The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484)
Consistory of December 16, 1471 (I)


(1) 1. RIARIO, O.F.M.Conv., Pietro (1445-1474)

Birth. April 21, 1445, Savona. Third of the seven children of Paolo Riario, noble of Savona, and his second wife, Bianca Della Rovere Monteleoni. The other sibiling were Violante, Gerolamo, Petruccia, Isabella, Bartolomeo and Domenico. Nephew of Pope Sixtus IV, on his mother's side. Brother of Girolamo Riario, signore of Imola and Forlì. He became an orphan when he was 12 years old. Uncle of Cardinal Raffaelle Sansoni Riario (1477). Cousin of Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere (1471). Great-grand-uncle of Cardinal Alessandro Riario (1578). Other cardinals of the family were Tommaso Riario Sforza (1823); and Sisto Riario Sforza (1846). He was called the Cardinal of S. Sisto.

Education. Entered the Order of the Friars Minor Conventuals (Franciscans) in Savona as a member of the province of Liguria. His education was entrusted to his uncle Cardinal Francesco della Rovere, O.F.M., future Pope Sixtus IV; he studied in Pavia, Padua, Venice and Bologna; and later in Siena and Ferrara. Magister in theology.

Priesthood. Ordained (no further information found). Professor of philosophy in the convent of S. Nicola in Venice; and in Padua. Provincial of his order in Liguria. Conclavist of his uncle in the conclave of August 1471.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Treviso, September 4, 1471; resigned the see on April 28, 1473. Consecrated (no information found). Abbot commendatario of the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Vincent, Metz, September 1471. Papal treasurer from October 7 to December 28, 1471.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of December 16, 1471; received the red hat and the title of S. Sisto, December 22, 1471. On July 19, 1472, he resigned as abbot commendatario of the monastery of Sorèze, diocese of Lavaur. Administrator of the see of Valence et Die, September 23, 1472; occupied the post until his death. Received the title of Ss. XII Apostoli in commendam in November 1472; occupied the title until his death. Named titular Latin patriarch of Constantinople on November 23, 1472; occupied the title until his death. Transferred to the see of Split, April 28, 1473; occupied the see until his death. Resigned as abbot commendatario of the Augustinian monastery of Paimpont, diocese of Saint-Malo, April 28, 1473. Resigned as abbot commendatario of the Benedictine monastery of Santa Cucufa, diocese of Barcelona, June 5, 1473. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Florence, July 20, 1473; occupied the see until his death. Resigned as abbot commendatario of the Cistercian monastery of Fontfroide, archdiocese of Narbonne, October 20, 1473. Administrator of the metropolitan see of Sevilla, June 25, 1473; occupied the post until his death. Administrator of the see of Mende, November 3, 1473; occupied the post until his death. Legate in Umbria and all Italy, Summer 1473. Entered in Milan on September 12, 1473; later went to Venice; and returned to Rome at the end of October 1473. Abbot commendatario of the Benedictine monastery of S. Cristina, diocese of Pavia, December 24, 1473. Protector of the Order of the Friars Minor, 1473. Fell ill in December 1473. His court, formed by 500 persons, held luxurious receptions and banquets. He beautified churches in Treviso, Milan, Paris and Rome and started the construction of the palace of Ss. XII Apostoli.

Death. January 3 (1), 1474, next to the church of Ss. XII Apostoli, Rome, suddenly, either as a consequence of his prodigality or of poison. Buried in the day of St. Anthony, in the basilica of Ss. XII Apostoli, Rome, in a beautiful Renaissance monument built by Mino da Fiesole and Andrea Bregno, and donated by his brother Girolamo (2).

Bibliography. Betti, Umberto. I cardinali dell'Ordine dei Frati Minori. Presentazione di Alberto Ghinato. Roma : Edizioni Francescane, 1963. (Orizzonti Francescani. Collana di cultura francescana, 5), p. 53-54; Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, III, 178-181; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1630, II, cols. 1256 and 1271; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1933. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1933, p. 145; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen II (1431-1503). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1914; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp.16, 65, 154, 165, 192, 240, 248-249 and 262 Ritzler, Remigius. "I cardinali e i papi dei Frati Minori Conventuali." Miscellanea Franciscana, LXXI (Gennaio-Giugno 1971), Fasc. I-II, 51-53.

