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Sixtus IV

Pope from 1471. Born Francesco della Rovere, he entered the Franciscan Order early, studied at the universities of Padua and Bologna, and became general of his order in 1464. Further promotion soon came: cardinal in 1467, pope four years later. His international forays and plans involving Turks, French, and Russians met with little success, but he did establish the University of Copenhagen in 1475. Thereafter he concentrated on Italian politics, becoming embroiled in strife, nepotism, and conspiracy to an astonishing extent. Nevertheless he condemned abuses in the Spanish Inquisition, championed the Mendicant Orders, was a patron of the arts, built the Sistine Chapel, and enriched the Vatican Library.

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