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 fast arrested, tortured at the rack, and imprisoned in separate cells within the damp dungeon of Castel Sant’Angelo.
Anthony D’Elia bargains a compelling, superb tale that unearths a Renaissance international 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 found assets, he indicates why the pope precise the humanists, who have been visible 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 hooked up 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 reminiscent of the fantastic days of Roman antiquity.
From the cosmetic-wearing, parrot-loving pontiff to the Turkish sultan, savage in warfare yet captivated with Italian tradition, D’Elia brings to existence a Renaissance global choked with pageantry, mayhem, and conspiracy and provides a clean interpretation of humanism as a dynamic communal stream.
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Additional info for A Sudden Terror: The Plot to Murder the Pope in Renaissance Rome
Pope Paul II had other plans. A bull to conﬁrm the capitulation was supposed to appear three days after the coronation. Instead, the new pope, after consulting legal experts, declared the capitulation nonbinding, withdrew his oath, and forced the cardinals to sign a new document reafﬁrming the principal of papal monarchy. After Cardinal Bessarion was dragged back and threatened with excommunication, only one cardinal, the elderly Carvajal, stuck by his refusal to sign. Paul locked the document with all the signatures up in a chest; no one was allowed to see what he had actually signed.
The pope grabbed a shield, lay ﬂat on the muddy bottom of the boat, and winced at the sound of rocks smashing against metal. The crowd showed no signs of relenting. Men shouted out offers of bribes if the pirate would dock. An armed ﬁshing boat blocked the pope’s path of escape. But Valentino held fast and headed straight for the vessel, as the crewmen loosed arrows at the boat from their crossbows. The dilapidated ﬁshing boat of the Romans didn’t stand a chance. The Romans on the old craft lost their nerve and gave way when they saw the pirates making dead for them.
Although he had chosen to wear an ancient tiara for his coronation, Paul commissioned a lavish new triple crown, an ostentatious ornament that has come to symbolize the papacy. ” It was a “triple gold-embossed, twisted tiara . . to which he added such a great mass of gems, large pearls, and different stones distinguished for their quality and size that it cost more than 180,000 thousand ﬂorins. ] Bust of Pope Paul II, by Bartolomeo Bellano, Palazzo Venezia, Rome. © Alinari / Art Resource, New York.