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§ 48. Literature and General Survey.
Works on the Entire Chapter.—Bullarium, ed. by Tomasetti, 5 vols., Turin, 1859 sq.—Mansi: Councils, XXXI., XXXII.—Muratori: Rerum ital. scriptores. Gives Lives of the popes.—Stefano Infessura: Diario della città di Roma, ed. by O. Tommasini, Rome, 1890. Extends to 1494, and is the journal of an eye-witness. Also in Muratori.—Joh. Burchard: Diarium sive rerum urbanarum commentarii, 1483–1506, ed. by L. Thuasne, 3 vols., Paris, 1883–1885. Also in Muratori.—B. Platina, b. 1421 in Cremona, d. as superintendent of the Vatican libr., 1481: Lives of the Popes to the Death of Paul II., 1st Lat. ed., Venice, 1479, Engl. trans. by W. Benham in Anc. and Mod. Libr. of Theol. No date.—Sigismondo Dei Conti da Foligno: Le storie de suoi tempi 1475–1510, 2 vols., Rome, 1883. Lat. and Ital. texts in parallel columns.—Pastor: Ungedruckte Akten zur Gesch. der Päpste, vol. I., 1376–1464, Freiburg, 1904.—Ranke: Hist. of the Popes.—A. von Reumont: Gesch. d. Stadt Rom., vol. III., Berlin, 1870.—*Mandell Creighton, bp. of London: Hist. of the Papacy during the Period of the Reformation, II. 235-IV., London, 1887.—*Gregorovius: Hist. of the City of Rome, Engl. trans., VII., VIII.—*L. Pastor, R. Cath. Prof. at Innsbruck: Gesch. der Päpste im Zeitalter der Renaissance, 4 vols., Freiburg, 1886–1906, 4th ed., 1901–1906, Engl. trans. F. I. Ambrosius, etc., 8 vols., 1908.—Wattenbach: Gesch. des röm. Papstthums, 2d ed., Berlin, 1876, pp. 284–300.—Hefele-Hergenröther: Conciliengeschichte, VIII. Hergenröther’s continuation of Hefele’s work falls far below the previous vols. by Hefele’s own hand as rev. by Knöpfler.—The Ch. Histt. of Hergenröther-Kirsch, Hefele, Funk, Karl Müller.—H. Thurston: The Holy Year of Jubilee. An Account of the Hist. and Ceremonial of the Rom. Jubilee, London, 1900.—Pertinent artt. in Wetzer-Welte and Herzog. The Histt. of the Renaissance of Burckhardt and Symonds.—For fuller lit., see the extensive lists prefixed to Pastor’s first three vols. and for a judicious estimate of the contemporary writers, see Creighton at the close of his vols.
Note. – The works of Creighton, Gregorovius and Pastor are very full. It is doubtful whether any period of history has been treated so thoroughly and satisfactorily by three contemporary historians. Pastor and Gregorovius have used new documents discovered by themselves in the archives of Mantua, Milan, Modena, Florence, the Vatican, etc. Pastor’s notes are vols. of erudite investigation. Creighton is judicial but inclined to be too moderate in his estimate of the vices of the popes, and in details not always reliable. Gregorovius’ narration is searching and brilliant. He is unsparing in his reprobation of the dissoluteness of Roman society and backs his statements with authorities. Pastor’s masterly and graphic treatment is the most extensive work on the period. Although written with ultramontane prepossessions, it is often unsparing when it deals with the corruption of popes and cardinals, especially Alexander VI., who has never been set forth in darker colors since the 16th century than on its pages.
§ 49. Nicholas V.—Lives by Platina and in Muratori, especially Manetti.—Infessura: pp. 46–59.—Gibbon: Hist. of Rome, ch. LXVIII. For the Fall of Constantinople.—Gregorovius: VII. 101–160.—Creighton: II. 273–365.—Pastor: I. 351–774.—Geo. Findlay: Hist. of Greece to 1864, 7 vols., Oxford, 1877, vols. IV., V.—Edw. Pears: The Destruction of the German Empire and the Story of the Capture of Constantinople by the Turks, London, 1903, pp. 476.
