Clement VIII (Pope)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Clement VIII, mosaic around 1600

Clement VIII (born February 24, 1536 in Fano ; † March 3, 1605 in Rome ), maiden name Ippolito Aldobrandini , was Pope from 1592 to 1605 .


Clemens VIII came from the Aldobrandini merchant family , which was respected in Florence , and whose several lines had played an important role in the politics of their hometown since the late Middle Ages and had distinguished themselves by frequenting municipal upper offices. As opponents of the Medici , who were finally able to establish themselves as city lords in 1530 and were endowed with the title of Dukes of Florence by Emperor Charles V , the family branch called Aldobrandini del Nero moved to Rome. Silvestro Aldobrandini , a supporter of the Medici opponents who had been banished from Florence, was a well-known lawyer and, after 1538, consistorial advocate at the papal curiawho subscribed to his anti-Spanish policy under Pope Paul IV ; after its failure, however, he fell out of favor in 1559 and resigned from papal service.

Silvestro's eldest son Giovanni became cardinal in 1570 and in the following year brought about the military alliance between Spain , Venice and Pope Pius V , which was able to defeat the Turks in the naval battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571. However, since Giovanni died in 1573, he could not move up in the church hierarchy . However, this succeeded his younger brother Ippolito, who after studying canon law in Padua and Perugia and the promotion of Doctor of Law in Bologna made his mark as a church lawyer and his father Konsistorialadvokat and since 1570 Auditor of the Roman Rota was. After being appointed Datar, the head of the Apostolic Datarie , he was named cardinal on December 18, 1585 by Pope Sixtus V with the titular church of San Pancrazio . Later he officiated in 1587 as papal legate in Poland and brought about the election of Sigismund III. Wasa as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania . He also became a major penitentiary .

Pope election

Ippolito was very pious and personally humble. These virtues recommended him as a candidate for the papal election in the conclave from January 10th to 30th, 1592 after the death of Innocent IX. , attended by 54 cardinals. After 19 ballots, he was unanimously elected as the new Pope with the support of both parties in Spain and Tuscany . In memory of the Florentine predecessor Clement VII , he took the name Clement VIII. Among his confessors were his teacher, St. Philipp Neri and the famous church historian and Cardinal Cesare Baronio . The new Pope appointed in 1593 his two nephews Pietro Aldobrandini and Cinzio Passeri Aldobrandini cardinals and equal Kardinalnepoten . In fact, however, the first-named nephew of the male line, who also became Archbishop of Ravenna , gained priority, which he used with papal funds to promote the poet Torquato Tasso .


Spiritual politics

Coat of arms of Pope Clement VIII, modern drawing

The pontificate of Clement VIII is one of the most important of the Catholic reform that followed the stipulations of Tridentine . He published the Pontificale Romanum (1595/96) and the Caeremoniale episcoporum (1600) as well as new editions of the Breviarium Romanum (1602) and the Missale Romanum (1604). In 1596 he also initiated a new edition of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum , the list of books expressly prohibited by the Church.

One of the foreign and ecclesiastical political highlights of his pontificate is the Union of Brest in Rome in 1595 , the merger of the Orthodoxy of Kiev and Ruthenia with the Catholic Church.

In the holy year 1600, Clement proclaimed, as Pope Boniface VIII did in 1300 and Clement VI. had supported an anniversary indulgence . In the same year the Pope personally gained about 60 indulgences by visiting the four main basilicas; he even visited the seven pilgrimage churches of Rome around 160 times during the pontificate. The Pope could be found barefoot in the middle of processions. He often invited twelve poor pilgrims to his table and served them, and he went to the hospice of the Most Holy Trinity of pilgrims to wash their feet and give alms.

The Congregation of Cardinals de auxiliis for the grace dispute (1595-1603) ended its work under the presidency of the Pope. The decision was never published because of his sudden death. The successors since Paul V have kept the question open ever since. Presumably Clement VIII tended to condemn Molinism . The best-known victim of the Pope's internal church policy was the Dominican Giordano Bruno , who was convicted of heresy in a court case and burned at the stake at Campo de 'Fiori in Rome on February 17, 1600 . A statue by the sculptor Ettore Ferrari , erected in 1889, commemorates Giordano Bruno.

