Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Conclave Elects Pius II

Manuscript copy of "The Commentaries" kept in The Vatican Library

In, there are a number of large postings which quotes and commentary on the conclave which elected Aeneas as Pius II. It is worthwhile looking at. The commentary is particularly short and pithy but useful.

The quotations below are from the edition of The Commentaries by Pius II which was edited and translated by edited by Margaret Meserve and Marcello Simonetta (Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2003-)(The I Tatti Renaissance library ; 12 ). See:

For centuries, the Commentaries had been published in a bowdlerised way. However the passages which were "censored" have been released. The following passages regarding the conclave indicate in bold the passages which were long suppressed. And it is easy to see why.

"While taking the baths, he [Aeneas, or Pius] began his History of Bohemia, which he dedicated to Alfonso, king of Sicily and Aragon -- inauspiciously, as it turned out, for the king died before it was finished. He had fallen ill of a slow fever while Aeneas was at the baths and lingered forty days between hope of life and fear of death. Finally he paid his debt to nature, having designated as his heir his illegitimate son, Ferrante, whom Popes Nicholas and Eugenius had declared eligible to rule. The king died in sanctity, for he confessed his sins like a Christian and received the sacraments before he passed to the other life. He charged his son to give the Pope 60,000 gold ducats toward the crusade against the Turks and left large legacies to pious causes. He directed that his bones should be taken to Aragon.

The carrying out of these instructions however was hindered by the outbreak of war; for although at Alfonso's death all the princes and states of his realm acknowledged Ferrante as their sovereign and swore allegiance to him, Pope Calixtus transferred the hatred he had felt for Alfonso during his life to his son and declared that the kingdom of Sicily had reverted to the Church of Rome. It was common talk that he intended to put his nephew, Borgia, on the throne. But what is more uncertain than the plans of men? While Calixtus was unduly elated at the death of his royal enemy and thought that now everything was going to be easy for him, he himself fell ill and being weakened by extreme old age died within forty days.

Pope Callistus III

Giovanni Caimo, the envoy of Francesco Sforza, duke of Milan, who was passing through Viterbo, went to see Aeneas there and in the course of conversation said he had been sent to Calixtus to tell him it was not acceptable to Francesco that Ferrante should be deposed from his father's throne; if the pope had any such intention, he should know that the duke of Milan would oppose him. Hearing this, Aeneas cried, "Your message will be the death of him!" And so it was, for when Calixtus heard that Francesco opposed him in the matter of the kingdom, he soon fell ill with the disease that killed him. His nephews buried him in the basilica of St. Peter in the chapel known as St. Mary of the Fevers, which was once a temple of Apollo. He died on August 6 in the year of our Savior 1458. As is the custom, the cardinals staged a magnificent funeral.

Filippo, cardinal of Bologna, was spending the hot days of summer at Bagnoregio when he heard the news. He went to Viterbo and from there traveled with Aeneas to Rome for the election of the next pope. As they approached the city together, they found the entire Curia and most of the populace waiting to meet them outside the walls. All agreed that one of them would be elected pope. Every other cardinal within a hundred miles of Rome also returned, making nineteen in the city. In the course of the funeral ceremonies, however, the cardinal of Fermo came down with a slow fever. He had aspired passionately, excessively even, to follow Calixtus, and so he did -- to the grave. This was a man who could have been a model of virtue, had he not let ambition and a violent temper master him. His life was pure, his learning and experience great, but he was too fierce a partisan of the Ghibellines.

Ten days after Calixtus's death the other eighteen cardinals entered the conclave. The whole city awaited in suspense for the outcome; but it was common talk that Aeneas of Siena would be pope. No one was held in higher esteem.

On the conclave met in the apostolic palace at St. Peter's, where two halls and two chapels were cordoned off for the purpose. In the larger chapel they constructed cells where the cardinals would eat and sleep; the smaller, called the chapel of St. Nicholas, was reserved for deliberations and voting. The halls were places where all might walk about freely.

