The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484)
Consistory of February 10, 1478 (V)


(1) 1. DELLA ROVERE, Domenico (1442-1501)

Birth. 1442, Turin. Of a branch of Della Rovere family from Piedmont. Of the signori of Viconuovo. Son of Giovanni della Rovere and Anna del Pozo. Brother of Cardinal Cristoforo della Rovere (1477). He was called the Cardinal of Tarento or of S. Clemente.

Education. (No information found).

Early life. Canon of the cathedral chapter of Lausanne. Prior of Saint-André. Nuncio at the court of Savoy. Apostolic subdeacon. Papal chamberlain. Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota. Canon of the chapter of the patriarchal Vatican basilica. Governor of Castello Sant'Angelo.

Sacred orders. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Created cardinal priest in the secret consistory of February 10, 1478, celebrated in the patriarchal Vatican basilica, with the title of S. Vitale; succeeded his brother Cardinal Cristoforo, who had died nine days earlier; received the same red hat of his brother.

Episcopate. Elected archbishop of Tarentaise, February 11, 1478 (1); succeeded his brother the cardinal. Named bishop of Corneto e Montefiascone, August 24, 1478; occupied the see until his death. Consecrated (no information found). Opted for the title of S. Clemente, August 13, 1479. Transferred to the see of Genève, July 19, 1482. Transferred to the metropolitan see of Turin, July 24, 1482; occupied the see until his death; built the cathedral. Legate in Piedmont and Savoy, June 21, 1483; went to Rome from his legation, May 3, 1484. Participated in the conclave of 1484, which elected Pope Innocent VIII. On September 12, 1486, he went to meet Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere returning from Genoa. On March 23, 1489, he resigned the commendam of the Benedictine monastery of S. Cristina, archdiocese of Milan. Participated in the conclave of 1492, which elected Pope Alexander VI. The new pope granted him rich benefices, among them a Benedictine abbey in the archdiocese of Turin on September 20, 1492. He accompanied the pope to Orvieto on May 27, 1492 because of the approaching of a French army; they returned to Rome on the following June 27; during his absence, King Charles VIII of France, who went to Rome, stayed from June 1 to 3 in the cardinal's palace in Borgo; he had built the palace in Scossocavelli square and had also built a penitentiary which later became part of the S. Spirito Archhospital. He also had built a villa next to Ponte Molle and a chapel in the church of S. Maria del Popolo, which he had Pintoricchio decorate. The main church of Montefiascone and the cathedral of Turin were also built by him. He performed the functions of protoprete during the absence of Cardinal Luis Juan del Milà and was charged, with the chiefs of the other cardinalitial orders, with guarding the silver raised for the crusade against the Turks.

Death. April 22, 1501, in the evening, in Rome, after having made his testament publicly. Buried in the chapel of the Blessed Virgin, which he had founded, in the church of S. Maria del Popolo, Rome, next to his brother. His remains were later transferred to Turin and buried in the crypt of its metropolitan cathedral. His tomb was rediscovered after five centuries of having been lost.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1793, III, 214-215; 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. 1345; "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. 157; 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. 18, 41, 42, 46, 47, 49, 52, 55, 62, 65, 138, 158, 203, 245 and 247; Moroni, Gaetano. Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da S. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni. 103 vols. in 53. Venezia : Tipografia Emiliana, 1840-1861, LIX, 195; Weber, Christoph and Becker, Michael. Genealogien zur Papstgeschichte. 6 v. Stuttgart : Anton Hiersemann, 1999-2002. (Päpste und Papsttum, Bd. 29, 1-6), I, 341.

Webgraphy. Biography, in Italian; same biography, in French; same biography, in German; biographical data, in English.

(1) This is according to "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. VII. Les cardinaux de la fin du XVe siècle". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1933, p. 157; Pius Bonifatius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae (3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957), p. 829; and Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, II, 245, indicate that he was elected on February 11, 1479; but the latter source, p. 245, n. 4 says: Qui quidem jam a. 1478 (Febr. 11) ecclesiam Tarent. obtinuisse videtur; constat enim. Christophorum non a. 1479, sicut Gams scribit, sed jam a. 1478 (Febr. 1) obiisse.

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