[FROM THE DUST JACKETT] Julius II was one of the most remarkable and colourful men ever to sit on the papal throne. His vigour, determination, ambition, passion for action and notorious temper were more suited to the soldier that he probably would have preferred to be, than to the ecclesiastical potentate that he became under the patronage of his uncle, Pope Sixtus IV. A cardinal for thirty years, Éminence grise to Innocent VIII, and a declared enemy of the Borgia pope, Alexander VI, long before his own election, Julius was already an important figure in the political life of Renaissance Italy. After becoming pope in 1503, he revived the temporal authority of the papacy by his military campaigns, some of which he conducted in person. He was also an outstanding patron of the arts and commissioned major works from Raphael, Michelangelo and Bramante, including the Vatican Stanze and the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Many of his actions, however, compromised the papacy's spiritual authority, attracting the satire of Erasmus (who portrayed Julius arriving with his army at the gates of Heaven only to be turned away by St. Peter), and contributing to Martin Luther's crisis of conscience..
This book is the first biography of Julius II in any language to be based on an extensive use of archival sources. Christine Shaw's account includes much new material about Julius's career as a cardinal that gives fresh perspectives on his policies as pope. The reports of those who negotiated with him, those who observed him and spied on him, ridiculed him and admired him, are used to depict the vivid, powerful and humorous personality of the 'papa terrible' and the impact he made on his times.
viii and 360 pages long.