The day they entered, they did nothing about the election. The next day they issued certain capitulations which all agreed should be observed by the new pope. Each swore that he would abide by them should the lot fall to him. On the third day, after mass, they took a vote and found that Filippo of Bologna and Aeneas of Siena had received an equal number of votes, five apiece. No one else had more than three. On this ballot, whether from strategy or dislike, no one voted for Guillaume, the cardinal of Rouen.
It was the custom for the cardinals to sit and talk together after the result of a scrutiny had been announced, in case anyone wished to change his mind and transfer his vote from one to another. This is the method called "by accession," for it is an easier way to reach an agreement. This procedure was not used after the first scrutiny, for those who had received no votes objected, for they could not now be candidates for accession. They adjourned for lunch, and then a great many private conferences took place. The richer and more influential members of the college summoned others to their presence. Seeking the papacy for themselves or their friends, they begged, made promises, even tried threats. Some threw all decency aside, spared no blushes and pleaded their own cases, claiming the papacy as their right. Among these were Guillaume, cardinal of Rouen; Pietro, cardinal of San Marco; and Giovanni, cardinal of Pavia; nor did the cardinal of Lerida neglect his interests. Each had a great deal to say for himself. Their rivalry was extraordinary, their energy unbounded. They neither rested by day nor slept at night.

Rouen, however, feared these men less than Aeneas and the cardinal of Bologna, for he saw that the majority of the votes were tending toward them. But he was especially afraid of Aeneas, for his silence, he was sure, would prove far more effective than the snarling of the rest. And so he would summon now some, now others, and berate them: "What's Aeneas to you? What makes you think he deserves the papacy? Will you give us a pauper and a cripple for a pope? How will a destitute pope restore a destitute church, or an ailing pope a church that is sick? He's only just come from Germany -- we don't know him! What if he transfers the Curia there? And look at his writing! Shall we set a poet in Peter's place, and administer the Church by pagan laws? Or perhaps you think we should choose Filippo of Bologna instead? A stiff-necked fellow, without the wit to rule himself nor listen to those who counsel right? I'm the senior cardinal. You know I'm not stupid. I'm trained in pontifical law and I can boast of royal blood. I have many friends and great resources I can draw on to relieve the Church of her poverty. What's more, I have quite a few church benefices, which I'll distribute among you and the others, when I resign them."

Then he would pile on appeals or, if they had no effect, resort to threats. If anyone brought up his past record of simony suggesting that in his hands, the papacy would be for sale, he would admit that his earlier career had been tainted with that stain, but would swear that in future his hands would stay clean. He was supported by Alain, cardinal of Avignon, a reckless, grasping character who lent him every assistance, not so much a Frenchman aiding a Frenchman as a man who expected, at Guillaume's election, to obtain his house in Rome, the church of Rouen and the vice-chancellorship. A good number of cardinals were swayed by Rouen's splendid promises; like flies, they were victims of their own appetites. And the tunic of Christ, without Christ, was being sold.

A large group of cardinals gathered in the latrines. Here, as if in a secret, private meeting place, they worked out a plan to elect Guillaume pope, binding themselves with oaths and written pledges. Guillaume felt he could rely on their support and within no time was promising benefices, offices and positions of power, and dividing provinces among them. A perfect place to elect such a pope: where better to strike a filthy bargain than in the latrines!

Already Rouen felt his hopes were practically assured of success. And now, as it seemed they had eleven men confirmed on their side, they were certain they would get a twelfth straight away. For when it gets to this point in the process, someone is always ready to jump up and say "And I make you pope," to win the favor those words always bring. So they thought the matter settled, and were just waiting for dawn so the vote could be taken.

It was past midnight when the cardinal of Bologna rushed into Aeneas's cell and roused him, saying, "Aeneas, what do you say! Don't you know we've already got a pope? A group of cardinals met in the latrines and decided to elect Guillaume. They're only waiting for morning. I think you should get out of bed and offer him your vote before he's elected, for if he makes it without your support he'll never let you forget it. I'm not falling into that trap again. I know what it means to have the pope against you -- I endured the reign of Calixtus, who never gave me so much as a friendly look, and all because I hadn't voted for him. It's best to curry favor with a future pope well in advance, it seems. I'm giving you the advice I'm going to take myself."