§ 50. Pius II.—Opera omnia, Basel, 1551, 1571, 1589.—Opera inedita, by I. Cugnoni, Rome, 1883.—His Commentaries, Pii pontif. max. commentarii rerum memorabilium quae temporibus suis contigerunt, with the continuation of Cardinal Ammanati, Frankfurt, 1614. Last ed. Rome, 1894.—Epistolae, Cologne, 1478, and often. Also in opera, Basel, 1551. A. Weiss: Aeneas Sylvius als Papst Pius II. Rede mit 149 bisher ungedruckten Briefen, Graz, 1897.—Eine Rede d. Enea Silvio vor d. C. zu Basel, ed. J. Haller in Quellen u. Forschungen aus ital. Archiven, etc., Rome, 1900, III. 82–102.—Pastor: II. 714–747 gives a number of Pius’ letters before unpubl.—Orationes polit. et eccles. by Mansi, 3 vols., Lucae, 1755–1759.—Historia Frid. III. Best ed. by Kollar, Vienna, 1762, Germ. trans. by Ilgen, 2 vols., in Geschichtschreiber der deutschen Vorzeit., Leipzig, 1889 sq.—Addresses at the Congress of Mantua and the bulls Execrabilis and In minoribus in Mansi: Concil., XXXII., 191–267.—For full list of edd. of Pius’ Works, see Potthast, I. 19–25.—Platina: Lives of the Popes.—Antonius Campanus: Vita Pii II, in Muratori, Scripp., III. 2, pp. 969–992.—G. Voigt: Enea Silvio de’ Piccolomini als Papst Pius II. und sein Zeitalter, 3 vols., Berlin, 1856–1863.—K. Hase: Aen. Syl. Piccolomini, in Rosenvorlesungen, pp. 56–88, Leipzig, 1880.—A. Brockhaus: Gregor von Heimburg, Leipzig, 1861.—K. Menzel: Diether von Isenberg, als Bischof von Mainz, 1459–1463, Erlangen, 1868.—Gregorovius: VII. 160–218.—Burckhardt.—Creighton: II. 365–500.—Pastor: II. 1–293. Art. Pius II. by Benrath in Herzog, XV. 422–435.
§ 51. Paul II.—Lives by Platina, Gaspar Veronensis, and M. Canensius of Viterbo, both in Muratori, new ed., 1904, III., XVI., p. 3 sqq., with Preface, pp. i-xlvi.—A. Patritius: Descriptio adventus Friderici III. ad Paulum II., Muratori, XXIII. 205–215.—Ammanati’s Continuation of Pius lI.’s Commentaries, Frankfurt ed., 1614. Gaspar Veronensis gives a panegyric of the cardinals and Paul’s relatives, and stops before really taking up Paul’s biography. Platina, from personal pique, disparaged Paul II. Canensius’ Life is in answer to Platina, and the most important biography.—Gregorovius: VII.—Creighton: III.—Pastor: II.
§§ 52, 53. Sixtus IV., Innocent VIII.—Infessura, pp. 75–283.—Burchard, in Thuasne’s ed., vol. I.—J. Gherardi da Volterra: Diario Romano, 1479–1484, in Muratori, Scripp., XXIII. 3, also the ed. of 1904.—Platina in Muratori, III., p. 1053, etc. (accepted by Pastor as genuine and with some question by Creighton).—Sigismondo dei Conti da Foligno: vol. I. Infessura is severe on Sixtus IV. and Innocent VIII. Volterra, who received an office from Sixtus, does not pronounce a formal judgment. Sigismondo, who was advanced by Sixtus, is partial to him.—A. Thuasne: Djem, Sultan, fils de Mohammed II. d’après les documents originaux en grande partie inédits, Paris, 1892.—Gregorovius: VII. 241–340.—Pastor: II. 451-III. 284.—Creighton: III. 56–156.—W. Roscoe: Life of Lorenzo the Magnificent, 2 vols., Liverpool, 1795, 6th ed., London, 1825, etc.
