Julius II, Pope
JULIUS II, POPE
Pontificate: Nov. 1, 1503, to Feb. 21, 1513; b. Giuliano Della Rovere, Albisola (near Savona) in the Republic of Genoa in 1443; d. Rome. His father, Raffaello, was a brother of Pope sixtus iv (Francesco Della Rovere). While his uncle was Franciscan minister general, Giuliano studied with the Franciscans in Perugia and was ordained. It is uncertain if he entered the Franciscan order. When his uncle became pope in 1471, he was named bishop of Carpentras and made cardinal priest of St. Peter in Chains. Eventually, he held eight bishoprics, was archbishop of Avignon, and was granted many abbeys and benefices. From 1480 to 1482 Giuliano served as legate a latere to France, showing great skill in composing the differences between Louis XI and Maximilian of Austria over the Burgundian inheritance. When Sixtus IV died, Cardinal Della Rovere, partly by simony, secured the election of Battista Cibò, who took the name of innocent viii. Della Rovere's influence, therefore, continued and he became a rival of Cardinals Borgia and Sforza. The
election of Rodrigo Borgia as alexander vi in 1492 was a reverse for him. Except for brief shows of reconciliation, Della Rovere was hostile to Alexander VI and usually resided away from Rome.
Della Rovere and Charles VIII. Just prior to the invasion of Italy by Charles VIII, Della Rovere fled to France with the belief that Church reforms might be achieved with the King's support. He accompanied Charles VIII into Italy, and, on Dec. 31, 1494, sought his backing for the convocation of a council to depose Alexander VI on the grounds of his having won the election of 1492 through bribery. When Charles VIII negotiated and signed a treaty with Alexander in 1495, Della Rovere became disillusioned with the French and returned to Avignon.
The Borgia Peril. In 1498 a reconciliation with Alexander VI was effected, when Della Rovere's diplomatic services helped to secure Charlotte d'Albret, sister of the King of Navarre, as a bride for Cesare Borgia. This peace ended in 1502 when Cesare attacked the Duke of Urbino where Francesco Della Rovere, the cardinal's nephew, stood in line of succession to the dukedom. During the following year Della Rovere remained far from Rome, spending part of the time in France. There Louis XII, considering the cardinal as friendly to French interests, granted him the abbey of Chiaravalle near Milan. The death of Alexander VI in August 1503 made the cardinal's return to Rome possible. The rallying of the Romans against Cesare Borgia's troops, and the illness of Cesare himself, saved the conclave from Borgia intimidation. Although Della Rovere was unable to obtain the election for himself, he frustrated the attempt to elect Cardinal d'Amboise. The election of the sickly Cardinal Piccolomini as pius iii was followed by a pontificate of less than a month. Thereupon, by extensive promises to Cesare Borgia, and with bribes, Della Rovere was unanimously elected pope.
Julius II sought to repair the damage inflicted on the Church by the Borgias. He determined to recover territories lost to the Papal State, to achieve financial solvency, to strengthen administration, to eliminate simony, and to reduce nepotism. Believing that papal authority might best be enhanced by increased temporal power, he stressed territorial conquest, skillful diplomacy, and external glory. He was determined to recover territories alienated by his predecessors or occupied in the months immediately following the death of Alexander VI. The dukedom of the Romagna had been bestowed upon Cesare Borgia, and the Venetians had moved in on these papal lands in 1503. Julius II used persuasion with the Venetians, who relinquished some of these Romagna holdings but continued to hold Rimini and Faenza. In September 1506 the Pope obtained the surrender of Gian Paolo Baglioni, Lord of Perugia, and expelled Giovanni Bentivoglio from Bologna. But the Venetians continued to deny the restitutions the Pope demanded.
Military Alliances. In 1508 the Emperor Maximilian made war on Venice and joined Louis XII of France in the League of Cambrai against the republic. In 1509 the Pope entered the league and issued a bull of excommunication and interdict. After the Venetians were defeated at Agnadello in May 1509, papal troops regained Rimini, Faenza, and other lost territories. By the beginning of 1510, after Julius II had received freedom of trade and navigation, and confirmation of ecclesiastical rights in Venetian territory, he became reconciled with the republic and lifted the excommunication. But neither France nor the Emperor wished to make peace. At that point the French threat to Italy led the Pope to form an alliance with Venice and Spain.
