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Pope
Pope
Sixtus IV (21 July 1414 – 12 August 1484), born Francesco della Rovere, was Pope
Pope
from 9 August 1471 to his death in 1484. His accomplishments as pope included building the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
and the creation of the Vatican Archives. A patron of the arts, the group of artists that he brought together introduced the Early Renaissance
Renaissance
into Rome
Rome
with the first masterpieces of the city's new artistic age. Sixtus aided the Spanish Inquisition, though he fought to prevent abuses therein, and annulled the decrees of the Council of Constance. He was famed for his nepotism and was personally involved in the infamous Pazzi conspiracy.[1]

Contents

1 Biography

1.1 Early career 1.2 Papal election 1.3 Nepotism 1.4 Foreign policy 1.5 Slavery 1.6 Princely patronage 1.7 Death

2 The cardinals of Sixtus IV 3 Portrayals 4 Notes 5 References 6 Further reading

Biography[edit] Early career[edit] Francesco was born to a family of modest means from Liguria, Italy, the son of Leonardo della Rovere and Luchina Monleoni. He was born in Celle Ligure, a town near Savona.[2] As a young man Della Rovere
Della Rovere
joined the Franciscan Order, an unlikely choice for a political career, and his intellectual qualities were revealed while he was studying philosophy and theology at the University of Pavia. He went on to lecture at Padua and many other Italian universities.[3] In 1464, Della Rovere
Della Rovere
was elected Minister General of the Franciscan order at the age of 50. In 1467, he was appointed Cardinal by Pope Paul II with the titular church being the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli. Before his papal election, Cardinal della Rovere was renowned for his unworldliness and had even written learned treatises entitled On the Blood of Christ
Christ
and On the Power of God.[4] His pious reputation was one of the deciding factors that prompted the College of Cardinals to elect him pope upon the unexpected death of Paul II at the age of fifty-four.[5] Papal election[edit] Main article: Papal conclave, 1471 Upon being elected pope Della Rovere
Della Rovere
adopted the name Sixtus – a name that had not been used since the 5th century. One of his first acts was to declare a renewed crusade against the Ottoman Turks in Smyrna. However, after the conquest of Smyrna, the fleet disbanded.[6] Some fruitless attempts were made towards unification with the Greek Church. For the remainder of his pontificate, Sixtus turned to temporal issues and dynastic considerations. Nepotism[edit]