Webgraphy. His tomb and biography, in English, Wikipedia; his genealogy, A1 B3 E9 F3, Libro d'Oro della Nobilità Mediterranea; his portrait by Domenico Caruso (1700-1899), Beni Ecclesiastici in Web (BeWeb); his tomb by Andrea Bregno, basilica of Ss. XII Apostoli, Rome, The Australia National University; another view of his tomb, The Australian National University.

(1) This is according to Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm, II, col. 1271; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1933, p. 145, and Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, III, 16, 65 say that he died on January 5, 1474.
(2) This is the text of his epitaph taken from the image of his tomb, linked above:

PETRO. SAONENSI. EX. GENTE. RIARIA. NOBILI. AC. VETVSTA.
EX. ORDINE. MINORVM. CAR. S. SIXTI. PATRIARCHÆ.
CONSTANTINOPOLITANO. ARCHIEPISCOPO. FLOREN.
PERVSII. VMBRIÆQVE. LEGATO.
SIXTVS. IIII. PONT. MAX. NEPOTI. BENE. MERENTI.
POSVIT.
VIX. ANN. XXVIII. MEN. VIII. D. VI. GRATIA. LIBERALITATE. AC. ANIMI.
MAGNITVDINE. INSIGNI. TOTIVS. ITALIÆ. LEGATINIBVS. FVNCTVS.
MORITVR. MAGNO. DE SE. IN. TAM. FLORIDA. ÆTATE. DESIDERIO. RELICTO.
QVIPPE. QVI. MAIOR. A. MENTE. CONCOEPERAT. ET. POLLICEBATVR.
VT. ÆDES. MIRO. SVMPTV. APVD. APOSTOLOS. INCHOATÆ. OSTENDVNT.
MCCCCLXXIIII
.

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(2) 2. DELLA ROVERE, Giuliano (1443-1513)

Birth. December 5, 1443, Albissola, diocese of Savona. Of a probably noble but impoverished family. Eldest of the five children of Raffaello della Rovere and Teodora Manirola, a lady of Greek origin. The other siblings were Leonardo, Bartolomeo (bishop of Massa and Ferrara), Luchina and Giovanni. Nephew of Pope Sixtus IV. Cousin of Cardinals Pietro Riario, O.F.M.Conv. (1471); and Girolamo Basso della Rovere (1477). Second cousin of Cardinal Raffaelle Sansoni Riario (1477). Uncle of Cardinals Galeotto Franciotti della Rovere (1503) and Sisto Gara della Rovere (1507). Another cardinal of the family was Giulio della Rovere (1547).

Education. He studied in Perugia and entered the Order of the Friars Minor Conventuals (Franciscans); he left the order as a novice.

Early life. Protonotary apostolic in 1469. He had an illegitimate daughter, Felice, by Lucrezia Normanni (1).

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Carpentras, October 16, 1471.