§ 54. Alexander VI.—Bulls in Bullarium Rom.—The Regesta of Alex., filling 113 vols., in the Vatican, Nos. 772–884. After being hidden from view for three centuries, they were opened, 1888, by Leo XIII. to the inspection and use of Pastor.—See Pastor’s Preface in his Gesch. der Päpste, Infessura. Stops at Feb. 26, 1494.—Burchard: vols. II., III.—Sigismondo de’ Conti: Le storie, etc.—Gordon: Life of Alex. VI., London, 1728.—Abbé Ollivier: Le pape Alex. VI. et les Borgia, Paris, 1870.—V. Nemec: Papst Alex. VI., eine Rechtfertigung, Klagenfurt, 1879. Both attempts to rescue this pope from infamy.—Leonetti: Papa Aless. VI., 3 vols., Bologna, 1880.—M. Brosch: Alex. VI. u. seine Söhne, Vienna, 1889.—C. von Höfler: Don Rodrigo de Borgia und seine Söhne, Don Pedro Luis u. Don Juan, Vienna, 1889.—Höfler: D. Katastrophe des herzöglichen Hauses des Borgias von Gandia, Vienna, 1892.—Schubertsoldem: D. Borgias u. ihre Zeit, 1907.—Reumont: Gesch. der Stadt Rom. Also art. Alex. VI. in Wetzer-Welte, I. 483–491.—H. F. Delaborde: L’expédition de Chas. VIII. en Italie, Paris, 1888.—Ranke: Hist. of the Popes.—Roscoe: Life of Lorenzo.—Gregorovius: Hist. of City of Rome, vol. VII. Also Lucrezia Borgia, 3d ed., Stuttgart, 1875. Engl. trans. by J. L. Garner, 2 vols., New York, 1903.—Creighton: III.—Pastor: III.—Hergenröther-Kirsch: III. 982–988.—* P. Villari: Machiavelli and his times, Engl. trans., 4 vols., London, 1878–1883.—Burckhardt and Symonds on the Renaissance.—E. G. Bourne: Demarcation Line Of Alex. Vi. In Essays In Hist. Criticism.—Lord Acton: The Borgias and their Latest Historian, in North Brit. Rev., 1871, pp. 351–367.
§ 55. Julius II. Bullarium IV.—Burchard: Diarium to May, 1506.—Sigismondo: vol. II.—Paris de Grassis, master of ceremonies at the Vatican, 1504 sqq.: Diarium from May 12, 1504, ed. by L. Frati, Bologna, 1886, and Döllinger in Beitäge zur pol. Kirchl. u. Culturgesch. d. letzen 6 Jahrh., 3 vols., Vienna, 1863–1882, III. 363–433.—A. Giustinian, Venetian ambassador: Dispacci, Despatches, 1502–1505, ed. by Villari, 3 vols., Florence, 1876, and by Rawdon Browning in Calendar of State Papers, London, 1864 sq.—Fr. Vettori: Sommario delta storia d’Italia 1511–1527, ed. by Reumont in Arch. Stor. Itat., Append. B., pp. 261–387.—Dusmenil: Hist. de Jules II., Paris, 1873.—* M. Brosch: Papst Julius II. und die Gründung des Kirchenstaats, Gotha, 1878.—P. Lehmann: D. pisaner Konzit vom Jahre, 1511, Breslau, 1874.—Hefele-Hergenröther: VIII. 392–592.—Benrath: Art. Julius II., in Herzog, IX. 621–625.—Villari: Machiavelli.—Ranke: I. 36–59.—Reumont: III., Pt. 2, pp. 1–49. Gregorovius: VIII.—Creighton: IV. 54–176.—Pastor: III.