Pope
Pope
Sixtus IV appoints Platina as Prefect of the Library, by Melozzo da Forlì, 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
he is accompanied by his Della Rovere
Della Rovere
and Riario
Riario
nephews, not all of whom were made cardinals: the protonotary apostolic Pietro Riario
Riario
(on his right), the future Pope
Pope
Julius II
Julius II
standing before him, and Girolamo Riario
Riario
and Giovanni della Rovere behind the kneeling Platina, author of the first humanist history of the Popes.[7] His nephew Pietro Riario
Riario
also benefited from his nepotism. Pietro became one of the richest men in Rome
Rome
and was entrusted with Pope
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
Della Rovere
family began when Sixtus invested his nephew Giovanni with the lordship of Senigallia
Senigallia
and arranged his marriage to the daughter of Federico III da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino; from this union came a line of Della Rovere
Della Rovere
dukes of Urbino
Urbino
that lasted until the line expired in 1631.[8] Six of the thirty-four cardinals that he created were his nephews.[9] In his territorial aggrandizement of the Papal States, Sixtus' niece's son Cardinal Raffaele Riario, for whom the Palazzo della Cancelleria was constructed, was a leader in the failed Pazzi conspiracy
Pazzi conspiracy
of 1478 to assassinate both Lorenzo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici
and his brother Giuliano and replace them in Florence
Florence
with Sixtus IV's other nephew, Girolamo Riario. Francesco Salviati, Archbishop of Pisa
Archbishop of Pisa
and a main organizer of the plot, was hanged on the walls of the Florentine Palazzo della Signoria. To this, Sixtus IV replied with an interdict 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.[10][11][12] [13] However, Infessura had partisan allegiances to the Colonna
Colonna
and so is not considered to be always reliable or impartial.[14] The English churchman and protestant polemicist John Bale
John Bale
writing a century later, attributed to Sixtus "the authorisation to practice sodomy during periods of warm weather" to the "Cardinal of Santa Lucia".[15] However, such accusations are easily dismissed as anti-Catholic propaganda,[10] but did nevertheless prompt the noted historian of the Catholic Church, Ludwig von Pastor, to issue a firm rebuttal.[16] Foreign policy[edit] Sixtus continued a dispute with King Louis XI of France, who upheld the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges (1438), according to which papal decrees needed royal assent before they could be promulgated in France.[3] This was a cornerstone of the privileges claimed for the Gallican Church, and could never be shifted as long as Louis XI maneuvered to replace King Ferdinand I of Naples
Ferdinand I of Naples
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 Exigit Sincerae Devotionis Affectus, through which the Spanish Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
was established in the Kingdom of Castile. Sixtus consented under political pressure from Ferdinand of Aragon, who threatened to withhold military support from his kingdom of Sicily.[17] Nevertheless, Sixtus IV quarrelled over protocol and prerogatives of jurisdiction, was unhappy with the excesses of the Inquisition
Inquisition
and condemned the most flagrant abuses in 1482.[18] As a temporal prince who constructed stout fortresses in the Papal States, he encouraged the Venetians to attack Ferrara, which he wished to obtain for another nephew. Ercole I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, was allied with the Sforzas of Milan, the Medicis of Florence
Florence
along with the King of Naples, 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.[3] For refusing to desist from the very hostilities that he himself had instigated (and for being a dangerous rival to Della Rovere
Della Rovere
dynastic ambitions in the Marche), Sixtus placed Venice under interdict in 1483. He also lined the coffers of the state by unscrupulously selling high offices and privileges.[6] In ecclesiastical affairs, Sixtus promoted the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which had been confirmed at the Council of Basle in 1439[6] and designated 8 December as the Feast day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. 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
Council of Constance
in 1478. Slavery[edit] The two papal bulls issued by Pope
Pope
Nicholas V, Dum Diversas
Dum Diversas
of 1452 and Romanus Pontifex
Romanus Pontifex
of 1455, had effectively given the Portuguese the rights to acquire slaves along the African coast by force or trade. These concessions were confirmed by Sixtus in his own bull, Aeterni regis of 21 June 1481.[19] Arguably the "ideology of conquest" expounded in these texts became the means by which commerce and conversion were facilitated.[20] 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' 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 and Guinea
Guinea
and establish a clear difference in status between those who had converted and those who resisted.[21] The ecclesiastical penalties were directed towards those who were enslaving the recent converts.[22] Princely patronage[edit]

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
in the Vatican Palace records: "You gave your city temples, streets, squares, fortifications, bridges and restored the Acqua Vergine
Acqua Vergine
as far as the Trevi..." In addition to restoring the aqueduct that provided Rome
Rome
an alternative to the river water that had made the city famously unhealthy, he restored or rebuilt over 30 of Rome's dilapidated churches, among them San Vitale (1475) and Santa Maria del Popolo, and added seven new ones. The Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
was sponsored by Sixtus IV, as was the Ponte Sisto,[7] the Sistine Bridge – the first new bridge across the Tiber
Tiber
since antiquity – and the building of Via Sistina (later named Borgo Sant'Angelo), a road leading from Castel Sant'Angelo
Castel Sant'Angelo
to Saint Peter. All this was done to facilitate the integration of the Vatican Hill
Vatican Hill
and Borgo with the heart of old Rome. This was part of a broader scheme of urbanization carried out under Sixtus IV, who swept the long-established markets from the Campidoglio 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
Rome
since the Roman Empire

At the beginning of his papacy in 1471, Sixtus donated several historically important Roman sculptures that founded a papal collection of art that would eventually develop into the collections of the Capitoline Museums. He also re-founded, enriched and enlarged the Vatican Library.[7] He had Regiomontanus
Regiomontanus
attempt the first sanctioned reorganization of the Julian calendar
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
Rome
from the North. In addition to being a patron of the arts, Sixtus was a patron of the sciences. Before becoming pope, he spent time at the then 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 allowing local bishops to give the bodies of executed criminals and unidentified corpses to physicians and artists for dissection. It was this access to corpses which allowed the anatomist Vesalius, along with Titian's pupil Jan Stephen van Calcar, to complete the revolutionary medical/anatomical text De humani corporis fabrica. He had a Castle. Death[edit]