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the consistory of December 16, 1471; received the red hat and the title of S. Pietro in Vincoli, December 22, 1471. He resided in the palace next to his titular church; he had it decorated by Giuliano de Sangallo. He was called the Cardinal of S. Pietro. Transferred to the see of Lausanne, January 31, 1472; took possession on February 23, 1472; occupied the see until July 15, 1476. At the end of 1472, he became abbot commendatario of the abbey of Grottaferrata, which he fortified. Named bishop of Catania, January 13, 1473; resigned the see the following year. On March 22, 1473, he resigned as abbot commendatario of the Premostratense monastery of Saint-Paul, Verdun, and the Cistercian monastery of Sainte-Marie de Bonneveaux, diocese of Poitiers. Abbot commendatario of the monastery of S. Sabino fuori le mura, Pisa, August 27, 1473. Legate in Marches, November 3, 1473. Abbot commendatario of the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Pierre de Luxeuil, archdiocese of Besançon, December 10, 1473; resigned the post on December 2, 1474. Abbot commendatario of the Benedictine monastery of S. Sofia, archdiocese of Benevento, December 24, 1473. Administrator of the see of Messina, 1473; resigned the post in May 1474. Received the title of Ss. XII Apostoli in commendam in January 1475; kept it until his election to the papacy. In April 1474, he hosted King Christian of Denmark and Norway in his visit to Rome. Named bishop of Avignon on May 23, 1474; became its first archbishop when the see was elevated that rank, November 20, 1475; occupied the see until his election to the papacy. In May 1474, he ceded his palace adjacent to his titular church to the prefect of Rome and took the one of the late Cardinal Johannes Bessarion located next to the basilica of Ss. XII Apostoli. In June 1474, he went with an army to Todi to reestablish the order; then to Spoleto; and later, he placed Città di Castello under siege because it had revolted and finally capitulated; he reentered Rome with the duke of Urbino, who had assisted him, on September 9, 1474. Abbot commendatario of the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Symphorien, diocese of Metz, December 3, 1474; resigned the post on June 5, 1475. On January 28, 1475, he met the king of Naples in Terracina and accompanied him to Rome. Named legate in France and Avignon, he left on February 17, 1476; he founded a school for poor students in Avignon. On July 15, 1476, he was transferred to the see of Coutances; and on that same date, he resigned the post of abbot commendatario of the Camaldolese monastery of S. Romoaldo, diocese of Camerino; he resigned the see of Coutances on December 3, 1477. He reentered his legation on October 4, 1476 in Foligno, where he was received by the pope in a public consistory; he accompanied the pontiff to Rome on the following October 24th. Named penitentiary major in October 1476; occupied the post until his election to the papacy. Named bishop of Viviers, December 3, 1477; occupied the see until July 3, 1478. In July 1477, he resigned as abbot commendatario of the Camaldolese monastery of S. Maria della Vangadizza, diocese of Adria. In August 1477, he was named archpriest of the patriarchal Lateran basilica. On October 29, 1477, he resigned the post of abbot commendatario of the Benedictine monastery of Grandselve, archdiocese of Tolouse. Named bishop of Mende, July 3, 1478; occupied the see until October 1483. Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals, January 8, 1479 to January 7, 1480. Opted for the order of cardinal bishops and the suburbicarian see of Sabina, April 19, 1479; kept the title of S. Pietro in Vincoli in commendam until his election to the papacy. Legate in France, the Low Countries, and the kingdoms of England and Scotland, April 24, 1480; left Rome on June 9th; arrived in Flanders in August 1480 and tried to reestablish the peace between King Louis XI of France and Emperor Maximilian, to facilitate the realiztion of a new crusade. Named collector general of the tithe in France for the crusade against the Turks in April 1481; resided in Avignon until August 1481. Consecrated bishop by Pope Sixtus IV in 1481. Returned to Rome from Avignon definitively on February 3, 1482 and resided at the Vatican with the pope. He resigned as abbot commendatario of the Vallombrusian monastery of Ss. Pietro e Paolo de Moscheta, diocese of Florence, September 4, 1482. Opted for the suburbicarian see of Ostia e Velletri, January 31, 1483; although the see is proper of the dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals since 1150, the dean at the time was Cardinal Rodrigo Borja y Borja, bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina. Abbot commendatario of Nonantola. On August 25, 1483, he sang the mass for the anniversary of the coronation of the pope; the ceremony took place in the Sistine chapel for the first time. Named bishop of Bologna on November 3, 1483; occupied the see until January 24, 1502, when he was forced to resign by Pope Alexander VI because of his opposition to the cession of Cento and Della Pieve to the duke of Ferrara.

