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Pope Sixtus IV (21 July 1414 – 12 August 1484), born Francesco della Rovere, was head of the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wor ...

Catholic Church
and ruler of the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also '), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign Sovereign is a ...
from 9 August 1471 to his death. His accomplishments as
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

pope
included the construction of the
Sistine Chapel The Sistine Chapel (; la, Sacellum Sixtinum; it, Cappella Sistina ) is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the su ...

Sistine Chapel
and the creation of the
Vatican Archives it, Archivio Apostolico Vaticano , seal = Seal of the Vatican Secret Archives.svg , seal_width = 200px , seal_caption = Former seal of the Vatican Apostolic Archive , logo = , formed = , jurisdiction = , headquarters = Cortile del Belve ...
. A patron of the arts, he brought together the group of artists who ushered the Early
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
into
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
with the first masterpieces of the city's new artistic age. Sixtus founded the
Spanish Inquisition The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition ( es, Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición), commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition ( es, Inquisición española), was established in 1478 by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, Catholic ...
through the bull ''Exigit sincerae devotionis affectus'' (1478), and he annulled the decrees of the
Council of Constance The Council of Constance was a 15th-century ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matter ...
. He was noted for his nepotism and was personally involved in the infamous
Pazzi conspiracy The Pazzi conspiracy ( it, Congiura dei Pazzi, italic=no) was a plot by members of the Pazzi family and others to displace the Medici family as rulers of Renaissance Florence. On 26 April 1478 there was an attempt to assassinate Lorenzo de' ...

Pazzi conspiracy
.


Early life

Francesco was born to a family of modest means from
Liguria it, Ligure , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demographics1_info1 = , demographics1_title2 ...

Liguria
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the Alps, a Italian Peninsula, peninsula and List of islands of Italy, se ...

Italy
, the son of Leonardo della Rovere and Luchina Monleoni. He was born in
Celle Ligure Celle Ligure ( lij, Çelle) is a ''comune'' (municipality) in the Province of Savona in the Italian region Liguria, located about west of Genoa and about northeast of Savona. It borders the comune, comuni of: Albisola Superiore, Stella, Liguria, ...
, a town near
Savona Savona (; local lij, Sann-a , lij, label= Genoese, Savonn-a) is a seaport and '' comune ''in the west part of the northern Italian region of Liguria, capital of the Province of Savona The province of Savona ( it, provincia di Savona; Li ...

Savona
.Miranda, Salvador. ''Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church''
/ref> As a young man, Della Rovere joined the
Franciscan Order The Franciscans are a group of related Mendicant orders, mendicant Christianity, Christian Catholic religious order, religious orders, primarily within the Catholic Church. Founded in 1209 by Saint Francis of Assisi, these orders include the Ord ...
, an unlikely choice for a political career, and his intellectual qualities were revealed while he was studying
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such ques ...

philosophy
and
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity.
at the
University of Pavia The University of Pavia ( it, Università degli Studi di Pavia, UNIPV or ''Università di Pavia''; la, Alma Ticinensis Universitas) is a university located in Pavia Pavia (, , , ; la, Ticinum; Medieval Latin: ) is a town and comune of south-we ...
. He went on to lecture at Padua and many other Italian universities.Butler, Richard Urban. "Pope Sixtus IV." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912
/ref> In 1464, Della Rovere was elected Minister General of the Franciscan order at the age of 50. In 1467, he was appointed
Cardinal Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Christianity * Cardinal (Catholic Church), a senior official of the Catholic Church * Cardinal (Church of England), two members of the College of Minor Canons of St. Paul's Cathedral Navigation * Cardina ...
by
Pope Paul II Pope Paul II ( la, Paulus II; 23 February 1417 – 26 July 1471), born Pietro Barbo, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of ...

