Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X, born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was Pope from 9 March 1513 to his death in 1521. Born into the prominent political and banking Medici family of Florence, Giovanni was the second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, ruler of the Florentine Republic, he was elevated to the cardinalate in 1489. Following the death of Pope Julius II, Giovanni was elected pope after securing the backing of the younger members of the Sacred College. Early on in his rule he oversaw the closing sessions of the Fifth Council of the Lateran, but struggled to implement the reforms agreed. In 1517 he led a costly war that succeeded in securing his nephew as Duke of Urbino, but which reduced papal finances. In Protestant circles, Leo is associated with granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica, a practice, soon challenged by Martin Luther's 95 Theses, he refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the demands of what would become the Protestant Reformation, his Papal Bull of 1520, Exsurge Domine, condemned Martin Luther's condemnatory stance, rendering ongoing communication difficult.
Notwithstanding these divisions, he granted establishment to the Oratory of Divine Love. He spent money without circumspection. A significant patron of the arts, upon election Leo is alleged to have said, "Since God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it." Under his reign, progress was made on the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica and artists such as Raphael decorated the Vatican rooms. Leo reorganised the Roman University, promoted the study of literature and antiquities, he is buried in Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome. He was the last pope not to have been in priestly orders at the time of his election to the papacy. Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici was born on December 11, 1475 in the Republic of Florence, the second son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, head of the Florentine Republic. From an early age he was destined for an ecclesiastical career, he was soon granted rich benefices and preferments. His father prevailed on his relative Innocent VIII to name him cardinal-deacon of Santa Maria in Domnica on 8 March 1488 when he was age 13, although he was not allowed to wear the insignia or share in the deliberations of the college until three years later.
Meanwhile, he received an education at Lorenzo's humanistic court under such men as Angelo Poliziano, Pico della Mirandola, Marsilio Ficino and Bernardo Dovizio Bibbiena. From 1489 to 1491 he studied canon law at Pisa. On 23 March 1492, he was formally admitted into the Sacred College of Cardinals and took up his residence at Rome, receiving a letter of advice from his father; the death of Lorenzo on the following 8 April, temporarily recalled the 16-year-old Giovanni to Florence. He returned to Rome to participate in the conclave of 1492 which followed the death of Innocent VIII, unsuccessfully opposed the election of Cardinal Borgia, he subsequently made his home with his elder brother Piero in Florence throughout the agitation of Savonarola and the invasion of Charles VIII of France, until the uprising of the Florentines and the expulsion of the Medici in November 1494. While Piero found refuge at Venice and Urbino, Giovanni traveled in Germany, in the Netherlands, in France. In May 1500, he returned to Rome, where he was received with outward cordiality by Pope Alexander VI, where he lived for several years immersed in art and literature.
In 1503 he welcomed the accession of Pope Julius II to the pontificate. On 1 October 1511 he was appointed papal legate of Bologna and the Romagna, when the Florentine republic declared in favour of the schismatic Pisans, Julius II sent Giovanni with the papal army venturing against the French; the French captured Giovanni. This and other attempts to regain political control of Florence were frustrated until a bloodless revolution permitted the return of the Medici. Giovanni's younger brother Giuliano was placed at the head of the republic, but Giovanni managed the government. Giovanni was elected Pope on 9 March 1513, this was proclaimed two days later; the absence of the French cardinals reduced the election to a contest between Giovanni and Raffaele Riario. On 15 March 1513, he was ordained priest, consecrated as bishop on 17 March, he was crowned Pope on 19 March 1513 at the age of 37. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. Leo had intended his nephew Lorenzo for brilliant secular careers.
He had named them Roman patricians. The death of Giuliano in March 1516, caused the pope to transfer his ambitions to Lorenzo. At the time that peace between France, Spain and the Empire seemed to give some promise of a Christendom united against the Turks, Leo obtained 150,000 ducats towards the expenses of the expedition from Henry VIII of England, in return for which he entered the imperial league of Spain and England against France; the war lasted from February to September 1517 and ended with the expulsion of the duke and the triumph of Lorenzo. Francesco Guicciardini reckoned the cost of th
Seneca the Younger
Seneca the Younger Lucius Annaeus Seneca and known as Seneca, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, dramatist, and—in one work—satirist of the Silver Age of Latin literature. Seneca was born in Córdoba in Hispania, raised in Rome, where he was trained in rhetoric and philosophy, his father was Seneca the Elder, his elder brother was Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus, his nephew was the poet Lucan. In AD 41, Seneca was exiled to the island of Corsica by the emperor Claudius, but was allowed to return in 49 to become a tutor to Nero; when Nero became emperor in 54, Seneca became his advisor and, together with the praetorian prefect Sextus Afranius Burrus, provided competent government for the first five years of Nero's reign. Seneca's influence over Nero declined with time, in 64 Seneca was forced to take his own life for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero, in which he was to have been innocent, his stoic and calm suicide has become the subject of numerous paintings. As a writer Seneca is known for his philosophical works, for his plays, which are all tragedies.
