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Pope
Pope
Urban VIII (Latin: Urbanus VIII; baptised 5 April 1568 – 29 July 1644), reigned as Pope
Pope
from 6 August 1623 to his death in 1644. He expanded the papal territory by force of arms and advantageous politicking, and was also a prominent patron of the arts and a reformer of Church missions. However, the massive debts incurred during his pontificate greatly weakened his successors, who were unable to maintain the papacy's longstanding political and military influence in Europe. He was also involved in a controversy with Galileo
Galileo
and his theory on heliocentrism during his reign. No pope since has taken the name Urban.

Contents

1 Biography

1.1 Early life

2 Papacy

2.1 Politics 2.2 Patron of the arts 2.3 Later life 2.4 Death and legacy

3 Private revelation 4 Portrayals in fiction 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Biography[edit] Early life[edit]

C. 1598 painting of Maffeo Barberini
Barberini
at age 30 by Caravaggio

He was born Maffeo Barberini
Barberini
in April 1568[1] to Antonio Barberini, a Florentine nobleman, and Camilla Barbadoro. His father died when he was only three years old and his mother took him to Rome, where he was put in the charge of his uncle, Francesco Barberini, an apostolic protonotary.[2] At the age of 16 he became his uncle's heir.[3] He was educated by the Society of Jesus, ("Jesuits") and received a doctorate of law from the University of Pisa
University of Pisa
in 1589. In 1601, Barberini, through the influence of his uncle, was able to secure from Pope
Pope
Clement VIII appointment as a papal legate to the court of King Henry IV of France. In 1604, the same pope appointed him as the Archbishop
Archbishop
of Nazareth,[2] an office joined with that of Bishop of the suppressed Dioceses of Canne and Monteverde, with his residence at Barletta. At the death of his uncle, he inherited his riches, with which he bought a palace in Rome
Rome
which he made into a luxurious Renaissance residence.[citation needed] Pope Paul V
Pope Paul V
also later employed Barberini
Barberini
in a similar capacity, afterwards raising him, in 1606, to the order of the Cardinal-Priest, with the titular church of San Pietro in Montorio and appointing him as a papal legate of Bologna.[2] Papacy[edit]

Pope
Pope
Urban VIII, 1643

Papal styles of Pope
Pope
Urban VIII

Reference style His Holiness

Spoken style Your Holiness

Religious style Holy Father

Posthumous style None

On 6 August 1623, at the papal conclave following the death of Pope Gregory XV, Barberini
Barberini
was chosen as Gregory XV's successor and took the name Urban VIII. Upon Pope
Pope
Urban VIII's election, Zeno, the Venetian envoy, wrote the following description of him:[4]

The new Pontiff is 56 years old. His Holiness is tall, dark, with regular features and black hair turning grey. He is exceptionally elegant and refined in all details of his dress; has a graceful and aristocratic bearing and exquisite taste. He is an excellent speaker and debater, writes verses and patronises poets and men of letters.

Urban VIII's papacy covered 21 years of the Thirty Years' War, (1618-1648), and was an eventful one even by the standards of the day. He canonized Elizabeth of Portugal, Andrew Corsini
Andrew Corsini
and Conrad of Piacenza, and issued the papal bulls of canonization for Ignatius of Loyola (founder of the Society of Jesus,"Jesuits") and Francis Xavier, (also a Jesuit ) who had been canonized by his predecessor, Pope Gregory XV. Despite an early friendship and encouragement for his teachings, Urban VIII was responsible for summoning the scientist and astronomer Galileo
Galileo
to Rome
Rome
in 1633 to recant his work. Urban VIII practiced nepotism on a grand scale; various members of his family were enormously enriched by him, so that it seemed to contemporaries as if were establishing a Barberini
Barberini
dynasty.[5] He elevated his brother Antonio Marcello Barberini
Barberini
(Antonio the Elder) and then his nephews Francesco Barberini
Barberini
and Antonio Barberini (Antonio the Younger) to Cardinal. He also bestowed upon their brother, Taddeo Barberini, the titles Prince of Palestrina, Gonfalonier of the Church, Prefect
Prefect
of Rome
Rome
and Commander of Sant'Angelo. Historian Leopold von Ranke
Leopold von Ranke
estimated that during his reign, Urban VIII's immediate family amassed 105 million scudi in personal wealth.[6]

