Pope Nicholas V

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Pope Nicholas V

Pope Nicholas V (Latin: Nicholaus V; 13 November 1397 – 24 March 1455), born Tommaso Parentucelli, was Pope from 6 March 1447 until his death. Pope Eugene made him a cardinal in 1446 after successful trips to Italy and Germany, and when Eugene died the next year Parentucelli was elected in his place. He took his name Nicholas in memory of his obligations to Niccolò Albergati.

The Pontificate of Nicholas saw the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks and the end of the Hundred Years War. He responded by calling a crusade against the Ottomans, which never materialized. By the Concordat of Vienna he secured the recognition of papal rights over bishoprics and benefices. He also brought about the submission of the last of the antipopes, Felix V, and the dissolution of the Synod of Basle. A key figure in the Roman Renaissance, Nicholas sought to make Rome the home of literature and art. He strengthened fortifications, restored aqueducts, and rebuilt many churches. He ordered design plans for what would eventually be the Basilica of St. Peter.


  • We grant to you by these present documents with our Apostolic authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, lands, towns, villas and other properties...and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery. And appropriate all their kingdoms, commands, retainers, dominance, and other possessions, lands, towns, villas, and any possessions to yourself and to your successors on the throne of Portugal in perpetuity. By reason of our Apostolic authority, we allow you and your successors to use and enjoy these assets fully and freely.
    • Dum diversas (1452), quoted in Pius Onyemechi Adiele, The Popes, the Catholic Church and the Transatlantic Enslavement of Black Africans 1418-1839 (2017), p. 313
  • Only the learned who have studied the origin and development of the authority of the Roman Church, can really understand its greatness. Thus, to create solid and stable convictions in the minds of the uncultured masses, there must be something that appeals to the eye; a popular faith, sustained only on doctrines, will never be anything but feeble and vacillating. But if the authority of the Holy See were visibly displayed in majestic buildings, imperishable memorials and witnesses seemingly planted by the hand of God Himself, belief would grow and strengthen like a tradition from one generation to another, and all the world would accept and revere it. Noble edifices combining taste and beauty with imposing proportions would immensely conduce to the exaltation of the chair of St. Peter.
    • Death-bed speech, quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), pp. 166–167

Quotes about Pope Nicholas V[edit]

  • Nicholas's plan was to make Rome, the centre of the Church, a focus of literature and art, a city of splendid monuments, possessing the finest library in the world, and in so doing to secure in the Eternal City an abiding home for the Papacy.
    • Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, Volume II (1891), p. 166

External links[edit]

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