His prose works include a dozen essays and one hundred and twenty-four letters dealing with moral issues. These writings constitute one of the most important bodies of primary material for ancient Stoicism; as a tragedian, he is best known for plays such as his Medea and Phaedra. Seneca's influence on generations is immense—during the Renaissance he was "a sage admired and venerated as an oracle of moral of Christian, edification. Seneca was born at Córdoba in the Roman province of Baetica in Hispania, his father was Lucius Annaeus Seneca the elder, a Spanish-born Roman knight who had gained fame as a writer and teacher of rhetoric in Rome. Seneca's mother, was from a prominent Baetician family. Seneca was the second of three brothers. Miriam Griffin says in her biography of Seneca that "the evidence for Seneca's life before his exile in 41 is so slight, the potential interest of these years, for social history as well as for biography, is so great that few writers on Seneca have resisted the temptation to eke out knowledge with imagination."
Griffin infers from the ancient sources that Seneca was born in either 8, 4, or 1 BC. She thinks he was born between 4 and 1 BC and was resident in Rome by AD 5. Seneca tells us that he was taken to Rome in the "arms" of his aunt at a young age when he was about five years old, his father resided for much of his life in the city. Seneca was taught the usual subjects of literature and rhetoric, as part of the standard education of high-born Romans. While still young he received philosophical training from Attalus the Stoic, from Sotion and Papirius Fabianus, both of whom belonged to the short-lived School of the Sextii, which combined Stoicism with Pythagoreanism. Sotion persuaded Seneca when he was a young man to become a vegetarian, which he practised for around a year before his father urged him to desist because the practice was associated with "some foreign rites". Seneca had breathing difficulties throughout his life asthma, at some point in his mid-twenties he appears to have been struck down with tuberculosis.
He was sent to Egypt to live with his aunt, whose husband Gaius Galerius had become Prefect of Egypt. She nursed him through a period of ill-health. In 31 AD he returned to Rome with his uncle dying en route in a shipwreck, his aunt's influence helped Seneca be elected quaestor, which earned him the right to sit in the Roman Senate. Seneca's early career as a senator seems to have been successful and he was praised for his oratory. Cassius Dio relates a story that Caligula was so offended by Seneca's oratorical success in the Senate that he ordered him to commit suicide. Seneca only survived because he was ill and Caligula was told that he would soon die anyway. In his writings Seneca has nothing good to say about Caligula and depicts him as a monster. Seneca explains his own survival as down to his patience and his devotion to his friends: "I wanted to avoid the impression that all I could do for loyalty was die."In 41 AD, Claudius became emperor, Seneca was accused by the new empress Messalina of adultery with Julia Livilla, sister to Caligula and Agrippina.
The affair has been doubted by some historians, since Messalina had clear political motives for getting rid of Julia Livilla and her supporters. The Senate pronounced a death sentence on Seneca, which Claudius commuted to exile, Seneca spent the next eight years on the island of Corsica. Two of Seneca's earliest surviving works date from the period of his exile—both consolations. In his Consolation to Helvia, his mother, Seneca comforts her as a bereaved mother for losing her son to exile. Seneca incidentally mentions the death of a few weeks before his exile. In life Seneca was married to a woman younger than himself, Pompeia Paulina, it has been thought that the infant son may have been from an earlier marriage, but the evidence is "tenuous". Seneca's other work of this period, his Consolation to Polybius, one of Claudius' freedmen, focused on consoling Polybius on the death of his brother, it is noted for its flattery of Claudius, Seneca expresses his hope that the emperor will recall him from exile.
In 49 AD Agrippina married her uncle Claudius, through her influence Seneca was recalled to Rome. Agrippina gained the praetorship for Seneca and ap
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the emperors Tiberius, Claudius and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors; these two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus, in 14 AD, to the years of the First Jewish–Roman War, in 70 AD. There are substantial lacunae in the surviving texts, including a gap in the Annals, four books long. Tacitus' other writings discuss oratory and the life of his father-in-law, the general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain focusing on his campaign in Britannia. Tacitus is considered to be one of the greatest Roman historians, he lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature, is known for the brevity and compactness of his Latin prose, as well as for his penetrating insights into the psychology of power politics. Details about his personal life are scarce.