Engraving of Pope
Pope
Urban VIII

Urban VIII was a skilled writer of Latin verse, and a collection of Scriptural paraphrases as well as original hymns of his composition have been frequently reprinted. The 1638 papal bull Commissum Nobis protected the existence of Jesuit missions in South America
South America
by forbidding the enslavement of natives who were at the Jesuit Reductions.[7][8] At the same time, Urban VIII repealed the Jesuit monopoly on missionary work in China and Japan, opening these countries to missionaries of other orders and missionary societies.[9] Urban VIII issued a 1624 papal bull that made the use of tobacco in holy places punishable by excommunication;[10] Pope
Pope
Benedict XIII repealed the ban one hundred years later.[11] Politics[edit] Urban VIII's military involvement was aimed less at the restoration of Catholicism in Europe
Europe
than at adjusting the balance of power to favour his own independence in Italy. In 1626, the duchy of Urbino was incorporated into the papal dominions, and, in 1627, when the direct male line of the Gonzagas in Mantua
Mantua
became extinct, he controversially favoured the succession of the Protestant Duke Charles of Nevers against the claims of the Catholic Habsburgs. He also launched the Wars of Castro
Wars of Castro
in 1641 against Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, whom he excommunicated. Castro was destroyed and its duchy incorporated into the Papal States.

Bust of Urban VIII, Gianlorenzo Bernini, 1637–8

Urban VIII was the last pope to extend the papal territory. He fortified Castelfranco Emilia
Castelfranco Emilia
on the Mantuan frontier and commissioned Vincenzo Maculani
Vincenzo Maculani
to fortify the Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo
in Rome. Urban VIII also established an arsenal in the Vatican, an arms factory at Tivoli and fortified the harbour of Civitavecchia. For the purposes of making cannon and the baldacchino in St Peters, massive bronze girders were pillaged from the portico of the Pantheon leading to the well known lampoon: quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt Barberini, "what the barbarians did not do, the Barberini
Barberini
did."[9] Patron of the arts[edit] Urban VIII and his family patronized art on a grand scale.[1] He expended vast sums bringing polymaths like Athanasius Kircher
Athanasius Kircher
to Rome and funding various substantial works by the sculptor and architect Bernini
Bernini
who was particularly favored during Urban VIII's reign. As well as several portrait busts of Urban, Urban commissioned Bernini
Bernini
to work on the family palace in Rome, the Palazzo Barberini, the College of the Propaganda Fide, the Fontana del Tritone
Fontana del Tritone
in the Piazza Barberini, the baldacchino and cathedra in St Peter's Basilica
St Peter's Basilica
and other prominent structures in the city. Numerous members of Barberini's family also had their likeness caught in stone by Bernini, such as his brothers Carlo and Antonio. Urban also had rebuilt the Church of Santa Bibiana
Santa Bibiana
and the Church of San Sebastiano al Palatino on the Palatine Hill. The Barberini
Barberini
patronised painters such as Nicolas Poussin
Nicolas Poussin
and Claude Lorrain. One of the most eulogistic of these artistic works in its celebration of his reign, is the huge Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini
Barberini
Power painted by Pietro da Cortona
Pietro da Cortona
on the ceiling of the large salon of the Palazzo Barberini. Later life[edit]

Statue of Pope
Pope
Urban VIII sculpted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Bernini
and his students between 1635 and 1640, and currently on display at the Palazzo dei Conservatori
Palazzo dei Conservatori
in Rome.

A consequence of these military and artistic endeavours was a massive increase in papal debt. Urban VIII inherited a debt of 16 million scudi, and by 1635 had increased it to 28 million. According to contemporary John Bargrave, in 1636 members of the Spanish faction of the College of Cardinals
College of Cardinals
were so horrified by the conduct of Pope
Pope
Urban VIII that they conspired to have him arrested and imprisoned (or killed) so that they could replace him with a new pope; namely Laudivio Zacchia.[12] When Urban VIII travelled to Castel Gandolfo to rest, the members of the Spanish faction met in secret and discussed ways to advance their plan. But they were discovered and the pope raced back to Rome
Rome
where he immediately held a consistory and demanded to know who the new pope was. To put an end to the conspiracy, the pope decreed that all Cardinal-Bishops should leave Rome
Rome
and return to their own churches.[12] With the Spanish plan having failed, by 1640 the debt had reached 35 million scudi, consuming more than 80% of annual papal income in interest repayments.[13] Death and legacy[edit] Urban VIII's death on 29 July 1644 is said to have been hastened by chagrin at the result of the Wars of Castro. Because of the costs incurred by the city of Rome
Rome
to finance this war, Urban VIII became immensely unpopular with his subjects. On his death, the bust of Urban VIII that lay beside the Palace of the Conservators on the Capitoline Hill
Capitoline Hill
was rapidly destroyed by an enraged crowd, and only a quick-thinking priest saved the sculpture of the late pope belonging to the Jesuits
Jesuits
from a similar fate.[14] Following his death, international and domestic machinations resulted in the papal conclave not electing Cardinal Giulio Cesare Sacchetti, who was closely associated with some members of the Barberini
Barberini
family. Instead, it elected Cardinal Giovanni Battista Pamphili, who took the name of Innocent X, as his successor at the papal conclave of 1644. Private revelation[edit]