Pope Paul II
with the
titular church In the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country ...
being the
Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli :''For other churches of this dedication, see St Peter ad Vincula (disambiguation).'' San Pietro in Vincoli (Saint Peter in Chains) is a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civ ...
. Before his papal election, Cardinal della Rovere was renowned for his unworldliness and had written learned treatises, including ''On the Blood of Christ'' and ''On the Power of God''. His reputation for piety was one of the deciding factors that prompted the
College of Cardinals The College of Cardinals, formerly styled the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all Cardinal (Catholicism), cardinals of the Catholic Church. List of living cardinals, its current membership is 225. Cardinals are appointed by the pop ...
to elect him Pope upon the unexpected death of Paul II at the age of fifty-four.


Papacy

Upon being elected Pope, Della Rovere adopted the name Sixtus, which had not been used since the 5th century. One of his first acts was to declare a renewed
crusade The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...
against the
Ottoman Turks The Ottoman Turks (or Osmanlı Turks, tr, Osmanlı Türkleri) were the Turkish language , Turkish-speaking people of the Ottoman Empire ( 1299–1922/1923). Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks remains scarce, but the ...
in
Smyrna Smyrna ( ; grc, Σμύρνη, Smýrnē, or grc, Σμύρνα, Smýrna) was a Ancient Greece, Greek city located at a strategic point on the Aegean Sea, Aegean coast of Anatolia. Due to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence, an ...
. However, after the conquest of Smyrna, the fleet disbanded."Sisto IV (1414–1484)", Palazzo-Medici Riccardi
Some fruitless attempts were made towards unification with the
Greek ChurchGreek Church may refer to *Church of Greece *Greek Orthodox Church *Greek Catholic Church *Greek Church (bowling term), name of particular spare shot in bowling {{disambig ...
. For the remainder of his pontificate, Sixtus turned to temporal issues and dynastic considerations.


Nepotism

, accompanied by his relatives Sixtus IV sought to strengthen his position by surrounding himself with relatives and friends. In the fresco by
Melozzo da Forlì Melozzo da Forlì (c. 1438 – 8 November 1494) was an Italian Renaissance List of Italian painters, painter and architect. His fresco paintings are notable for the use of foreshortening. He was the most important member of the Forlì painting ...
, he is accompanied by his
Della Rovere The Della Rovere family (; literally "of the oak tree") was a noble family Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately below Royal family, royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy (class), aristocracy ...
and
Riario The House of Riario, sometimes referred to as Riario-Sforza is an Italian noble family from Savona Savona (; local lij, Sann-a , lij, label= Genoese, Savonn-a) is a seaport and '' comune ''in the west part of the northern Italian region ...
nephews, not all of whom were made cardinals; the
protonotary apostolic In the Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholi ...
Pietro Riario Tomb of Cardinal Pietro Riario in Santi Apostoli, Rome, Santi Apostoli Pietro Riario (1445 – 3 January 1474) was an Italian cardinal (Catholic), cardinal and Papal diplomat. Biography Born in Savona, he was the son of Paolo Riario and Pope Sixtu ...
(on his right), the future Pope
Julius II Pope Julius II ( it, Papa Giulio II; la, Iulius II; born Giuliano della Rovere; 5 December 144321 February 1513) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christia ...

Julius II
/ Giuliano Della Rovere standing before him; and
Girolamo Riario Girolamo Riario (1443 – 14 April 1488) was Lord of Imola (from 1473) and Forlì (from 1480). He served as Captain General of the Church under his uncle Pope Sixtus IV. He took part in the 1478 Pazzi Conspiracy against the Medici, and was assassina ...

Girolamo Riario
and
Giovanni della Rovere Giovanni della Rovere (1457 – November 1501) was an Italian condottiero. He was a nephew of Pope Sixtus IV, and the brother of Giuliano della Rovere (1443–1513), Pope Julius II from 1503. Biography Giovanni della Rovere was born at Savona. ...
, behind the kneeling
Platina Platina is a municipality ''(Municipalities of Brazil, município)'' in the state of São Paulo (state), São Paulo in Brazil. The population is 3,578 (2020 est.) in an area of 326.73 km². The elevation is 466 m. References

Municipalities i ...
, author of the first
humanist Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or some ...

