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Pope Sixtus IV

Italian Renaissance pope born in Celle Ligure (1414) and died in Rome (1484), aged 70

1460s

Giuliano della Rovere serves as altar boy to Pope Sixtus IV.

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Pope Julius II (1443-1513), aged 17: pope; cardinal
Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 46: pope

1471

August 9

on Wednesday

11 years, 7 months, 13 days later

Sisto IV. was elected Pope. He was from Savona; a Franciscan monk, and general of the Order; then he had been made cardinal by Pope Pagolo, and now Pope. he was elected on Friday, the even of San Lorenzo, and was crowned on San Sisto's day.

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The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Savona was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

Agents

Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 57: pope

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 10.

1471

September 23

on Saturday

1 month, 15 days later

Six ambassadors left Florence to visit the said Pope; namely: Lorenzo de' Medici, Messer Domenico Martegli, Messer Agnolo della Stuffa, Messer Bongianni Gianfigliazzi, Piero Minerbetti and Donato Acciaiuolo; and the said Pope made Piero Miberbetti a knight and he returned to Florence with this title.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:49 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.

1473

July 18

on Friday

1 year, 9 months, 29 days later

We heard that our archbishop, who was one of the Neroni of Florence, had died at Rome; and the archbishopric was given to the Cardinal of San Sisti, called Brother Piero.(1)

(1) Piero Riario, nephew of the Pope.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.
Sunrise in Rome was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

Agents

Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 59: pope

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 11.

1477

January 15

on Monday

3 years, 6 months, 2 days later

Pope Sisto nominated several cardinals; one he nominated for the emperor. And he ordered that the feast of San Francesco should be observed like the other feasts which are enjoined.

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The moon was a new moon that night.

Agents

Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 63: pope

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 14.

1478

March 25

on Monday

1 year, 2 months, 9 days later

The Holy Father gave a plenary indulgence in Santa Maria del Fiore for one day, from vespers on the 24th March till the next vespers, on the 25th March, which people availed themselves of with great devotion. The Cause of this was the preaching of Brother Antonio da Vergiegli in Santa Maria del Fiore during Lent, which bore good fruit.

On this same 25th March, a law was determined upon at the Palagio, which forbade anyone who had killed a man to return to Florence(1).

(1) The provision is of the 16th March, 1478, Old Style, and perhaps the 25th is the day on which it was published. It was made to limit the concession of safe-conducts, and the causes which led to it may be read in the exordium which I have pleasure in publishing as a document which describes the way of thinking at that time. "The high and magnificent Signori having in mind how grave is the sin of homicide, by which man, a creature made and created in the image of God, is destroyed; and seeking the reasons why it is so very frequent under our jurisdiction; find among other things that it is encouraged by the facility of pardon and roper severity not being used in punishing such a detestable and abominable excess, he who commits the homicide being allowed to be continually in the presence of those who have suffered from the offence and of those who desire to live virtuously; none of whom can regard such manslayers without great indignation and perturbation of mind. And although the laws of the Florentine people bitterly avenge and punish such crimes, and give security against them; notwithstanding, whatever may be the reason, either too great humanity (which in reality one ought to call cruelty), or else undisciplined charity, such entirely right and just decrees are not properly observed. And the high Signori and discreet chief citizens wish to remedy these things which are so contrary to honest living and against divine laws, by making the fear of pubishment deter men from committing them, when they are deprived of all hope of pardon, and by adjuring the magistrates not only not to overlook such things, but to enforce the law with severity, hoping firmly that this provision may hav ea good effect" (State Archives of Florence, Consigli maggiori Provv. Reg. ad annum).

The term "Signori e Collegi" used in the decrees meant as follows: the Signori were the eight Priori and the Gonfaloniere della Giustizia, and the Collegi were the sixteen Gonfalonieri della Compagnie and the twelve men (three from each quarter) formerly called the twelve Buonuomini, who were summoned by the Signori to take council on almost every occasion. (Trans.)