§ 56. Leo X.—Regesta to Oct. 16, 1515, ed. by Hergenröther, 8 vols., Rome, 1884–1891.—Mansi: XXXII. 649–1001.—Paris de Grassis, as above, and ed. by Armellini: Il diario de Leone X., Rome, 1884. Vettori: Sommario.—M. Sanuto, Venetian ambassador: Diarii, I.-XV., Venice, 1879 sqq.—*Paulus Jovius, b. 1483, acquainted with Leo: De Vita Leonis, Florence, 1549. The only biog. till Fabroni’s Life, 1797.—* L. Landucci: Diario Fiorentino 1450–1516, continued to 1542, ed. by Badia, Florence, 1883.—*W. Roscoe: Life and Pontificate of Leo X., 4 vols., Liverpool, 1805, 6th ed. rev. by his son, London, 1853. The book took high rank, and its value continues. Apologetic for Leo, whom the author considers the greatest pope of modern times. Put on the Index by Leo XII., d. 1829. A Germ. trans. by Glaser and Henke, with valuable notes, 3 vols., Leipzig, 1806–1808. Ital. trans. by Count L. Bossi, Milan, 1816 sq.—E. Muntz: Raphael, His Life, Work, and Times, Engl. trans., W. Armstrong, London, 1896.—E. Armstrong: Lor. de’ Medici, New York, 1896.—H. M. Vaughan: The Medici Popes (Leo X. and Clement VII.), London, 1908. Hefele-Hergenröther: VIII. 592–855.—Reumont: III. Pt. 2, pp. 49–146. Villari: Machiavelli.—Creighton: IV.—Gregorovius: VIII.—Pastor: IV.—Köstlin: Life of Luther, I. 204–525.—*A. Schulte: Die Fugger in Rom. 1495–1523, 2 vols., Leipzig, 1904.—Burckhardt.—Symonds.
Popes.—Nicolas V., 1447–1455; Calixtus III., 1455–1458; Pius II., 1458–1464; Paul II., 1464–1471; Sixtus IV., 1471–1484; Innocent VIII., 1484–1492; Alexander VI., 1492–1503; Pius III., 1503; Julius II., 1503–1513; Leo X., 1513–1521.
The period of the Reformatory councils, closing with the Basel-Ferrara synod, was followed by a period notable in the history of the papacy, the period of the Renaissance popes. These pontiffs of the last years of the Middle Ages were men famous alike for their intellectual endowments, the prostitution of their office to personal aggrandizement and pleasure and the lustre they gave to Rome by their patronage of letters and the fine arts. The decree of the Council of Constance, asserting the supreme authority of oecumenical councils, treated as a dead letter by Eugenius IV., was definitely set aside by Pius II. in a bull forbidding appeals from papal decisions and affirming finality for the pope’s authority. For 70 years no general assembly of the Church was called.
The ten pontiffs who sat on the pontifical throne, 1450–1517, represented in their origin the extremes of fortune, from the occupation of the fisherman, as in the case of Sixtus IV., to the refinement of the most splendid aristocracy of the age, as in the case of Leo X. of the family of the Medici. In proportion as they embellished Rome and the Vatican with the treasures of art, did they seem to withhold themselves from that sincere religious devotion which would naturally be regarded as a prime characteristic of one claiming to be the chief pastor of the Christian Church on earth. No great principle of administration occupied their minds. No conspicuous movement of pious activity received their sanction, unless the proposed crusade to reconquer Constantinople be accounted such, but into that purpose papal ambition entered more freely than devotion to the interests of religion.
This period was the flourishing age of nepotism in the Vatican. The bestowment of papal favors by the pontiffs upon their nephews and other relatives dates as a recognized practice from Boniface VIII. In vain did papal conclaves, following the decree of Constance, adopt protocols, making the age of 30 the lowest limit for appointment to the sacred college, and putting a check on papal favoritism. Ignoring the instincts of modesty and the impulse of religion, the popes bestowed the red hat upon their young nephews and grandnephews and upon the sons of princes, in spite of their utter disqualification both on the ground of intelligence and of morals. The Vatican was beset by relatives of the pontiffs, hungry for the honors and the emoluments of office. Here are some of those who were made cardinals before they were 30: Calixtus III. appointed his nephews, Juan and Rodrigo Borgia (Alexander VI.), the latter 25, and the little son of the king of Portugal; Pius II., his nephew at 23, and Francis Gonzaga at 17; Sixtus IV., John of Aragon at 14, his nephews, Peter and Julian Rovere, at 25 and 28, and his grandnephew, Rafaelle Riario, at 17; Innocent VIII., John Sclafenatus at 23, Giovanni de’ Medici at 13; Alexander VI., in 1493, Hippolito of Este at 15, whom Sixtus had made archbishop of