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Julius III

Pope from 1550. Born Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte in Rome, of a Tuscan family of lawyers, he completed humanist studies under Raffaelo Lippo Brandolino, then took to jurisprudence in Perugia and Bologna. Following theological training he became chamberlain to Julius II. Succeeding his uncle as archbishop of Siponto (1511), he held administrative posts under Clement VII and Paul III. He was taken hostage by imperial forces after the sack of Rome (1527). As one of three papal legates he opened the Council of Trent* as first president. The first assembly ended in 1549, and in the following year he was elected pope. He ordered the resumption of the council (1551), but it had to be suspended because of the opposition of Henry II of France. On the accession of Mary Tudor (1553), Julius sent Reginald Pole as legate to England. Julius fostered reform in the church, encouraged the Jesuits, and was a generous patron of Renaissance humanism.