Leo X

1475-1521. Pope from 1513. The second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, Giovanni de'Medici received the tonsure before the age of eight and became a cardinal deacon at age thirteen. His tutors in his father's court included such men as Marsilio Ficino, Angelo Poliziano, and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. He studied theology and canon law at Pisa and became a member of the college of cardinals in 1492. During the intervening period until his election to the papacy, Giovanni took part in the election of Alexander VI (1492), went into exile from Florence during Savonarola's* reign (1494), became head of the Medici family (1503), participated in the successive elections of Pius III and Julius II, and was able to regain power in Florence through a bloodless revolution by the Florentines (1512).

On 15 March 1513, he received holy orders, on the seventeenth he was consecrated bishop, and he was crowned pope on the nineteenth. He was chosen because of his peace-loving qualities as opposed to the warriorlike tendencies of Julius II. Leo personified the Renaissance-he loved art, music, and the theater, and was the patron of many humanists. His piety was probably sincere, but his lavish spending impoverished the papacy. He managed the culminating work of the Fifth Lateran Council (1512- 17) and negotiated a settlement with Francis I of France which clarified the duties of king and pope (1515). In his constant search for sources of revenue Leo renewed an indulgence to support the building of St. Peter's, an act which led the Protestant Reformation.

See W. Roscoe, Life and Pontificate of Leo X (2 vols., 1853).