Two Popes with the name Julius

Two Popes with the name Julius

Rex Harrison suitable pious as Julius Ii (right) & Charlton Heston wooden as Michaelangelo (left) in a Hollywood extravaganza /

Rex Harrison suitable pious as Julius II (right) & Charlton Heston wooden as Michaelangelo (left) in a Hollywood extravaganza /

In this case I cannot do my usual playing with papal names and invented adjectives; some of my faithful followers might like to read about ‘Julian Popes’, as in ‘Innocent Popes’, but ‘Julian’ refers to anything connected with the Emperor Julian, who was, if not the anti-Christ, at least anti-Christian, which is why he was called ‘Julian the Apostate’. There is a splendid biography in the typical Gore Vidal style about Emperor Julian, very well worth reading. You can get it easily and cheaply on Amazon.

Julius II came from one of those distinguished Roman families – the Della Rovere; he was born in 1443 and was Pope from 1513 to 1513. He devoted most of these papal years to re-establishing the Pope’s sovereignty within the ancient territory of the Vatican. He also found time to try to remove any foreign domination from Italy herself, though the Vatican is of course a city/state within Italy. Julius II took part in the restoration of the Papal States through what was called ‘The League of Cambrai’. He was less successful in ‘The Holy League’ (Spain, England and Italy), moving in wae-like manner without intelligence, against French King Louis XII.

As a liberal patron of the arts, however, he did very well, exploying the architect and artist Bramante for a re-design of St. Peter’s. Work began in 1506, and by then Julius had commissioned work from Raphael and Michaelangelo no less. He died still full of hope for a super-powerful Vatican, in 1513.

Julius III was the papal name chosen by Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte, born in 1487. He became Pope in 1550 after spending the first fifty-three years of his life in the bosom of the Church. Representing the Vatican with two others, he attended the Council of Trent, re-opening it after his election. He was responsible for sending Cardinal Reginald Pole to England to unite that country under Queen Mary I (Tudor) with the Church of Rome. He was therefore equally responsible for the great wave or burnings and executions of ‘heretics’ which happened in England under the extremist Catholic aegis of Mary Tudor, who was known as ‘Bloody Mary’ – and not without reason.

By | 2015-09-11T10:45:23+00:00 September 11th, 2015|Church history, History of Rome, History of the Cinema, Italian History|1 Comment

About the Author:

‘Dean Swift’ is a pen name: the author has been a soldier; he has worked in sales, TV, the making of films, as a teacher of English and history and a journalist. He is married with three grown-up children. They live in Spain.

One Comment

  1. Itajara December 10, 2021 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    I found it interesting to learn that Hitler was promoting WWII as a Holy War, in a way. Opreation Barbarossa was named from the guy who turned the Roman Empire into the Holy Roman Empire. And then theres the matter of 97% of Germany in 1939 being Christian; 40% Catholic, 54% Protestant, and an eight-ball of non-denominationals. (Thats 3.5 grams. I mean percent.) Clearly, it was the 1.5% Free-Thinkers/atheists and the 1% Pagans/others who were responsible for all the evil and actions the Nazis took. Don’t you think?

Leave A Comment