Pope from 1523. Giulio de’ Medici, illegitimate son of Giuliano de’ Medici and cousin of Pope Leo X,* became archbishop of Florence, being granted a special dispensation on account of his birth. Made cardinal in 1513, he practically controlled papal policy in Leo’s pontificate and succeeded Hadrian VI as pope. Indecisive and timid, he failed to deal with the problems raised by the Reformation, preferring to live as a prince and to forward Medici interests.
He patronized the arts, encouraging Cellini, Raphael,* and Michelangelo.* He vacillated between support of Francis I of France and emperor Charles V, siding with Francis at the League of Cognac (1526), then, after his capture by imperial troops at the sack of Rome (1527), with Charles at the treaty of Barcelona (1529). He was equally irresolute over the divorce of
There was also an antipope