A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age - Chapter II, The Shattering (Sections 57-64) Summary & Analysis

William Manchester
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Pope Leo did not really grasp what was going on beneath his watch. He conceived of the early elements of the Reformation as a "squabble among monks." Religion just wasn't a great priority for him, as he cared more about learning, living the good life and making war. Focusing on conquering France to expand Northern Italy would cost him Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia to Protestants. Leo died at 46, one random night. The next Pope, Adrian VI, was a reformer and focused on heresy and abuse. He ended simony and the sale of indulgences. But he died after a year.

Next came Pope Clement VII, whose inability to play the political game led to a sacking of Rome by Charles V's mutinying troops. Millions were stolen and many sacred places desecrated. Protestants saw it as divine...

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