Stefano Infessura

Last updated

Stefano Infessura (c. 1435 c. 1500) 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" (New Catholic Dictionary).

Infessura's diary, partly in Latin and partly in ancient Romanesco, the Diarium urbis Romae (Diario della Città di Roma) is of special firsthand value for the pontificates of Paul II (1464-1471), Sixtus IV (1471-1484), Innocent VIII (1484-1492), and the beginning of Alexander VI's pontificate.

Infessura took a degree of Doctor of Laws and served as a judge, before he came to the University at Rome as professor of Roman law. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "Under Sixtus IV, his office was affected by the financial measures of that pope, who frequently withheld the income of the Roman University, applied it to other uses, and reduced the salaries of the professors". That may not provide adequate motivation for Infessura's deep opposition to Sixtus' policies, and for anecdotes that would be certainly scurrilous if they are untrue.

Infessura became entangled in the conspiracy of Stefano Porcari against Nicholas V (1453), which aimed at overturning the papal secular powers in Rome and the Papal States and reviving the Roman republic of antiquity. Among the paganizing Humanists of the Roman Academy under Pomponio Leto, Infessura certainly belonged to the antipapal faction.

Papst and other Catholic authors take pains to discredit the story of Innocent VIII's deathbed. As the Pope sank into a coma, "the harrowing story was told that, at the suggestion of a Jewish physician, the blood of three boys was infused into the dying pontiff’s mouth (the concept of circulation and methods for intravenous access did not exist at that time). They were ten years old, and had been promised a ducat each. All three died." Historians of medicine note this event as the first recorded historical attempt at a blood transfusion.

Related Research Articles

Pope Alexander VII 17th-century Catholic pope

Pope Alexander VII, born Fabio Chigi, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 7 April 1655 to his death in 1667.

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 Innocent VIII pope

Pope Innocent VIII, born Giovanni Battista Cybo, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 29 August 1484 to his death. Son of the viceroy of Naples, Battista spent his early years at the Neapolitan court. He became a priest in the retinue of Cardinal Calandrini, half-brother to Pope Nicholas V (1447–55), Bishop of Savona under Pope Paul II, and with the support of Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere. After intense politicking by Della Rovere, Cibo was elected pope in 1484. King Ferdinand I of Naples had supported Cybo's competitor, Rodrigo Borgia. The following year, Pope Innocent supported the barons in their failed revolt.

Pope Julius II Pope, 1503-1513

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.

Pope Paul II Pope from 1464 to his death in 1471

Pope Paul II, 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.

Ascanio Sforza 1455-1505, Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church

Ascanio Maria Sforza Visconti was an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. Generally known as a skilled diplomat who played a major role in the election of Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI, Sforza served as Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church from 1492 until 1505.

Oliviero Carafa Catholic cardinal

Oliviero Carafa, in Latin: Oliverius Carafa, was an Italian cardinal and diplomat of the Renaissance. Like the majority of his era's prelates, he displayed the lavish and conspicuous standard of living that was expected of a prince of the Church. In his career he set an example of conscientiousness for his contemporaries and mentored his relative, Giovanni Pietro Carafa, who was also "Cardinal Carafa" from 1536 to 1555, when he became Pope Paul IV.

Paris de Grassis was the Master of ceremonies to Pope Julius II and Pope Leo X. He joined the Office of Ceremonies in May 1504 as a participating ceremonialist, progressed to role of president of the Office when he became bishop of Pesaro in 1513, and continued as president until he died in 1528. De Grassis' diary covers his work at the papal court from 1504 to 1521.

1492 papal conclave conclave

The 1492 papal conclave was convened after the death of Pope Innocent VIII. It was the first papal conclave to be held in the Sistine Chapel.

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

1484 papal conclave

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

Stefano Nardini was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal.

Giovanni Arcimboldi Italian cardinal

Giovanni Arcimboldi was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal.

Cosma Orsini was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal.

Pietro Foscari was an Italian Roman Catholic cardinal.

Ardicino della Porta the Younger (1434–1493) was an Italian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal.

San Sebastiano de Via Papae church building in Rome, Italy

San Sebastiano de Via Papae was a small church in the Sant'Eustachio rione of Rome that was demolished in the 1590s in order to enable the construction of the church of Sant'Andrea della Valle.

Agostino Patrizi de Piccolomini was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Pienza (1484–1495) and Bishop of Montalcino (1484–1495).