Pope Pius II

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Pope

Pius II
Bishop of Rome
Pintoricchio 012.jpg
Papacy began19 August 1458
Papacy ended14 August 1464
Predecessor Callixtus III
Successor Paul II
Orders
Ordination4 March 1447
Consecration15 August 1447
by  Juan Carvajal
Created cardinal17 December 1456
by Callixtus III
Personal details
Birth nameEnea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini
Born18 October 1405
Corsignano, Republic of Siena
Died14 August 1464(1464-08-14) (aged 58)
Ancona, Marche, Papal States
Other popes named Pius

Pope Pius II (Latin : Pius PP. II, Italian : Pio II), born Enea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini (Latin : Aeneas Silvius Bartholomeus; 18 October 1405 – 14 August 1464) was Pope from 19 August 1458 to his death in 1464. He was born at Corsignano in the Sienese territory of a noble but impoverished family. His longest and most enduring work is the story of his life, the Commentaries, which is the only autobiography ever written by a reigning pope.

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire and, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to it of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it still plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Italian is included under the languages covered by the European Charter for Regional or Minority languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Romania, although Italian is neither a co-official nor a regional or a traditional language in these countries, where Italians do not represent a historical minority. In the case of Romania, Italian is listed by the Government along 10 other languages which supposedly receive a "general protection", but not between those which should be granted an "advanced or enhanced" one. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.

Pope leader of the Catholic Church

The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.

Siena Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.

Contents

Early life

Aeneas was born to Silvio, a soldier and member of the House of Piccolomini, and Vittoria Forteguerri, who had 18 children including several twins, though most died at a young age. [1] He worked with his father in the fields for some years and at age 18 left to study at the universities of Siena and Florence. He settled in the former city as a teacher, but in 1431 accepted the post of secretary to Domenico Capranica, bishop of Fermo, then on his way to the Council of Basel (1431–39). Capranica was protesting against the new Pope Eugene IV's refusal of a cardinalate for him, which had been designated by Pope Martin V. Arriving at Basel after enduring a stormy voyage to Genoa and then a trip across the Alps, he successively served Capranica, who ran short of money, and then other masters. [2]

<i>Piccolomini</i> Surname list

Piccolomini is the name of an Italian noble family, which was prominent in Siena from the beginning of the 13th century till 18th century.

University of Siena Italian university

The University of Siena in Siena, Tuscany is one of the oldest and first publicly funded universities in Italy. Originally called Studium Senese, the institution was founded in 1240. It had around 20,000 students in 2006, nearly half of Siena's total population of around 54,000. Today, the University of Siena is best known for its Schools of Law, Medicine, and Economics and Management.

University of Florence university in Italy

The University of Florence is an Italian public research university located in Florence, Italy. It comprises 12 schools and has about 60,000 students enrolled.

In 1435 he was sent by Cardinal Albergati, Eugenius IV's legate at the council, on a secret mission to Scotland, the object of which is variously related even by himself. [3] He visited England as well as Scotland, underwent many perils and vicissitudes in both countries, and left an account of each. The journey to Scotland proved so tempestuous that Piccolomini swore that he would walk barefoot to the nearest shrine of Our Lady from their landing port. This proved to be Dunbar; the nearest shrine was 10 miles distant at Whitekirk. The journey through the ice and snow left Aeneas afflicted with pain in his legs for the rest of his life. Only when he arrived at Newcastle, did he feel that he had returned to "a civilised part of the world and the inhabitable face of the Earth", Scotland and the far north of England being "wild, bare and never visited by the sun in winter". [4] In Scotland, he fathered a child but it died. [5]

Scotland

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Dunbar town in East Lothian, Scotland

Dunbar is a town on the North Sea coast in East Lothian in the south-east of Scotland, approximately 30 miles (48 km) east of Edinburgh and 30 miles (48 km) from the English border north of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Whitekirk and Tyninghame

Tyninghame and Whitekirk is a civil parish, centred on two small settlements in East Lothian, Scotland.

Upon his return to Basel, Aeneas sided actively with the council in its conflict with the Pope, and, although still a layman, eventually obtained a share in the direction of its affairs. He supported the creation of the Antipope Felix V (Amadeus, Duke of Savoy) and participated in his coronation. Aeneas then was sent to Strasbourg where he fathered a child with a Breton woman called Elizabeth. The baby died 14 months later. [5] He then withdrew to the court of Holy Roman Emperor Emperor Frederick III in Vienna. He had been crowned imperial poet laureate in 1442, and he obtained the patronage of the emperor's chancellor, Kaspar Schlick. Some identify the love adventure at Siena that Aeneas related in his romance The Tale of the Two Lovers with an escapade of the chancellor.

