Accolti, Pietro and Benedetto

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Members of a Tuscan family notable for its ecclesiastics and poets.

Pietro, cardinal of Ancona; b. Florence, March 15, 1455; d. Rome, Dec. 12, 1532. In 1505 he was consecrated bishop and received the See of Ancona. Pope Julius II made him a member of the college of cardinals on March 17, 1511. Leo X placed Cardinal Accolti in charge of the papal letters during his pontificate, and in this capacity he drew up Exsurge Domine, which condemned Martin Luther on 41 accounts of heresy. In keeping with the pluralism of the times, Cardinal Accolti held the bishoprics of suburban Albano and Sabina, and the Sees of Maillezais, Arras, Cadiz, and Cremona. In 1524 Clement VII bestowed upon him the archbishopric of Ravenna. The Cardinal resided in Rome during the last years of his life. He was survived by his brother Bernardo (14651536), who gained considerable fame as a poet. Because of confusion with respect to the Accolti family in the 15th and early 16th centuries, Pietro has been mistaken for his nephew Benedetto.

Benedetto, cardinalarchbishop of Ravenna, papal secretary; b. Florence, 1497; d. there, Sept. 21, 1549. Benedetto, the son of Michele Accolti, was named cardinal in 1527 by Clement VII. Much of the confusion resulted from the granting of several of the bishoprics held by Pietro to Benedetto upon his uncle's death. Furthermore, Benedetto has also been identified with the 15th century jurist and historian who bears the same name (Benedetto Accolti, 141566). Cardinal Benedetto Accolti made his reputation as a poet and defender of papal rights in the early years of the Protestant revolt.

Bibliography: a. posch, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765)2 1:104105. p. richard, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 1:270271. l. pastor, The History of the Popes From the Close of the Middle Ages, 40 v. (LondonSt. Louis 193861) v.7, 912, passim. g. b. picotti, La Giovinezza di Leone X (Milan 1928). g. k. brown, Italy and the Reformation to 1550 (Oxford, Eng. 1933). e. p. rodocanachi, Histoire de Rome: Le Pontificat de Léon X (Paris 1931).

[j. g. gallaher]