The first countermove of Louis XII was to convoke a synod at Tours in which the French bishops revived the ancient Gallican claims. Louis XII then, in agreement with the Emperor, promoted in the name of a group of rebel cardinals the calling of a council at Pisa. This act led Julius II to call the Fifth Lateran Council in 1511. Meanwhile, the Pope turned against the Duke of Ferrara, who was supporting the French. Papal troops occupied Modena in 1510 and took Mirandola in January 1511. These successes were offset by the loss of Bologna in May and the recapture of Mirandola. In August, however, Julius reconciled the powerful Roman families of Colonna and Orsini so that he had the nearly unanimous backing of the Roman nobility. Furthermore, the Holy League (Venice, Spain, and the papacy) was formally completed in October 1511. Before the end of the year England joined this combination. In April 1512, the league was defeated at Ravenna by Gaston de Foix. But the French victory was brief. Cardinal Schiner, leading Swiss forces on behalf of the league, took Cremona and Pavia and then, in June 1512, secured the surrender of Milan. The congress of the league met in Mantua and awarded Milan to Maximilian Sforza. At the end of 1512 Italian affairs in general were still unsettled except for the withdrawal of the French. While the league congress was deliberating in Mantua, the Medici returned to Florence, from which they had been ousted. Although territorial problems remained unresolved when Julius II died in February 1513, he had enlarged the territory and power of the Papal State. Some hailed him as the "Liberator of Italy."
Reforms and the Lateran Council. A bull, published in 1510 but dated Jan. 14, 1505, voided any papal election tainted with simony. This bull was confirmed in February 1513, a few days before Julius' death, by the Fifth Lateran Council (see lateran councils). Julius also renewed the bull of Pius II forbidding appeal from a pope to a council. It was he, too, who granted a dispensation enabling Prince Henry of England, later henry viii, to marry catherine of aragon. Julius was aware of the need for reform in the Church and indicated this when the Lateran Council opened in May 1512. But the Council became preoccupied with the problems associated with France and with the uncanonical council of Pisa-Milan. The latter council, which had been poorly supported, left Pisa for Milan and then, in 1512, moved to Lyons where it lost the sponsorship of France and came to an end. Administratively Julius II carefully supervised magistrates through a governor and vicechamberlain and defined more precisely legal and procedural distinctions between lay and ecclesiastical cases. He required, annually, strict audits of accounts, and he reorganized the college of notaries. He effected a monetary reform, increased papal revenue by the sale of curial offices, and restored a treasury left almost empty by the Borgias. For these among other reasons Jacob Burckhardt described him as "Savior of the Papacy."
Patron of Arts. He was a patron to Michelangelo, Raphael, Bramante, and others. He began building the new basilica of St. Peter's with plans by Bramante. He commissioned, among other works by Michelangelo, the frescoes on the vault of the Sistine Chapel. He assigned to Raphael the paintings of the Stanze della Segnatura. He beautified Rome and carried out much construction throughout the Papal State. He helped found the Vatican Library. In the courts of Saint Damasus and the Belvedere he provided the beginnings of a great collection of ancient sculpture.
Bibliography: l. pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, (London–St. Louis 1938–61) 6. m. brosch, Papst Julius II und die Gründung des Kirchenstaates (Gotha 1878). e. rodocanachi, La Première renaissance: Rome au temps de Jules V et de Léon X (Paris 1912); Histoire de Rome: Le pontificat de Jules II (Paris 1928). j. klazko, Jules II (Paris 1898). a. luzio, Isabella d' Este di fronte a Giulio II negli ultimi tre anni del suo pontificato (Milan 1912). e. gagliardi, "Julius II, der Schöpfer des Kirchenstaates," Deutsche Rundschau 149 (1911) 262–275. f. vernet, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 8.2:2667–86. g. b. picotti, La politica italiana sotto il pontificato di Giulio II (Pisa 1949). f. x. seppelt, Geschichte der Päpste von den Anfängen bis zur Mitte des 20 Jh. (Leipzig 1931–41) 4:394–408. a. schiavo, "La cappella vaticana del coroe vicende dei sepolcri di Sisto IV e Giulio II," Studi Romani 6 (1958) 297–307. c. shaw, Julius II: The Warrior Pope (Oxford 1988). i. cloulas, Julius II (Paris 1990). f. gilbert, The Pope, His Banker, and Venice (Cambridge, Mass. 1980). j. d'amico, Renaissance Humanism in Papal Rome (Baltimore 1983).
[d. r. campbell]