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 attempting urgently to express a warning—conspirators have been mendacity in wait to slay the pontiff. Twenty humanist intellectuals have been quick arrested, tortured at the rack, and imprisoned in separate cells within the damp dungeon of Castel Sant’Angelo.

Anthony D’Elia deals a compelling, outstanding tale that unearths a Renaissance global 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 stumbled on assets, he exhibits why the pope unique the humanists, who have been obvious as dangerously pagan of their Epicurean morals and their Platonic ideals concerning the soul and insurrectionist of their aid of a extra democratic Church. Their fascination with Sultan Mehmed II attached them to the Ottoman Turks, enemies of Christendom, and the affection of the classical global tied them to fresh rebellious makes an attempt to exchange papal rule with a republic reminiscent of the wonderful days of Roman antiquity.

From the cosmetic-wearing, parrot-loving pontiff to the Turkish sultan, savage in struggle yet passionate about Italian tradition, D’Elia brings to lifestyles a Renaissance international jam-packed with pageantry, mayhem, and conspiracy and provides a clean interpretation of humanism as a dynamic communal circulate.


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Extra info for A Sudden Terror: The Plot to Murder the Pope in Renaissance Rome

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Although the pope did not consider the proceedings of the Council of Basel legitimate, the Pragmatic Sanction was a powerful affirmation of conciliarism. Advocates of conciliarism argued that a council of cardinals had greater authority than a pope. Conciliarists looked to the precedent of the Council of Constance, which had deposed three claimants to the papacy and elected a new pope in 1417. After becoming the king of France, Louis XI tried to assert control over church affairs in his realm. He had sworn absolute obedience to the price of magnificence 33 the previous pope, Pius II, but as one of the king’s councilors argued, this bound Louis only to Pius, not to Paul.

Those who trade in sacred matters and use altars and shrines for lucre are completely deluded. It is fitting for rulers not to take the belongings of their subjects; but it behooves a priest not only not to take another’s property, but to distribute his own liberally. This business made every one of that order [abbreviators] hostile; they hurled every kind of abuse at him in speech, proclamation, and writing. Many accused him of pride, several attacked his character, some reproached his temerity, and certain fellows threatened a council.

It was unavoidable that he and the pope should discuss the war with the Ottoman Turks, but the two agreed only on the need to explore the subject further at a congress of the ambassadors of all the Christian rulers. Frederick’s immediate goal, it seems, was to obtain the right of succession to the throne of Hungary and Bohemia for himself and his son. But Matthias Corvinus, the current Hungarian ruler, was a papal favorite and would not be denied the throne. 41 Frederick’s disappointment, however, was Paul’s gain.

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