What little is known comes from scattered hints throughout his work, the letters of his friend and admirer Pliny the Younger, an inscription found at Mylasa in Caria. Tacitus was born in 57 to an equestrian family. One scholar's suggestion of Sextus has gained no approval. Most of the older aristocratic families failed to survive the proscriptions which took place at the end of the Republic, Tacitus makes it clear that he owed his rank to the Flavian emperors; the claim that he was descended from a freedman is derived from a speech in his writings which asserts that many senators and knights were descended from freedmen, but this is disputed. His father may have been the Cornelius Tacitus who served as procurator of Germania. There is no mention of Tacitus suffering such a condition, but it is possible that this refers to a brother—if Cornelius was indeed his father; the friendship between the younger Pliny and Tacitus leads some scholars to conclude that they were both the offspring of wealthy provincial families.
The province of his birth remains unknown, though various conjectures suggest Gallia Belgica, Gallia Narbonensis or Northern Italy. His marriage to the daughter of Narbonensian senator Gnaeus Julius Agricola implies that he came from Gallia Narbonensis. Tacitus' dedication to Lucius Fabius Justus in the Dialogus may indicate a connection with Spain, his friendship with Pliny suggests origins in northern Italy. No evidence exists, that Pliny's friends from northern Italy knew Tacitus, nor do Pliny's letters hint that the two men had a common background. Pliny Book 9, Letter 23 reports that, when he was asked if he was Italian or provincial, he gave an unclear answer, so was asked if he was Tacitus or Pliny. Since Pliny was from Italy, some infer that Tacitus was from the provinces Gallia Narbonensis, his ancestry, his skill in oratory, his sympathetic depiction of barbarians who resisted Roman rule have led some to suggest that he was a Celt. This belief stems from the fact that the Celts who had occupied Gaul prior to the Roman invasion were famous for their skill in oratory, had been subjugated by Rome.
As a young man, Tacitus studied rhetoric in Rome to prepare for a career in law and politics. In 77 or 78, he married daughter of the famous general Agricola. Little is known of their domestic life, save that Tacitus loved the outdoors, he started his career under Vespasian, but entered political life as a quaestor in 81 or 82 under Titus. He advanced through the cursus honorum, becoming praetor in 88 and a quindecimvir, a member of the priestly college in charge of the Sibylline Books and the Secular games, he gained acclaim as an orator. He served in the provinces from c. 89 to c. 93, either in command of a legion or in a civilian post. He and his property survived Domitian's reign of terror, but the experience left him jaded and ashamed at his own complicity, giving him the hatred of tyranny evident in his works; the Agricola, chs. 44–45, is illustrative: Agricola was spared those years during which Domitian, leaving now no interval or breathing space of time, but, as it were, with one continuous blow, drained the life-blood of the Commonwealth...
It was not long before our hands dragged Helvidius to prison, before we gazed on the dying looks of Mauricus and Rusticus, before we were steeped in Senecio's innocent blood. Nero turned his eyes away, did not gaze upon the atrocities which he ordered. From his seat in the Senate, he became suffect consul in 97 during the reign of Nerva, being the first of his family to do so. During his tenure, he reached the height of his fame as an orator when he delivered the funeral oration for the famous veteran soldier Lucius Verginius Rufus. In the following year, he wrote and published the Agricola and Germania, foreshadowing the literary endeav
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages; the intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman Humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that "Man is the measure of all things." This new thinking became manifest in art, politics and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.
As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man"; the Renaissance began in the 14th century in Italy. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Milan and Rome during the Renaissance Papacy. The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the "Renaissance" and individual culture heroes as "Renaissance men", questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation; the art historian Erwin Panofsky observed of this resistance to the concept of "Renaissance": It is no accident that the factuality of the Italian Renaissance has been most vigorously questioned by those who are not obliged to take a professional interest in the aesthetic aspects of civilization – historians of economic and social developments and religious situations, most natural science – but only exceptionally by students of literature and hardly by historians of Art. Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity, while social and economic historians of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, "by a thousand ties".
The word Renaissance meaning "Rebirth", first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word occurs in Jules Michelet's 1855 work, Histoire de France; the word Renaissance has been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, art, politics, science and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, searched for realism and human emotion in art. Renaissance humanists such as Poggio Bracciolini sought out in Europe's monastic libraries the Latin literary and oratorical texts of Antiquity, while the Fall of Constantinople generated a wave of émigré Greek scholars bringing precious manuscripts in ancient Greek, many of which had fallen into obscurity in the West.
