The Tudor Society

March 11 – Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici becomes Pope Leo X

Detail from a portrait of Pope Leo X by Raphael

On this day in Tudor history, 11th March 1513, Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici was proclaimed Pope Leo X after being elected on 9th March. He was crowned pope on 19th March and held the office until his death by pneumonia on 1st December 1521. He was one of the leading Renaissance popes.

Giovanni was the second son of Lorenzo de’ Medici, or Lorenzo the Magnificent, a member of the prominent political banking and political Medici family, and ruler of the Republic of Florence.

Of his papacy, the Encyclopaedia Britannica writes “He made Rome a cultural centre and a political power, but he depleted the papal treasury, and, by failing to take the developing Reformation seriously, he contributed to the dissolution of the Western church. Leo excommunicated Martin Luther in 1521.”

Here are a few pieces of trivia about Pope Leo X:

Also on this day in Tudor history...

Image: Detail from Raphael's portrait of Pope Leo X.

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