The papacy has often resembled a secular European monarchy more than a divinely inspired institution. Roman pontiffs bestowed great wealth on their families and forged strategic alliances with other powerful families to increase their power. Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia), for example, forced his daughter Lucrezia into a series of marriages for political reasons. When her marital alliance was no longer advantageous, as was the case in her second marriage, her husband was brutally murdered. Many papal families also intermarried in hopes of forming a hereditary papacy; at least two members of the Fieschi, Piccolomini, Della Rovere, and Medici families served as pope. Papal families since the early history of the church are fully covered in this comprehensive work. Genealogical charts graphically show the descendants of the popes, presenting in many cases the interrelationships between the papal families and their relationships with many of the leading families of Europe. Detailed histories examine the impact of the papacy on each pope's family and how each influenced the history of the church.
From the Author
Papal Genealogy centers on the period from Marozia, Roman senatrix, c. 900 a.d. until the 18th century showing that related aristocratic families, who placed members and allies on the pontifical throne, ruled Rome and the States of the Church primarily for their benefit. The families sustained the papacy while the papacy maintained these Italian families with financial and territorial resources for at least a 1,000 years. The book shows how more recent reforms changed the image of the Supreme Pontiff. It also deals with the pivotal role of women members of these families in the Vatican.
The author researched in the archives of the Brera Library, Milan, the National Library, Rome, and the Vatican Library where the work was completed.
About the Author:
GEORGE L. WILLIAMS has focused his writings on Italian studies, publishing articles on Italian educations, Italian literature (Science Fiction) and history. His book, Fascist Thought and Totalitarianism in Italy's Secondary Schools: Theory and Practice 1922-1943, was printed by Peter Lang. He spoke at an International Symposium on Italian Fascist Education at the Humbolt University in Berlin. Recently his new book Papal Genealogy:
Williams graduated with honors in Political Science and distinction in History from Queens College and later obtained his Ph.D. from New York University. He has ben the recipient of an Italian Government Grant, a Fulbright Scholarship to Italy and a New York University Fellowship. It was during his Fulbright that he became fascinated with the families of the popes and how they impacted upon the church and Western Europe.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.