Pope Paul II

Last updated

Pope

Paul II
Bishop of Rome
Pietrobarbo.jpg
Papacy began30 August 1464
Papacy ended26 July 1471
Predecessor Pius II
Successor Sixtus IV
Orders
Created cardinal1 July 1440
by Eugene IV
Personal details
Birth namePietro Barbo
Born23 February 1417
Venice, Republic of Venice
Died26 July 1471(1471-07-26) (aged 54)
Rome, Papal States
Previous post Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria Nuova (1440–1451)
Apostolic Administrator of Cervia (1440–1451)
Archpriest of the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter (1445–?)
Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals (1445–1446; 1460–1461)
Bishop of Vicenza (1451–1464)
Cardinal-Priest of San Marco (1451–1464)
Bishop of Padova (1459–1460)
Abbot Ordinary of Montecassino (1465–1471)
Other popes named Paul

Pope Paul II (Latin : Paulus II; 23 February 1417 – 26 July 1471), [1] born Pietro Barbo, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 30 August 1464 to his death in 1471. When his maternal uncle Eugene IV became pope, Barbo switched from training to be a merchant to religious studies. His rise in the Church was relatively rapid. Elected pope in 1464, Paul amassed a great collection of art and antiquities.

Contents

Early life

Pietro Barbo was born in Venice, the son of Niccolo and Polixena Condulmer Barbo. [2] His mother was the sister of Pope Eugenius IV (1431–1447). Through his father he was a member of the noble Barbo family. His adoption of the spiritual career, after having been trained as a merchant, was prompted by his uncle's election as pope. His consequent promotion was rapid. He became Archdeacon of Bologna, and Bishop of Cervia and of Vicenza, and in 1440 became a cardinal-deacon. Barbo gained popularity through his generosity. He boasted that if elected pope he would buy each cardinal a villa to escape the summer heat. [3] [ page needed ]

After having been lay abbot of Santa Maria in Sylvis since 1441, in 1445 he succeeded Giuliano Cesarini as archpriest of the Vatican Basilica. Barbo was very influential under Eugene IV, Nicholas V, and Calixtus III, but less so under Pius II. Barbo had a marked propensity to enjoy dressing up in sumptuous ecclesiastical finery. Wayne R. Dynes says that "he was lampooned by his enemies as "Our Lady of Pity". [4]

Election

Barbo was elected to succeed Pope Pius II by the accessus in the first ballot of the papal conclave of 30 August 1464 [5] with a majority of fourteen of the nineteen cardinals present. He owed his election in part to the dissatisfaction of some of the cardinals with the policy of his predecessor. [2]

Upon taking office, Paul II was to convene an ecumenical council within three years. But these terms of subscription were modified by Paul II at his own discretion, and this action lost him the confidence of the College of Cardinals. The justification for setting aside the capitulations, seen to be under way by the Duke of Milan's ambassador as early as 21 September, lay in connecting any abridgement of the Pope's absolute monarchy in the Papal States with a consequent abridgement of his sole authority in spiritual matters. [6] Almost from his coronation, Paul withdrew and became inaccessible: audiences were only granted at night and even good friends waited a fortnight to see him. His suspiciousness was widely attested.

Paul wore rouge in public. [3] [ page needed ] The story of Cardinal Ammanati that he meant to take the name Formosus II (meaning "handsome"), after Pope Formosus, [7] but was persuaded not to, is more often repeated than the story that he was dissuaded from Marcus, being Venetian and the Cardinal of San Marco, because it was also the war-cry of Venice. [8] He had a papal tiara made for his own use studded with "diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, topaz, large pearls, and every kind of precious gem". [3] [ page needed ] He built the Palazzo San Marco (now the Palazzo Venezia) and lived there even as pope, amassing a great collection of art and antiquities. [9] [ page needed ]

Conflict

A sore point was his abuse of the practice of creating cardinals in pectore , without publishing their names. Eager to raise new cardinals to increase the number who were devoted to his interests, but restricted by the terms of the capitulation, which gave the college a voice in the creation of new members, in the winter of 1464–65 Paul created two secret cardinals both of whom died before their names could be published. In his fourth year as Pope, he created eight new cardinals on 18 September 1467. Five were candidates pressed by kings, placating respectively James II of Cyprus, Edward IV of England, Louis XI of France, Matthias Corvinus of Hungary and Ferdinand I of Naples; one was the able administrator of the Franciscans; and the last two elevated his old tutor and a first cardinal-nephew. [10] Two further cardinal-nephews were added on 21 November 1468. [11] In a sign of his increasing secretiveness and paranoia, he added two more cardinals secretly at the same consistory, and four more at the beginning of 1471, expecting to reveal them only in his testament.