humanist
history of the popes. His nephew,
Pietro Riario Tomb of Cardinal Pietro Riario in Santi Apostoli, Rome, Santi Apostoli Pietro Riario (1445 – 3 January 1474) was an Italian cardinal (Catholic), cardinal and Papal diplomat. Biography Born in Savona, he was the son of Paolo Riario and Pope Sixtu ...
, also benefited from his nepotism. Pietro became one of the richest men in
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
and was entrusted with Pope Sixtus' foreign policy. However, Pietro died prematurely in 1474, and his role passed to Giuliano Della Rovere. The secular fortunes of the Della Rovere family began when Sixtus invested his nephew
GiovanniGiovanni may refer to: * Giovanni (name), an Italian male given name and surname * Giovanni (meteorology), a Web interface for users to analyze NASA's gridded data * ''Don Giovanni'', a 1787 opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, based on the legend of D ...
with the lordship of
Senigallia Senigallia (or Sinigaglia in Old Italian, Romagnol: ''S’nigaja'') is a ''comune The (; plural: ) is a basic Administrative division, constituent entity of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and funct ...

Senigallia
and arranged his marriage to the daughter of
Federico III da Montefeltro Federico da Montefeltro, also known as Federico III da Montefeltro KG (7 June 1422 – 10 September 1482), was one of the most successful condottieri ''Condottieri'' (; singular ''condottiero'' or ''condottiere'') were Italian captain Ca ...
, duke of
Urbino Urbino ( ; ; Romagnol: ''Urbìn'') is a walled city in the Marche (man) (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demogr ...

Urbino
; from that union came a line of Della Rovere dukes of Urbino that lasted until the line expired, in 1631. Six of the thirty-four cardinals that he created were his nephews. In his territorial aggrandizement of the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also '), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign Sovereign is a ...
, his niece's son, Cardinal
Raffaele Riario Raffaele Sansoni Galeoti Riario (3 May 1461 – 9 July 1521) was an Italian Cardinal Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Christianity * Cardinal (Catholic Church), a senior official of the Catholic Church * Cardinal (Church of England ...

Raffaele Riario
(for whom the
Palazzo della Cancelleria The Palazzo della Cancelleria (Palace of the Chancellery, referring to the former Apostolic Chancery of the Pope) is a Renaissance palace in Rome, Italy, situated between the present Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and t ...

Palazzo della Cancelleria
was constructed) was suspected of colluding in the failed
Pazzi conspiracy The Pazzi conspiracy ( it, Congiura dei Pazzi, italic=no) was a plot by members of the Pazzi family and others to displace the Medici family as rulers of Renaissance Florence. On 26 April 1478 there was an attempt to assassinate Lorenzo de' ...

Pazzi conspiracy
of 1478 to assassinate both
Lorenzo de' Medici Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici (; 1 January 1449 – 8 April 1492) was an Italian statesman, banker, ''de facto'' ruler of the Florentine Republic and the most powerful and enthusiastic patron of Renaissance culture in Italy. Also known as Lorenzo t ...

Lorenzo de' Medici
and his brother Giuliano and replace them in
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the ...

Florence
with Sixtus IV's other nephew,
Girolamo Riario Girolamo Riario (1443 – 14 April 1488) was Lord of Imola (from 1473) and Forlì (from 1480). He served as Captain General of the Church under his uncle Pope Sixtus IV. He took part in the 1478 Pazzi Conspiracy against the Medici, and was assassina ...
. Francesco Salviati,
Archbishop of Pisa The Archdiocese of Pisa ( la, Archidioecesis Pisana) is a metropolitan see Metropolitan may refer to: * Metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated ...
and a main organizer of the plot, was hanged on the walls of the Florentine
Palazzo della Signoria , the official residence of Emperor of Japan The Emperor of Japan is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head o ...
. Sixtus IV replied with an
interdict In Catholic canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler') is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical jurisdiction, ecclesiastical authority (Church leadership), for the government of a Christ ...
and two years of war with Florence. According to the later published chronicle of the Italian historian Stefano Infessura, ''Diary of the City of Rome'', Sixtus was a "lover of boys and sodomites", awarding benefices and bishoprics in return for sexual favours and nominating a number of young men as cardinals, some of whom were celebrated for their good looks. However, Infessura had partisan allegiances to the
Colonna Colonna, also known as ''Sciarrillo'' or ''Sciarra'', is an Italian noble family, forming part of the papal nobility. It was powerful in medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and co ...
and so is not considered to be always reliable or impartial. The English churchman and
Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. ...
polemicist
John Bale John Bale (21 November 1495 – November 1563) was an English churchman, historian and controversialist, and Bishop of Ossory. He wrote the oldest known historical verse drama in English (on the subject of King John of England, King John), and de ...
, writing a century later, attributed to Sixtus "the authorisation to practice
sodomy Sodomy () or buggery (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval ...
during periods of warm weather" to the "Cardinal of Santa Lucia". This prompted the noted historian of the Catholic Church,
Ludwig von Pastor Ludwig Pastor, later Ludwig von Pastor, Freiherr (; male, abbreviated as ), (; his wife, abbreviated as , literally "free lord" or "free lady") and (, his unmarried daughters and maiden aunts) are designations used as title of nobility, title ...
, to issue a firm rebuttal.


