Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II (born Giuliano della Rovere; 5 December 1443 – 21 February 1513) was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 1503 to his death in 1513. Nicknamed the Warrior Pope or the Fearsome Pope, he chose his papal name not in honour of Pope Julius I but in emulation of Julius Caesar. One of the most powerful and influential popes, Julius II was a central figure of the High Renaissance and left a significant cultural and political legacy. As a result of his policies during the Italian Wars, the Papal States remained independent and centralized, and the office of the papacy continued to be crucial, diplomatically and politically, during the entirety of the 16th century in Italy and Europe.
In 1506, Julius II established the Vatican Museums and initiated the rebuilding of the St. Peter's Basilica. The same year he organized the famous Swiss Guards for his personal protection and commanded a successful campaign in Romagna against local lords. The interests of Julius II lay also in the New World as he ratified the Treaty of Tordesillas, establishing the first bishoprics in the Americas and beginning the catholicization of Latin America. In 1508, he commissioned the Raphael Rooms and Michelangelo's paintings in the Sistine Chapel.
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- By his modesty. his readiness, his prudence, and his other virtues he has known how to earn the affections of every one... The damsel, either out of her own contrariness, or because so induced by others, which is easier to believe, constantly refuses to hear of the wedding.
- Letter to the Pope about Cesare Borgia and Charlotte of Naples (18 January 1499), as quoted in The Life of Cesare Borgia (1912) by Rafael Sabatini, Book III The Bull Rampant
- I will not live in the same rooms as the Borgias lived. He [Pope Alexander VI] desecrated the Holy Church as none before. He usurped the papal power by the devil's aid, and I forbid under the pain of excommunication anyone to speak or think of Borgia again. His name and memory must be forgotten. It must be crossed out of every document ad memorial. His reign must be obliterated. All paintings made of the Borgias or for them must be covered over with black crepe. All the tombs of the Borgias must be opened and their bodies sent back to where they belong — to Spain.
- As quoted in Sex Lives of the Popes (1996) by Nigel Cawthorne, p. 219