Strasbourg Prefecture and commune in Grand Est, France

Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department.

Holy Roman Emperor emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Emperor, officially the Emperor of the Romans, and also the German-Roman Emperor, was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.

Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor Austrian archduke and duke

Frederick III was Holy Roman Emperor from 1452 until his death. He was the first emperor of the House of Habsburg, and the fourth member of the House of Habsburg to be elected King of Germany after Rudolf I of Germany, Albert I in the 13th century and his predecessor Albert II of Germany. He was the penultimate emperor to be crowned by the Pope, and the last to be crowned in Rome.

Aeneas' character had hitherto been that of an easy and democratic-minded man of the world with no pretense to strictness in morals or consistency in politics. He now began to be more regular in the former respect, and in the latter adopted a decided line by making his peace between the Empire and Rome.[ citation needed ] Being sent on a mission to Rome in 1445, with the ostensible object of inducing Pope Eugene to convoke a new council, he was absolved from ecclesiastical censures and returned to Germany under an engagement to assist the Pope. This he did most effectually by the diplomatic dexterity with which he smoothed away differences between the papal court of Rome and the German imperial electors. He played a leading role in concluding a compromise in 1447 by which the dying Pope Eugene accepted the reconciliation tendered by the German princes. As a result, the council and the antipope were left without support. He had already taken orders, and one of the first acts of Pope Eugene's successor, Pope Nicholas V (1447–1455), was to make him Bishop of Trieste. He later served as Bishop of Siena.

A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. In parliamentary procedure, it is a debatable main motion that could be adopted by a majority vote. Among the forms that it can take are a stern rebuke by a legislature, a spiritual penalty imposed by a church, or a negative judgment pronounced on a theological proposition. It is usually non-binding, unlike a Motion of no confidence.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

In 1450 Aeneas was sent as ambassador by the Emperor Frederick III to negotiate his marriage with Princess Eleonore of Portugal. In 1451 he undertook a mission to Bohemia and concluded a satisfactory arrangement with the Hussite leader George of Poděbrady. In 1452 he accompanied Frederick III to Rome, where Frederick wedded Eleanor and was crowned emperor by the pope. In August 1455 Aeneas again arrived in Rome on an embassy to proffer the obedience of Germany to the new pope, Calixtus III. He brought strong recommendations from emperor Frederick and Ladislaus V of Hungary (also King of Bohemia) for his nomination to the cardinalate, but delays arose from the Pope's resolution to promote his own nephews first, and he did not attain the object of his ambition until December of the following year. He did acquire temporarily the bishopric of Warmia (Ermeland).

Eleanor of Portugal, Holy Roman Empress Queen of Germany

Eleanor of Portugal was Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. A Portuguese infanta (princess), daughter of King Edward of Portugal and his wife Eleanor of Aragon, she was the consort of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III and the mother of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I.

Bohemia Historical region in the Czech Republic

Bohemia is the westernmost and largest historical region of the Czech lands in the present-day Czech Republic. In a broader meaning, Bohemia sometimes refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia, especially in a historical context, such as the Lands of the Bohemian Crown ruled by Bohemian kings.

George of Poděbrady Czech king, warrior and nobleman

George of Kunštát and Poděbrady, also known as Poděbrad or Podiebrad, was King of Bohemia (1458–1471). He was a leader of the Hussites. He is known for his idea and attempt to establish common European institutions. It is seen as the first historical vision of European unity.

Election to Papacy

Papal styles of
Pope Pius II
C o a Pio II.svg
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father

Calixtus III died on 6 August 1458. On 10 August, the cardinals entered into a papal conclave. According to Aeneas' account, the wealthy cardinal Guillaume d'Estouteville of Rouen, though a Frenchman and of apparently exceptionable character, seemed certain to be elected. In a passage of his own history of his times, long excerpted from that work and printed clandestinely in the Conclavi de' Pontifici Romani, Aeneas explained how he frustrated the ambitions of d'Estouteville. It seemed appropriate to Aeneas that the election should fall upon himself: although the sacred college included a few men of higher moral standards, he believed that his abilities made him most worthy of the papal tiara. It was the peculiar faculty of Aeneas to accommodate himself perfectly to whatever position he might be called upon to occupy, and he now believed that he could exploit this adaptability to assume the papacy with appropriate success and personal character. After a minimum of intrigue among the cardinals, he was able to secure enough votes for his candidacy after the second ballot to be elected unanimously. He was crowned Pope on 3 September 1458.

