuliano della Rovere especially was 
furious, and now quarrelled again with the Pope. When 
the news was brought to him at Marino, he uttered a loud 
exclamation, and fell ill with anger. The Milanese 
Envoy writes in great delight, 24th September : " Words 
would fail me to describe the honour which this success has 
brought to your Highness and Cardinal Ascanio." f On 
the 28th September the latter informs his brother : " The 
Cardinals of the opposition continue their demonstrations 
against the Pope. Cardinal Caraffa keeps away from 

published by GREGOROVIUS in his Lucrezia Borgia, App. N. 1 1. Cf. also 
L EPINOIS, 397 jty., and PIEPER, Burchards, Tagebuch, 16-22. Rumours 
of this scandalous connection penetrated into Germany. See GREGO- 
ROVius, VII., 328, ed. 3 (334 in ed. 4); and, later, it came to be so 
universally believed that Paul III. was openly taunted with the way in 
which his Cardinalate had come to him. See letter in Rivist. Cristiana, II., 
261 ; and Soranzo s Report in ALBERI, VI., 3 Serie, 314. Alessandro 
Farnese (born 1468) was a pupil of P. Leto and was made Protonotary 
Apostolic and Bishop of Montefiascone and Corneto by Innocent VIII. 
Shortly after his election Alexander VI. made him Treasurer-General ; 
see GOTTLon, Cam. Ap., 21, 87, 275. In regard to the creation of 
Cardinals of Sept. 1493, Infessura says further, in the place mentioned 
above : In eorum creatione consenserunt tantum septem cardinales, reliqui 
dissenserunt. MARIANA, Hist. Hisp., c. xxvi., asserts on the contrary : 
Contra hiscere nemo cardinalium, cum quibus rem communicavit ausus 
est. On the Festa at Ferrara in honour of Ippolito s elevation, see 
*Caleffini, f. 312, in Cod. I., 1-4 of the Chigi Library, Rome. 

* TRINCMERA, II., 2, 261, 266, 319, 346 scq. See also **Letter of A. 
Sforza, to L. Moro, Sept. 24, 1493. Milanese State Archives. 

t See Appendix, N. 20 for Report of Stef. Taberna, Sept. 24, 1493. 
Milanese State Archives, See also App., N. 22. 

THK CARhlNALs OITOSKI) To Till ; I Ul K. 419 

Rome. Costa intends to retire to Monte Oliveto. Giuliano 
is as he was ; Fregoso and Conti follow him. Nothing is 
to be heard of Piccolomini. Such being the state of things, 
the Pope fears there may be disturbances, and would be 
glad of your Highncss s advice." * 

* See Appendix, N. 21 for Reports of A. Sforza, Sept. 28, 1493. 



As the year 1493 drew to its close, signs of a fresh rupture 
between Ferrante of Naples and Alexander VI. began to 
appear. On the 5th December, Ferrante complained of the 
too amicable relations between the Pope and the King of 
France ; and on the i8th he wrote a letter to his Envoy in 
Rome, in which the facts of the case are somewhat dis 
torted. " We and our father," he says, " have always been 
obedient to the Popes, and yet, one and all, they have 
invariably done us as much mischief as they could ; and 
now, although this Pope is a countryman of our own, it is 
impossible to live with him a single clay in peace and quie 
tude. We know not why he persists in quarrelling with us ; 
it must be the will of Heaven, for it seems to be our fate to 
be harassed by all the Popes."* All the latter corres 
pondence of the King is filled with complaints against 
Alexander VI., who, he says, breaks all his promises, and 
does nothing to hinder the designs of the French against 
Naples. Through all the bluster, however, we detect a 
secret hope, which he never relinquishes, of eventually 
winning Alexander s friendship.-)- 

* TRINCHERA, II., 2, 322 seq., 348 scq. 

t TRINCHERA, II., 2, 378 scq., 380 scq., 390 scq., 393 scq., 407 scq., 
4H scq., 418 scq., 421 scq. 


Ferrantc instinctively felt that the catastrophe could no 
longer be averted, and that the kingdom \vhich he had 
built up at the cost of so much bloodshed was doomed. 
The marriage of Maximilian of Austria with Bianca Sforza* 
was to him an additional reason for being on his guard 
against Lodovico il Mora. The last months of Ferrante s 
life were full of care and anxiety. On the .?;th of January, 
1494, the news of his death reached Rome.f 

The question of the moment now was, what line the 
Pope would adopt in regard to the new King, Alfonso II. 
Charles VIII. at once despatched an embassy to Rome. 
If Alexander seemed inclined to be favourable to Alfonso, 
he was to be threatened with a General Council. At the 
same time the French King entered into communication 
with Giuliano clella Rovere, whose friendship with the 
Savelli, the Colonna, and Virginio Orsini, made him one of 
the most dangerous enemies of the Holy Sce.^ 

Meanwhile, in the Pope s cabinet the Neapolitan question 
was already decided. Alfonso had done everything in his 
power to win Alexander; he not only paid the tribute 
about which his father had made so many difficulties, but 

