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Pope Innocent is a Little Too Innocent *

Pope Sixtus the 4th dies at the age of 70. Rodrigo Borgia wants to be Pope but his rival, Giuliano della Rovere, controls enough votes to block him. They decide to pool their votes to elect a non-entity who takes the name of Pope Innocent the 8th. The Pope is a Genoan, so he meets the main qualification... he is not a Venetian. (The Venetians were in bad odor at the time.) As the new Pope starts handing out the benefits of his office, Rodrigo does well, but Giuliano has more influence and will goad the Pope into joining a minor war to support the barons of Naples. It may not seem like much, but that little war will be the first small stone ahead of an avalanche. That avalanche won't hit Italy until the 1500s. In the meantime, Pope Innocent has work to do. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Please note that Pope Innocent the 8th is not much different than his predecessor but he will preside over some fairly hideous things... like rounding up witches, heretics, and expelling the Jews. He will confirm Torquemada as the infamous Grand Inquisitor of Spain. (shudder!) Stuff like that. He is also the Pope who presides over the discovery of the New World but it is not clear which "New World" they are talking about. The Pope will die a few days BEFORE Columbus sets out on his voyage. Yet, on his tomb will be written, "During his Pontificate, the glory of the discovery of a new world." This inscription has spawned some speculation that Columbus made an earlier voyage, but I'd need some hard evidence to believe that. In the long run, the exact date that Columbus discovered the New World does not change what happened thereafter.

The People of the Reformation and the 'Pious Ones'

Several key people of the Protestant Reformation and the resistance to that Reformation are born this year.

1. Jón Arason will grow up to become the Roman Catholic bishop for Iceland. He will be executed for his efforts to oppose the Reformation.

2. George Spalatin will become an ordained priest and an important advisor to Reverend Martin Luther.

3. Ulrich Zwingli will become a pastor in Zurich preaching reform of the Catholic Church and criticizing the system of Swiss Mercenaries which not only hired themselves out to various nations but also dedicated themselves to the defense of the Pope's physical person... which the Swiss Guard continue to do into the modern day. [5] [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
George Spalatin was also a Renaissance humanist which is not the same as modern humanist. It is a Christian humanism that adds limited outside sources to the strict medieval system of Trivium then in use. The Trivium was every bit as pedantic as it sounds. Judaism was using a similar system of religious study at the time and frankly, still does in the modern day in many circles (including a modified version of it in my own circles). A break from that Jewish system by the "Pious Ones" won't occur until the mid-1700s. Like the low-grade resentment that remains between Protestants and Catholics, the resentment between the "Pious Ones" and the "Opponents" remain to this day. [8] [9] [10]

FYI... the "Pious Ones" are the reformers and the "Opponents" are opposed to the change. I'm translating the names into English. If you asked a Jew who the "Pious Ones" are they will have no idea who you are talking about but if you say "Hasidim" [ha-SEE-dim] then they will understand. I am glad to pray with the Hasidim and enjoy their company but I can never be one of them. I have a few technical religious disagreements with them.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1484, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Meyer, Gerald J. (April 29, 2014). The Borgias: The Hidden History. Amazon.com. Bantam. Retrieved on 12 December 2014. “That evening Rodrigo Borgia and Giuliano della Rovere, both of them controlling enough votes to act as power brokers, met to consider their options. [...] After some discussion the pair of them agreed to join in supporting an unobjectionable nonentity named Giovanni Battista Cibo, a tall, handsome, and mildly genial son of Genoa.”
  2. Boot, Max. War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History. Gotham. ISBN 9781592402229. 
  3. Pope Innocent VIII - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 12 December 2014.
  4. Pope Sixtus IV - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 12 December 2014.
  5. Swiss mercenaries - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2014.
  6. Swiss Guard - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2014.
  7. Huldrych Zwingli (Ulrich Zwingli) - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2014.
  8. pedantic. The Free Dictionary (2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2014. “... marked by a narrow, often tiresome focus on or display of learning and especially its trivial aspects: a pedantic writing style; an academic insistence on precision; a bookish vocabulary; donnish refinement of speech; scholastic and excessively subtle reasoning.”
  9. Misnagdim (Opponents) - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2014.
  10. Hasidic Judaism (Pious or Loving Ones) - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 14 December 2014.

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