According to Michael de la Bédoyère, "The new Pope, Pius II, was expected to inaugurate an even more liberal and paganised era in the Vatican. He had led the dissipated life of a gentleman of the day and complained of the difficulty of practicing continency, a difficulty he did not surmount. But he had reformed and his reign was noted for his interest in the Crusade and his insistence that the doctrine holding General Councils of the Church to be superior to the Pope was heretical." [6]

Papal policies and initiatives

After allying himself with Ferdinand, the Aragonese claimant to the throne of Naples, his next important act was to convene a congress of the representatives of Christian princes at Mantua for joint action against the Turks. On 26 September 1459 he called for a new crusade against the Ottomans and on 14 January 1460 he proclaimed the official crusade that was to last for three years. His long progress to the place of assembly resembled a triumphal procession, and the Council of Mantua of 1459, a complete failure as regards its ostensible object of mounting a crusade, at least showed that the impotence of Christendom was not owing to the Pope. The Pope did, however, influence Vlad III Dracula — whom the Pope held in high regard — in starting a war against Sultan Mehmed II of Turkey. [7] This conflict at its peak involved the Wallachians trying to assassinate the Sultan (see The Night Attack).

On his return from the congress, Pius II spent a considerable time in his native district of Siena, where he was joined by his erstwhile host in Mantua Ludovico Gonzaga. Pius described his delight with country life in very pleasing language. Passages such as those and others where he marvels at landscapes and other natural beauties, or stories about his dog Musetta, were to be expurged from the first edition of his Commentaries published in 1584 as embarrassingly unfitting, coming from the pen of a Pope. [8] He was recalled to Rome by the disturbances occasioned by Tiburzio di Maso, who was ultimately seized and executed. In the struggle for the Kingdom of Naples between the supporters of the House of Aragon and the House of Anjou, the Papal States were at this time troubled by rebellious barons and marauding condottieri, whom he gradually, though momentarily, quelled. The Neapolitan War was also concluded by the success of the Pope's ally the Aragonese Ferdinand. In particular, the Pope engaged for most of his reign in what looked like a personal war against Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, with the result of the almost complete submission of that condottiero. Pius II also tried mediation in the Thirteen Years' War of 1454–66 between Poland and the Teutonic Knights, but, when he failed to achieve success, cast an anathema over Polish and Prussians both. Pius II was also engaged in a series of disputes with the Bohemian King George of Poděbrady and the Sigismund of Austria (who was excommunicated for having arrested Nicholas of Cusa, Bishop of Brixen).

In July 1461, Pius II canonized Saint Catherine of Siena, and in October of the same year he gained what at first appeared to be a brilliant success by inducing the new King of France, Louis XI, to abolish the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, by which the Pope's authority in France had been grievously impaired. But Louis XI had expected that Pius II would in return espouse the French cause in Naples, and when he found himself disappointed he virtually re-established the Pragmatic Sanction by royal ordinances. Pius II built a fortress in Tivoli called Rocca Pia in 1461. In September 1462, he confirmed the Diocese of Laibach, established in December 1462 by Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor.

Monument of Pius II located in Otocac, Croatia Papa Pio II.JPG
Monument of Pius II located in Otočac, Croatia

