How Did Pope Leo X Influence The Renaissance

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Pope Leo X was born in Florence, Italy on December 11th, 1475. Originally named Giovanni de’Medici, he was the second son of Lorenzo de’Medici and Clarice Orsini. Giovanni was born into the House of Medici, a political dynasty famous for the power it wielded over the Florentine Republic periodically for three centuries. Giovanni’s father, known popularly as Lorenzo il Magnifico, headed the Medici of Florence and therefore the city. Lorenzo was a powerful, extravagant ruler and passionate patron of art and learning. He held his family to a high standard and put the Medicean wellbeing above all else. Lorenzo had a plan for his son and shamelessly used his personal influence to mold Giovanni’s ecclesiastical career. Giovanni’s succession to the …show more content…
Leo placed high value on art, academia, and literature. He was a generous patron (113) who took it upon himself to head the beautification of the Vatican and support artists like Raphael of Urbino (215). At his hand Rome became the center for Italian art and culture during the time of the High Renaissance, “…The court of the Vatican under Leo X was in reality the most brilliant, most cultured, and withal the most extravagant that Europe had behind since the days of Imperial Rome…” (Vaughn 161). Though the Medicean pope had a praiseworthy role in the Renaissance, he was also, and more importantly a corrupt and over all poor leader. He strongly pushed the sale of indulgences to fund his projects. Leo elected thirty-one members of his friends and family into the Sacred College so he could have control of it (Vaughn 255). Leo neglected to take Martin Luther’s revolt against the church seriously, “If Leo had not been so engrossed in idle and selfish amusements, he could not have failed to discern the religious storm that was brewing in Germany, the storm that the Medici’s undeniable tact and ability might have done so much to allay” (283). After serving as pope for only 8 short years, Pope Leo X died on December 1st, in the year 1521. He died from a cold turned fever that he received while hunting and was buried in St. Peter’s Basilica. Leo’s cousin Giulio de’Medici succeeded him as pope (Vaughn …show more content…
Peter’s Basilica that lead to the Protestant Reformation. The papal wealth paired with the Medicean taste for grandeur led Leo to quickly drain his resources. He spent a quarter of the entire public treasury on his papal ceremony alone and just two years after his election Leo had drained all the funds of the pope before him. “Leo managed to consume within a twelvemonth the whole revenues of his predecessor, of himself, and of his successor” (Vaughn 182). Due to his lack of finances, Leo encouraged the sale of indulgences to fund the basilica’s renovation. He negotiated with Albert Brandenburg, a man who hoped to become the most significant Archbishop of Germany. Leo granted his wish and they agreed on 10,000 ducats and the authorization to bring indulgences to Germany. Half of the revenue from these indulgences were sent back to Rome and used to finish the renovation. The sale of the German indulgences aroused the protest of the Martin Luther, who was a theologian already aware of the corruption in Roman Catholicism. In his outrage, he nailed the famous 95 theses, a document that challenged the authority of the Church, on the door of a Wittenberg church. This act signified the beginning of the Protestant Reformation (Gonzalez 26-28).

Pope Leo X’s contribution to Christianity was that he indirectly provoked the Protestant Reformation. The Protestant Reformation was an attempt to improve the internally