Pope Sixtus IV died on August 12, 1484; the cardinal had a monument erected in the patriarchal Vatican basilica; in 1925, the monument was transported to the Museum of St. Peter's. Participated in the conclave of 1484; he used his great influence to help the election of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Cibo, who became Pope Innocent VIII. He replaced Cardinal Cibo as camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals from August 29 to September 15, 1484. Abbot commendatario of the Camaldolese monastery of S. Bartolome de Anghiari, diocese of Arezzo, November 7, 1492. On March 23, 1486, he left from Ostia, which he had fortified, and went to Genoa to organize a fleet against the Turks; he returned to Rome on September 12, 1486. Named legate in Marche Anconitana and Venice to assist controlling the revolt in Osimo; he returned to Rome in August without having succeeded in his mission. He went to Bologna for a short time; went to Ostia and arrived in S. Paolo fuori le mura on April 8, 1488; from there he went to his palace of Ss. XII Apostoli. Named administrator of the see of Lodève in 1488; occupied the post until April 1489. Returned to Rome from Ostia with the pope on November 18, 1488. In May 1491, he escorted from Narni the Holy Lance of Longinus and arrived on May 31st in Rome, where the pope received it. He helped to reestablish the order in Rome after the death of Pope Innocent VIII in July 1493. Participated in the conclave of 1492, which elected Pope Alexander VI; he was the candidate of Genoa and France. He became dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals after the election of Cardinal Rodrigo de Borja y Borja to the papacy. The new pope named him legate in Avignon; in disagreement with the pope, he retired to Ostia and fell ill at the end of the year; Federico de Aragón visited the cardinal in his citadel. He reconciled with the pope on July 24, 1493; he went to Marino and returned to Rome on March 26, 1494, and from there went to Ostia; on April 23, 1494, he embarked for Genoa, reached Avignon and united with the king of France against Pope Alexander VI. In September 1494, he went to Asti and joined King Charles VIII of France, accompanying him to Rome on December 31st. A convention between the pope and the French king stipulated that Cardinal Della Rovere kept Ostia, the legation of Avignon and all his benefices; the cardinal remained with the king and accompanied him from Marino to Naples on January 28, 1496; later, again to Rome on June 1st, when the monarch went to the Vatican palace; and then to France. The following year, 1497, it was rumored in the French court that the king wanted to make Cardinal Della Rovere pope; in March 1497, Pope Alexander VI threatened the cardinal with the suspension of all his benefices; they reconciled the following June. In October 1498, the cardinal received in Avignon Cesare Borgia, duke of Valentinois, son of the pope, and worked towards the marriage of Cesare and the daughter of the king of Naples, which fell through. He helped in the signature of an agreement between France and Venice on February 9, 1499. Named administrator of the see of Savona, September 20, 1499; occupied the post until January 24, 1502. He accompanied King Louis XII of France to Milan on October 6, 1499. He received several benefices of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, who was imprisoned in Bourges by order of the French king. Administrator of the see of Lucca from November 6, 1499 until August 29, 1501. Administrator of the see of Vercelli, January 24, 1502 until his elevation to the papacy. In July 1502, the cardinal broke with the pope again. Protector of the Order of the Friars Minor (Franciscans). After the death of Pope Alexander VI, he arrived in Rome on the evening of September 3, 1503, after ten years of exile. Participated in the first conclave of 1503, which elected Pope Pius III. As bishop of Ostia, he consecrated the new Pope Pius III bishop of Rome. Participated in the second conclave of 1503 and was elected pope.

Papacy. Elected pope on November 1, 1503, by unanimous vote; took the name Julius II. Crowned on November 26, 1503, by Cardinal Giovanni Colonna, protodeacon of S. Maria in Aquiro. Took possession of the patriarchal Lateran basilica on December 6, 1503. He placed the first stone of the new patriarchal Vatican basilica, April 18, 1506; and in that same year, established the Swiss Guard. He created twenty seven cardinals in six consistories.