Tensions came to the fore when in attempting to eliminate redundant offices, Paul II proceeded to annul the College of Abbreviators, whose function it was to formulate papal documents; a storm of indignation arose, inasmuch as rhetoricians and poets with humanist training, had long been accustomed to benefiting from employment in such positions. Paul proceeded as well against the Roman Academy. Bartolomeo Platina was a member of both and found his papal employment abruptly curtailed. [12] He wrote a pamphlet insolently demanding the pope recall his restrictions, and was imprisoned in the winter of 1464, but released four months later.

In February 1468, when Rome was rife with political intrigue fomented by the Roman barons and the neighboring princes, Paul II arrested Platina and other members of the Academy on charges of irreligion, immorality, and an alleged conspiracy to assassinate the Pope. The prisoners were interrogated under torture [12] and eventually released. [13]

After his release on 7 July 1469, Platina expected to be again in the employ of Paul II, who, however, declined his services. Platina threatened vengeance and executed his threat, when at the suggestion of Pope Sixtus IV he later wrote his Vitæ Pontificum Platinæ historici liber de vita Christi ac omnium pontificum qui hactenus ducenti fuere et XX (1479). Not unaccountably, Platina set forth an unfavorable delineation of the character of Paul II.

Among other things, Platina reported that Pius II suggested Barbo should have been called Maria Pietissima, as "when he could not obtain what he aimed at by praying, entreating, and requesting, he would join tears to his petitions to make them the sooner believed." [14] Some historians have suggested the nickname may also have been a possible allusion to a perceived lack of masculinity, reflecting possible homosexuality. [15] Platina also paints his enemy as cruel, and an archenemy of science. For centuries it influenced historical opinions until critical research proved otherwise.

Though Platina's writing after the conflict would tarnish the legacy of Paul II, the conflict would prove to have a greater effect on the intellectual environment of Rome. Peter Partner explains, "Probably its most important result was to convince men of letters that cultural conformity would be enforced in Rome." More tangibly, after the crackdown of Paul II, the Roman Academy took on a more religious flavour, turning in part to theology as a means of legitimizing its pursuits. [16]

Final years

Pope Paul rejected George of Poděbrady (King George of Bohemia) because he upheld the conventions of the Council of Basel in favour of the Utraquists. In August 1465, Paul II summoned George before the Roman tribunal. When the King failed to come, Paul allied himself with the insurgents in Bohemia and released the King's subjects from their oath of allegiance. In December 1466, he pronounced the ban of excommunication and sentence of deposition against George. George's apologist, Gregory of Heimberg, subsequently accused Paul of immorality, a move that resulted in Gregory's own excommunication.

Just when the King's goodwill disposed the Pope in favor of reconciliation, Paul died suddenly of a heart attack on 26 July 1471. Reports of the death varied. Some claimed he had collapsed from severe indigestion after eating melon in excess. [1] [17] Some (mainly the pontiff's critics) said that he had died whilst being sodomized by a page boy. [18] Nevertheless, his death resulted in the creation of a power vacuum in Central Europe – especially after Poděbrady himself died in March of that same year.

Legacy

Although Paul II was a committed opponent of humanist learning, he oversaw and approved the introduction of printing into the Papal States, first at Subiaco in 1464 by Arnold Pannartz and Konrad Sweynheim, and at Rome itself in 1467. The result was that books and other documents became far more numerous and less expensive to procure than the previous handwritten manuscripts. Printing put the materials needed for an advanced education into the hands of more people than ever before, including an increasing number of laypeople. The output of printing presses at this period was, as a matter of course, subject to governmental scrutiny; during Paul II's reign, books produced in the Papal States were largely limited to Latin classical literature and ecclesiastical texts.

