Sacco di Roma, 1527

A.) Causes for the Sack of Rome

Emperor Charles V. had defeated King Francis I. in the Franco-Habsburg War. Francis had been taken prisoner in the Battle of Pavia, and had signed the Treaty of Madrid 1526, which supposedly ended the conflict. Francis I., freshly released, showed no intention to honour his obligations, and instread joined the LEAGUE OF COGNAC (1526), together with Pope Clement VII. and with Venice

B.) The Sack of Rome

Emperor Charles V. felt double-crossed. He lead an army of German mercenaries (Landsknechte), marched on Rome and took the city without meeting much resistance. The mercenaries, among whom were a consuderable number of Lutherans, plundered the city; Pope Clement VII. was terrified, the League of Cognac practically dissolved.
In 1527, the Medici, relatives of Pope Clement VII., were ousted from Florence, for the second time.

C.) The Legacy

In the Peace of Barcelona, Emperor Charles V. had granted favourable conditions to Pope Clement VII. After peace was concluded between the Emperor and France in 1529, Clement VII. formally crowned Charles Emperor. The same year, Emperor Charles V. dispatched an army against the Republic of Florence (which in 1527 had ousted the Medicis - Clement VII. was a Medici. Emperor and pope had turned into allies. In August 1530, after a 10-month siege, the Republic of Florence agreed to the Emperor's terms. In 1533 Pope Clement VII. rejected Henry VIII's application for a divorce from Catherine of Aragon - a close relative of the Emperor.

Biography of Clement VII., from Catholic Encyclopedia, from Wikipedia
Il Sacco di Roma, 1527, from Schweizergarde, illustrated, in Italian
Luigi Guiccardini, Il Sacco di Roma, online book in Italian
Seconda Lega Santa - Sacco di Roma, 1525-1528, from Cronologia, in Italian
League of Cognac, 1526, p.52, The Sack of Rome, p.55, Results of, and Responsibility for, the Sack of Rome, p.56, from Habsburg and Valois, by Stanley Leathes
REFERENCE Franz Xaver Seppelt, Georg Schwaiger, Geschichte der Päpste (History of the Popes), München : Kösel 1964

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 3rd 2003, last revised on November 17th 2004

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