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Did the Sack of Rome in 1527 end the Renaissance in Italy

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==Sack of Rome- The Terror==
After a few weeks, the loot and food available in the area began to run low and the soldiers looked for other targets. They selected Rome. They believed that they could get all the money and food that they needed in the Eternal City <ref>Tuchman, p. 344</ref>. Many of the mutinous soldiers were German mercenaries, famed for their bravery, many were also sympathisers of Martin Luther and they believed that the Pope was corrupt and even the ‘Anti-Christ’ who had distorted the message of Christ. They wanted to seize Rome for religious reasons and possibly believed that they could deliver a fateful blow to the Catholic Church, even though Martin Luther stated that this would be wrong. Soon 33,000 Imperial troops were on their way to Rome in the spring of 1527. The army was composed of Germans, Spaniards and Italians<ref>Tuchman, p. 345</ref>. The army was reinforced by deserters form the French army and bandits. It was largely unopposed as an Italian army, under Venetian command also mutinied. The army became more disorganized as they advanced on Rome. The sacked several towns on the way and on the 5th of May, they had reached the Walls of Rome. By this stage the army was largely under the control of the common soldiers as their erstwhile leader of the Charles Bourbon was only heeded by his men when it pleased them<ref> Chastel, Andre, The Sack of Rome (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1983), p. 78</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 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 plague and having received a hefty bribe form the Pope. [[File: Sack of Rome One.png |thumbnail|200px|A painting of the Sack of Rome, 1527]]
==Aftermath==
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 the balance of power in Italy. Charles V now used the weakened position of Pope Clement to ensure that the Papacy was no longer able to resist Imperial interests in Italy. After the Sack of Rome, Pope Clement was too afraid of Charles V after the Sack to adopt a policy that was independent of the Emperor. This policy was to have momentous consequences not only for the Church but also for the history of Europe. In the aftermath of the Sack, the Popes were very reluctant to go against the wishes of the Emperor and after his abdication, the Spanish monarchs, who inherited the greatest part of Charles V territories<ref> Tuchman, p. 347</ref>. The Popes increasingly shadowed the policies of the Spanish monarchy especially when it came to the enforcement of religious orthodoxy. Prior to 1527, the Pope had been arguably just another secular ruler. After the Sack of Rome, the Pope under pressure from first Charles V and later Spanish monarchs such as Phillip II became more interest in clerical discipline and religious orthodoxy than previously. This was to have serious repercussions for Italian society and its culture<ref> Burckhardt, Jacob, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (London, Penguin, 1992), p. 112</ref>. The Popes insistence on religious orthodoxy meant that freethought and secular values were increasingly challenged in the aftermath of the Sack of Rome. The Inquisition became more active, as the Pope sought to stamp out every sign of freethought or ideas that were contrary to the teachings of the Church. The growing fear of Protestantism was also instrumental in the new climate but 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 largely humanistic, secular and often overtly pagan and this was no longer possible in the aftermath of the capture of Rome in 1527. It became increasingly difficult for the humanist who were once so influential to express 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 md-1500s they were intimidated by the inquisition. The new emphasis on religious orthodoxy meant that many noble patrons were unwilling to subsidize the works of humanists who expressed ‘pagan’ ideas.
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