Foreign policy

Sixtus continued a dispute with King
Louis XI of France Louis XI (3 July 1423 – 30 August 1483), called "Louis the Prudent" (french: le Prudent), was King of France from 1461 to 1483. He succeeded his father, Charles VII of France, Charles VII. Louis entered into open rebellion against his father i ...

Louis XI of France
, who upheld the
Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges The Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, issued by King Charles VII of France, on 7 July 1438, required a General Church Council, with authority superior to that of the papacy The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father ...
(1438), which held that papal decrees needed royal assent before they could be promulgated in France. That was a cornerstone of the privileges claimed for the
Gallican Church The Gallican Church was the Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billi ...
and could never be shifted as long as Louis XI manoeuvred to replace King
Ferdinand I of Naples:''Ferdinand I of Naples should not be confused with Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies, a later king of Naples.'' Ferdinand I (2 June 1423 – 25 January 1494), also called Ferrante, was King of Naples from 1458 to 1494. He was an illegitimate son of ...
with a French prince. Louis was thus in conflict with the papacy, and Sixtus could not permit it. On 1 November 1478, Sixtus published the
papal bull A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent File:1768 transfer of the University to Nancy.jpg, upLetters patent transferring a predecessor of the University of Lorraine to Nancy, France, Nancy in 1768 Letters patent ( la, litte ...
''Exigit Sincerae Devotionis Affectus'' through which the
Spanish Inquisition The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition ( es, Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición), commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition ( es, Inquisición española), was established in 1478 by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, Catholic ...
was established in the
Kingdom of Castile The Kingdom of Castile (; es, Reino de Castilla, la, Regnum Castellae) was a large and powerful state on the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to ...
. Sixtus consented under political pressure from Ferdinand of Aragon, who threatened to withhold military support from his kingdom of
Sicily (man) it, Siciliana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Ethnicity , demographics1_footnotes = , demographic ...

Sicily
. Nevertheless, Sixtus IV quarrelled over protocol and prerogatives of jurisdiction; he was unhappy with the excesses of the Inquisition and condemned the most flagrant abuses in 1482. As a temporal prince who constructed stout fortresses in the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also '), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign Sovereign is a ...
, he encouraged the
Venetians Venetian often means from or related to: * Venice, a city in Italy * Veneto, a region of Italy * Republic of Venice (697–1797), a historical nation in that area Venetian and the like may also refer to: * Venetian language, a Romance language sp ...
to attack
Ferrara Ferrara (, ; egl, Fràra ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a local administrative division of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting o ...
, which he wished to obtain for another nephew.
Ercole I d'Este Ercole I d'Este, KG (26 October 1431 – 25 January 1505) was Duke of Ferrara from 1471 until 1505. He was a member of the House of Este The House of Este (, , ) was an Italian city-states, Italian princely family, linked with several contemporar ...

