Conclaves in the Renaissance

  • Frederic J. Baumgartner


Pius II, elected in 1458, can be called the first Renaissance pope. A humanist himself, he was an eager patron of artists and fellow humanists. He was determined to beautify Rome and make it a city worthy of the papacy; transforming Rome became a major concern for the papacy for the next two centuries. Nepotism was another trait associated with Renaissance popes. Many an earlier pope had given a red hat to a nephew, but Pius and most of his successors for the next 250 years went well beyond that. He made three nephews cardinals, and other relatives were given lucrative positions in the Church and the Papal States.


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© Frederic J. Baumgartner 2003

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  • Frederic J. Baumgartner

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