History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages
By Ferdinand Gregorovius
Translated by Annie Hamilton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2010
Online Publication Date:July 2011
Original Publication Year:1902
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511710247.003
Subjects: European history 1000-1450 , European history after 1450
Conclave, March 1513.
On March 4, 1513, twenty-five electors assembled in Conclave, divided into two parties, the elder and the younger. The head of the elder was the wealthy Rafael Riario, a man of mediocre abilities, heir to the claims of the house of Rovere. He counted with certainty on the Papacy. The Bull of Julius II. against simonistic election must indeed be obeyed ; nevertheless it was resolved that the successful candidate should divide his benefices among the electors. Not until March 6 did Giovanni Medici, carried from Florence on a litter, appear in Rome. He was ill, and his incurable malady—an open fistula — made him almost unapproachable. His surgeon was obliged to operate even in the Conclave. In such wise the son of Lorenzo the Magnificent came to take the tiara which must inevitably be awarded him. The younger cardinals, men of licentious and princely habits, Aragon, Gonzaga, Petrucci, Cornaro, de Saulis gathered round him, and his agent in the Conclave, the lively and eloquent Bernardo Dovizi, acted adroitly in his interests.
Giovanni Medici, candidate for the Papacy.
In favour of Medici were his recent fortunes, the splendour of his house, the aid that might be derived from Florence. He had been in the confidence of the Rovere. By effecting his restoration in Florence after prolonged exile, Julius II. himself seemed to have paved his way to the Sacred Chair. He was also the enemy of France, which had overthrown the Medici and kept him a prisoner. He was recommended by qualities that seemed to promise a brilliant but peaceful pontificate, was a popular cardinal of princely liberality, and was credited with gentleness and even goodness of heart.