Ercole I d'Este
,
Duke of Ferrara Emperor Frederick III conferred Borso d'Este, Lord of Ferrara Ferrara (, ; egl, Fràra ) is a city and ''comune'' in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital of the Province of Ferrara. it had 132,009 inhabitants. It is situated northeast of B ...
, was allied with the
Sforza Sforza () was a ruling family of Renaissance Italy, based in Milan. They acquired the Duchy of Milan following the extinction of the Visconti of Milan, Visconti family in the mid-15th century, Sforza rule ending in Milan with the death of the last ...

Sforza
s of
Milan Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the List of cities in Italy, second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome. The city proper has a population of about 1.4 million, while its ...

Milan
, the
Medici The House of Medici ( , ) was an Italian banking family and political dynasty that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. The family originated in the Mugel ...

Medici
s of
Florence Florence ( ; it, Firenze ) is a city in Central-Northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern Italy, continental part, delimited by the ...

Florence
along with the
King of Naples The following is a list of rulers of the Kingdom of Naples, from its first Sicilian Vespers, separation from the Kingdom of Sicily to its merger with the same into the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Kingdom of Naples (1282–1501) House of Anjou I ...
, normally a hereditary ally and champion of the papacy. The angered Italian princes allied to force Sixtus IV to make peace to his great annoyance. For refusing to desist from the very hostilities that he himself had instigated and for being a dangerous rival to Della Rovere dynastic ambitions in the
Marche Marche ( , ) is one of the Regions of Italy, twenty regions of Italy. In English, the region is referred to as The Marches ( ). The region is located in the Central Italy, central area of the country, bordered by Emilia-Romagna and the republic ...

Marche
, Sixtus placed Venice under
interdict In Catholic canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler') is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical jurisdiction, ecclesiastical authority (Church leadership), for the government of a Christ ...
in 1483. He also lined the coffers of the state by unscrupulously selling high offices and privileges. In ecclesiastical affairs, Sixtus promoted the dogma of the
Immaculate Conception The Immaculate Conception is a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Ro ...
, which had been confirmed at the
Council of Basle The Council of Florence is the seventeenth ecumenical council recognized by the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest C ...
in 1439, and he designated 8 December as its feastday. In 1476, he issued the apostolic constitution ''Cum Praeexcelsa'', establishing a Mass and Office for the feast. He formally annulled the decrees of the
Council of Constance The Council of Constance was a 15th-century ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matter ...
in 1478.


Slavery

The two papal bulls issued by
Pope Nicholas V Pope Nicholas V ( la, Nicholaus V; 13 November 1397 – 24 March 1455), born Tommaso Parentucelli, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denomination ...

Pope Nicholas V
, '' Dum Diversas'' of 1452 and ''
Romanus Pontifex Romanus (Latin for "Roman"), hellenized as Romanos (Ῥωμανός) was a Roman cognomen and may refer to: People * Adrianus Romanus, Flemish mathematician (1561–1615) * Aquila Romanus, Latin grammarian * Giles of Rome, Aegidius Romanus, mediev ...
'' of 1455, had effectively given the Portuguese the rights to acquire slaves along the African Coast by force or trade. Those concessions were confirmed by Sixtus in his own bull, ''
Aeterni regis The papal bull ''Aeterni regis'' nglish: "Eternal king's"was issued on 21 June 1481 by Pope Sixtus IV Pope Sixtus IV (21 July 1414 – 12 August 1484), born Francesco della Rovere, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal Sta ...
'', of 21 June 1481. Arguably the "ideology of conquest" expounded in those texts became the means by which commerce and conversion were facilitated. In November 1476, Isabel and Fernando ordered an investigation into rights of conquest in the Canary Islands, and in the spring of 1478, they sent Juan Rejon with sixty soldiers and thirty cavalry to the Grand Canary, where the natives retreated inland. Sixtus's earlier threats to excommunicate all captains or pirates who enslaved Christians in the bull ''Regimini Gregis'' of 1476 could have been intended to emphasise the need to convert the natives of the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Canarias, ), also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a ...
and
Guinea Guinea (), officially the Republic of Guinea (french: link=no, République de Guinée), is a coastal country in West Africa. Guinea borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Guinea-Bissau to the northwest, Senegal to the north, Mali to the nor ...

Guinea
and establish a clear difference in status between those who had converted and those who resisted. The ecclesiastical penalties were directed towards those who were enslaving the recent converts.