Death. February 21, 1513, Rome. Buried in the chapel of Our Lady in the church of S. Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, next to his uncle Pope Sixtus IV. His remains were transferred, together with those of Pope Sixtus IV, during the pontificate of Pope Urban VIII, to the chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament (2). The magnificent tomb that Pope Julius II, while he was alive, had ordered Michelangelo Buonarroti to build could not be finished for lack of resources; parts of it were attached to a wall of the sacristy of S. Pietro in Vincoli, including the famous statue of Moses.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, III, 181-182; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1630, II, col. 1256-1257; and 1357-1400; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1933. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1933, p. 145-147; Di Sivo, Michele. "Giulio II." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, pp. 554-557; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen II (1431-1503). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1914; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp. 16, 38, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 49, 50, 52, 56, 60, 61, 100, 108, 119, 135, 173, 192, 229, 265 and 270; Eubel, Conradus and Gulik, Guglielmus van. Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi. Volumen III (1503-1592). Münich : Sumptibus et Typis Librariae Regensbergianae, 1935; reprint, Padua : Il Messagero di S. Antonio, 1960, pp. 1 and 9; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, pp. 255-256; Meluzzi, Luciano. I vescovi e gli arcivescovi di Bologna. Bologna : Grafica Emiliana, 1975, (Collana storico-ecclesiastica; 3), pp. 318-343; Nicolai, Umberto. I vescovi di Lucca. Lucca : Tipografia Ricchielli, 1966, p. 23, no. 77; Pastore, Alessandro. "Giulio II." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, III, 31-42; Rodocanachi, Emmanuel. Le pontificat de Jules II, 1503-1513. Paris : Hachette, 1928; Royal, Robert. The Pope's army : 500 years of the Papal Swiss Guard. New York :; Crossroad Pub., 2006.

Webgraphy. Biography by Michael Ott, in English, The Catholic Encyclopedia; portrait, medal and biography, in English, Encyclopaedia Brittanica; his portrait and biography by Anniina Jokinen, Luminarium Encyclopedia Project; biography by A. Pastore, in Italian, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Treccani; his episcopal lineage by Charles N. Bransom, Jr., in English, Apostolic Succession in the Roman Catholic Church; his genealogy, A7 B1, Genealogy EU; his portrait from "The Mass at Bolsena" by Raffaello Sanzio, fresco at Stanza di Eliodoro, Palazzi Pontifici, The Vatican, Web Gallery of Art; another fragment of the same painting, Christus Rex, Inc.; Triptic Della Rovere by Giovanni Massone, ca. 1490, Musée du Petit Palais, Avignon, France; his portrait by Sebastiano del Piombo, Le Passé Gallery, Buenos Aires; Giulio II con il card. Farnese, futuro Paolo III by Sebastiano Ricci Musei di Palazzo Farnese; his engraving by Antonio Locatelli, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his arms, corner of Palazzo della Cancelleria, Rome, Chieracostui; his arms, piazza della Maddalena, Savona, Italy Chieracostui; his portrait and arms (1890-1899), archdiocese of Bologna, Beni Ecclesiastici in Web (BeWeb); his portrait (1990-1999), archdiocese of Catania, Beni Ecclesiastici in Web (BeWeb); his statue, piazza del Popolo, Ascoli Piceno, Italy Chieracostui; nine medals, Numismatic collection, Olomouc, Czech Republic; bronze medal of Pope Julius II commemorating the building of St Peter's basilica, The British Museum, London; medal from the time he was a cardinal, Numismatic collection, Olomouc, Czech Republic; twenty coins, Numismatic collection, Olomouc, Czech Republic; his effigy on a medal, Tiscali Italia S.p.A.; his funeral monument by Michelangelo Buonarroti, with the statue of Moses, church of S. Pietro in Vincoli, Rome, The Australian National University; another view of his funeral monument, Requiem Datenbank; and his tomb, patriarchal Vatican basilica, St Peter's Basilica.org.

(1) She was born in Savona, ca 1483, and died in Bracciano on September 27, 1536; on May 24, 1506, she married Gian Giordano Orsini, duke of Bracciano and count of Trevignano, who died in Vicovaro Castle in 1517. Some sources say that he had two more illegitimate daughters before becoming pope.
(2) The tomb is currently marked by a simple tombstone on the floor of the patriarchal Vatican basilica in front of the monument to Pope Clement X. In the same tomb are buried Pope Sixtus IV and other illustrious family members. This is a view of the tombstone, with the names of all those interred beneath it.

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