Sunday, January 10, 2010

Don't piss off the wrong people

In 1522, Adrian VI, a Dutchman was elected Pope. He was the first non Italian since 1378 and the last non-Italian until John Paul II in 1978. He really tried to be a true Christian spiritual guide and agreed with Martin Luther that the church was too corrupt and sinful in it’s ways.

He demanded he and his cardinals live on only one ducat a day, about $12.50, he walled up the Belvedere Palace and it’s collection of ancient Greek and Roman art, as pagan idolatry.

Poets and artists were furious that this Pope canceled all their rich contracts. The unemployed poet Aretino called the cardinals “miserable rabble” and that they should all be buried alive for electing this lousy pope. After three months as Pope, Adrian died at the age of 64, of unspecified causes. (With the Medici's and all the intriques revolving around power and money, its easy to imagine he was assisted to death, probably poisoned.)

This time the cardinals elected a Medici Pope who loved art, music and parties. The people of Rome sent flowers to Adrian’s doctor to congratulate him for losing his patient.

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