Aeneas replied, "Away with you, Filippo, and your advice! No one's going toget me to vote for a man I think totally unfit to follow Peter. Far be it from me, such a sin! If the others want to elect him, let them look to themselves. My hands will be clean of the crime, my conscience won't prick me. You say it's hard to have the pope against you. I'm not worried about that. He won't murder me because I didn't vote for him, that I know. 'But,' you say, 'he won't be kind to you, he won't give you presents, he won't show you favor. You'll feel the pinch of poverty.' Poverty isn't hard for one who's known it well. I've been poor in the past, what does it matter if I die a poor man? He won't take my muses away, and they are all the sweeter when fortunes are low.

"Still I can't believe God would let the Church, his bride, perish at the hands of the cardinal of Rouen. What could be further from the preaching of Christ than a vicar enslaved to simony and lust? Divine Mercy will not turn this palace, the house of so many holy fathers, into a den of thieves or a whoring brothel. The apostleship is bestowed by God, not men. They are men who conspire to commit the papacy to Rouen; and human thoughts are but a breath -- who doesn't know that? It was well their conspiracy was made in the latrines; their plots will go down the drain! Like the Arian heresy, these most foul machinations will have a very filthy end."

"Tomorrow it will be clear that the bishop of Rome is chosen by God, not men. As for you, if you are a Christian, you will not promote to be Vicar of Christ a man you know is the arm of the devil!" Hearing these words, Filippo was too frightened to accede to Rouen.

Then, at first light, Aeneas met the vice-chancellor, Rodrigo, and demanded to know whether he had sold himself to Rouen. "What would you have me do?" he replied, "The thing is settled. A lot of the cardinals met in the latrines and decided to elect him. There's no point remaining with the minority and out of favor with the new pope. I've considered my interests and I'm joining the rest. I won't lose the chancellorship; I have a note from Rouen promising me that. If I don't vote for him, the others will elect him anyway and I'll lose my post."

Aeneas said to him, "Young fool! You'll put an enemy of your country in the Apostle's chair? And put your faith in a note from a faithless man? You'll have the note; the chancellorship will go to Avignon. What you've been promised, he's been promised, too, and he's had confirmation. Will Rouen keep faith with him or you? Will a Frenchman be a better friend to a Frenchman or a Catalan?"

"Will he care more about a foreigner or his fellow countryman? You inexperienced boy! You fool! Take care! Even if you think nothing of the Church of Rome, even if you have no regard for the Christian religion and despise God -- whom you'd provide with such a vicar -- at least take thought for yourself, for you will find yourself among the last and least, if a Frenchman becomes Pope." The vice-chancellor listened patiently to the words of his friend and then reversed his decision completely.

After this, Aeneas saw the cardinal of Pavia and said to him, "I hear you too have fallen in with those who are going to lect Rouen. Is it true?" He replied, "You've heard correctly. I've agreed to give him my vote so as not to be left by myself. The matter's already decided, you see. So many cardinals have declared for him."

Aeneas replied, "You're not the man I thought you were. How far short you fall of your forebears! Think of your father's brother (or was he your mother's ?), Branda, the cardinal of Piacenza. When the papacy lay beyond the mountains in Germany, when John XXIII convened the Council of Constance and conveyed the entire Curia across the Alps,he never rested until he had brought the Holy See back to Italy. It was thanks to his diplomacy, devotion and skill that, when the contestants for the papacy all withdrew, Martin V was elected pope, a Roman of the house of Colonna. Branda brought the Apostolic Curia back from Germany to Italy; will you, his nephew, take it from Italy to France? Will an Italian prefer France over Italy? Rouen will put his own nation's interests before those of Italy; this Frenchman will fly to France, the supreme office under his wing.