* Alexander VI. congratulated Lodovico on the I 5th Nov., 1493. See 
Noti/enblatt i 856 , 422-3. A consecrated sword was sent to Maximilian I. 
See Jabrh. der Kunsthist. Sammlung des (Esterreich. Kaiserhauses, 
(1883), S. XXXII. ; LKSSIXC, in the Jahrh. der Preuss. Kunstsammlung 
(1895), XVI., 113 scg. ; and ^Despatch of Stef. Taherna, dat. Rome, 
March 14, 1494. Milanese State Archives. 

t *Qui e nova della inorte del Re de Xapoli, Despatch from Cataneo, 
dat. Rome, Jan. 27, 1494. ((ion/aga Archives, Mantua.) On the same 
da)- A. Sfor/.a wrote to his brother that Alfonso had announced his 
father s death to the rope, and that Alexander would send him a letter 
of condolence, in which he would address Alfonso as King. (Milanese 
State Archives.) Cf. A. Sfor/a s letter of the 29th Jan., 1494, in Arch. 
St. Lomb., VI., f>95_ 

\ Dr.l.Al .i IRDK, 306. 


undertook to continue it in the future, and persuaded Vir- 
ginio Orsini to promise complete submission to the Pope.* 
As early as the first week in February, Alexander warned 
the French Envoys against any attack upon Naples, and 
at the same time wrote a letter to the King, in which he 
expressed surprise that Charles should entertain designs 
against a Christian power when a close union between all 
European States was indispensable in order to resist the 
Turks.f To mitigate this rebuff, the Golden Rose was 
sent to him on the 8th March, 1494. On the I4th the 
Neapolitan embassy, consisting of the Archbishop of 
Naples, Alcssandro Caraffa, the Marquess of Gerace, the 
Count of Potenza, and Antonio cTAlessandro arrived and 
made their obedience privately on the 2Oth.J Two days 
later a Consistory \vas held, at which a Bull was read con 
taining the Pope s formal decision in favour of the House 
of Aragon. Innocent VIII. had already granted the in- 


t BALAN, V., 305 ; DELABORDE, 306-7, who, however, had failed 
to notice the statement of Balan. The Brief to Charles VIII. is (un 
dated) in MANSI-BALUZE, III., 122 scq. I found a contemporaneous 
copy of this Brief in the Milanese State Archives, and here the date, 3rd 
Feb., 1494, is given. On the King s annoyance, see BESJARDINS, I., 
280. All modern historians, from CHKRRIER (I., 346 84) to GRE- 
GOROVius, VII., 332 scq., ed. 3 (339, ed. 4), have cited as a proof of 
Alexander VI. s duplicity, a Bull of Feb. I, 1494, in which he agrees to 
Charles VIII. s invasion of Italy, and grants a free passage through the 
States of the Church to the troops he is sending against the Turks. 
This is printed in MALIPIERO, 404. DELABORUE, in the Bibl. de 1 Ecole 
des Chartes (1886) 512 seq., has convincingly shewn that this Bull 
belongs to the year 1495. GREGOROVIUS, ROSSBACH, Carvajal, 41, and 
CREIGHTON, III., 177, prove their superficiality by taking no notice of 
this demonstration. The most cursory perusal of the Bull makes it 
dear that it could not belong to 1494. 

J BURCHARDI Diarium, II., 93-7 seq., and ^Letter of A. Sforza, 
dat. Rome, March 14 and 20, 1494. Milanese State Archives. 


vcstiture of Naples to Alfonso as Duke of Calabria, and 
now this could not be revoked.* When Alfonso also com 
plied with Alexander s demands in regard to the Duke of 
Gandia and Jofre Borgia, a further step in his favour 
was taken. At a Consistory on the 1 8th of April, the Pope 
commissioned Cardinal Juan Borgia to crown .Alfonso at 
Naples. The Consistory lasted eight hours : the Cardinals 
of the opposition protested vehemently ; the French Envoy 
threatened a General Council.| All was in vain. On the 
same day the Bull appointing the Legate for the Coronation 
was drawn up.J 

Great was the astonishment and dismay at the French 
Court at Alexander s defection. Letters came from them 
announcing that Charles VIII. would withdraw his obedi 
ence, and that all French benefices would be taken away 
from the Cardinals who sided with the Tope, and given to 
Cardinal Ascanio S for/a. 

Another dansjcr for Alexander was to be feared from the 


Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere. Already, on March 8, in 
a despatch in cypher of the Milanese Envoy, Taberna, the 
possibility is suggested of detaching this Cardinal from 

* ^Letter of Ascanio of March 22, partly in ROSMINI, II., 201, and 
Di.i, AIK >ki>K, ToS-Q. Cf. ^Letter of Alexander VI. to Franc, de Sprats, 
March 22, 1494, in Appendix, N. 24. Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

t iM- Kssi. kA, 296; UrkciiAkDl Diarium, II., io.S ; *Acta Consist. 
in the Consistory Arc-hives ; and* Report of Hro-nolo, April 19, 1494, in 
the (ion/a^a Archives, Mantua. Unfortunately the key is wanting to the 
cypher of A. Sfor/a s * Letters of the iSth and 23rd April, 1494, in the 
Milanese State Archives. 

