Pope Julius II

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POPE JULIUS II
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POPE JULIUS II STATS
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Name: Giuliano della Rovere
Born: 5 December 1443
Home town: Albissola, near Savona
Died: 21 February 1513
Position: Held Papacy from 1 November 1503 until 21 February 1513
House of: Rovere
Nickname: "II Terrible" Papa Terribile, "The Warrior Pope"
Personality type: Ambitious, held his own council, large, powerful, athletic, impatient, imperious, loud, serious, demanding...
Hobbies: Patron of the arts, collector of ancient greek and Roman sculpture. Enlarging the power of the papacy, ambitious building projects, making war.
Strength(s): The good artistic judgement to persuade Michelangelo (who considered himself a sculptor and not a painter) to paint the Sistine Chapel and to hire Raphael to paint his private apartments.
Weakness(es): A terrible temper, and at least once, he had a mistress Lucrezia Normanni, and a daughter, Felice. Julius also had an illegitmate son who died before he became Pope. There were rumours that he had a fondness for young men and was bisexual. Julius was also famous for his heavy drinking and swearing.
Quirks:



'Let's see if I have as much balls as the King of France'







See Cardinal della Rovere for detailed bio

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POPE JULIUS II BIO
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Pope Julius II was born on 5 December 1443 of poor parents at Albissola, near
Savona, and originally intended for commerce, Giuliana della Rovere was educated, through his uncle Francesco's influence, by the Franciscans at Perugia and took orders. When his uncle became Sxtus IV (1471), he named Giuliano bishop of Carpentras and (16 December 1471) cardinal priest of San Pietro in Vincoli; he soon acquired other bishoprics, abbacies and benefices, including the cardinal bishopric of Santa Sabina. As legate in France in 1480 - 82 he successfully mediated between Louis XI (1461 - 83) and Maximilian I of Austria (1486 - 1519) over the latter's Burgundian inheritance. He was prominent under Innocent VIII, whose election he managed, but an enemy of Alexander VI. Fearing assassination, he fled in 1494 to France, where he encouraged Charles VIII (1483 - 98) to undertake the conquest of Naples. He accompanied the King on his campaign (1494 - 95), but his efforts to get his backing for a council to depose Alexander for simony were foiled by the wily pope. Although he negotiated Cesare Borgia's marriage with Charlotte d'Albret a French princess in 1499, he was lucky to escape Alexander's plots and remained in hiding until his death. At the ensuing conclave he was not chosen, but Pius III reigned only twenty-six days; on his death Giuliano at last attained his ambition, and with the help of lavish promises and bribes was unanimously elected pope at a conclave lasting a single day.

A forceful ruler, ruthless and violent, Julius eschewed family aggrandisement and strove, with all diplomatic and military means available, to restore and extend the papal state, which the Borgia's had alienated, and to establish a strong, independent papacy in an Italy free from foreign domination. First, having dexterously got rid of the still dangerous Cesare Borgia (died 1507) by making Italy too hot for him, he vainly urged Venice to evacuate those parts of Romagna she had occupied earlier in 1503. Then, having allied himself with France and Germany, he won back all Romagna from her except Rimini and Faenza in 1504. In 1506, in a brilliant campaign led by himself in full armour, he wrested Perugia and Bologna from their petty tyrants. In March 1509 he joined the League of Cambrai formed in 1508 between France, Germany and Spain, excommunicated Venice on 27 April, and in May defeated her so disastrously that she was forced to surrender Rimini and Faenza and also the control of church appointments and taxation rights that she had usurped. He had no wish, however, unduly to weaken Venice, indispensable in any war with the Turks, and now decided that France, powerfully established in the north, was the real danger to Italy and must be driven out. He therefore made peace with Venice and, to win the support of Spain, enfeoffed Ferdinand II of Aragon (1476 - 1516) with Naples (3 July 1510) in disregard of France's claims.

Julius first attacked Ferrara, an ally of France and the only vassal state still unsubdued. His troops seized Modena in 1510 and captured Mirandola in January 1511 with himself at their head. He failed, however, to win Ferrara, and had to see Bologna fall temporarily to the French; he himself narrowly escaped capture. Meanwhile Louis XII of France (1498 - 1515) counter-attacked by holding a synod at Tours (September 1510) which renewed the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, and by calling, in the name of a group of rebel cardinals, for a council to meet at Pisa on 1 September 1511 to depose the pope. It assembled on 1 October, held several sessions, and decreed the suspension of Julius. To meet the threat, especially as Emperor Maximilian I favoured the Pisan council, Julius now summoned the Fifth Lateran Council to meet in Rome in 1512. On the political plane he formed (October 1511) the Holy League with Venice and Spain for the defence of the papacy; Henry VIII of England (1509 - 47) joined it later in the year. The League's armies were severely defeated at Ravenna (11 April 1512), but its fortunes changed with the arrival of Swiss troops, and before the end of 1512 the French had to quit Italian soil. Parma, Piacenza and Reggio Emilia were added to the papal state, of which Julius could claim to be the re-founder.