"You say, 'He has sworn. He will not leave the province without the college's permission, and if he asks to go, we will not consent.' What cardinal will dare to oppose him once he is seated on the apostolic throne? You'll be the first, once you've secured some rich benefice, to say, 'Go where you will, Holy Father.' And what is Italy, our country, without the bishop of Rome? We have lost the empire but we still have the papacy; in this one light do we see the light! And now we're going to lost it, with your support, your persuasion, your help. A French pope will either go to France, leaving our beloved country bereft of its splendor, or he'll stay among us, and Italy, the queen of nations, will serve a foreign master. We'll be slaves of the French. The kingdom of Sicily will fall into French hands. The French will possess all the cities and strongholds of the Church. You might have learned from Calixtus, for when he was pope, there was nothing the Catalans did not get. You tried the Catalans, and now you want to try the French? You'll be sorry if you do! You'll see the college full of Frenchmen and we'll never get the papacy back again. Are you too stupid to see that this will lay a yoke on your nation forever?
"And what can I say about the man's life? Have you no shame? To entrust Christ's succession to this slippery character, a man who'd sell his own soul? A fine bridegroom you've chosen for the bride of Christ! You're trusting the lamb to the wolf! Where is your conscience, your passion for justice, your common sense? Will you completely betray yourself this way? Haven't we heard you say over and over that the Church would be ruined if it fell into Rouen's hands and that you'd rather die than vote for the man? Why have second thoughts? Has he changed overnight from a demon to an angel of light? Or have you changed (from angel into devil!) so you now adore his lust and filth and greed? Where is your love for your country, your consistent support for Italy over every other nation? I used to think that even if everyone else abandoned their devotion to her, you never would; but you've failed me. No, rather you've failed yourself and your country -- Italy! -- unless you come to your senses."

Pavia was stunned by these words and burst into tears, overcome by grief and shame alike.

Then, stifling his sobs, he said, "I am ashamed, Aeneas. But what can I do? I've promised. If I don't vote for Rouen, I'll be accused of treachery." Aeneas answered, "As far as I can see, you're at the point where you'll be guilty of treachery whatever you do. The choice is this: do you want to betray Italy, your country, and the Church, or will you betray Rouen?" Pavia was convinced: there would be less shame in failing Rouen.

When Pietro, cardinal of San Marco, heard about the conspiracy of the French, he despaired of getting the papacy himself. Then, spurred equally by patriotic fervor and hatred of Rouen, he went round all the Italian cardinals, urging and cajoling them not to abandon their country. He did not rest till he had gathered all the Italians, except Colonna, in the cell of the cardinal of Genoa. There he revealed the conspiracy made in the latrines. If Rouen obtained the papacy, he said, the Church would be ruined and Italy a slave forever more. He implored each and every one of them to act like men, to protect the interests of Mother Church and miserable Italy, to put aside their rivalries and make an Italian pope, and not a foreigner. What was more, if they cared for his opinion, they should prefer Aeneas over any other. Seven cardinals were present: Genoa, Orsini, Bologna, San Marco, Pavia, Siena, and Sant'Anastasia. They all accepted Pavia's plan except Aeneas, who thought himself unworthy of such an honor.

Then they went to mass. Once that was finished, they began the scrutiny. A golden chalice was placed on the altar and three cardinals were appointed to watch over it to prevent any fraud. These were the bishop of Kiev, the presbyter of Rouen and the deacon Colonna. The other cardinals took their seats. Then, rising in order of rank and age, each approached the altar and deposited in the chalice a ballot on which he had written the names of his choices for pope. When Aeneas came up and tried to cast his ballot, Rouen blanched and trembled and cried out, "Aeneas, look! I commend myself to you." It was a rash thing to do at this point, when no one was allowed to alter the choice he had made. But ambition overcame prudence. Aeneas replied, "You commend yourself to a worm like me?" and, without another word, dropped his ballot in the cup and went back to his seat.

When every vote had been cast, a table was set up in the middle of the room and the same three cardinals emptied the chalice full of ballots onto it. Then they read the ballots out, one after another, noting down the names written on them as they went. And there was not a single cardinal who did not likewise make notes of those named, so there could be no possibility of fraud. This proved to be to Aeneas's advantage; for when the votes had all been counted, Rouen, who was the teller, announced that Aeneas had eight. The rest said nothing about another man's loss, but Aeneas did not lot himself be cheated. "Look more carefully at the ballots," he said to the teller, "for I have nine votes." Then the others agreed with him. Rouen said nothing, as if he had merely made a mistake.

The ballots looked like this: each wrote in his own hand, "I, Peter (or John or whatever his name was) elect as pope Aeneas, cardinal of Siena and Jaime, cardinal of Lisbon." It is permitted to submit one or two or even more names, on the understanding that the one first named is the one preferred, but if he should not get enough votes to be elected, the next is to be counted in his place. This way a consensus can be more easily reached. But some people will exploit a useful device for their own advantage, as Latino Orsini did that day. He wrote down seven names in the hope that those he named would be swayed by the favor, either to accede to him in that scrutiny or to vote for him in another. But cheap tricks don't do much for one who is known as a cheat.