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The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:02 AM and sunset was at 6:09 PM.

1478

April 26

on Friday

1 month, 2 days later

On Easter Sunday, in an incident called the Pazzi conspiracy, a group including members of the Pazzi family, backed by the Archbishop of Pisa and his patron Pope Sixtus IV, attacks Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother and co-ruler Giuliano in the Cathedral of Florence. Giuliano is killed, but Lorenzo escapes with only a stab wound.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.

Agents

Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 64: pope
Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 29: patron; poet; ruler

1478

May 9

on Thursday

13 days later

Ambassadors came to Florence from the Pope; and finally, after a few days, they were sent away again without our having consented to give up the cardinal, whom they had wished to take back with them. And at this time many armed men were placed in the Piazza, and a patrol of birri (sergeants) paraded the city day and night and the city-guards all night. No one went out after one o'clock (9 p.m.), whatever class he belonged to; not a sound was heard in the city at night; and no one carried arms at any time.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1478

June 7

on Friday

29 days later

He (Cardinal di San Giorgio) was accompanied by the "Eight"(1) and many citizens from the Palagio to the Nunziata; and he was in dread of being killed by the populace. That same day the Pope excommunicated us.

(1) These were the Otto di Guardia e Balia, at this time at the height of their power. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:01 PM.

1478

July 10

on Wednesday

1 month, 3 days later

Another ambassador came from the King of France; he was going to the Pope, and was lodged in the house of Giovanni Tornabuoni.

And at this time the horsemen of the Duke of Milan came by the Pisan road, and passed near Poggibonizi, and the troops of the king continued to approach.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Poggibonsi was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.

Agents

Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 64: pope
Gian Galeazo Sforza (1469-1494), aged 9: duke

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 21

1478

July 13

on Saturday

3 days later

The King of Naples sent a herald to Florence, with the proclamation displayed, stamped with the arms of the king, and he went to the Signoria to declare war, being deputed to tell us that the king and the Holy Father were ready to oblige us in every way, if we sent away Lorenzo de' Medici: to which the citizens would not agree, and so war began.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1478

July 31

on Wednesday

18 days later

Our men took much booty in the neighbourhood of Volterra. He who seeks evil, finds it. It was not very intelligent of them (the Sienese) to let themselves be drawn into making war in their own territory, for they will suffer two-thirds of the damage, and we the rest; whilst the King of Naples and the Pope who brought it about, will get off easily.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Volterra was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1478

August 15

on Thursday

15 days later

The French ambassador left; and at this time we lost the Castellina. And Messer Niccolo Vitelozzi(1) was going about sacking certain forts of Citta di Castello, and burning men, women, and children, with every sort of cruetly. After that, Messer Lorenzo of Citta di Castello(2) burnt some of our fortresses in the district of Arezzo, and committed atrocities, burning people. They were both cruel men. Such generally come to a bad end. Godly people, as we read in Holy Scripture, never come to a bad end.

(1) Or rather, Vitelli, ally of the Florentines and of Lorenzo de' Medici.

(2) Lorenzo Giustini, who held that city for the Pope.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Città di Castello was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.
Sunrise in Arezzo was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.

1479

January 10

on Friday

4 months, 28 days later

Four French ambassadors arrived at Florence, two of whom were going to the Pope and two to the King of Naples. They declared to the Signoria here, that they were going to make peace in Italy amongst Christians, and to settle all differences, giving judgement according to reason, and protested that their king would proceed against anyone who hindered peace; if the Pope were the one to be obdurate, he would be summoned to a Council; and when peace had been made, all the powers would undertake a crusade against the Unbelievers. They left on the 16th January.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:05 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.

1479

April 18

on Friday

3 months, 8 days later

The plague had increased to such an extent that I went away to my villa at Dicomano with all my family; leaving my apprentices to attend to the shop.

