Pope Sixtus IV

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Pope Sixtus IV (July 21, 1414 – August 12, 1484), born Francesco della Rovere, was Pope from 1471 to 1484. His main accomplishments as Pope included: Building the Sistine Chapel, where the team of artists he brought together and introduced the Early Renaissance to Rome with the first masterpiece of the city's new artistic age, establishing the Vatican archives and the Spanish Inquisition and annulling the decrees of the Council of Constance. He was famed for his nepotism and was personally involved in the infamous Pazzi Conspiracy. He was also responsible for transforming Rome to the Renaissance.[1]

Contents

Biography

Early career

Francesco was born to a modest family near Savona, Liguria, Italy: the son of Leonardo della Rovere and Luchina Monleoni. He was born in Celle Ligure, a town near Savona.

As a young man he 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 many eminent Italian universities.

At the age of 50 he was elected Minister General of the Franciscan order in 1464. In 1467, he was appointed Cardinal of San Pietro in Vincoli by Pope Paul II (1464–1471). Before his papal election, Francesco della Rovere was renowned for his unworldliness and had even written learned treatises entitled On the Blood of Christ and On the Power of God.[2] His pious reputation was one of the deciding factors for the College of Cardinals upon the unexpected death of Pope Paul II at the age of fifty-four.[3]

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