When the results were read out it was ascertained, as we have said before, that nine cardinals had voted for Aeneas: Genoa, Orsini, Lerida, Bologna, San Marco, Santi Quattro Coronati, Zamora, Pavia, and Portugal. The cardinal of Rouen had only six votes, and the rest far fewer. Rouen was petrified when he saw himself so far outstripped by Aeneas. All the rest were amazed, for no one in living memory had ever polled as many as nine votes by scrutiny. Since no candidate had a clear majority, they decided to resume their seats and try the method that is called "by accession," to see if they just might elect a pope that day. And here again Rouen indulged in empty hopes.

All sat in their seats, pale and silent, thunderstruck, as if in a trance. For some time no one spoke, no one opened his lips, no one moved any part of his body except the eyes, which kept darting about. It was a strange silence and a strange sight, men sitting there like their own statues, no sound to be heard, no movement to be seen. They remained like this for some time, the junior members waiting waiting for their elders to begin the accession.

Then Rodrigo, the vice-chancellor, rose and said, "I accede to the cardinal of Siena," which utterance was like a dagger in Rouen's heart, so pale did he turn. Silence fell again, and each man looked at the next, indicating thoughts by subtle gestures. By now it seemed certain that Aeneas would be pope. Some who feared this result left the conclave, pretending physical needs, but really with the intent of frustrating what destiny had decreed must happen that day. Those who withdrew in this way were the cardinals of Kiev and San Sisto. But no one followed them, and so they soon returned. Then Jacopo, cardinal of Sant'Anastasia said, "I, too, accede to the cardinal of Siena."

This sent an even greater shock through the assembly. All were struck dumb, as if a tremendous earthquake had shaken the hall. Aeneas now needed only a single vote, for twelve would make a pope. Seeing this, Cardinal Prospero Colonna decided to seize for himself the honor of acclaiming the next pontiff. He rose and was about to pronounce his vote -- solemnly, and according to procedure -- when the cardinals of Nicaea and Rouen suddenly laid hands on him and rebuked him sharply for wanting to accede to Aeneas. When he persisted, they tried to get him out of the room by force, one seizing his right arm and the other his left -- they would even resort to means like these, so determined were they to snatch the papacy from Aeneas. And yet, Prospero, though he had voted for Rouen in the scrutiny, was bound to Aeneas by ties of friendship. Ignoring their abuse and empty threats, he turned to the other cardinals and cried, "I too accede to the cardinal of Siena, and I make him pope!"

When they heard this, the opposition's courage failed; all their designs were shattered. Every cardinal rushed to fall at Aeneas's feet and hail him as pope. Then, returning to their seats, they unanimously ratified the election. And then Cardinal Bessarion spoke, both for himself and on behalf of those who had favored Rouen:
"Your Holiness," he said, "we honor your election, and we do not doubt it is God's will. We thought before and still think now that you are worthy of the office. We only voted against you because of your infirmity. Indeed, in our view, your gout was your only defect, for the Church needs an active man with the physical strength to endure long journeys and to face the terrible trials we fear the Turks are preparing for us. You, on the contrary, need rest. It was this that led us to support Rouen. Had you been a strong man, we should have preferred no one else. But if God is satisfied, we must be satisfied too. The Lord himself, who has chosen you, will make good the defect in your feet, nor will he punish our ignorance. We revere you as pope, we elect you again, so far as is in our power, and we will serve you faithfully."

Aeneas replied, "Your Eminence of Nicaea, your opinion of us, as we understand it, is far better than our own. You attribute no defect to us except that in our feet. We are not unaware that our imperfections range more widely than this. We realize we possess faults well nigh beyond measure, for which we might justly have been rejected as pope. As for virtues which make us worthy of this post, we know of none; and we should declare ourselves utterly unworthy and refuse the honor offered us, did we not fear the judgment of Him who has called us. For whatever is done by two-thirds of the sacred college is surely inspired by the Holy Ghost, who may not be resisted. Therefore we submit to the divine summons and we honor you, Your Eminence of Nicaea, and those who voted with you. If, following the dictates of your conscience, you thought us unworthy of election, you will still be welcome among us, who attribute our calling not to this man or that but to the whole college and to God himself, from whom comes 'every good and perfect gift.'