At this time Count Carlo came to Florence, and was appointed a Capitano, and two separate camps were formed, he going into the Perugian territory and defeating the papal troops, which departed utterly routed. And after this the ducal forces(1) could have been broken up; but through the fault of our Capitano, the Duke of Ferrara, and through the dissensions amongst the citizens, no action was taken, or else the enemy would certainly have been conquered. The Duke of Calabria pitched his camp before Colle. People continually deceive us, and we cannot be victorious, as God punishes us for our sins.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Perugia was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Dicomano was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Colle di Buggiano was at 5:55 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

1480

March 29

on Monday

11 months, 16 days later

(Ash Wednesday). The Pope sent an aggravatoria(1) forbidding anyone to communicate; but as it was not made public, almost everyone communicated, and was troubled in conscience after it became known.

(1) A kind of excommunication. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.

1480

April 9

on Friday

11 days later

Two ambassadors were sent to the Pope and to Naples: Messer Antonio Ridolfi and Piero di Lutozzi.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Naples was at 5:58 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.

1480

October 27

on Wednesday

6 months, 21 days later

Lorenzo de' Medici sends a delegation of painters to Rome

Cosimo Rosselli leaves Florence for Rome, together with other Florentine painters, where he has been called as part of the reconciliation project between Lorenzo de' Medici, the de facto ruler of Florence, and Pope Sixtus IV. The Florentines start to work in the The Sistine Chapel as early as the Spring of 1481, along with Perugino, who is already there.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.

Agents

Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 31: patron; poet; ruler
Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 66: pope
Perugino (1446-1523), aged 34: painter

1480

November 4

on Thursday

8 days later

Twelve ambassadors were appointed to go to the Pope; and they set out on the 15th November.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

Agents

Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 66: pope

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 31

1481

April 13

on Wednesday

5 months, 10 days later

The Pope sent us an Indulgence, to be obtained by attending six churches: Santa Maria del Fiore, the Nunziata dei Servi, Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, Santo Spirito, and Sa' Jacopo in Campo Corbolini.(1) And it began on this day and lasted till Easter. Everyone who wished to obtain it had to visit these six churches on three mornings, confessing and doing penance; and had to lend aid, at the said churches, to the forces sent against the Turks.

(1) This church, which was founded in the year 1000, is preceded by a little peristyle closed by wooden gates, as the church is no longer in use. On the capitals of the columns are the arms of the Alberti. In 1206 it passed into the possession of the Knights of Jerusalem, and a good many of their tombs are in the interior. It stands in the Via Faenza, and must not be confounded with either of the two other churches of the same name: San Jacopo tra Fosse, and San Jacopo in Borgo San Jacopo. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

1482

March 14

on Tuesday

11 months, 5 days later

A chancellor of Count Girolamo was hung at the windows of the Bargello. He had been captured by one of the Altoviti,(1) who was a proscribed rebel, and in order to be pardoned, found out this man, and caught him between Piombino and Pisa; and he won his pardon.

(1) This must have been the famous Cola Montano, a Bolognese; not a chancellor, but maintained by Count Girolamo Riario, and the Pope, and the King of Naples, and all the enemies of Florence, during the war following the Conspiracy of the Pazzi. That he was taken by one of the Altoviti is not mentioned elsewhere. Brought to Florence, he was put in the prison of the Bargello or Captain of the Piazza dei Signori; where he wrote with his own hand a Confessione, which is preserved in the State Archives of Florence, amongst the Carte Strozziane, still unedited, but well worth publishing, as important contributions to the history of that time. The order of the Signori e Collegi to the Otto di Custodia e Balia, of the 12th March, for the execution of Montano, still exist in the said archives amongst the papers of these magistrates. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.
Sunrise in Piombino was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.