The chronicler Stefano Infessura's republican and anti-papal temper makes his diary a far from neutral though well-informed witness. But it is certain that although Paul II opposed the humanists, he yet provided for popular amusements: in 1466 he permitted the horse-race that was a feature of Carnival to be run along the main street, the Via Lata, which now became known from this annual event as the Via del Corso. So that nobody felt left out of the event, the Pope instituted races for boys, adult men, old people and Jews, with appropriate prizes for each group. [19] He tried as Pope to reduce or stop blood feuds and vendettas in Italy, and to make sure that Jews were treated fairly. [20] Paul II displayed an extravagant love of personal splendor that gratified his sense of self-importance. [21] After his death Sixtus IV and a selected group of cardinals inspected the treasure laid up against expenditures against the Turks: they found 54 silver shells filled with pearls, to a value of 300,000 ducats, jewels and gold intended for refashioning, worth another 300,000 ducats, and a magnificent diamond worth 7,000 ducats, which was sent to Cardinal d'Estouteville to cover monies he had advanced to the pontiff. The coin was not immediately found. [22] He had also amassed a collection of 800 gemstones. [23] [ page needed ]

William Francis Barry considers that his character was 'misunderstood by the Italian courts which never dreamt that a Pope could be an honourable man' [24]

In statecraft, Paul II lacked eminence and achieved nothing of consequence for Italy. In his own domain, however, he terminated, in 1465, the regime of the counts of Anguillara.

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 Modigliani, Anna (2000). "PAOLO II". Enciclopedia dei Papi (in Italian).
  2. 1 2 Weber, Nicholas. "Pope Paul II." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 15 May 2020PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. 1 2 3 D'Elia, Anthony (2009). A sudden terror: The plot to kill a renaissance pope. Harvard.
  4. Dynes, Wayne R. (22 March 2016). Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. Routledge. p. 943. ISBN   978-1-317-36812-0. [Pope Paul II] was a collector of statuary, jewellery, and (it was said) handsome youths
  5. Pastor vol. IV, p. ii: "The populace assembled in front of the Vatican received the news with joy." Acclamation of a new bishop of Rome by the people was a custom of the early church long in abeyance.
  6. Pastor, vol. IV, p. 21.
  7. Pastor vol 14, p. 16: The chronicler N. della Tuccia says that for half a century no handsomer man had been seen in the Senate or the Church.
  8. Pastor, vol. IV, pp. 13, 15.
  9. Walsh, Michael (2003). The Conclave: A Sometimes Secret and Occasionally Bloody History of Papal Elections. Gardners Books. ISBN   9781853114977.
  10. Burkle-Young, Francis A. "The election of Pope Sixtus IV (1471): Background". Florida International University. Archived from the original on January 4, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  11. Burkle-Young ("The election of Pope Paul II (1464)"): "The great number of cardinal-nephews created in the reigns of Sixtus IV, Alexander VI, and Julius II were testimony to the effectiveness of Paul II in opening the floodgates."
  12. 1 2 Bauer, Stefan (2013) [2008]. "Bartolomeo Sacchi (Platina)". Repertorium Pomponianum. Rome: Roma nel Rinascimento. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  13. "La 'conguira' degli umanisti: Platina e Pomponio Leto". Castel Sant'Angelo (in Italian). Rome: castelsantangelo.com. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  14. Platina, p. 276
  15. Karlen, Arno (1971). Sexuality and homosexuality. New York: W. W. Norton & Co. p. 145. ISBN   9780393010879.
  16. Partner, Peter. The Pope's Men: The Papal Civil Service in The Renaissance. Clarendon Press. pp. 23–24. ISBN   9780198219958.
  17. Canensius, Michael (1904) [1734]. Zippel, Giuseppe (ed.). Le vite di Paolo II di Gaspare da Verona (in Latin and Italian). Coi Tipi dell'editore S. Lapi. pp.  175. 1471.
  18. Frieda, Leonie (2013). "Chapter 3". The Deadly Sisterhood: A Story of Women, Power, and Intrigue in the Italian Renaissance, 1427–1527. HarperCollins. ISBN   978-0-06-156308-9.
  19. Pastor vol. IV, p. 32
  20. Pastor vol. IV, p. 33
  21. Pastor vol. IV, p. 16
  22. A cardinal's report to the Duke of Milan's ambassador, related in Pastor vol. IV, p. 211.
  23. Sebregondi, Ludovica (2012). Money and Beauty: Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities. Florence: Giunti. ISBN   9788809767645.
  24. Barry, The History of the Papacy 1897 vol I. p.94

Related Research Articles

Pope Pius III 16th-century Catholic pope

Pope Pius III, born Francesco Todeschini, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 22 September 1503 to his death. He had one of the shortest pontificates in papal history.

Pope Julius II pope from 1503 to 1513

Pope Julius II, born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope and ruler of the Papal States from 1503 to his death in 1513. Nicknamed the Warrior Pope or the Fearsome Pope, he chose his papal name not in honour of Pope Julius I but in emulation of Julius Caesar. One of the most powerful and influential popes, Julius II was a central figure of the High Renaissance and left a significant cultural and political legacy.

