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Alexander VIII

Pope from 1689. Pietro Vito Ottoboni was born at Venice, where his father was chancellor. At seventeen he won a doctorate in civil and canon law at Padua. He went to Rome in 1630 and was made governor of Terni, Rieti, and Spoleto and auditor of the Rota. Innocent X made him cardinal in 1652 and bishop of Brescia two years later. Under Innocent XI he became Grand Inquisitor of Rome and secretary of the Holy Office. As pope he was conspicuous for his nepotism. He sought to diminish tensions with France, and persuaded Louis XIV to restore Avignon and Venaissin and to renounce the privilege of diplomatic residence. As a result of this reconciliation with Louis, however, his relations with Emperor Leopold I worsened. He was interested in a possible Stuart restoration in England and established a group to study English affairs. He supported Venice in the Turkish wars. He condemned thirty-one Jansenist propositions and the Four Gallican Articles* of 1682 in 1690.

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