\ kAYNALUl s, ad an. 1494, n. 3-4. On the arrival of the Legate in 
Naples, and the Coronation, see Despatches of the Milanese Envoys in 
Naples, in Arch. St. Loml>., VI., 712 s, </. 

$ BAI.AX, ^07 10. Ascanio had wished to leave Rome at the 
be;_;inninx of April, hut the 1 ope refused to t;ive him leave. Cf. his 
** Letter, dat. koine, April 6, 1494, in the Milanese State Archives, 


Naples and winning him over to the French cause, and 
thus attacking the Pope from the ecclesiastical side.* 
Secret negotiations in this direction were begun. f On 
the 26th of March Giuliano came to Rome ; but even before 
the Consistory of April 28 he again betook himself to 
Ostia, whence he proceeded to enter into close relations 
with the Colonna.J " If Cardinal Giuliano can be got to 
ally himself with France," writes Taberna on the 2nd May, 
" a tremendous weapon will have been forged against the 
Pope." And this was accomplished. 

On the 24th April, 1494, the news was brought to Alex 
ander that Giuliano had fled on the preceding night in a 
ship, with a retinue of twenty persons, leaving the fort of 
Ostia provisioned for two years, under the charge of the 
prefect of the city, Giovanni della Rovere. The Pope 
immediately sent to the Neapolitan Envoy to request the 
King s help to enable him to recover this important post, 
which commanded the mouth of the Tiber. A similar 
command was despatched to the Orsini and the Count of 
Pitigliano, who arrived on the evening of the 25th. " Am 
munition and troops," says the Mantuan Envoy on the 
following day, " are being collected in all directions to act 
against Ostia." || Strong as it was, the fort did not hold out 

* See Appendix, N. 23. Milanese State Archives. 

t DELABORDE, 347. 

+ liROSCH, 55 seg., proves this ; but GREGOROVIUR, VII., 333, ed. 3 
(339, ed. 4), takes no notice of his statement. Brognolo announces 
Giuliano s return (yesterday evening) in a ^Despatch of March 27, 1494. 
Gonxaga Archives, Mantua. 

$ DELABORDE, 346. 

|| Cf. a ^Report of Brognolo, April 26, 1494 (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua), and a *Lelter in cypher of A. SFORZA, dat. Rome, April 24, 
1494 (Milanese State Archives), in Appendix, N. 26, with INFESSURA, 
296, and ALLEC.RETTI, 829. See Appendix, N. 25. See also Arch. St. 
Xapol., XI., 546 sec/.; SANUDO, Spedi/., 42, announces that Giuliano has 


long. By the end of May it had capitulated through the 
mediation of Fabrizio Colonna. " The concjiiest of this 
fortress was of the highest importance to the Pope. Ostia 
was the key to the Tiber, and communication by sea was 
absolutely necessary to the security of the alliance with 
Naples." * 

Alfonso was crowned in Naples by Cardinal Juan Borgia 
on the 8th of May. On the previous day the marriage of 
Jofre Borgia with Sancia had been solemnised. Jofrc 
became Prince of Squillace, with an income of 40,000 
ducats ; his brothers Juan and Qesar were not forgotten. 
The former received the principality of Tricarico and the 
latter sundry valuable benefices.f 

Cardinal Giuliano had in the first instance fled to Genoa, 
from whence Lodovico il Moro enabled him to proceed to 
France.* He went first to his episcopal palace at Avignon, 
and then to the camp of Charles VIII., who had already, on 
the i;th of March, announced his intention of starting for 
Italy, long before the arrival of Giuliano, which did not 
take place till the 1st of June. The Cardinal s vehement re 
presentations, now added to the entreaties of the Neapolitan 
refugees and the intrigues of Lodovico il Moro, materially 
contributed to hasten the French invasion. 

fled to save his life from rin attack of Alexander ; BROSCTT, 57, says the 
story does not sound probable, and is nowhere else mentioned. See 
also the Ambassador s Reports in BALAN, 316, and DKSJARUINS, I., 399. 

* ( iKKGOKovius, VII., 334, ed. 3(340, ed. 4) ; MALIPIERO, 318, and in 
Appendix. N. 27, the Brief of May 24, 1494. Colonna Archives, Rome. 

t BrkdlARhl Diarium, II., 129 .^v/., 151 .sv</., 154 ,v<v/. ; SAM I>O, 
Sped!/., ^6; Al.I.KGKKTTl, 829, \vho all yive May 8 as the date. In 
GRi.r.oRovirs, Vll., 334, ed. 3 (341, ed. 4); CKKH.HTUX, III., 178: 
and Rr.r.MONT, 111., I, 212, the date is \vron ^ ; and also in Caraci ioli in 

i BALAN, 310. 

