Pope Leo X

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Pope Leo X (11 December 1475 – 1 December 1521), born Giovanni de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known primarily for the sale of indulgences to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses. He was the second son of Lorenzo de' Medici, the most famous ruler of the Florentine Republic, and Clarice Orsini. His cousin, Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, would later succeed him as Pope Clement VII (1523–34).



Early life

Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici was born in Florence, the second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, Head of the Florentine Republic, and Clarissa Orsini.

From an early age he was destined for an ecclesiastical career. He received the tonsure at the age of seven and was soon loaded with rich benefices and preferments. His father prevailed on his relative Innocent VIII to name him cardinal-deacon of Santa Maria in Domnica in March 1489, although he was not allowed to wear the insignia or share in the deliberations of the college until three years later. Meanwhile he received a careful education at Lorenzo's brilliant humanistic court under such men as Angelo Poliziano, Pico della Mirandola, Marsilio Ficino and Bernardo Dovizio Bibbiena. From 1489 to 1491 he studied theology and canon law at Pisa under Filippo Decio and Bartolomeo Sozzini.

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