Tomb of Pope
Pope
Sixtus IV by Antonio del Pollaiolo

Pope
Pope
Sixtus' tomb was destroyed in the Sack of Rome
Rome
in 1527. Today, his remains, along with the remains of his nephew Pope
Pope
Julius II (Giuliano della Rovere), are interred in St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
in the floor in front of the monument to Pope
Pope
Clement X. A marble tombstone marks the site. His bronze funerary monument, now in the basement Treasury of St. Peter's Basilica, like a giant casket of goldsmith's work, is by Antonio Pollaiuolo. The top of the casket is a lifelike depiction of the Pope
Pope
lying in state. Around the sides are bas relief panels, depicting with allegorical female figures the arts and sciences (Grammar, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, Painting, Astronomy, Philosophy, and Theology). Each figure incorporates the oak tree ("rovere" in Italian) symbol of Sixtus IV. The overall program of these panels, their beauty, complex symbolism, classical references, and arrangement relative to each other is one of the most compelling and comprehensive illustrations of the Renaissance
Renaissance
worldview. None of which actually states how he died. The cardinals of Sixtus IV[edit] See also: Cardinals created by Sixtus IV Sixtus created an unusually large number of cardinals during his pontificate (twenty-three), 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
Giuliano della Rovere
(later Pope
Pope
Julius II) Stefano Nardini Pedro González de Mendoza Giovanni Battista Cybo (later Pope
Pope
Innocent VIII) Giovanni Arcimboldi Philibert Hugonet Jorge da Costa Charles de Bourbon Pierre de Foix le jeune Girolamo Basso della Rovere Gabriele Rangone Pietro Foscari

Juan of Aragon Raffaele Sansoni Riario Domenico della Rovere Paolo Fregoso Jorge Bardina Giovanni Battista Savelli Giovanni Colonna Giovanni Conti Juan Moles de Margarit Giovanni Giacomo Sclafenati Giovanni Battista Orsini Ascanio Maria Sforza-Visconti

Portrayals[edit] Pope
Pope
Sixtus is portrayed by James Faulkner in the historical fantasy Da Vinci's Demons. In this show, he is portrayed as having an identical twin, Alessandro. Shortly after the true Pope
Pope
Sixtus, Francesco, was elected on conclave, Alessandro usurped the Holy See and had his brother locked up in Castel Sant'Angelo. The series thus implies that many of the more unsavory parts of Sixtus' reign were really the work of his twin, out to gain power for himself. Pope
Pope
Sixtus will be portrayed by Raul Bova
Raul Bova
in the second season of the TV series Medici: Masters of Florence.[23] Notes[edit]

^ Lauro Martines, April Blood: Florence
Florence
and the Plot Against the Medici, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 150–196. ^ Miranda, Salvador. Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church ^ a b c Butler, Richard Urban. " Pope
Pope
Sixtus IV." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 25 Jul. 2014 ^ Martines, April Blood, p. 159 ^ Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, New York: HarpersSanFrancisco, 1997, p.264-5. ^ a b c "Sisto IV (1414-1484)", Palazzo- Medici
Medici
Riccardi Archived 2014-08-10 at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b c Morris, Roderick Conway. "When Sixtus IV Needed a Painter", New York Times, May 10, 2011 ^ On his premature death (1501), Giovanni entrusted his son Francesco Maria to Federico's successor Guidobaldo (Duke of Urbino
Urbino
1482–1508) who, without an heir, devised the duchy on the boy. ^ McBrien, Lives of the Popes, p. 265. ^ a b Havelock Ellis (2007-07-30). Studies in the psychology of sex. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-06-23.  ^ Nigel Cawthorne (1996). "Sex Lives of the Popes". Prion. p. 160.  Missing or empty url= (help) ^ Stefano Infessura, Diario della città di Roma (1303–1494), Ist. St. italiano, Tip. Forzani, Roma 1890, pp. 155-156 ^ Gollmann, Wilhelm (1854). Homeopathic Guide to all Diseases Urinary and Sexual Organ. Charles Julius Hempel. Rademacher & Sheek.  ^ Egmont Lee, Sixtus IV and Men of Letters, Rome, 1978 ^ Giovanni Lydus, Analecta in librum Nicolai de Clemangiis, De corrupto Ecclesiae statu. In calce a: Nicolas de Clemanges, Opera omnia, Elzevirius & Laurentius, Lugduni Batavorum 1593, p. 9) ^ Ludwig Pastor, History of the Popes [1889], vol. II, Desclée, Roma 1911, pp. 608-611 ^ Gollmann, Wilhelm (1854). Homeopathic Guide to all Diseases Urinary and Sexual Organ. Charles Julius Hempel. Rademacher & Sheek.  ^ "Sixtus IV." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2008 Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008. ^ Raiswell, p. 469 see also "Black Africans in Renaissance
Renaissance
Europe", P. 281 ^ Traboulay 1994, P. 78-79. ^ Sued-Badillo (2007), see also O'Callaghan, p. 287-310 ^ "Slavery and the Catholic Church", John Francis Maxwell, p. 52, Barry Rose Publishers, 1975 ^ Clarke, Stewart (10 August 2017). "Daniel Sharman and Bradley James Join Netflix's 'Medici' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 11 August 2017. 