The crusade for which the Congress of Mantua had been convoked made no progress. In November 1463, Pope Pius II tried to organize the crusade against the Ottomans, similar to what Pope Nicholas V and Pope Calixtus III had tried to do before him. Pius II invited all the Christian nobility to join, and the Venetians immediately answered the appeal. So did George Kastriot Skanderbeg the leader of Albanian resistance, who on 27 November 1463, declared war on the Ottomans and attacked their forces near Ohrid. Pius II's planned crusade envisioned assembling 20,000 soldiers in Taranto, while another 20,000 would be gathered by Skanderbeg. They would have been marshaled in Durazzo under Skanderbeg's leadership and would have formed the central front against the Ottomans. The Pope did his best: he addressed an eloquent letter to the Emperor of Turkey Mehmet II urging him to become a Christian, a letter that probably never was sent. However, there are some important historians like Prof. Dr. Halil Inalcik [9] who believes that the mentioned letter was sent to the Sublime Porte. Not surprisingly, if it was delivered, this invitation was not successful. A public ceremony was staged to receive the relics of the head of Saint Andrew when it was brought from the East to Rome. Pius II succeeded in reconciling the Emperor and the King of Hungary and derived great encouragement as well as pecuniary advantage from the discovery of mines of alum in the papal territory at Tolfa. But France was estranged; the Duke of Burgundy broke his positive promises; Milan was engrossed with the attempt to seize Genoa; Florence cynically advised the Pope to let the Turks and the Venetians wear each other out. Pius II was unaware he was nearing his end, and his malady probably prompted the feverish impatience with which on 18 June 1464 he assumed the cross and departed for Ancona to conduct the crusade in person.

Slavery

Pius condemned slavery of newly baptized Christians as a "great crime" in an address of 1462 to the local ruler of the Canary Islands. [10] Pius instructed bishops to impose penalties on transgressors. [11] Pius did not condemn the concept of trading in slaves, only the enslavement of the recently baptised, who represented a very small minority of those captured and taken to Portugal. [12] Pope Urban VIII, in his bull dated 22 April 1639, described these grave warnings of Pius (7 October 1462, Apud Raynaldum in Annalibus Ecclesiasticis ad ann n.42) as relating to "neophytes". [13] According to British diplomatic papers, Pius' letter was addressed to Bishop Rubeira and confirms Urban's observation that the condemnation relates to new converts being enslaved. [14]

Illness and death

In spite of suffering from a fever, Pope Pius II left Rome for Ancona in the hope of increasing the morale of the crusading army. However, the crusading army melted away at Ancona for want of transport, and when at last the Venetian fleet arrived, the dying Pope could only view it from a window. He died two days later, on 14 August 1464, and was succeeded by Pope Paul II. Pius II's body was interred in the church of Sant'Andrea della Valle in Rome, while an empty cenotaph was built in St. Peter's Basilica. Later, the cenotaph was moved to Sant'Andrea as well.

Reputation and legacy

One of the many frescoes of Pius II located in the 'Piccolomini library' in the Duomo in Siena Pintoricchio 014.jpg
One of the many frescoes of Pius II located in the 'Piccolomini library' in the Duomo in Siena

Pius II was one of the most prominent authors of his period. His most important and longest work is his autobiography Commentaries in 13 books, first published in 1584 by Cardinal Francesco Bandini Piccolomini, a distant relative. Piccolomini altered it to some extent, removing words, phrases and whole passages that were unflattering to his relative. Piccolomini published it under the name of scribe Gobellinus, who was then misattributed as the author, a natural mistake because Pius II chose to write Commentaries from the third-person perspective.

Pius II was greatly admired as a poet by his contemporaries, but his reputation in belles lettres rests principally upon his The Tale of the Two Lovers , which continues to be read, partly from its truth to nature, and partly from the singularity of an erotic novel being written by a future Pope. He also composed some comedies, one of which (titled Chrysis) alone is extant. All of these works are in Latin. Pius II was the author of numerous erotic poems. [15] However, such scandalous material was written before his election and a deep personal change. [16] [17]

His Epistles, which were collected by himself, are also an important source of historical information. The most valuable of his minor historical writings are his histories of Bohemia and of the Emperor Frederick III. He sketched biographical treatises on Europe and Asia, and in early and middle life produced numerous tracts on the political and theological controversies of his day, as well as on ethical subjects. The pontiff even wrote an exhaustive refutation of Islam. [18] [19]

His Epistles contain one of the best known descriptions of the enthronement ceremony of the Carinthian dukes on the Prince's Stone and the Duke's Chair. [20] It is generally considered to be the source for Jean Bodin description of the ceremony in his Six Livres de la République.

Pius was not an eminent scholar. His Latin was fluent, [21] but he knew little Greek. Still, his writings have many good qualities.

Pope Pius II inaugurated an unusual urban project, perhaps the first city planning exercise in modern Europe. He refurbished his home town of Corsignano (province of Siena, Tuscany) and renamed it Pienza, after himself. A cathedral and palaces were built in the best style of the day to decorate the city. [22] They survive to this day.