Pope Sixtus IV pope

Pope Sixtus IV, born Francesco della Rovere, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 9 August 1471 to his death. His accomplishments as pope included the construction of the Sistine Chapel and the creation of the Vatican Archives. A patron of the arts, he brought together the group of artists who ushered the Early Renaissance into Rome with the first masterpieces of the city's new artistic age.

Stefano Infessura was an Italian humanist historian and lawyer. He is remembered through his municipalist Diary of the City of Rome, a partisan chronicle of events at Rome by the Colonna family's point of view. He was in a position to hear everything that circulated in informed Roman circles, for he was the longtime secretary of the Roman Senate. Anecdotes that Infessura relates may be colored by his own partisan nature, but his diary faithfully records news that was making the rounds in the city, whether true or not; "he inserted every fragment of the most preposterous and malevolent gossip current in Roman society, and is therefore not considered a reliable chronicler".

Julius Pomponius Laetus Italian Renaissance humanist

Julius Pomponius Laetus, also known as Giulio Pomponio Leto, was an Italian humanist.

Jacopo Piccolomini-Ammannati, or Giacomo Piccolomini was an Italian Renaissance cardinal and humanist.

Bartolomeo Platina Italian humanist and gastronomer

Bartolomeo Sacchi, known as Platina after his birthplace (Piadena), and commonly referred to in English as Bartolomeo Platina, was an Italian Renaissance humanist writer and gastronomist.

Andrea Bregno Italian artist (1418-1503)

Andrea di Cristoforo Bregno (1418–1506) was an Italian sculptor and architect of the Early Renaissance who worked in Rome from the 1460s and died just as the High Renaissance was getting under way.

Juan Carvajal (cardinal) Catholic cardinal

Juan Carvajal (Carvagial) was a Spanish Cardinal. Though he began his career as a lawyer and judge in the papal administration, he spent most of his active life travelling as a diplomat in Germany and eastern Europe, attempting to arrange a crusade against the Ottoman Turks. He was particularly active in Bohemia and Hungary, where he also employed his powers to fight the Hussites. He was a mainstay in trying to preserve the institution of the Papacy from the Conciliarism of the Council of Basel.

Conclave capitulation

A conclave capitulation was a compact or unilateral contract drawn up by the College of Cardinals during a papal conclave to constrain the actions of the pope elected by the conclave. The legal term capitulation more frequently refers to the commitment of a sovereign state to relinquish jurisdiction within its borders over the subjects of a foreign state. Before balloting began, all cardinals present at the conclave would swear to be bound by its provisions if elected pope. Capitulations were used by the College of Cardinals to assert its collective authority and limit papal supremacy, to "make the Church an oligarchy instead of a monarchy." Similar electoral capitulations were used on occasion from the 14th to the 17th centuries in Northern and Central Europe to constrain an elected king, emperor, prince, or bishop.

1464 papal conclave

The papal conclave of 1464, convened after the death of Pope Pius II, elected as his successor cardinal Pietro Barbo, who took the name Paul II.

Marco Barbo of Venice was a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church (1467) and patriarch of Aquileia (1470)

1471 papal conclave conclave

The papal conclave of 1471 elected Pope Sixtus IV following the death of Pope Paul II. With the exception of the conclaves of the Western Schism, this conclave was the first since 1305 to feature a working, two-thirds majority of Italians within the College of Cardinals, in no small part because of the absence of six non-Italian cardinals. This was in part due to the unexpectedness of the death of Paul II.

1484 papal conclave

The papal conclave of 1484 elected Pope Innocent VIII after the death of Pope Sixtus IV.

Francesco Gonzaga (1444–1483) Catholic cardinal

Francesco Gonzaga was an Italian bishop and a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church during the reigns of Popes Pius II, Paul II and Sixtus IV.

Angelo Capranica Italian cardinal

Angelo Capranica was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal.

Bartolomeo Roverella Italian cardinal

Bartolomeo Roverella (1406–1476) was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal.

Amico Agnifili Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal

Amico Agnifili was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal.

Stefano Nardini was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal.

Pedro Ferris (1416–1478) was a Spanish Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal.

References

PD-icon.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pope Paul II". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton Company.

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Albert d'Albret
Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals
1445–1446
Succeeded by
Juan de Torquemada
Preceded by
Juan de Mella
Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals
1460
Succeeded by
Alessandro Oliva
Preceded by
Pius II
Pope
30 August 1464 – 26 July 1471
Succeeded by
Sixtus IV