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Spain attacked in the Pyrenees. The Swiss, under the leadership of Cardinal Schinner, who was allied with the Pope, joined with the Venetians and attacked the army of Louis XII in Northern Italy.

For the time being the French retreated. Agreement was reached in Mantua that Italy had been liberated and that the boundaries of the Papal States could now be firmly established. Milan came under the rule of the Sforza family, and in Florence the reign of the Medici was re-established. Machiavelli, comparing the fifteenth century with the beginning of the sixteenth century, correctly remarked that whereas formerly even the merest baron had despised the Papal power, now even the King of France respected it.

The Pope also kept the upper hand in warding off the spiritual attacks of his antagonists. The Florentine dictator, Soderini, had ceded Pisa to the French King as the site of a synod to be called in order to bring about a separation from Rome of the national Churches of France and Germany. The idea was that the new "Goliath" on the Papal throne, who upon election had forgotten his promise to summon a Council, was to be brought down by the slings of a few cardinals. Maximilian assented; indeed, when Julius was taken seriously ill during the summer of 1511, the Emperor, who was a widower, cherished the idea of becoming Pope as well. Julius saw the signs that pointed to the danger of a schism, perforce remembered his duty, and summoned a General Council to the Lateran in 1511. This lasted five years, discussed many things, arrived at a number of excellent conclusions, but made no very deep religious impression on the world or the Church.

Meanwhile Bramante, Michaelangelo and Raphael, though they also were at odds with the Pope during many an hour, completed their great works. The rebuilding of St. Peter's was begun, though one hundred and sixty years and twenty-two pontificates were to pass before this triumphal song in stone of the Universal Church would reach completion. The Vatican grew in breadth and height; the Stanzas and the Sixtine Chapel were rejuvenated with frescoes which gave witness to a new era as well as to the renascence of ancient cultural forces. Michaelangeio's monument to the Pope in San Pietro in Vincoli remained a torso, even as the political activities of this ruler of the Church found no conrinuer and perfecter. Among all the