Pope from 1555. Born Giovanni Pietro Caraffa of a noble Neapolitan family, he received a good education in the home of his uncle, Oliviero Cardinal Caraffa, who was able to secure an appointment in the Roman Curia for him. Beginning as a chamberlain under
Elected pope in 1555, he displayed a zeal for reform that produced some drastic measures. His anti-Spanish and anti- imperial policies along with his fervent promotion of the Inquisition,* especially against holders of high office, and the publication of the Index* of Prohibited Books lessened his popularity. Nepotism also marred part of his pontificate, although he expelled his nephews before the end of his reign. In his attempt to apply medieval concepts of papal power to sixteenth-century politics he was unable to stem the tide of Protestantism throughout N Europe.