With these words he cast off his old garments and put on the white tunic of Christ. When asked by what name he wished to be called, he answered, "Pius," and was at once addressed as Pius II. Then, having sworn to observe the capitulations issued in the college two days before, he took his place at the altar and was again reverenced by the cardinals, who kissed his feet and hands and cheek. When this was done, the result of the election was made public. From a high window it was proclaimed that he who had been cardinal of Siena was now Pope Pius II.

The attendants of the cardinals in the conclave plundered Aeneas's cell, shamelessly carrying off his silver (though it was very modest), his clothes and his books. In the city, a disgraceful mob not only pillaged his house but actually demolished it by making off with blocks of marble."

Aeneas is crowned Pius II at the conclusion of the Conclave.-

Pintirrucchio, Fresco in the Piccolomini Library, Siena.


Born near Valencia in Spain, 31 December, 1378; died at Rome, 6 August, 1458.

Alfonso de Borja (Italian Borgia), as he was known before he became pope, came of a noble family, and having finished his studies espoused the cause of the antipope Benedict XIII, and received from the latter the title of canon.

When Alfonso V of Aragon resolved to withdraw from the Schism and place himself and his kingdom under the jurisdiction of Martin V, Alfonso Borgia acted the part of mediator with Benedict's successor, Clement VIII, and induced the latter to submit to the lawful pope.

Martin V appointed Borgia Bishop of Valencia (1429), and in 1444 Eugene IV made him cardinal. In both offices he was remarkable for his mortified life, his firmness of purpose, and his prudence in face of serious difficulties. Already popular opinion had marked him as a candidate for the papacy.

On the 25th of March, 1455, Nicholas V died, and Alfonso Borgia was elected (8 April) and assumed the name of Callistus III.

As pope he was chiefly concerned with the organization of Christian Europe against the invasion of the Turks. Constantinople had been captured by Mohammed II (1453), and though Pope Nicholas V had made every effort nothing had been done to stay the victorious march of the forces of Islam.

Already, as cardinal, Callistus had manifested a special interest in this work, and on his election he set himself to carry out the programme which he had already planned.

Nuncios were dispatched to all the countries of Europe to beseech the princes to forget for a time their national jealousies and to join once more in a final effort to check the danger of a Turkish invasion. Missionaries were sent to England, France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, and Aragon to preach the Crusade, to secure volunteers for active service in the wars, to collect the taxes necessary for the support of those in the field, and to engage the prayers of the faithful for the success of the enterprise. It was by order of Callistus III that the bells were rung at midday to remind the faithful that they should pray for the welfare of the crusaders.

But the princes of Europe were slow in responding to the call of the pope.

In Germany, Frederick III, through hatred of Ladislaus of Hungary, was unwilling to join a movement from which Hungary was certain to derive an immediate advantage, while the bishops and electors were opposed to the collection of the papal tax imposed in favour of the crusaders.

England and France were at war and refused to allow their forces to be weakened by participation in the plans of Callistus III.

Genoa did organize a fleet and dispatch it against the Turks, but only to lay herself open to attack by Aragon, while Portugal, disheartened by lack of success, withdrew the fleet that it had already dispatched.

Fortunately for Europe, the efforts of the pope were not entirely in vain. The crusading forces led by Hunyady, and inspired by the zeal and courage of the papal legate Carvajal and St. John Capistran, met the Turks at Belgrade (22 July, 1456) and inflicted upon them one of the worst defeats they underwent during their long conflict with Christian Europe.

The pope had longed for such a success in the hope that it might encourage the princes of Europe to respond to his call for assistance. The news of the victory was duly announced to the courts by special messengers of the pope, but warm congratulations were the only reply. Unfortunately, too, shortly after his victory over Mohammed II at Belgrade, Hunyady himself died of a fever, and it seemed as if no Christian general could be found equal to the task of saving Europe.