It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. In the revival of neo-Platonism Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion, reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity; this new engagement with Greek Christian works, the return to the original Greek of the Ne
Claudius was Roman emperor from AD 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Antonia Minor, he was born at Lugdunum in the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy. Because he was afflicted with a limp and slight deafness due to sickness at a young age, his family ostracized him and excluded him from public office until his consulship, shared with his nephew Caligula in 37. Claudius' infirmity saved him from the fate of many other nobles during the purges of Tiberius's and Caligula's reigns, his survival led to his being declared Emperor by the Praetorian Guard after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last man of his family. Despite his lack of experience, Claudius proved to be an efficient administrator, he was an ambitious builder, constructing many new roads and canals across the Empire. During his reign the Empire began the conquest of Britain. Having a personal interest in law, he presided at public trials, issued up to twenty edicts a day, he was seen as vulnerable throughout his reign by elements of the nobility.
Claudius was forced to shore up his position. These events damaged his reputation among the ancient writers, though more recent historians have revised this opinion. Many authors contend. After his death in 54, his grand-nephew, step-son, adopted son Nero succeeded him as Emperor, his 13-year reign would not be surpassed by any successors until that of Domitian, who reigned for 15 years. He was a descendant of the Octavii Rufi, Julii Caesares, the Claudii Nerones, he was a great-nephew of Augustus. He was a nephew of Tiberius through Tiberius' brother. Through his brother Germanicus, Claudius was a great uncle of Nero. Through his mother Antonia Minor he was a grandson of Mark Antony. Claudius was born on 1 August 10 BC at Lugdunum, he had two older siblings and Livilla. His mother, may have had two other children who died young, his maternal grandparents were Mark Antony and Octavia Minor, Augustus' sister, he was therefore the great-great grandnephew of Gaius Julius Caesar. His paternal grandparents were Livia, Augustus' third wife, Tiberius Claudius Nero.
During his reign, Claudius revived the rumor that his father Drusus was the illegitimate son of Augustus, to give the appearance that Augustus was Claudius' paternal grandfather. In 9 BC, his father Drusus unexpectedly died on campaign in Germania from illness. Claudius was left to be raised by his mother, who never remarried; when Claudius' disability became evident, the relationship with his family turned sour. Antonia referred to him as a monster, used him as a standard for stupidity, she seems to have passed her son off to his grandmother Livia for a number of years. Livia was a little kinder, but often sent him short, angry letters of reproof, he was put under the care of a "former mule-driver" to keep him disciplined, under the logic that his condition was due to laziness and a lack of will-power. However, by the time he reached his teenage years his symptoms waned and his family took some notice of his scholarly interests. In AD 7, Livy was hired to tutor him with the assistance of Sulpicius Flavus.
He spent a lot of his time with the philosopher Athenodorus. Augustus, according to a letter, was surprised at the clarity of Claudius' oratory. Expectations about his future began to increase, his work as a budding historian damaged his prospects for advancement in public life. According to Vincent Scramuzza and others, Claudius began work on a history of the Civil Wars, either too truthful or too critical of Octavian—then reigning as Augustus Caesar. In either case, it was far too early for such an account, may have only served to remind Augustus that Claudius was Antony's descendant, his mother and grandmother put a stop to it, this may have convinced them that Claudius was not fit for public office. He could not be trusted to toe the existing party line; when he returned to the narrative in life, Claudius skipped over the wars of the Second Triumvirate altogether. But the damage was done, his family pushed him into the background; when the Arch of Pavia was erected to honor the Imperial clan in 8 BC, Claudius' name was inscribed on the edge—past the deceased princes and Lucius, Germanicus' children.
