By Anthony F. D'Elia
In 1468, at the ultimate evening of Carnival in Rome, Pope Paul II sat enthroned above the boisterous crowd, while a scuffle stuck his eye. His guards had intercepted a mysterious stranger attempting urgently to exhibit a warning—conspirators have been mendacity in wait to slay the pontiff. Twenty humanist intellectuals have been fast arrested, tortured at the rack, and imprisoned in separate cells within the damp dungeon of Castel Sant’Angelo.
Anthony D’Elia deals a compelling, incredible tale that unearths a Renaissance global that witnessed the rebirth of curiosity within the classics, a thriving homoerotic tradition, the conflict of Christian and pagan values, the competition among republicanism and a papal monarchy, and tensions setting apart Christian Europeans and Muslim Turks. utilizing newly chanced on assets, he exhibits why the pope detailed the humanists, who have been noticeable as dangerously pagan of their Epicurean morals and their Platonic ideals in regards to the soul and insurrectionist of their help of a extra democratic Church. Their fascination with Sultan Mehmed II hooked up them to the Ottoman Turks, enemies of Christendom, and the affection of the classical international tied them to contemporary rebellious makes an attempt to switch papal rule with a republic paying homage to the wonderful days of Roman antiquity.
From the cosmetic-wearing, parrot-loving pontiff to the Turkish sultan, savage in struggle yet captivated with Italian tradition, D’Elia brings to lifestyles a Renaissance global packed with pageantry, mayhem, and conspiracy and gives a clean interpretation of humanism as a dynamic communal circulate.
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Extra info for A Sudden Terror: The Plot to Murder the Pope in Renaissance Rome
In a most beautiful body there must be a most beautiful mind. —Francesco Filelfo, letter to Pope Paul, September 15, 1464 he news of Paul’s election to the papacy in 1464 was greeted with great rejoicing. ”1 From the start Paul signaled that his pontiﬁcate would be more magniﬁcent and more regal than those of earlier pontiffs. 2 Paul was crowned in front of Saint Peter’s not with a new tiara (as popes generally were) but with the ancient one that was said to have belonged to Pope Sylvester (314–345) and had not been used since.
14 Rome may have been sedated by this swift vengeance, but war raged in the countryside. Soldiers from Naples, Venice, Florence, and Milan clashed, and as usual the peasants suffered. Just as Eugene was gaining the upper hand, he was struck by a sudden illness, possibly caused by poison. The pope hastily reconciled with the Colonna and made peace. Eugene now had to turn his attention to a group of cardinals who had called a church council in Basel. Their aim was to achieve ratiﬁcation of their conciliarist view that a council of cardinals was superior to the pope and in fact could depose a pope.
After dismissing the humanists from their jobs, Egidio says, Paul then sold those same jobs to others at a proﬁt. Venality in the sale of ofﬁces was to be a hallmark of the Renaissance papacy. 64 Reform may have been one motive for Paul’s cutbacks in the college of abbreviators, but there was also proﬁt to be made in the resale of the positions the humanists had held. The most salient feature of this episode, however, was the threat to call a council. ” After losing his position in the papal government, Platina told the pope that he would bring the matter to the ecclesiastical court, the Rota.