The Crimes & Conspiracy in the Vatican

English Verse Translation
Celuy qu’aura gouvert de la grand cappe
He who rules o’er the mighty papacy
Sera induict a quelque cas patrer:
Shall be induced a crime to perpetrate.
Les XII. rouges viendront souiller la nappe cardinaux Twelve cardinals their cloth shall sullied see:
Sous meurtre, meutre se viendra perpetrer
Murder on murder shall the world await.

Source: The appointment in 1493 by Pope Alexander VI of his own possibly illegitimate son Cesare Borgia as a leading administrator in papal affairs, largely as a result of the scandal arising from Alexander’s sale of twelve cardinals’ hats to the highest bidder in September of the same year. Cesare would subsequently be suspected of the murder of his own brother Giovanni, Duke of Gandia, in 1497, as well as of Perrotto, the Pope’s chamberlain, in 1498.

English Verse Translation
Devant le peuple sang sera respandu
Before the people shall be shed the blood,
Que du haut ciel ne viendra eslogner: éloigner Nor shall the blame too far from heaven’s throne sit.
Mais d’un long temps ne sera entendu
Long shall it be by no-one understood:
L’esprit d’un seul le viendra tesmoigner
The mind of one alone shall witness it.

Source: The De pactiana coniuratione commentarium by Angelo Poliziano, first published in Basel in 1553, describing the murder of the papally-connected Giuliano de’ Medici on April 26 1478 during Easter Mass at the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, and the wounding of his brother Lorenzo, who escaped with Poliziano’s help. The attack had been instigated by Pope Sixtus IV, his nephew Gerolamo Riario, Archbishop Salviati, and members of the Pazzi family, a wealthy Florentine family who rivalled the Medici. For many years the involvement of the then papacy in the conspiracy was not widely known, since Poliziano’s eyewitness account implicating Pope Sixtus IV was conspicuously omitted from his Omnia opera, published at Venice in 1498.

VI.25. Original 1557 Edition Supplement
English Verse Translation
Par Mars contraire sera la monarchie,

Mars being opposed, the sacred monarchy
Du grand pescheur en trouble ruyneux:

Of th’ Fisher shall into dire trouble fall.
Jeune noir, rouge prendra la hierarchie,

A young, dark red takes up the hierarchy.
Les proditeurs iront jour bruyneux.

Traitors shall act one day ‘neath misty pall.

Source: The appointment, by Pope Alexander VI, in September 1493, of his son Cesare Borgia (then aged only nineteen and described as having long auburn hair) to the position of archbishopric, Cardinal of Valencia and leading administrator in papal affairs (see IV.11). However, Cesare renounced his position of Cardinal in August 1498, after the death of his brother, the duke of Gandia (of whom he probably murdered). Thereafter, as captain-general of the papal army he began his political career as papal legate to France, striking an alliance with King Louis XII and pushing his Italian conquests as fast as possible, while at the same time buying the loyalty of the Roman gentry. By doing all this, Cesare hoped to ensure that the election of any future pope would be to his liking, but before his schemes could be realized, both he and his father, Pope Alexander VI, were struck by the same illness (poisoned according to the rumours), while dining with Cardinal Adriano da Corneto at his villa, late in the evening of 6 August 1503. His father died twelve days later as a consequence of this, but Cesare recovered, although now, his political power had suffered a fatal blow, for had the sudden death of his father not intervened, his political scheming would certainly have ended with the ruin of the Papacy.

VI.26. Original 1557 Edition Supplement
English Verse Translation
Quatre ans le siege quelque peu bien tiendra,

Some four years the see shall little well gain:
Un survien ra libidineux de vie:
One succeeds with life of pruriency,
Ravenne & Pyse, Veronne soustiendront,

Ravenna, Pisa, Verona him sustain,
Pour eslever la croix de Pape envie.

Carrying the cross of Papal envy.

Source: The succession of Baldassare Cossa as Pope John XXIII (the Pisan line - Antipope) in 1410, during the Great Schism of Western Christianity (1378 – 1417). After the spectacle of having three popes at the same time for four years, prelates and leading laymen persuaded Emperor Sigismund to assemble and preside over a Council at Constance in 1414, where John XXIII was charged with piracy, rape, incest, sodomy and the murder of Pope Alexander V. In March 1415, John fled, but was soon captured and after a brief trial was found guilty, deposed, imprisoned and eventually strangled. The Romans pelted mud and stones at his coffin when it was brought to Rome. There was no public funeral and gossip of the day had it that during his legation he seduced 200 women and a similar number of men.