Clemens mainly used the Jesuits to regain territories lost to the Protestants .

Secular politics

In 1595, Clement VIII recognized the French King Henry IV , which ended the wars of religion. Three years later he let his troops occupy the Duchy of Ferrara , in which Alfonso II. D'Este (1559–1597), the last duke of the direct line of the D'Este family, had died, and it was a settled fiefdom for the Papal States a; Alfonso's cousin Cesare , the son of an illegitimate uncle, was restricted to the Duchy of Modena and Reggio, which was an imperial fiefdom, but he was able to take the family's mobile property with him. As a general of the Roman Church, Clemens' nephew Giovanni Francesco Aldobrandini was unable to get a grip on the bandit mischief that had been rampant in the Papal States for a long time, against which Sixtus V had previously taken vigorous action.

Clemens VIII put his reputation for severity into practice in a famous criminal case that continues to preoccupy people to this day. The noble Roman family Cenci had leased the castle as a residence from the Colonna family in the small town of Petrella Salto on what is now the Lago del Salto reservoir in the Sabina countryside outside the capital . The head of the family, Francesco Cenci , was murdered there because of his brutal attitude towards children and his second wife. The daughter Beatrice Cenci and her younger brother Giacomo were behind this crime, which was quickly cleared up and led to the trial with torture. On September 11, 1599, Beatrice and her stepmother were beheaded near the Castel Sant'Angelo and the brother quartered after the Pope had refused his grace. Beatrice Cenci then went into literature, music, painting and film as a youthful martyr .

Art politics

Tomb of Pope Clement VIII in Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore (Rome)

In Rome, Clement VIII had a large family palace built on the Piazza Colonna , which is now the official seat of the Italian Prime Minister as Palazzo Chigi , and a city villa a little above in the east of the Piazza Venezia . In the church of S. Maria sopra Minerva , the house architect of Pope Carlo Maderno created the Cappella Aldobrandini , in which, among other things, the grave monuments of father and mother Clement VIII are located.

The most famous building associated with the Pope's family name is Villa Aldobrandini in Frascati . He gave it to his nephew Pietro Aldobrandini as a present. The villa was built between 1598 and 1604 by architects Giacomo della Porta , Giovanni Fontana and Carlo Maderno on the slope of the hill that overlooks the city's main square. The interior decoration with frescoes was done by various painters, such as Giuseppe Cesari , known as Cavaliere d'Arpino, the brothers Taddeo and Federico Zuccari and students of Domenico Zampieri, known as Domenichino . Behind the building, a wide park stretches up the hill, which is provided with water features, including a water staircase.

The name Aldobrandini is also given to an ancient fresco that was found in 1605 in the park of the Roman villa of Cardinal Cinzio Passeri Aldobrandini . It is known as the " Aldobrandine Wedding " and shows in a fragrant painting style the preparation of a bride for her wedding by her servants. With a wooden frame, it now hangs in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana .

Death and aftermath

When Clemens VIII died on March 3, 1605, he had firmly anchored his family in the Roman aristocracy. Therefore his monumental tomb could be erected in the Cappella Paolina of the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. In the center of a large niche architecture, the Pope sits with a gesture of speech in his right hand, accompanied by reliefs with his deeds and an inscription that also praises his political successes.

The papal nephew Giovanni Francesco continued the family as a secular nepot . In 1595 he fought with papal troops in Hungary in the war of Emperor Rudolf II against the Turks, where he succumbed to a fever in 1601. However, the family died in 1638 from, after which their titles and possessions over the first marriage of the heiress Olimpia in part to the Borghese , the family of Pope Paul V went over, over whose second marriage to Camillo Francesco Maria Pamphilij the other part but at the family of Pope Innocent X. However, when the pamphili died out in 1760 , this part also came to the Borghese. Today the then established leads Sekundogeniturlinie the Borghese name Aldobrandini and heard as Prince of Meldola and Dukes of Carpineto to the core of the Roman aristocracy.


Web links

Commons : Clemens VIII.  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Oskar Panizza : German theses against the Pope and his dark men. With a foreword by MG Conrad . New edition (selection from the “666 theses and quotations”). Nordland-Verlag, Berlin 1940, pp. 78-80, 106 and 208 f.
predecessor Office successor
Innocent IX. Pope
Leo XI.