Bust by Giovanni Gonnelli

In the papal bull Sanctissimus Dominus Noster of 13 March 1625, Urban instructed Catholics not to venerate the deceased or represent them in the manner of saints without Church sanction. It required a bishop’s approval for the publication of private revelations. Since the nineteenth century, it has become common for books of popular devotion to carry a disclaimer. One read in part: "In obedience to the decrees of Urban the Eighth, I declare that I have no intention of attributing any other than a purely human authority to the miracles, revelations, favours, and particular cases recorded in this book...."[15][16][17] Portrayals in fiction[edit] Urban VIII is a recurring character, not quite a major character but definitely more than a minor one, in the Ring of Fire alternate history hypernovel by Eric Flint et al. where he is favorably portrayed. He is especially prominent in 1634: The Galileo
Galileo
Affair (in which he made the fictional Grantville priest, Larry Mazzare, a cardinal), and in 1635: The Cannon Law, 1635: The Papal Stakes, and 1636: The Vatican Sanction. See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Urbanus VIII.

Barberini Wars of Castro Portrait of Maffeo Barberini Cardinals created by Urban VIII

References[edit]

^ a b Weech, William Nassau (1905). URBAN VIII: Being the Lothian Prize Essay, 1903. London: Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd. pp. 1–128. Retrieved October 31, 2014.  ^ a b c Ott, Michael T. (1912). " Pope
Pope
Urban VIII". The Catholic Encyclopedia. XV. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 2007-09-07.  ^ Keyvanian, Carla. “Concerted Efforts: The Quarter of the Barberini Casa Grande in Seventeenth- Century Rome.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 64, no 3 (2005): 294. ^ The triple crown: an account of the papal conclaves from the fifteenth century to the present day by Valérie Pirie (Sidgwick & Jackson, 1935) ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2012-03-06.  ^ History of the popes; their church and state (Volume III) by Leopold von Ranke ( Wellesley College
Wellesley College
Library, reprint; 2009) ^ Mooney, James (June 1910). "Catholic Encyclopedia Volume VII". Robert Appleton Company, New York. Retrieved 2007-06-07.  ^ Joel S. Panzer, The Popes and Slavery, Staten Island, New York, Society of St. Paul, 1996, pp.89-91. ^ a b van Helden, Al (1995). "The Galileo
Galileo
Project". Rice University. Retrieved 2007-09-07.  ^ Gately, Iain (2001). Tobacco: A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-8021-3960-4.  ^ Cutler, Abigail. "The Ashtray of History", The Atlantic Monthly, January/February 2007. ^ a b Pope
Pope
Alexander the Seventh and the College of Cardinals
College of Cardinals
by John Bargrave, edited by James Craigie Robertson (reprint; 2009) ^ Duffy, Eamon (1997). Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09165-6.  ^ Ernesta Chinazzi, Sede Vacante per la morte del Papa Urbano VIII Barberini
Barberini
e conclave di Innocenzo X Pamfili, Rome, 1904, 13. ^ Walsh Pasulka, Diana (2015). Heaven Can Wait: Purgatory in Catholic Devotional and Popular Culture. Oxford University Press. p. 127. Retrieved 30 November 2017.  ^ Boruchoff, David A. (2014). "Martín de Murúa, Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, and the Contested Uses of Saintly Models in Writing Colonial American History". In Kirk, Stephanie; Rivett, Sarah. Religious Transformations in the Early Modern Americas. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 283.  ^ Windeatt, Mary Fabyan (2013). Saint Benedict: The Story of the Father of the Western Monks. TAN Books. 

External links[edit] Information about Barbernini's membership of Italian academies, and of his links with other intellectuals of his time can be found on the British Library's database of Italian Academies and their members

http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/ItalianAcademies/Default.aspx

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