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The Tudor Society
  • The Sack of Rome by Heather R. Darsie

    6 May 1527. Pope Clement VII had been sitting on St. Peter’s Chair since 19 November 1523. An illegitimate member of the Medici clan, he was raised by his uncle Lorenzo de’ Medici, known as Lorenzo the Magnificent. His cousin was Pope Leo X, second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent and another Medici. Clement VII was originally trained for military service but showed a great interest in serving the clergy. Though it was traditional for illegitimate sons to be blocked from holding a bishopric, Clement VII’s cousin Leo X elevated him anyway, setting the stage for Clement VII to eventually become pope. Unfortunately, Clement VII proved to be an ineffective statesman and was caught between the powerful leaders of France, the Holy Roman Empire, and England: Francis I, Charles V and Henry VIII, respectively. This being caught between a rock and a hard place would set the stage for Rome to be overrun and defiled.

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