References[edit]

Vincenzo Pacifici,Un carme biografico di Sisto IV del 1477, Società Tiburtina di Storia e d'Arte, Tivoli, 1921 [1](in Italian) "The Historical Encyclopedia of World slavery", Editor Junius P. Rodriguez, ABC-CLIO, 1997, ISBN 0-87436-885-5 "Black Africans in Renaissance
Renaissance
Europe", Thomas Foster Earle, K. J. P. Lowe, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-521-81582-7 "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

Further reading[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sixtus IV.

Texts on Wikisource:

" Pope
Pope
Sixtus IV" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia Clark, J. W., On the Vatican Library
Vatican Library
of Sixtus IV

Short Biography Marek, Miroslav. "Genealogy of Leonardo della Rovere". Genealogy.EU. [self-published source],[better source needed] father of Francesco della Rovere, Pope
Pope
Sixtus IV Roberto Weiss
Roberto Weiss
The medals of Pope
Pope
Sixtus IV (1471-1484) (1961)

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Catholic Church
and Pius XII Pope
Pope
Pius XII Pope
Pope
Pius XII Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Dogma of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Lateran Treaty Pope
Pope
John XXIII Second Vatican Council Pope
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Paul VI Pope
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John Paul I Pope
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John Paul II World Youth Day

1995 2000

21st century

Catholic Church
Catholic Church
sexual abuse cases Pope
Pope
Benedict XVI World Youth Day

2002 2005 2008 2011 2013 2016

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Pope
Francis

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Decoration of the Sistine Chapel

Life of Moses

Moses
Moses
Leaving to Egypt 1 Youth of Moses
Moses
2 The Crossing of the Red Sea 3/4/5 The Descent from Mount Sinai 3/6 The Punishment of the Rebels
Punishment of the Rebels
2 The Testament and Death of Moses
Moses
7/8

Life of Christ

The Baptism of Christ
Christ
1 The Temptations of Christ
Christ
2 The Vocation of the Apostles
Apostles
4 The Sermon on the Mount
Sermon on the Mount
3 The Delivery of the Keys 1 The Last Supper 3

Ceiling 9 (Gallery)

Scenes from Genesis

The Separation of Light from Darkness The Creation of the Sun, Moon and Vegetation The Separation of Land and Water The Creation of Adam The Creation of Eve The Fall of Man and the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden The Sacrifice of Noah The Flood The Drunkenness of Noah

Prophets

Jonah Jeremiah Ezekiel Joel Zechariah Isaiah Daniel

Sibyls

Persian Sibyl Erythraean Sibyl Delphic Sibyl Cumaean Sibyl Libyan Sibyl

Altar wall

The Last Judgment 9

Tapestries

The Lives of Saints Peter and Paul 10

Key: 1 Pietro Perugino 2 Sandro Botticelli 3 Cosimo Rosselli 4 Domenico Ghirlandaio 5 Biagio d'Antonio 6 Piero di Cosimo 7 Luca Signorelli 8 Bartolomeo della Gatta 9 Michelangelo 10 Raphael Pope
Pope
Sixtus IV Art patronage of Julius II Restoration of the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
frescoes

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Vatican City
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Franciscans

General

Rule of St. Francis Rule of St. Clare Tau Cross Custodian of the Holy Land Minister Generals Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi Assisi Monte di Pietá Franciscan missions to the Maya Studium Biblicum Franciscanum Franciscans
Franciscans
International Franciscan orders in Protestantism

Orders and groups

Order of Friars Minor Order of Friars Minor
Order of Friars Minor
Conventual Order of Friars Minor
Order of Friars Minor
Capuchin Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Poor Clares Capuchin Poor Clares Colettine Poor Clares Conceptionists Secular Franciscan Order Third Order of Saint Francis Order of Minims Militia Immaculatae

Popes

Nicholas IV Sixtus IV Sixtus V Clement XIV Pius X John XXIII

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Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 37712552 LCCN: n86044822 ISNI: 0000 0001 2128 5322 GND: 118797476 SELIBR: 298791 SUDOC: 032758545 BNF: cb12372622v (data) ULAN: 500231118 NKC: jn20000701643 BNE: XX1368

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