By Anthony F. D'Elia

In 1468, at the ultimate evening of Carnival in Rome, Pope Paul II sat enthroned above the boisterous crowd, whilst 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 speedy arrested, tortured at the rack, and imprisoned in separate cells within the damp dungeon of Castel Sant’Angelo.

Anthony D’Elia bargains a compelling, incredible tale that finds 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 keeping apart Christian Europeans and Muslim Turks. utilizing newly found assets, he indicates why the pope distinctive the humanists, who have been visible 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 hooked up them to the Ottoman Turks, enemies of Christendom, and the affection of the classical international tied them to fresh rebellious makes an attempt to switch papal rule with a republic reminiscent of the fantastic days of Roman antiquity.

From the cosmetic-wearing, parrot-loving pontiff to the Turkish sultan, savage in battle yet keen about Italian tradition, D’Elia brings to lifestyles a Renaissance global choked with pageantry, mayhem, and conspiracy and gives a clean interpretation of humanism as a dynamic communal circulation.


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

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As if you did not know that all laws repose in my breast? ’”65 Platina certainly conveys the image of a tyrannical pontiff wholly uninterested in justice. After this exchange, the pope refused to see the humanists. ” The humanists spent twenty nights encamped in vigil outside Paul’s antechamber. ”67 Platina was immediately arrested for treachery, chained in fetters, and examined under torture. He was convicted of two offenses. The first charge was that he had written a libel against the pope, which Platina deflected by defining libels as anonymous, whereas he had clearly written his name on the letter.

38 The emperor arrived at night. Cardinals Bessarion and d’Estouteville met him at the northern gate of the city, the Porta del Popolo, welcomed him with a speech, then escorted him through the sumptuously decorated streets, first to the pope’s titular church, San Marco, then to Saint Peter’s. 39 The emperor was escorted inside the basilica, where he knelt and prayed at Saint Peter’s tomb. Only when he rose from his prayer did he behold the pope in full splendor seated on a high, richly decorated throne.

Vespasiano da Bisticci t first no one took notice of the Benedictine monks who had slipped out the door of the pope’s palace. It was June 4, 1434. Pope Eugene IV, the future Pope Paul’s uncle, had had trouble with the unruly Romans since the start of his pontificate three years earlier. There had already been one rebellion in 1431, when the previous pope’s family, the Colonna, had provoked a popular uprising, because Eugene was trying to rescind the privileges that Pope Martin V had granted to his family.

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