i? ClPOI.LA, 690; rilKRRII k, I. ,406; Dlf.Ar.Okhr, 320. r.Rnscif, 51, 


This alliance between Giuliano and the French King 
threatened a serious danger for Alexander VI. From the 
beginning the enemies of the Pope had counted upon the 
Cardinal to carry the war into the purely ecclesiastical 
domain. Accordingly, the King at once informed Rovere 
that he desired to have him at his side at his meeting with 


the Pope, when the question of the reform of the Church 
would be broached. Giuliano himself openly declared the 
necessity of calling a Council to proceed against Alexander 
VI.* There could be no doubt of the effect this must pro 
duce upon the Pope. " His simoniacal election was the 
secret terror of his whole life. He dreaded above all things 
the use that might be made of this blot in his title to the 
Papacy, by the Cardinals of the opposition and his other 
enemies to bring about his downfall, in view of the universal 
feeling of the crying need of reform in the Church."-]- In 
addition to this, the Gallican tendencies in France threat 
ened the power of the Church, both materially and spiritually. 
Hence, when Ascanio Sforza, in a letter in cypher to his 
brother on the iSth June, says that the Pope is in the 
greatest alarm at the efforts of Cardinal Giuliano to support 
the calling of a Council and the Pragmatic Sanction, his 
statement is in all probability perfectly true.]: Alexander s 
dismay could not be concealed, when in May Charles s 
Envoys arrived in Rome, to assert the right of their master 
to the throne of Naples and demand his investiture. Py 

has confused the chronological sequence of events. On Charles YIII. s 
reception of Cardinal Giuliano, see the Report in DESJARDINS, I., 299^7., 
37, 3 r , 3 12 - Cf. 392. 

* Cf. supra, p. 423 (Despatch of March 8) ; and also DELABORDK, 
348, and DESJARDINS, I., 399, 451. 

t GREGOROVIUS, VI I., 334 scq., ed. 3 ; BROSCII, Joe. n t. 

\ S. S t:i - sta in infinite per temere supra modo del card S. P. in v. lo 
conrilio e la pracmatica. ^Despatch in cypher of A. Sforza, dat. June 
18, 1494. Milanese State Archives. 


his orders they were treated with all possible consideration. 
In his reply the Pope spoke of reconsidering the evidence 
in favour of the rights of the King.* The Envoys, how 
ever, saw plainly that Alexander meant to adhere to his 
alliance with Naples, and occupied themselves with pre 
paring the way in secret for stirring up troubles in the 
States of the Church by subsidising Prospero and Eabri/io 
Colonna as well as other Roman nobles.-]- It was Ascanio 
S for/a who had brought about the defection of the Colonna ; 
on the 28th of June be betook himself to their strongholds. 
The Pope had an enemy in his own house, says Sigismondo 
de Conti ; his army was insignificant, and he could not 
expect any effectual help either from the King of the Romans 
or from any other European power. The loyalty of the 
more distant parts of the States of the Church, such, for in 
stance, as Bologna, was very doubtful, j It was not sur 
prising, therefore, that the Pope s alarm almost bordered on 
despair, and the steps which he took to defend himself 
betrayed these sentiments. 

His ally, Alfonso, was already on friendly terms with the 

* UEi.AHokni:, 366; UUSKR, liezielumyen, 333, \vlicre, however, 
ilic (late of Card. Peraudi s letter must be wron^. Cf. also, 
Peraudi, 37; li.XLAX, 312; and ^Letter of A. Sforxa, May 25, 1494. 
Milanese State Archives. 

t DKLAI .ORDK, Joe. tit. In regard to the disposition of the I ope, the 
Florentine Envoy writes on the i 3th June, 1 494 : *" Mostro un fermo pro- 
posito ct una constants fede et intcntione veisola M ta del Re Alphonso, 
al ([iiale non era per manchaiv. ma volea mettere la vita et il sanijue JUT 
la defensione sua." State Archives, Florence. 

t SlC.ISMONDO 1)K J COXTI, II., 65; lil KCHARI >I Diarilllll, II., I So. 
Cardinal Fre.Ljoso also at this juncture tied from Rome. See P>ALAX, 
314. Ascanio writes on the 6th July from Frascati ; on the i 5th July, 
anil the ijth, 22nd, and 251)1 August from (ienaxxano: on the 22nd 
September a^ain from Rome. All these ^Letters arc in the Milanese 
State Archives. In regard to the state of things at 1 H >]o-na, see SAXl l H >, 
Spedi/., 55 scq.\ and Dr.sjARDINS, I., 4^9. 


Sultan Bajazet. The Pope made no objection to this, 
and on May I2th wrote a letter to Bajazet, bespeaking 
his goodwill for Naples.* In June, Alexander requested 
Bajazet to send the accustomed yearly payment (40,000 
ducats) for Dschem, as the money was needed to enable him 
to defend himself against Charles VIII. His messenger, the 
Genoese, Giorgio Bocciardo, was commissioned to inform 
the Sultan that the French King intended to get Dschem 
into his hands, in order, when he had conquered Naples, to 
set him up as sovereign at Constantinople. Bocciardo 
was also to beg the Sultan to persuade Venice to abandon 
her attitude of strict neutrality, and take an active part in 
withstanding Charles.f Later, the Pope made another 

* The original minute of this letter is to be found among the papers 
of the Papal Secretary, L. Podocatharo, in the Library of S. Mark at 
Venice. GREGOROYIUS quotes it, VII., 341, ed. 3 ; the whole is given in 
THUASXE, Djem-Sultan, 326. From the beginning of his reign there 
were friendly relations between Alexander VI. and the Sultan on 
account of Dschem. Cf. Burchard s interesting report of the audience of 
the Turkish Envoy on the I2th June, 1493, published by PlEPER, 19 seq. 
BUKCKHARDT, Cultur., I., 88 seq., ed. 3, points out that almost all the 
Italian States of that time had no scruples against being on the most 
cordial terms with the Turks ; the novelty was that a Pope should be 
found following in the same track. 

