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Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 955 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PAUL II. (Pietro Barbo), pope from the 3oth of August 1464 to the 26th of July 1471, was born at Venice in 1417. Intended for a business career, he took orders during the pontificate of his uncle, Eugenius IV., and was appointed successively archdeacon of Bologna, bishop of Cervia, bishop of Piacenza, protonotary of the Roman Church, and in 1440 cardinal-deacon of Sta Maria Nuova. He was made cardinal-priest of Sta Cecilia, then of St Marco by Nicholas V., was a favourite of Calixtus III. and was unanimously and unexpectedly elected the successor of Pius II. He immediately declared that election " capitulations," which cardinals had long been in the habit of affirming as rules of conduct for future popes, could affect a new pope only as counsels, not as binding obligations. He opposed with some success the domineering policy of the Venetian government in Italian affairs. His repeated condemnations of the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges resulted in strained relations with Louis XI. of France. He pronounced excommunication. and deposition against King George Podiebradon the 23rd of December 1466 for refusal to enforce the Basel agreement against the Utraquists, and prevailed on Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, to declare war against him on the 31st of March 1468. Matthias was not particularly successful, but George Podiebrad died on the 22nd of March 1471. The pope carried on fruitless negotiations (1469) with the emperor Frederick III. for a crusade against the Turks. Paul endeavoured to make drastic reforms in the curia, and abolished the college of abbreviators (1466), but this called forth violent protests from the historian Platina, one of their number and subsequently librarian under Sixtus IV., who is responsible for the fiction that Paul was an illiterate persecutor of learning. It is true that the pope suppressed the Roman academy, but on religious grounds. On the other hand he was friendly to Christian scholars; he restored many ancient monuments; made a magnificent collection of antiquities and works of art; built the Palazzo di St Marco, now the Palazzo di Venezia; and probably first introduced printing into Rome. Paul embellished the costume of the cardinals, collected jewels for his own adornment, provided games and food for the Roman people and practically instituted the carnival. He began in 1469 a revision of the Roman statutes of 1363—a work which was not completed until 1490. Paul established the special tax called the quietdennium in 1470, and by bull of the same year (April 19) announced the jubilee for every twenty-five years. He began negotiations with Ivan III. for the union of the Russian Church with the Roman see. Paul was undoubtedly not a man of quick parts or unusual views, but he was handsome, attractive, strong-willed, and has never been accused of promoting nephews or favourites. He died very suddenly, probably of apoplexy, on the 26th of July, 1471, and was succeeded by Sixtus IV. The principal contemporary lives of Paul II., including that by Platina, are in 'L. Muratori, Rerum ital. scriptores, iii. pt. 2, and in Raynaldus, Annales ecclesiastici (1464-1471). The inventory of his personal effects, published by E. Miintz (Les Arts, ii., 1875), is a valuable document for the history of art. See also L. Pastor, History of the Popes, vol. iv.; trans. by F. I. Antrobus (London, 1898) ; M. Creighton, History of the Papacy, vol. iv. (London, 1901) ; F. Gregorovius, Rome in the Middle Ages, vol. vii. (trans. by Mrs G. W. Hamilton, London, 1900-1902) ; H. L'Epinois, Paul II.; F. Palacky, Geschichte von Bohmen, Bd. IV.-V. (Prague, 186o-1865) ; Aus den Annalen-Registern der Pdpste Eugen IV., Pius II., Paul II., u. Sixtus IV., ed. by K. Hayn (Cologne, 1896). There is an excel-lent article by C. Beneath in Hauck's, Realencyklopddie (3rd ed.), vol. xv. (C. H. HA.)
End of Article: PAUL II

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