Politics and wars dominated Julius's reign; Erasamus in his Praise of Folly (1509) caricatured his military ardour, and the Florentine historian Guicciardini remarked that there was nothing of the priest about him except the dress and the name. His strictly church activities were largely routine: in 1503, for instance, he issued the dispensation which enabled Henry VIII later to marry his brother's (Arthur - Prince of Wales) widow, Catherine of Aragon. Nevertheless, he published a bull (dated 14 January 1505) declaring papal elections nullified by simony, and founded the first bishoprics in South America. He opened on 3 May 1512 the Fifth Lateran (Eighteenth General) Council (1512 -17), being gratified at the third session by the adhesion of Emperor Maximilian; but the five sessions held in his lifetime concerned mainly with condemning the schismatics Pisan council (1511 - 12) and the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges. His most enduring achievement was as the patron and inspirer of artists, notably Michelangelo, the youthful Raphael and Bramante. The last he commissioned to prepare plans for the new St Peter's, assisting at the laying of the foundation stone on 18 April 1506, and arranging for the cost to be defrayed by the sale of indulgences (later to be bitterly criticised by the Protestant reformers). In spite of expensive wars and building projects he was a frugal administrator who, having inherited an empty treasury, left it more than full. As a man he was headstrong, irascible, sensual (as cardinal he fathered three daughters - although it is more likely that it was only the one Felice della Rovere and the two attributed to him were actually Felice's children, his grand-daughters), he was nicknamed 'papa terribile'; as pope he had policies which were at least disinterested and intelligible even if they aimed no higher than making the papal state the first power in Italy. When he died of fever, he was mourned as the liberator of Italy from foreign domination, and has subsequently been saluted as the promoter of its unification.

It is a common error that many associate the burial place of Julius as being in San Pietro in Vincoli as the location for the so-called "Tomb of Julius" by Michelangelo. However, this tomb was not completed until 1545 and represents a much abbreviated version of the planned original, which was initially intended for the new St Peter's Basilica
. Instead, as was always intended, Julius was buried in St Peter's in the Vatican.

His remains, along with those of his uncle, Pope Sixtus IV
were later desecrated during the Sack of Rome in 1527. Today, the remains of both lie in St. Peter's in the floor in front of the monument to Pope Clement X. A simple marble tombstone marks the site.

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CONTEMPORARY VOICES
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POPE JULIUS II QUOTES
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  • 'Let's see if I have as much balls as the King of France' (Julius sets out to take command of the Papal forces at the winter siege of Mirandola)
  • 'These two Kings aren't content with being kings, they want to be Pope as well and give benefices and occupy lands and do whatever they please' (Pope Julius loses his temper with the Spanish ambassador over the demands of his master and the King of France to appoint their candidates to vacant offices in Rome).
  • 'We want to bring it about that the Italians should be neither French nor Spanish, and that we should all be Italians and they should stay in their home and we in ours'


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POPE JULIUS II TRIVIA
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  • While Julius II's political and warlike achievements would alone entitle him to rank amongst the most remarkable of the occupants of the papal chair, his chief title to honour is to be found in his patronage of art and literature. He did much to improve and beautify the city. In 1506 he laid the foundation stone of the new St. Peter's Basilica.


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    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND MATERIALS
    Characters - The Borgias Fan Wiki
    BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS WEBSITES & MEDIA

    • Oxford Dictionary of Popes by JND Kelly.
    • Barbara Tuchman, in her book The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam, offers a vivid narrative of Julius II's career. Her overall assessment of Julius is strongly negative, and she partly blames him for provoking the Reformation.
    • In the film The Agony and the Ecstasy about the life of Michelangelo, Julius is vividly portrayed as a soldier-pope by Rex Harrison. The film is a dramatization based upon the book of the same name by Irving Stone.
    • Pope Julius II: The Warrior Pope by Christine Shaw (1977).
    • The Popes by John Julius Norwich
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