+ When Bocciardo (cf. PIEPER, Tagebuch Burchards, 19, and 
THUASNE, Djem-Sultan, 320) was returning home, in November 1494, 
accompanied by a Turkish Envoy, both were in accordance with a plan 
concocted in June by Alexander s enemies (see MAKUSCEV, II., 202 
scq.} y attacked about ten miles from Ancona and robbed of their 
despatch boxes. The Turkish Envoy, who was bringing the money for 
Dschem to Alexander, succeeded in making his escape, by yielding up 
his 40,000 ducats, but Bocciardo was made prisoner by the chief of the 
attacking party, Giovanni della Rovere, prefect of the town of Sinigaglia, 
and detained there. Giovanni at once wrote to his brother, Cardinal 
Giuliano, to announce this important event. (Cf. the Ambassadors 
Despatches, in Atti Mod., IV., 334.) The captured documents were 
forthwith published by the opponents of the Pope. BuRCHARi) (II., 


attempt, through his Legate in the same direction, but in 

202 sf(/.) and SANUDO (Spcdiz., 42 Jtv/.), in their histories, accept them 
all as genuine. Modern critics consider the instructions to Bocciardo 
as undoubtedly authentic ; but reject the letter of the Sultan to Alex 
ander, of the 1 2th or 1 5th September, 1494,111 which he proposes that 
the Tope .should make away with Dschem, promising 300,000 ducats for 
the corpse. (In regard to the printed copy, sec the collection in HKIDKX- 
IIKTMKR, Correspondent 519-20. In MS. it is also in the ^Informal. 
I olit., in the Berlin Library, see XIXKKISKX, 491, and in a vol. of col 
lections in the Library at Aix in Provence, M. Xo. 835, f. 285 sc</., and 
in C od. 124 [from S. Andrea della Valle] in the Yittorio Kmanuale 
Library in Rome. First Du Bri.Ais, and later, RAXKI; fZur Kritik [cd. 2], 
99, and Rom. und Germ. Volker [ed. 2], 52), and BROSCH (Julius II., 
62) have pronounced this letter of the Sultan s to be a forgery. GRKC.OR- 
ovius, YIL. 341, ed. 3, thinks the letter appears to be " unau then tic in 
form, but possibly not in its contents. ;; HKIDKXHEIMKR (Corresponded, 
5V scq.}, p. 524, mistakenly supposes that Raynaldus had Burchard in 
the original before him. Ikirchard s Diarium, of the times of Alexander 
VI., is not to be found in the original, either in the Secret Archives 
of the Vatican, nor yet in the Vatican Library. Even in a not easily 
accessible collection of MSS. in the Archives of the Ceremonieri in 
the Vatican, which would be the most likely place, there are only 
later copies to be found, as I had the opportunity of ascertaining 
in the spring of 1893. A portion of the original of Burchard s 
Diarium, extending from August 1503 to May 1506, is, however, pre 
served in the Vatican Archives, and has been recently described 
by I lKl KR in the Romischcn Ouartalschrift, VII., 392 set/. In this 
exhaustive work, the best that has as yet been written on Bur- 
chard, the genuineness of the letter is strongly maintained. CREIGHTON, 
III., 301 scq., agrees with I ieper, and produces some new evidence. 
THUASXI; also, Djem-Sultan, 338, holds the same view. Against Heiden- 
heimcr, IIi.Rc;hXR< rniLR, VIII., 315, observes : "That Charles VIII., in 
his manifesto of Nov. 22, 1494, appears to have been acquainted with 
this letter proves nothing ; the whole thing was a manoeuvre of the 
Fren<h party. " Cii Oi.i.A, 692, also is inclined to agree with Brosch. 
lie remarks: u Fosse pur vera la lettera cli Bajazet, essa non aggra- 
vcrcbbc punto la col pa del Borgia, il quale ad ogni modo non ricevette i 
promessi ducati, no per questi fete morire Gem." GREGOROVIUS, in his 
4th ed., VII., 348, says, in reference to this letter, that while the form 


vain.* Alexander and the King of Naples found them 
selves completely isolated in presence of the French inva 
sion. They met at Vicovaro on the I4th July, to arrange 
their plan of operations. It was agreed that Alfonso, with 
a portion of his forces should occupy Tagliacozzo, while 
Virginio Orsini was to remain in the Campagna, to hold 
the Colonna in check. The mass of the Neapolitan and 
Papal troops, supported by the Florentines under Alfonso s 
eldest son, Ferrantino, Duke of Calabria, were to march 
into the Romagna, and from thence threaten Lombardy ; 

