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 making an attempt urgently to show a warning—conspirators have been mendacity in wait to slay the pontiff. Twenty humanist intellectuals have been speedy arrested, tortured at the rack, and imprisoned in separate cells within the damp dungeon of Castel Sant’Angelo.
Anthony D’Elia bargains a compelling, amazing 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 came upon resources, he exhibits why the pope distinct the humanists, who have been obvious as dangerously pagan of their Epicurean morals and their Platonic ideals concerning the soul and insurrectionist of their help of a extra democratic Church. Their fascination with Sultan Mehmed II attached them to the Ottoman Turks, enemies of Christendom, and the affection of the classical global tied them to contemporary rebellious makes an attempt to switch papal rule with a republic paying homage to the fantastic days of Roman antiquity.
From the cosmetic-wearing, parrot-loving pontiff to the Turkish sultan, savage in conflict yet captivated with Italian tradition, D’Elia brings to lifestyles a Renaissance international choked with pageantry, mayhem, and conspiracy and gives a clean interpretation of humanism as a dynamic communal move.
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Additional info for A Sudden Terror: The Plot to Murder the Pope in Renaissance Rome
At this point the procession stopped before the pope’s window, and Diana declared that there was no place in the world that would not gladly submit to the pope’s rule (imperium), so just and holy. ”28 Criticism of Paul’s displays of magniﬁcence was inevitable. In 1466 one unemployed scholar, Giannantonio Campano, praised the pope but also offered a backhanded critique: “You are resplendent and illustrious. Even if this is most worthy of the highest pontiff, people are not lacking who interpret the matter otherwise.
The new pope’s family connections helped him get elected and assured a successful reassertion of papal power in Rome. Martin spent his pontiﬁcate renovating Rome and enriching the church coffers, but also his family and friends. Pandone dei Pandoni was an unlikely republican rebel. ”5 His long career consisted of an endless series of largely unsuccessful attempts to win patronage for his decidedly mediocre verse. If Renaissance humanists have a reputation for being insincere sycophants who changed opinions as often as they changed benefactors, for whom they produced cloyingly laudatory poems, it was because of humanists like Porcellio.
For this reason you not only had coins minted in your image but placed them in the foundations and walls of buildings, so that when they fall down after a thousand years, monuments to your name might spring up. . A zealous imitator of ancient vanitas, you bestow secular games and banquets on the Romans . . so that your pontiﬁcate will not fall silent after you. Pardon me, Paul, this is neither true praise nor viewed as a priest’s duty. It is vanity. ”30 Such criticism did not dampen the pope’s enthusiasm for extravagant display—indeed, if anything it prompted him to ﬂaunt his tastes—but it surely contributed to Paul’s animosity toward the humanists.