Strigonia at 8, his son, Caesar Borgia, at 18, Alexander Farnese (Paul III.), brother of the pope’s mistress, at 25, and Frederick Casimir, son of the king of Poland, at 19; Leo X., in 1513, his nephew, Innocent Cibo, at 21, and his cousin, the illegitimate Julius de’ Medici, afterwards Clement VII., and in 1517 three more nephews, one of them the bastard son of his brother, also Alfonzo of Portugal at 7, and John of Loraine, son of the duke of Sicily, at 20. This is an imperfect list.722722 Among other youthful appointments to the dignity of cardinal are Jacinto Bobo, afterwards Coelestine III., at 18, by Honorius III., 1126; Peter Roger, afterwards Gregory XI., at 17, Hercules Gonzaga, by Clement VII., at 22; Alexander Farnese, by his uncle, Paul III., at 14, who also appointed his grandsons, Guida Sforza at 16 and Ranucio Farnese at 15; two nephews, at the ages of 14 and 21, by Julius III., d. 1555, and also Innocent del Monte at 17; Ferdinand del Medici at 14, by Pius IV., d. 1565; Andrew and Albert of Austria, sons of Maximilian II., at 18, by Gregory XIII., and Charles of Loraine at 16; Alexander Peretti at 14, by his uncle, Sixtus V., d. 1590; two nephews at 18, by Innocent IX., d. 1591; Maurice of Savoy at 14, and Ferdinand, son of the king of Spain, at 10, by Paul V., d. 1621; a nephew at 17, by Innocent X., d. 1655; a son of the king of Spain, by Clement XII., d. 1740. Bishoprics, abbacies and other ecclesiastical appointments were heaped upon the papal children, nephews and other favorites. The cases in which the red hat was conferred for piety or learning were rare, while the houses of Mantua, Ferrara and Modena, the Medici of Florence, the Sforza of Milan, the Colonna and the Orsini had easy access to the Apostolic camera.
The cardinals vied with kings in wealth and luxury, and their palaces were enriched with the most gorgeous furnishings and precious plate, and filled with servants. They set an example of profligacy which they carried into the Vatican itself. The illegitimate offspring of pontiffs were acknowledged without a blush, and the sons and daughters of the highest houses in Italy, France and Spain were sought in marriage for them by their indulgent fathers. The Vatican was given up to nuptial and other entertainments, even women of ill-repute being invited to banquets and obscene comedies performed in its chambers.
The prodigal expenditures of the papal household were maintained in part by the great sums, running into tens of thousands of ducats, which rich men were willing to pay for the cardinalate. When the funds of the Vatican ran low, loans were secured from the Fuggers and other banking houses and the sacred things of the Vatican put in pawn, even to the tiara itself. The amounts required by Alexander VI. for marriage dowries for his children, and by Leo X. for nephews, were enormous.
Popes, like Sixtus IV. and Alexander VI., had no scruple about involving Italy in internecine wars in order to compass the papal schemes either in the enlargement of papal domain or the enrichment of papal sons and nephews. Julius II. was a warrior and went to the battle-field in armor. No sovereign of his age was more unscrupulous in resorting to double dealing in his diplomacy than was Leo X. To reach the objects of its ambition, the holy see was ready even to form alliances with the sultan. The popes, so Döllinger says, from Paul II. to Leo X., did the most it was possible to do to cover the papacy with shame and disgrace and to involve Italy in the horrors of endless wars.723723 Papstthum, p. 192. The Judas-like betrayal of Christ in the highest seat of Christendom, the gayeties, scandals and crimes of popes as they pass before the reader in the diaries of Infessura, Burchard and de Grassis and the despatches of the ambassadors of Venice, Mantua and other Italian states, and as repeated by Creighton, Pastor and Gregorovius, make this period one of the most dramatic in human annals. The personal element furnished scene after scene of consuming interest. It seems to the student as if history were approaching some great climax.
Three events of permanent importance for the general history of mankind also occurred in this age, the overthrow of the Byzantine empire, 1453, the discovery of the Western world, 1492, and the invention of printing. It closed with a general council, the Fifth Lateran, which adjourned only a few months before the Reformer in the North shook the papal fabric to its base and opened the door of the modern age.
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