1482

March 25

on Saturday

11 days later

Madonna Lucrezia, wife of Piero, son of Cosimo de' Medici, and mother of Lorenzo, died on the day of the Annunciation. And at this time the Pope sent us an Indulgence at Santa Maria del Fiore.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1482

April 28

on Friday

1 month, 4 days later

The Duke of Urbino came to Florence, lodging in the house of Giovanni Tornabuoni, and he was received with honour. And on the 29th he left for Milan, to take up his post as Capitano generale, stopping at Ferrara where Signor Roberto was. There they besieged a fort called Ficheruolo till the 1st June.(1)

And in these days the Duke of Calabria on the other hand was besieging Ostia, near Rome; and on the 10th June it was said that he had taken it, but this was not true. He sacked Corneto,(2) however. The Sienese now recalled some of their exiles.

(1) This is not correct; see note to 2nd July.

(2) These are all facts relating to the war which had lately broken out between the Venetians and the Pope on the one hand, and the Florentines, Milan, and Naples on the other. Federigo, Duke of Urbino, was Capitano generale, and Commander of the League against Venice, and Roberto di Sanseverino was in the service of the latter.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Milan was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Ostia was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Corneto was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Ferrara was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Venice was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.
Sunrise in Naples was at 5:53 AM and sunset was at 6:00 PM.

1482

July 25

on Tuesday

2 months, 28 days later

We heard that the papal troops had defeated the Duke of Calabria, and had taken 300 men-at-arms and 19 leaders; and it was a fact.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1482

September 14

on Thursday

1 month, 21 days later

Roberto il Magnifico(1) died at Rome; he who had been so famous for his victory over the Duke of Calabria near Rome, when he took 300 men-at-arms. These two great captains died with a few days of each other, just when they imagined that they were at the height of their glory. What errors are made by the world! Men incur so many perils in order to slay and kill others, and to obtain a short-lived fame on this earth, not considering what it means to kill a man, and how soon they themselves will have to die and render an account.

(1) Roberto Malatesta, a captain sent by the Venetians to aid the Pope.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:58 PM.

1483

August 5

on Sunday

10 months, 25 days later

The exiled Sienese came against their city, as far as the fortress of Sitorno, but were unable to do anything. The citizens took many prisoners from the fortress and carried them into Siena.

In these days the Florentines destroyed a fortress in the upper valley of the Arno, called Monte Domenici, because it had rebelled.

During this August of 1483, the Duke of Calabria captured many fortresses in Lombardy from the Venetians,(1) and crushed the Venetian troops in such a manner that they could not hold out any longer. This occurred because the Church had excommunicated all those who gave aid to the Venetians, which prevented them having soldies from beyond the Alps. And the fleet of the King of Naples came into the port of Ancona, and that of the Venetians set out to find it. But on the 5th September, the king's fleet sailed away without waiting for their opponents. Great things had been expected if they had encountered each other.

(1) From the 12th December, 1482, the Pope had made peace with the League, and then associated himself with it in the war against Venice.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Siena was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.
Sunrise in Arno was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.
Sunrise in Monte Domenici was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.
Sunrise in Ancona was at 6:01 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1483

October 23

on Tuesday

2 months, 19 days later

A cardinal-legate came to Florence, who was going to the King of France as ambassador, to confirm to him his father's crown. And this cardinal chanced to be the very man whom the last King of France(1) had kept for many years in prison, in a cage.

(1) Louis XI. The name of the cardinal was Jean Balue, whom Louis XI. had persuaded Pope Paul II. to make a cardinal; and later, for political reasons, he had imprisoned him in an iron cage, from which he was liberated in 1481 through the intercession of Pope Sixtus IV. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.

Agents

Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 69: pope
Cardinal Jean Balue (1421-1491), aged 62: cardinal
King Louis XI (1423-1483), aged 60: king

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 39

1484

August 14

on Thursday

9 months, 26 days later

At 6 in the night (2 a.m.) we heard that Pope Sisto was dead. He died on the 13th, at 14 in the forenoon (10 a.m.). On the 20th the bells were tolled for his death.

At this time as many men as possible were being hired to send to Sarzana and Pietrasanta.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Pietrasanta was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.
Sunrise in Sarzana was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.

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