Sack of Rome

Sacco di Roma. May 6, 1527.

The growing power of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V alarmed Pope Clement VII, who perceived Charles as attempting to dominate the Catholic Church and Italy. In effort to free both from Imperial domination, Clement VII formed an alliance with Charles V’s arch-enemy, King Francis I of France, which came to be known as the League of Cognac (including France, Milan, Venice, Florence and the Papacy). The imperial troops were 14,000 Germans, 6,000 Spanish, and an uncertain number of Italian infantry. The troops defending Rome were not at all numerous, consisting of 5,000 militiamen led by Renzo da Ceri and 189 Papal Swiss Guard. The city’s fortifications included the massive walls, and it possessed a good artillery force, which the Imperial army lacked. Charles III, Duke of Bourbon nee...

Saint Leo – November 10, 461 AD

Leo I was born c.400 AD in Tuscany. By the age of 31, while he was a deacon, he had already established enough influence and credibility that he was able to apply to Cyril of Alexandria that Rome’s patriarchal jurisdiction should take priority in Palestine over that of the claims of the Juvenal of Jerusalem. At the same time, John the Ascetic (who would later become Saint John Cassian), dedicated to him the treatise against Nestorius, the Archbishop of Constantinople, written at his request. Even the emperor of Rome, Theodosius II, respected Leo to the point he was chosen to settle the dispute between the two highest officials in Gaul – Flavius Aetius and Caecina Decius Aginatus Albinus. While Leo was on the mission to Gaul, Pope Sixtus III died and Leo was unanimously elected to succeed h...

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