Princely patronage

As a civic patron in Rome, even the anti-papal chronicler Stefano Infessura agreed that Sixtus should be admired. The dedicatory inscription in the fresco by
Melozzo da Forlì Melozzo da Forlì (c. 1438 – 8 November 1494) was an Italian Renaissance List of Italian painters, painter and architect. His fresco paintings are notable for the use of foreshortening. He was the most important member of the Forlì painting ...
in the
Vatican Palace The Apostolic Palace ( la, Palatium Apostolicum; it, Palazzo Apostolico) is the official residence of the pope, the head of the Catholic Church, located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Papal Palace, the Palace of the Vatican and the Va ...

Vatican Palace
records: "You gave your city temples, streets, squares, fortifications, bridges and restored the
Acqua VergineImage:Colonna - ingresso acquedotto Acqua Vergine a via del Nazzareno 1611.JPG, 250px, The still-functioning entrance to the inspection duct of the Acqua Vergine, at Via del Nazareno. Acqua Vergine is one of several List of aqueducts in the city of ...

Acqua Vergine
as far as the
Trevi TREVI was an intergovernmental network, or forum, of national officials from ministries of justice and the interior outside the European Community framework, proposed during the List of European Council meetings, European Council meeting in Rome ...

Trevi
..." In addition to restoring the aqueduct that provided Rome an alternative to the river water, which had made the city famously unhealthy, he restored or rebuilt over 30 of Rome's dilapidated churches such as San Vitale (1475) and
Santa Maria del Popolo it, Basilica Parrocchiale Santa Maria del Popolo , image = 20140803 Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo Rome 0191.jpg , image_size = , alt = , caption = The church from Piazza del P ...

Santa Maria del Popolo
, and he added seven new ones. The
Sistine Chapel The Sistine Chapel (; la, Sacellum Sixtinum; it, Cappella Sistina ) is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the su ...

Sistine Chapel
was sponsored by Sixtus IV, as was the ''Ponte Sisto'',Morris, Roderick Conway. "When Sixtus IV Needed a Painter", ''New York Times'', May 10, 2011
/ref> the Sistine Bridge (the first new bridge across the
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Tiber
since Antiquity) and the building of ''Via Sistina'' (later named ''Borgo Sant'Angelo''), a road leading from
Castel Sant'Angelo The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant'Angelo (; English: ''Castle of the Holy Angel''), is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder ...

Castel Sant'Angelo
to Saint Peter. All of that was done to facilitate the integration of the
Vatican Hill Vatican Hill (; la, Mons Vaticanus; it, Colle Vaticano) is a hill located across the Tiber river Rome Historical marker, flood marker, 1598, set into a pillar of the Ospedale di Santo Spirito in Sassia, Santo Spirito Hospital near Basilica di ...
and
Borgo Borgo may refer to the following places: Finland * Borgå France * Borgo, Haute-Corse Italy * Borgo (rione of Rome), a ''rione'' in the City of Rome. *Borgo a Mozzano, in the province of Lucca *Borgo d'Ale, in the province of Vercelli *Borgo di ...
with the heart of Old Rome. That was part of a broader scheme of
urbanization Urbanization (or urbanisation) refers to the population shift from rural A rural landscape in Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland. 15 July 2000.">South_Karelia.html" ;"title="Lappeenranta, South Karelia">Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finla ...
carried out under Sixtus IV, who swept the long-established markets from the
Campidoglio and the Servian Wall The Capitolium or Capitoline Hill ( ; it, Campidoglio ; la, Mons Capitolinus ), between the Roman Forum, Forum and the Campus Martius The Campus Martius (Latin for the "Field of Mars", Italian language, Italian ''Ca ...
in 1477 and decreed in a bull of 1480 the widening of streets and the first post-Roman paving, the removal of porticoes and other post-classical impediments to free public passage. Ponte_Sisto,_the_first_bridge_built_at_Rome_since_the_Roman_Empire_.html" ;"title="Roman_Empire.html" ;"title="Ponte Sisto, the first bridge built at Rome since the Roman Empire">Ponte Sisto, the first bridge built at Rome since the Roman Empire ">Roman_Empire.html" ;"title="Ponte Sisto, the first bridge built at Rome since the Roman Empire">Ponte Sisto, the first bridge built at Rome since the Roman Empire At the beginning of his papacy, in 1471, Sixtus had donated several historically important Roman sculptures that founded a papal collection of art, which would eventually develop into the collections of the Capitoline Museums. He also refounded, enriched and enlarged the Vatican Library. He had Regiomontanus attempt the first sanctioned reorganisation of the Julian calendar and increased the size and prestige of the papal chapel choir, bringing singers and some prominent composers ( Gaspar van Weerbeke, Marbrianus de Orto and Bertrandus Vaqueras) to Rome from the north. In addition to being a patron of the arts, Sixtus was a patron of the sciences. Before he became pope, he had spent time at the very liberal and cosmopolitan University of Padua, which maintained considerable independence from the Church and had a very international character. As Pope, he issued a
papal bull A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent File:1768 transfer of the University to Nancy.jpg, upLetters patent transferring a predecessor of the University of Lorraine to Nancy, France, Nancy in 1768 Letters patent ( la, litte ...
allowing local bishops to give the bodies of executed criminals and unidentified corpses to physicians and artists for dissection. It was that access to corpses which allowed the anatomist Vesalius, along with Titian's pupil Jan Van Calcar, Jan Stephen van Calcar, to complete the revolutionary medical/anatomical text ''De humani corporis fabrica''.