does not seem genuine, the contents produce the contrary impression. 
Hcidenheimer has endeavoured to establish its authenticity." Neither 
Heidenheimer nor Creighton are acquainted with P. Ferrato s rare work, 
II Marchesato di Mantova e 1 impero Ottomano alia fine del secolo xv., 
Mantova, 1876. Here, p. 3-5, there is a letter of the Marquess Francesco 
Gonzaga to the Sultan, dated Jany. 9, 1495, describing the attack near 
Ancona, and how the writer had succeeded in saving the Turkish Envoy, 
Cassim Bey. Cf. HEIDENHKIMER, 555. When Heidenheimer (Corres- 
pondenz, 518) remarks "that this letter, if authentic, is to a certain 
extent an evidence of the estimate of Alexander s character formed by 
the Sultan in his distant home," we must remember that in those days 
political assassinations were planned by all sorts of States. Venice, for 
one, may be taken as an instance, as we see from LAMANSKV, Secrets 
d Ktat de Venise, St. Pctersbourg, 1884. In connection with this ques 
tion, which possibly may never be decided with certainty (BRIKGERS 
Zeitschrift, VII., \$2 scq., contains an appeal for further investigation) ; 
a ^"Despatch from the Mantuan agent in Rome, G. Brognolo, Dec. 2, 
1494, is interesting. In it he says : "*Ho inteso per bona via come ne le 
robe che sono state tolte a lo oratore del Papa che portava li 44 m ducati 
sono stati ritrovati certi capituli che havea sigillati esso oratore col 
Turcho, dove el Papa si obligava a darli la testa del fratello dandoli esso 
Turcho due. 400 " et cussi erano dacordo et si iudica ch 1 Papa facesse 
questo per poder sostenere questa impresa in favore del Re, al quale 
fin qui se tochato cum mano che le andato sincerissimo, etiam che 
tutta Roma habia sempre predichato in contrario." Gonzaga Archives, 
* DESJARDINS, I., 506 seg. 


Federigo of Aragon, the Kind s brother, was Admiral of 
the fleet which was intended to conquer Genoa. 

If this plan had been quickly and resolutely carried out, 
it might have succeeded.* But from the very beginning 
the reverse was the case. The attitude of the Bolognese 
caused the Tope great anxiety ;f and that of his own 
immediate surroundings, many of whom had been tampered 
with by Charles VIII., was even more unsatisfactory. At 
the end of August he commanded the Cardinals who had 
fled from Rome to return under pain of losing their bene 
fices, but without effect. Ascanio Sforza remained with 
the Colon na, and Giuliano clclla Rovere with the French. 
Both said openly that Alexander had not been lawfully 
elected, and must be deposed. J 

Charles VI II., secure of the friendship of Lodovico il 
Moro and of the neutrality of Venice, had advanced, on 
August 23, 1494, as far as Grenoble. Shortly before this 
he had commanded all French prelates to leave Rome, and 
had strictly forbidden any money to be sent thither. On 
the 20th August he took leave of the Queen, and on the 
3rd September he crossed the frontier between France and 
Savoy, with the avowed object of making good by force of 
arms the old, but unjustifiable, claims of the Mouse of 
Anjou to the Crown of Naples. 

* Bl KCilAKm Diarimn, II., 180 set/.; *Acta Consist, in the Consis- 
torial Archives ; GUICCIARDIM, I., c. 2 ; Arch. St. Napolit., XIV., 180 
.vtv/.; UC.OI.INI, II., 522 ; I)I,I,AI;ORI;>L, 369 ; CKEK.IUTON, III., 182. Cf. 
al.-,o the *Briefs to G. Sfurza, July 22 and 29, 1494. State Archives, 
Florence, Urb. Eccl. 

t The I ope was actually obliged to forbid the Uolo^ncsc to harbour 
Milanese troop- and allow them to pass through their territory. Cf. the 
*Briefs of August 19 (Milanese State Archives, Autogr., III.) and Sep 
tember 2, 1494, in the State Archives, Bologna. 

I SANUDO, Spedi/., 64 ; UAI.AN, 315. 

DLLADOKDI., 388, 391, 397. Cf. TULASNE, Djem-Sultan, 328. 


The strength of the French army, which included several 
thousand Swiss, has been much exaggerated.* A careful 
investigator estimates the land forces at 31,500 men, with 
10400 on board the ships, and, for the Italy of those days, 
a considerable force of artillery .f The young commander 
of this army was a small and weakly man, with a large 
head and puny limbs. " The French King," wrote the 
Venetian ambassador, Zaccaria Contarini, " is insignificant 
in appearance ; he has an ugly face, large lustreless eyes, 
which see badly, an enormous hooked nose, and thick lips 
which are always open. He stutters and has a disagreeable, 
convulsive twitching in his hands, which are never still." J 
The hideous head of this ungainly little man, whose physi 
cal defects made him doubly repulsive to the artistic 
temperament of the Italians, was teeming with the most 
ambitious projects. He proposed to conquer the kingdom 

HAKHHEN, in the Rev. Hist., XXVIII., 28 seq. has clearly shewn that 
Clement IWs Bull in favour of Charles of Anjou contains nothing which 
could justify Charles VIII. in this enterprise. 