There is some speculation that the inscription was added by Claudius himself decades and that he did not appear at all. When Augustus died in AD 14, Claudius—then aged 23—appealed to his uncle Tiberius to allow him to begin the cursus honorum. Tiberius, the new Emperor, responded by granting Claudius consular ornaments. Claudius was snubbed. Since the new Emperor was no more generous than the old, Claudius gave up hope of public office and retired to a scholarly, private life. Despite the disdain of the Imperial family, it seems that from early on the general public respected Claudius. At Augustus' death, the equites, or knights, chose
Monte Cassino is a rocky hill about 130 kilometres southeast of Rome, in the Latin Valley, Italy, 2 kilometres to the west of the town of Cassino and 520 m altitude. Site of the Roman town of Casinum, it is best known for its abbey, the first house of the Benedictine Order, having been established by Benedict of Nursia himself around 529, it was for the community of Monte Cassino. The first monastery on Monte Cassino was abandoned. Of the first monastery nothing is known; the second monastery was established by Petronax of Brescia around 718, at the suggestion of Pope Gregory II and with the support of the Lombard Duke Romuald II of Benevento. It was directly subject to the pope and many monasteries in Italy were under its authority. In 883 the monastery was abandoned again; the community of monks resided first at Teano and from 914 at Capua before the monastery was rebuilt in 949. During the period of exile, the Cluniac Reforms were introduced into the community; the 11th and 12th centuries were the abbey's golden age.
It acquired a large secular territory around Monte Cassino, the so-called Terra Sancti Benedicti, which it fortified with castles. It maintained good relations with the Eastern Church receiving patronage from Byzantine emperors, it encouraged fine art and craftsmanship by employing Byzantine and Saracen artisans. In 1057, Pope Victor II recognised the abbot of Monte Cassino as having precedence over all other abbots. Many monks rose to become bishops and cardinals, three popes were drawn from the abbey: Stephen IX, Victor III and Gelasius II. During this period the monastery's chronicle was written by two of its own, Cardinal Leo of Ostia and Peter the Deacon. By the 13th century, the monastery's decline had set in. In 1239, the Emperor Frederick II garrisoned troops in it during his war with the Papacy. In 1322, Pope John XXII elevated the abbey into a bishopric but this was suppressed in 1367; the buildings were destroyed by an earthquake in 1349, in 1369 Pope Urban V demanded a contribution from all Benedictine monasteries to fund the rebuilding.
In 1454 the abbey was placed in commendam and in 1504 was made subject to the Abbey of Santa Giustina in Padua. In 1799, Monte Cassino was sacked again by French troops during the French Revolutionary Wars; the abbey was dissolved by the Italian government in 1866. The building became a national monument with the monks as custodians of its treasures. In 1944 during World War II it was the site of the Battle of Monte Cassino and the building was destroyed by Allied bombing, it was rebuilt after the war. After the reforms of the Second Vatican Council the monastery was one of the few remaining territorial abbeys within the Catholic Church. On 23 October 2014, Pope Francis applied the norms of the motu proprio Ecclesia Catholica of Paul VI to the abbey, removing from its jurisdiction all 53 parishes and reducing its spiritual jurisdiction to the abbey itself—while retaining its status as a territorial abbey; the former territory of the Abbey, except the land on which the abbey church and monastery sit, was transferred to the diocese of Sora-Cassino-Aquino-Pontecorvo.
The history of Monte Cassino is linked to the nearby town of Cassino, first settled in the fifth century B. C. by the Volsci people who held much of central and southern Italy. It was the Volsci; the Volsci in the area were defeated by the Romans in 312 B. C; the Romans built a temple to Apollo at the citadel. Modern excavations have found no remains of the temple, but ruins of an amphitheatre, a theatre, a mausoleum indicate the lasting presence the Romans had there. Generations after the Roman Empire adopted Christianity the town became the seat of a bishopric in the fifth century A. D. Lacking strong defences the area was subject to barbarian attack and became abandoned and neglected with only a few struggling inhabitants holding out. According to Gregory the Great's biography of Benedict, Life of Saint Benedict of Nursia, the monastery was constructed on an older pagan site, a temple of Apollo that crowned the hill; the biography records that the area was still pagan at the time. He reused the temple, dedicating it to Saint Martin, built another chapel on the site of the altar dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
Pope Gregory I's account of Benedict's seizure of Monte Cassino: "Now the citadel called Casinum is located on the side of a high mountain. The mountain shelters this citadel on a broad bench, it rises three miles above it as if its peak tended toward heaven. There was an ancient temple there in which Apollo used to be worshipped according to the old pagan rite by the foolish local farmers. Around it had grown up a grove dedicated to demon worship, where at that time a wild crowd still devoted themselves to unholy sacrifices; when the man of God arrived, he smashed the idol, overturned the altar and cut down the grove of trees. He built a chapel dedicated to St. Martin in the temple of Apollo and another to St. John where the altar of Apollo had stood, and he summoned the people of the district to the faith by his unceasing preaching." Pope Gregory I's biography of Benedict claims. In one story, Satan invisibly sits on a rock making it too heavy to remove until Benedict drives him off. In another story, Satan taunts Benedict and collapses a wall on a young monk, br