In the next year of this pontificate renewed efforts were made to enlist the co-operation of Germany. The pope endeavoured to make peace between Frederick III and Ladislaus of Hungary, but during the negotiations Ladislaus died (1457), after a reign of seven years, and his death was the occasion of renewed disputes between the three great representatives of the House of Hapsburg, Frederick III, Albrecht VI, and Sigismund of Tyrol.

In Albania alone was found a leader, Scanderbeg, who had steadily resisted the invasion of the Turks, and against whom all the powers of Mohammed were unavailing.

Callistus III summoned (1457) another assembly of the princes of Europe to devise measures against the inroads of Mohammed. But again his efforts were unavailing.

In France, the Dauphin was in favour of the proposals of Callistus, but the king refused to join in the enterprise, and the clergy were so discontented with the levy of the crusading tax that in many provinces they refused to pay, and appealed to a general council.

Similar sentiments of distrust and resentment were felt by the clergy and the prince-electors of the German Empire.

England, on account of the war against the allied powers, France and Scotland, was unwilling to embark in any new expedition.

The war between Aragon and Genoa continued, while, as usual, Venice was more anxious to promote her own commerce than to take part in the destruction of the Turkish fleet.

In Bohemia disputes raged about the succession to the throne, and even when an assembly of the nobles declared in favour of George Von Podiebrad, he was too much concerned in trying to reconcile his Catholic and Utraquist subjects, and to secure an understanding with Frederick III, to permit himself to join in the Crusade.

Hungary, too, was distracted by the disputes between the rival claimants to the throne. William of Saxony and Casimir of Poland, in the names of their wives, put forward pretensions, but found little or no support from the people of Hungary. A national assembly held at Pesth chose as king Matthias Hunyady, a son of the conqueror of Belgrade, but the rival parties refused to submit to this choice. At last (1459) they proceeded to the election of Frederick III.

The result of so many disputes was that the countries most closely affected by the Turkish danger were unable to do anything, and though the younger Hunyady was anxious to follow in the footsteps of his father, and to join in the imperial plans for a general crusade, he was too much occupied with provisions against internal disorder and the pretensions of Frederick III to be able to lend any real assistance.

Scanderbeg was still in the field, but with the small forces at his command he could at most hope to defend his country, Albania, against attack. The pope was involved in new disputes after the death of Alfonso V of Aragon. According to the arrangements made, the latter's brother was to succeed him in Aragon and Sicily, while his son Ferdinand, previously recognized as legitimate by Callistus III, was to have Naples. But the pope refused to acknowledge Ferdinand's claim to Naples and, as feudal lord of the territory, asserted for himself the power of disposing of it as he wished. This dispute prevented him from continuing the work of organizing the Crusade and alienated from the cause the powerful family of Aragon.

Moreover, it injured the reputation of Callistus III, as it gave more colour to the charges of nepotism which were even then freely levelled against him. He had already raised to the cardinalate two of his nephews, one of whom, the youthful Rodrigo, was later to become Pope Alexander VI; he bestowed upon a third the governorship of the Castle of Sant' Angelo and the title of Duke of Spoleto.

Many asserted that his opposition to Ferdinand of Aragon was due to his desire of securing Naples for the worthless Duke of Spoleto. In this way the early part of 1458 was spent, and during the last few months of his life even Callistus himself had begun to clearly realize that the work to which he had devoted his pontificate had proved a failure, and that on other shoulders must devolve the task of driving back the Turk.

His reign is also remarkable for the revision of the trial of Joan of Arc, which was carried out by direction of the pope, and according to which the sentence of the first court was quashed, and the innocence of the Maid of Orléans proclaimed.

The energies of Callistus were too much directed towards the campaign against the Turks to permit him to devote so much attention to the literary revival of the time as did some of his predecessors, especially Nicholas V, and this neglect of the Humanists made some of them his enemies; yet he seems to have spent a considerable sum of money in securing some valuable additions to the treasures of the Vatican.

His letters are to be found in Raynaldus, "Annales Eccl." from 1455 to 1458; see also Harduin, "Concilia", IX, 1375-78, D'Achéry, "Spicilegium", III (Paris ed. 796-804), and "Magn. Bullar. Rom." (Lyons, 1692), I, 279-82.
It was Callistus III who made Aeneas a Cardinal.