* GRKGOROVIUS, VII., 339, ed. 3 (345, ed. 4), gives 90,000 men; 
VILLAKI, Savonarola, I., 219, ed. 2, 60,000 men. 

t DELABORDE, 324 scq.\ MC LINEN, 128. 

t ALBERT, i Serie, VI., 15. See also BASCHET, Dipl. Venet., 325. 
Cf. Charles VIII. s portrait after a bust in terra-cotta in the Florentine 
National Museum, in Delaborde s work, and again, on p. 241 of the 
same, a still more unpleasing representation from the National Library 
in Paris. The effects of the nervous twitching in the hands, mentioned 
by Contarini, are visible in Charles s signature ; fac-simile in DELABORDE, 

" Lo Re di Francia," writes Sebastiano da Branca de Talini, "era lo 
piu scontrofatto homo che vicldi alii di miei, piccolino, ciamaruto, lo piu 
brutto viso chehavesse mai homo." CREIGHTON, IV., 292 ; and III., 191, 
note i of the same, contains similar remarks from other Italians. Charles 
VIII., from a physical point of view, \vas the complete opposite of 
Philip the Fair, who is called by VILLANI, IV., 4, " il piu bello Christiano 
che si trovasse al suo tempo." 


of Naples, "to possess himself of the Italian peninsula 
between the new French state and the continent ; to attain 
imperial dignity, whether in the East or the West, remained 
for the present undetermined ; to make the Papacy again 
dependent on France, and himself the master of Europe." 
It is difficult to believe that he could have entertained any 
serious hopes of conquering Jerusalem in the course of his 
intended expedition against the Turks ; but there is no 
doubt that the attack upon Italy, always such a tempting 
object to a conqueror, was entirely his own doing. Charles 
encountered nothing but opposition and discouragement 
from his councillors and generals, who had not the slightest 
desire to embark in a bloody war of subjugation ; but the 
King carried his purpose, and commenced an undertaking, 
the result of which was to effect a complete alteration in 
the relations which had hitherto obtained between the 
southern and south-western states of Europe.* 

* HoFLKR, Job. v. l raii(lcnl)ur^, 7; and Markka f, in Svi:i-:r.s Hi<t. 
Zeitschr., LXV.. 552. See also FUMI, Alessandro VI., 17. 

VOL. V. 2 F 





Presto vedrai sommerso ogni tiranno, 
E tutta Italia vedrai conquistata 
Con sua vergogna e vituperio e danno. 

Roma, tu sarai presto captivata ; 
Vedo venir in te coltel dell ira, 
E tempo e breve e vola ogni giornata. 

Vuol renovar la Chiesa el mio Signore 

E convertir ogni barbara gente, 

E sara un ovile et un pastore. 
Ma prima Italia tutta fia dolente, 

E tanto sangue in essa s ha a versare, 

Che rara fia per tutto la sua gente. 

THESE lines by Fra Benedetto arc a summary of the pro 
phecies of his master, Savonarola. In his Lent sermons of 
the year 1494, the great preacher had announced the com 
ing of a new Cyrus, who would lead his army in triumph 
through the whole of Italy, without breaking a lance or 
meeting with any resistance.* 

This " resuscitated Cyrus " made his entry into Turin 
on September 5, 1494. Had he been the acknowledged 
sovereign of Savoy, his welcome could not have been more 
brilliant or joyous. Throughout the whole country he was 

* YII.LARL Savonarola, I., 134. Cf. supi\i, p. 189. 


equally well received. At Chieri the children came out to 
meet him, carrying banners bearing the French arms; and 
at Asti he was greeted by Lodovico Sforza, Krcole of 
Ferrara, and Giuliano della Rovcre. The French King, on 
his side, did his best to impress the lively imagination of 
the Italians, and the white silken standard of the army 
bore the mottoes Volnutas Dei, and Missus a Deo inter 
woven with the Royal arms.* 

During his stay at Asti the news arrived of the victory 
of his brother-in-law, Louis of Orleans, at Rapallo, over 
Federigo of Aragon ; the moral effect in Italy of this 
success was immense. At that moment the progress of 
the expedition was temporarily checked by the sudden 
illness of Charles. He soon recovered, however, and it was 
plain that he had not relinquished his plans. On the I4th 
October, he entered Pavia in triumph; on the i8th he was 
in Piacenza, where an Envoy from the Pope made vain 
endeavours to come to an agreement on the Neapolitan 
claim. At Piacenza he heard of the death of the unfortu 
nate Giangaleazzo, Duke of Milan. By this event Lodovico 
il Moro obtained the Ducal throne of Milan, which had 
been for so long the object of his desires.! Shortly after, 
the news arrived that Caterina Sforza and her son Otta- 
viano had declared for France. This was the beginning of 
troubles for Alexander and Alfonso in the Romagna itself. 
About the same time the French troops crossed the Ap 
ennines by the Col de la Cisa, and encamped before the 

* DEI.ABORDE, 397, 420 ; l.ALAN, R. Boschetti, I., 24. 

t The rumour which was at once set afloat (MALI HERO, VII., 320) 
that Lodovico il Moro (as to his character, cf. MC NTZ, Renaiss., 216 
sci]., 273) had poisoned his nephew, is apparently unfounded, as 
MAGENTA, I., 535 scq., has shewn. Alexander VI. sent his condolences 
to Lodovico on the cjth November, 1494. See Notizenblatt (1^56), 444 
v ( y. On Lodovico s investiture with Milan by Maximilian I., see Ui MANN, 
I., 225 set/. 


