Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/256

This page needs to be proofread.


warlike of all the successors of Peter and the greatest benefactor of Rome. His belief was that the Popes must be lords and masters of world affairs,

Julius was the first politician on the Papal throne who devoted all his power to freeing Italy from alien dominion. The slogan "Italia fara da $e" was written on his banner long before it was ever uttered. The worldly possessions of his See were to him merely a lever with which he could make the Papacy strong and Italy free. Nepotism and concern for the power of his house did not place his great concep- tion in the bondage which before his time the Borgias, and after him the dynastically narrow policy of a Medici Pope, would make so injuri- ous to the whole nation. Once again he reconquered the Papal States in their entirety, and as a good player of political chess moved and exchanged the pieces to his advantage. He took Cesare's Duchy away from him, conquered the Perugia of the Baglioni, and wrested Bologna from the Bentivogli. Next it was the turn of Venice. In order to drive this power which as a result of the turmoil inaugu- rated by the Borgias had annexed cities and territories belonging to the Papal States and was planning to establish its power on the main- land between the Apennines and the Alps back to its lagoons, he formed the League of Cambrai in 1509 with Emperor Maximilian, France and Spain. Then he imposed the ban on the Venetians and followed this up by letting the cannon speak victoriously at Agnadello. The defeated republic was not (decided the Pope) to fall a prey to the allies of the Holy See. Least of all could it be permitted that the power of France and Northern Italy should become a threat to Rome and the whole country. Fitori i barbari! When the French vassals of Ferrara infringed upon the sovereign rights of the Pope, a causus belli was provided. Spain as well as Venice now came to his aid: it was the Holy League against France. Julius himself took the field as general, but the French troops defeated his army at Ravenna, in 1512, though their leader, Gaston de Foix, young and heroic nephew of the King, fell at the height of victory. It was fortunate for the Pope that France was at this moment compelled to face another swarm of hostile powers. The young King Henry VIII of England, whose friendship Julius had already courted by sending him the Golden Rose, went to war against France in the Netherlands, while Ferdinand of