See also

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References

Notes

    Citations

    1. Mémoires d'un Pape de la Renaissance. Les Commentarii de Pie II, Ivan Cloutas and Vito Castiglione Minischetti, ed., Tallandier, 2001, p. 43.
    2. Mémoires, pp. 44, 46–47.
    3. In his Commentaries, he briefly mentions that he was sent to Scotland "to help a prelate come back into the King's favour" and later mentions that once in the presence of the King (James I) he was granted everything he had come to Scotland for. Mémoires, pp. 49-50.
    4. Mémoires, p. 53.
    5. 1 2 Nigel Cawthorne (1996). "Sex Lives of the Popes". Prion. p. 154.Missing or empty |url= (help)
    6. Michael de la Bedoyere, The Meddlesome Friar and the Wayward Pope, p. 59-60
    7. Dracula: Prince of many faces – His life and his times p. 129
    8. Mémoires d'un Pape de la Renaissance. Les Commentarii de Pie II, p. 8.
    9. "İnalcık: Fatih'i Hıristiyan yapmak istedi". NTV. 14 November 2009.
    10. "The Historical encyclopedia of world slavery", Juan Manuel de le Serna, p. 153.
    11. "Black Africans in Renaissance Europe", P. 281
    12. "The Slave Trade: The History of the Atlantic Slave Trade 1440–1870", Hugh Thomas, p. 72, Picador, 1997, ISBN   0-330-35437-X, see also "Slavery and the Catholic Church", John Francis Maxwell, p. 52, Barry Rose Publishers, 1975
    13. "The Catholic Tradition of the Law of Nations", p. 425
    14. "British and foreign state papers", p. 494
    15. John Julius Norwich, Absolute Monarchs, p. 254. Quote: "For the next three years he worked in the royal chancery in Vienna, turning out in his spare time not only a quantity of mildly pornographic poetry but also a novel in much the same vein, Lucretia and Euryalus, celebrating the amorous adventures of his friend, the Chancellor Caspar Schlick."
    16. John Julius Norwich, Absolute Monarchs, p. 254. Quote: "But such an existence could not continue indefinitely, and in 1445 Aeneas's life underwent a dramatic change. First, he broke with the antipope and was formally reconciled with Eugenius IV; then, in March 1446, he was ordained a priest. Thereafter he was a genuinely reformed character.."
    17. Charles A. Coulombe, Vicars of Christ, p. 324. Quote: "Whenever chided with his past immoral life and writings, he would reply, 'Ignore Aeneas, but listen to Pius.'"
    18. John Julius Norwich, Absolute Monarchs, p. 255. Quote: "If he could not defeat Sultan Mehmet in battle, perhaps he could persuade him by force of reason to see the error of his ways. In 1461 he drafted an extraordinary letter to the sultan in which he included a detailed refutation of the teachings of the Koran, an equally thorough exposition of the Christian faith, and a final appeal to renounce Islam and submit to baptism. It seems that the letter may never have been sent; if it was, it not surprisingly received no reply."
    19. Charles A. Coulombe, Vicars of Christ, p. 324. Quote: "One rumor stated that the Sultan himself had lost faith in Islam. Pius sent an eloquent letter setting forth the Catholic faith, urging him to convert. Instead of converting, the Sultan assuaged his opposition to Islamic law by drinking."
    20. http://www.slovenska-biografija.si/oseba/sbi423636/
    21. "Reject Aeneas, Accept Pius", p. ix (available here Archived 26 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine ). Quote: "Pius wrote and spoke Latin with consummate facility. But since the end of the Renaissance, fewer and fewer educated persons understand his Latin, let alone share in that facility."
    22. John Julius Norwich, Absolute Monarchs, p. 255-256. Quote: "In just five years between 1449 [1459?] and 1464 he transformed his birthplace, the little village of Corsignano, redesigning it on classical lines according to all the latest theories of urban planning, giving it a cathedral and a magnificent palazzo for the use of his family, and renaming it after himself: Pienza."

    Bibliography

    Catholic Church titles
    Preceded by
    Antonio Cerdà i Lloscos
    Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals
    1457
    Succeeded by
    Giacomo Tebaldi
    Preceded by
    Callixtus III
    Pope
    19 August 1458 – 14 August 1464
    Succeeded by
    Paul II
    Preceded by
    Franz Kuhschmalz
    Prince-Bishop of Warmia (Ermland)
    1457–1458
    Succeeded by
    Paul von Legendorf