Admin moved page Did the Sack of Rome in 1527 end the Renaissance in Italy? to Did the Sack of Rome in 1527 end the Renaissance in Italy
[[File: Sack of Rome Two.jpg |thumbnail|left|
300px|Portrait of Emperor Charles V, 1527]]
The Sack of Rome was the capture and Rome's destruction by the mutinous troops of Emperor Charles V. It caused widespread outrage at the time, and it shocked Europe. The Sack destroyed much of Rome, and it is widely seen as ushering in a new era in Italy's history. This article will discuss the impact that the Sack had on Italy and its development.
The commonly held belief is that the Sack of Rome ended the Renaissance in Italy. The Sack of Rome in 1527 was of critical importance in the history of Italy. It guaranteed Spanish supremacy in Italy, led to increasingly religious orthodoxy, and destroyed Rome's economy. It was not the Sack itself, but the effects of the Sack that contributed to the ending of the Renaissance.
Since the 1490s, France and Spain (and briefly the Swiss) had fought in Italy for control of the peninsula. The various Italian city-states and the Papacy were divided, and they were often allied to the Hapsburgs, Spanish, and the French.<ref> Lopez, Robert Sabatino, <i>The Three Ages of the Italian Renaissance</i> (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1970), p. 89 </ref> The struggle for Italy had entered a new phase during the reigns of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and his great rival Francis II of France. In 1527 Italy was the scene of the War of the League of Cognac, and this involved France and the Papacy on one side and the Holy Roman Emperor, Spain, and her allies on the other. Pope Clement VII supported the French Monarch, Francis I, to protect the independence of the Papacy.<ref> Lopez, p. 112</ref>
Pope Clement feared that Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and the Spanish king
was becoming too powerful. He was commonly regarded as the most powerful man in Europe since the days of the Caesars. The Imperial troops, who were mainly composed of German mercenaries and Spanish troops, defeated the French and the Papal armies in 1527. However, the Emperor was in no position to pay the army, and they mutinied. This was typical of Charles V. Despite his vast Empire, he was often short of cash and usually nearly bankrupt. The Imperial army had been led by powerful French nobles, who had rebelled against the French Monarch of the Bourbon Family. He was unable to quell the revolt and was soon forced to do the mutinous troops' bidding. The soldiers sought food and money, and they began to pillage large areas of Northern Italy, and they terrorized many towns and villages.<ref>Tuchman, Barbara W. <i>[https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345308239/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0345308239&linkCode=as2&tag=dailyh0c-20&linkId=731d360be9211dec1e2b8dcb7ffcd7bf The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam]</i> (London, Random House Trade Paperbacks, 1985), p. 345</ref>
On June the 6th, the army attacked the city walls. The leader of the attack, Charles the Bourbon, was killed during the assault. He had been at least able to influence the soldiers, but now the army was completely out of control. They massacred the defenders and any civilians they came across. Only the bravery of the Swiss Guard saved the Pope from the army.<ref> Chastel, p. 115</ref> The mutinous soldiers executed any defenders who surrendered. A reign of terror ensued in Rome for three days, if not longer. The soldiers attacked the cardinals and stole their wealth. The ordinary Romans also suffered greatly. Countless were robbed, murdered, and raped. Many were tortured in macabre ways so that they would divulge the location of their wealth. The mutineers stayed in the city for some months, continuing to terrorize the inhabitants, and they only left after eight months because of the plague and
having received a hefty bribe from the Pope.
Emperor Charles V was deeply embarrassed by the actions of his mutinous army. However, Charles knew that the Pope was in a weak position, and he saw it as an opportunity to extend his control over the Papacy.<ref> Chastel. p. 212</ref> Successive Popes, eager to preserve Italian independence and their own, had allied themselves with the French to prevent Charles from upsetting Italy's balance of power.
The Pope's insistence on religious orthodoxy meant that freethought and secular values were increasingly challenged in the aftermath of Rome's Sack. The Inquisition became more active, as the Pope sought to stamp out every sign of free thought or ideas contrary to the teachings of the Church. The growing fear of Protestantism was also instrumental in the new climate. Still, the fear of the Emperor after the Sack and the Spanish meant that the Inquisition became all-pervasive in Italian society. This was to have a devastating impact on the Renaissance. This cultural flourishing was premised on an attempt to reproduce the classical world. It was mostly humanistic, secular, and often overtly pagan, and this was no longer possible in the aftermath of Rome's capture in 1527.
It became increasingly difficult for the humanist who was once so influential
in expressing their views , and instead of studying the ancient classics, they were expected to study religious works.<ref> Burckhardt, p. 120</ref> No longer could they think and write freely as by the mid-1500s they were intimidated by the Inquisition. The new emphasis on religious orthodoxy meant that many noble patrons were unwilling to subsidize humanists' works who expressed ‘pagan’ ideas.
had practically bankrupted the Papacy and no longer could offer the financial support needed by the City-States to recruit armies, which were mainly composed of mercenary soldiers. By 1550 the Spanish Monarch, Phillip II, was the dominant influence in Italy and not the Pope. Spanish controlled to a loss of political and individual freedom. This dealt a blow to the Renaissance as increasingly artists and thinkers could not create the work they wanted or freely express their ideas and opinions.<ref> Burke, Peter. <i>The Italian Renaissance: Culture and Society in Italy Princeton</i> (Princeton University Press, 1999) p. 6 </ref> <div class="portal" style='float:right; width:35%'> ====Related DailyHistory.org Articles==== *[[What was Pope Julius IIs contribution to Renaissance Italy?]] *[[How did the Bubonic Plague make the Italian Renaissance possible?]] *[[What was the role of the Popes in the Renaissance?]] *[[What were the causes of the Northern Renaissance?]] *[[How did the Renaissance influence the Reformation?]] *[[What was the Borgias contribution to Renaissance Italy?]] </div> ==== The End of Renaissance Rome ====
[[File: Papacy 2.jpg|thumbnail|350px|left|St Peter’s Basilica]]
Before 1527, Rome had become arguably the center of the Renaissance. Milan had been devastated by successive military occupations, while Florence had been destabilized and impoverished by twenty years of internal conflict. Apart from Venice, only the Pope had the means to sponsor and commission works of art. The Papal Court was extremely wealthy, and the Pope became the patron of many of the greatest artists, such as Michelangelo and Raphael. This was especially the case after the 1500s because of a dramatic change in the economy.
After Columbus discovered America in 1492, the Italian economy went into a gradual but steep decline, which was noticeable by 1527. New trade routes were established in the Atlantic, and the trade of the Mediterranean dropped off. This led to less money being spent on art in Italy.<ref> Burke, p. 113</ref> The Papacy had could continue to support artists and writers, as its main revenue streams were from pilgrims and Church taxes,
which Popes such as Clement VII, continued to spend on commissioning great works of art or on architecture, such as the ‘rebuilding of St Peter’s Basilica.'<ref>Burke, p 119</ref>
The Sack of Rome is often considered the end of the Renaissance. The brutal seizure of the Eternal City and the subsequent eight-month occupation by a band of rebellious soldiers changed the Papacy and Italy. The Papacy was no longer able to resist Spanish domination, and it increasingly followed the policies of first Charles V and later Phillip II. This led to increasing efforts by the Pope, through the Office of the Inquisition to enforce Religious Orthodoxy. The Sack of Rome shattered the city’s economy, and no longer was the Pope’s ability to spend lavishly on buildings, books, and works of art. These factors changed Italian society.
[[Category:Italian History]] [[Category:Renaissance History]] [[Category:European History]][[category:wikis]]