By Anthony F. D'Elia
In 1468, at the ultimate evening of Carnival in Rome, Pope Paul II sat enthroned above the boisterous crowd, while a scuffle stuck his eye. His guards had intercepted a mysterious stranger making an attempt urgently to show a warning—conspirators have been mendacity in wait to slay the pontiff. Twenty humanist intellectuals have been quick arrested, tortured at the rack, and imprisoned in separate cells within the damp dungeon of Castel Sant’Angelo.
Anthony D’Elia deals a compelling, spectacular tale that unearths 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 isolating Christian Europeans and Muslim Turks. utilizing newly came upon resources, he indicates why the pope distinctive the humanists, who have been obvious 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 attached 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 paying homage to the wonderful days of Roman antiquity.
From the cosmetic-wearing, parrot-loving pontiff to the Turkish sultan, savage in struggle yet keen about Italian tradition, D’Elia brings to existence a Renaissance international jam-packed with pageantry, mayhem, and conspiracy and provides a clean interpretation of humanism as a dynamic communal circulate.
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Additional info for A Sudden Terror: The Plot to Murder the Pope in Renaissance Rome
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. His letter was therefore not a libel. The next charge was that he had mentioned a council. Platina replied that this was no crime, “for the holy fathers established the fundamental beliefs of Christianity in councils, .
One of them, a large, wellfed fellow, looked somehow familiar. The growing crowd of Romans moved closer to inspect the unconvincing-looking monks, at which lessons of rebellions past 41 the pope became visibly anxious; he tried to urge his mule on with a few well-placed kicks, then slapped the beast, and ﬁnally shouted at it. By then the bystanders had recognized the pope and sounded the alarm. Valentino sprang from the boat, ran to the ﬁrst mule, snatched up the pope, and whisked him bodily onto the boat—just in time, for the mob of Romans that had gathered on the banks of the Tiber began pelting the monks and the boat with stones and dispatching arrows, spears—anything that came to hand—in their direction.
Like the pagans, he coined an inﬁnite number of gold, silver, and brass medals bearing his image and laid them in the foundation of his palace. 19 Paul was interested in the material, not the literary, culture of antiquity. ”20 The original comparison is much more cutting than the ﬁnal version. ”21 Comparing popes to Roman emperors had become commonplace, and it was hardly problematic, at least if they were good emperors. Nevertheless, Platina found it necessary to temper his criticism, even though he was writing after Paul had died, and for the beneﬁt of Sixtus IV, a pope who bore his predecessor little love.