Pope Leo X

[Pope Leo X] [coat of arms of Pope Leo X] Reigned from 9 March 1513 to 1 December 1521. Born in Florence, Italy in 1475 as Giovanni de'Medici; died on 1 December 1521 at Rome, Italy. A son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, he was destined for the Church from childhood. At an early age he received all the benefices the Medici could obtain, and was educated by the greatest Italian humanists. He was expelled from Florence with his family, 1494, and returned to Rome, where he succeeded Julius II. As pope he was the patron of the literati, artists and worldlings, who made the papal court a center of amusement. His charity was unlimited, and his private life was irreproachable, but he was an insincere politician, frequently changing from a French to a German alliance. The way for Gallicanism was paved when he signed a concordat with France, revoking the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges but granting the French King the right of nomination to all the sees, abbeys, and priories of France. The reform measures proposed by the Lateran Council were not enforced. Wars among the surrounding princes disturbed his reign, and he failed to grasp the seriousness of the religious situation which was ripe for Luther's revolt.

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