Other activities


Consistories

The Pope created 34 cardinals in eight consistories held during his reign, among them three nephews, one grandnephew and one other relative, thus continuing the practice of nepotism that he and his successors would engage in during this period.


Canonizations and beatifications

Sixtus IV named seven new saints, with the most notable being Bonaventure (1482); he also beatified one person, John Buoni (1483).


Uppsala University

In 1477, Sixtus IV issued a
papal bull A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent File:1768 transfer of the University to Nancy.jpg, upLetters patent transferring a predecessor of the University of Lorraine to Nancy, France, Nancy in 1768 Letters patent ( la, litte ...
authorizing the creation of Uppsala University – the first university in Sweden and in the whole of Scandinavia. The choice of this location for the university derived from the fact that the Archbishop of Uppsala, archbishopric of Uppsala had been one of the most important Episcopal See, sees in Sweden proper since Christianity first spread to this region in the ninth century, as well as Uppsala being long-standing hub for regional trade. Uppsala's bull, which granted the university its corporate rights, established a number of provisions. Among the most important of these was that the university was officially given the same freedoms and privileges as the University of Bologna. This included the right to establish the four traditional faculties of
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity.
, law (Canon law (Catholic Church), Canon Law and Roman law), medicine, and philosophy, and to award the bachelor's, master's, licentiate, and doctoral degrees. The archbishop of Uppsala was also named as the university's Chancellor (education), Chancellor, and was charged with maintaining the rights and privileges of the university and its members. This act of Sixtus IV had a profound long-term effect on the society and culture of Sweden, an effect which continues up to the present.


Death

Sixtus IV became ill on 8 August 1484; this illness worsened on 10 August while the pope was attending an event in Rome. He felt unwell that evening and was forced to cancel a meeting he was to hold with his cardinals the following morning. The Pope grew weaker during the night of 11 August and he was unable to sleep. Sixtus IV died the following evening – 12 August. The envoy of the Medici family summed up Sixtus' reign in the announcement to his master, "Today at 5 o'clock His Holiness Sixtus IV departed this life – may God forgive him!". Pope Sixtus's tomb was destroyed in the Sack of Rome (1527), Sack of Rome in 1527. Today, his remains, along with the remains of his nephew Pope Julius II (Giuliano della Rovere), are interred in St. Peter's Basilica, in the floor in front of the monument to Pope Clement X. A marble tombstone marks the site. His bronze funerary monument, now in the basement Treasury of St. Peter's Basilica, made like a giant casket of goldsmith's work, is by Antonio Pollaiuolo. The top of the casket is a lifelike depiction of the Pope lying in state. Around the sides are bas-relief panels depicting allegorical female figures representing Grammar, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, Painting, Astronomy, Philosophy and Theology – the classical Liberal arts education, liberal arts, with the addition of painting and theology. Each figure incorporates the oak tree ("rovere" in Italian), symbol of Sixtus IV. The overall program of the panels, their beauty, complex symbolism, classical references and their relative arrangement are compelling and comprehensive illustrations of the Renaissance worldview. None of them actually states how he died.


