Pope Julius II (1443-1513)
Giuliano was the son of the impoverished Rafaello della Rovere, Pope Sixtus IV’s only brother. In 1471 Sixtus IV made him a cardinal. In this office Giuliano displayed all of the attributes of cupidity and corruption of an unscrupulous Renaissance prince.
After the death of Sixtus IV, the Cardinal’s candidate, the weak Innocent VIII, was elected through bribery. When Rodrigo Borgia, elected pope as Alexander VI in 1492, plotted Giuliano’s assassination, Giuliano fled in 1494 to the court of Charles VIII of France. He accompanied the French king on his expedition against Naples in the hope that Charles would also depose Alexander VI. After accompanying Charles on his forced return to France, Giuliano took part in Louis XII’s invasion of Italy in 1502.
Following the death of the Borgia pope in 1503, Giuliano returned to Rome, having been 10 years in exile, and, after Pius III’s brief pontificate, was, with the liberal help of simony, elected Pope Julius II in October 1503.
Having become an exponent of Italian national consciousness, Julius II proposed to drive the French from Italy, but his second war, which lasted from September 1510 to May 1511, was unsuccessful.
The enduring impact of the life of Julius II stemmed from his gift for inspiring great artistic creations. His name is closely linked with those of such great artists as Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo. With his wealth of visionary ideas, he contributed to their creativity.(ack: Brittanica Ency.)