Florentine fortress of Sarzana.* As the news spread of 
this irresistible stream of foreign barbarians pouring un 
checked into Italy, it created indescribable consternation 
throughout the country. The Italians were used to the 
game of brag played by the mercenary troops ; but now 
they found themselves face to face with war in earnest, with 
all its horrors and bloodshed. Rumour magnified the army 
into a host that could not be counted, and told tales of 
giants and savages, and invincible weapons. -f- In Rome the 
alarm was aggravated by the revolt of the Colonna and 
Savelli instigated by Ascanio Sforza. On the i8th of Sep 
tember Ostia was treacherously handed over to the Colonna, 
who immediately hoisted the French Hag.; French galleys 
soon began to appear at the mouth of the Tiber, which 
made the occupation of Ostia still more serious for Alex 
ander. In dread lest he should lose more cities in the 
States of the Church, the Pope, after a consultation with 
Virginio Orsini, determined to declare war against the 
rebels. || On the 6th October an ultimatum was sent to 
them, commanding them to lay down their arms ; troops 

* DELAEORDE, 400 seg., 406 seq., 420, 427, 431-432. Cf. Arch. St. 
Napolit., IV., 786 seq. 

t VlLLARl, Savonarola, I., 203, ed. 2; GASPARY, II., 339 seq. and 
337 $ cc l- on the echoes of this great national calamity in the poetry of 
the time. The cruelty of the French after the conquest of Rapallo 
made a great impression. Cf. F. RICCIARDI DA PISTOJA, Ricordi, 4-5. 

J SiGlSMONDO DE CONTI, II., 65, who says of the fort of Ostia : a qua 
urbs Roma propter comeatum quasi spiritum ducit. Cf. also BURCHARDl 
Diarium, II., 186; BALAN, 317; and Brognolo s **Report, clat. Rome. 
Sept. 22, 1494. (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua.) On Sept. 22, 1494, Alex 
ander VI. wrote to the Uoge complaining of the perfidia et insolentia 
of the Colonna and Orsini, and begged for support ; on the 28th he 
requested assistance from Spain to enable him to recover Ostia. These 
^Briefs are in the State Archives at Venice. 

Cf. Brief of Sept. 21, 1494, to Orvieto in FUMI, Alessandro VI., 73. 

!j Brognolo s ** Report of Sept. 22. 1494, loc. cit. 


were collected, and it was decided that Cardinal Piccolo- 
mini should be sent to Charles VIII. The French Kin-, in 
a letter to his Envoy at Rome, announced that the Colonna 
were under his protection ; and at the same time informed the 
Pope that he had bound himself by a vow to visit the Holy 
Places in Rome, and hoped to be there by Christmas.* 

It was fortunate for Alexander that the Colonna had but 
few fighting-men ; there was no want of will on their part 
to do him as much mischief as possible. A conspiracy was 
discovered which aimed at nothing less than the seizure of 
Dschem, a revolution in Rome, and the imprisonment of the 
Pope ; simultaneously with this there was to be a rising in 
the southern parts of the States of the Church. Alexander 
and Alfonso took measures to protect themselves; Dschem 
was shut up in the Castle of S. Angelo, the Colonna were 
outlawed and troops sent against them. Although they 
were not powerful enough to carry out their plans in their 
entirety, their revolt had the effect of preventing the King 
of Naples from employing all his forces against the French 
in the Romagna.f 

Meanwhile Charles VIII. had entered Tuscany. There 
was so little attempt at resistance that the French were 
amazed at their good fortune. Commines repeatedly ex 
claims that God himself was with them. The veil of 
aesthetic culture which had hitherto partially concealed 
the moral and political corruption of Italy was rent asunder, 
its utter disunion, and the shortsighted selfishness of the 
various states became glaringly apparent. Piero de Medici, 

* I)Ki,.\r,oRPK, 419 420; THUASNF,, Djcm-Sultan, 329. 

t DESJARDINS, 1,457-458,463 465, 467 seq., 475- GHIRARDACCI, 
Storia di liologna, says of the year 1494: H 1>;1 P^ P- omette di fare 
cardinale Antonio tialcazzo fitfliolo del Sig. Giovanni con patto che non 
si dia ,1 passo al Re di Francia. Cod. 768 of the University Library at 


on the 26th October, presented himself at the French camp 
and quietly yielded up all his fortified cities to the con 
queror without ever drawing a sword