Cardinals

Sixtus created an unusually large number of cardinals during his pontificate (23) who were drawn from the roster of the princely houses of Italy, France and Spain, thus ensuring that many of his policies continued after his death: *Giuliano della Rovere (later Pope Julius II) *Stefano Nardini *Pedro González de Mendoza *Giovanni Battista Cybo (later Pope Innocent VIII) *Giovanni Arcimboldi *Philibert Hugonet *Jorge da Costa *Charles II, Duke of Bourbon, Charles de Bourbon *Pierre de Foix le jeune *Girolamo Basso della Rovere *Gabriele Rangone *Pietro Foscari *Joan Margarit i Pau *Raffaele Riario, Raffaele Sansoni Riario *Domenico della Rovere *Paolo Fregoso *Jorge Bardina *Giovanni Battista Savelli *Giovanni Colonna (cardinal, 1456-1508), Giovanni Colonna *Giovanni Conti (cardinal), Giovanni Conti *Juan Moles de Margarit *Giovanni Giacomo Sclafenati *Giovanni Battista Orsini *Ascanio Sforza, Ascanio Maria Sforza-Visconti


Portrayals

Pope Sixtus is portrayed by Arthur Grosser in the short film ''Assassin's Creed: Lineage'', a prequel to the video game ''Assassin's Creed II''. Pope Sixtus is portrayed by James Faulkner (actor), James Faulkner in the historical fantasy ''Da Vinci's Demons'' as having an identical twin, Alessandro. Shortly after the true Pope Sixtus, Francesco, was elected on conclave, Alessandro usurped the Holy See and had his brother locked up in
Castel Sant'Angelo The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant'Angelo (; English: ''Castle of the Holy Angel''), is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder ...

Castel Sant'Angelo
. The series implies that many of the more unsavoury parts of Sixtus' reign were really the work of his evil twin, who was out to gain power for himself. Pope Sixtus is portrayed by Raul Bova in the second season, and John Lynch (actor), John Lynch in the third season of the TV series ''Medici: Masters of Florence''.


See also

*List of popes, List of Popes


Notes


References

* * * Vincenzo Pacifici,''Un carme biografico di Sisto IV del 1477'', Società Tiburtina di Storia e d'Arte, Tivoli, 192

*''"The Historical Encyclopedia of World slavery"'', Editor Junius P. Rodriguez, ABC-CLIO, 1997, *''"Black Africans in Renaissance Europe"'', Thomas Foster Earle, K. J. P. Lowe, Cambridge University Press, 2005, *''"Christopher Columbus and the enslavement of the Amerindians in the Caribbean. (Columbus and the New World Order 1492–1992)."'', Sued-Badillo, Jalil, Monthly Review. Monthly Review Foundation, Inc. 1992. HighBeam Research. 10 Aug. 2009 *"''Castile, Portugal, and the Canary Islands: Claims and Counterclaims, 1344–1479"'', Joseph F. O'Callaghan, 1993, p. 287–310, Viator, Volume 24 *"Variations of Popery", Samuel Edgar D.D. Internet Archive, Ebooks and Texts.


Further reading

* * , father of Francesco della Rovere, Pope Sixtus IV * Roberto Weiss ''The medals of Pope Sixtus IV'' (1471–1484) (1961) {{DEFAULTSORT:Sixtus 4 Pope Sixtus IV, 1414 births 1484 deaths Della Rovere family People from Savona Italian Friars Minor University of Pavia alumni Scotism University of Perugia faculty 15th-century Italian Christian monks Ministers General of the Order of Friars Minor Franciscan popes Renaissance Papacy Italian popes Popes 15th-century popes Italian art patrons