1475 (11th December)
Pope Leo X was born Giovanni de Medici to Lorenzo the Magnificant
and Clarice Orsini
in Florence. He was the couple’s fourth surviving child, Lucrezia had been born in 1470, Piero
in 1472 and Maddelena in 1473. Giovanni’s father was head of the Medici bank and Lord of Florence.
1477 (25th December)
Giovanni’s sister, Luisa de Medici was born to Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini in Florence.
1478 (26th April)
During the Easter service in Florence Cathedral, Giovanni’s father Lorenzo and his brother Giuliano
were attacked by Members of the Pazzi family. Lorenzo was injured but managed to get to the safety of the sacristy. Giuliano died after being struck on the head by Bernardo Bandini dei Baroncelli and stabbed 19 times by Francesco de Pazzi.
1478 (26th April)
Francesco de Pazzi and Archbishop Francesco Salviati were hanged. Jacopo de Medici escaped.
1478 (30th April)
Jacopo de Medici was captured and hanged.
1478 (after April)
Giovanni, his mother and siblings left Florence and went to Pistoia.
1478 (after April)
Giovanni’s sister, Contessina Antonia Romola de Medici was born to Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini in Pistoia.
Pope Sixtus IV excommunicated Lorenzo de Medici and placed Florence under interdict for executing an Archbishop. He also persuaded Ferdinand I of Naples to attack Florence on behalf of the Pope. However, Lorenzo managed to persuade Ferdinand to help him make peace with the Pope.
1478 (26th May)
Giovanni’s cousin, Giulio di Giuliano de Medici was born illegitimately to Fioretta Gorini and posthumously to Lorenzo’s brother Giuliano.
1479 (12th March)
Giovanni’s brother, Giuliano di Lorenzo de Medici was born to Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini in Florence.
Giovanni began his education. He was educated by private tutors including the humanists Pico della Mirandola, Angelo Poliziano, Marsilio Ficino and Bernardo Bibbiena. His father Lorenzo had already determined that he would enter the church.
Giovanni became a priest. As was the custom, his head was shaved to give him a tonsure.
1482 (25th March)
Giovanni’s grandmother, Lucrezia Tornabuoni, died.
Giovanni became Abbot of Font Douce.
Giovanni became Abbot of Passignano.
Giovanni’s cousin Giulio was taken in by the Medici family.
Giovanni became Abbot of Monte Cassino.
Giovanni’s sister, Luisa de Medici died.
Giovanni’s sister, Maddalena de Medici, married Franceschetto Cybo, son of Pope Innocent VIII.
Giovanni’s sister, Lucrezia de Medici married Jacopo Salviati.
Giovanni’s brother, Piero, married Alfonsina Orsini, daughter of Roberto Orsini, Count of Tagliacozzo in Rome.
Giovanni’s father, Lorenzo, was taken ill and travelled to Bad Filetta near Siena to try to improve his health.
1488 (30th July)
Giovanni’s mother, Clarice, died in Florence.
1489 (9th March)
Giovanni became Cardinal of Santa Maria in Dominica, in Rome. The appointment was made ‘in pectore’ and was to be kept secret for three years.
1489 (after 9th March)
Giovanni de Medici went to Pisa where he studied theology and canon law.
The priest Savonarola arrived in Florence. His sermons with their message of repentence and denunciation of the rich and powerful, soon drew large crowds.
1492 (23rd March)
Giovanni was formally admitted to the Sacred College of Cardinals.
1492 (9th April)
Giovanni’s father, Lorenzo, died at his villa in Caraggi. He was buried in San Lorenzo Church, Florence. He was buried with his brother in the Church of San Lorenzo. Piero became head of the Medici family and Lord of Florence.
1492 (mid April)
Following the death of his father, Giovanni returned to Florence.
1492 (25th July)
Pope Innocent VIII died. Giovanni returned to Rome to participate in the Papal elections.
1492 (11th August)
Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia was elected Pope Alexander VI. Giovanni had not supported his election and was out of favour with the new Pope and so returned to Florence.
Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, opposed measures by the Pope to create a new state in Italy that would impose on Milanese land. He asked King Charles VIII of France
1494 (25th January)
King Ferdinand I of Naples died and was succeeded by Alfonso II. Alfonso claimed rights to Milan and asked Charles VIII to take Milan. Charles was not happy with Alfonso’s request seeing him as the aggressor.
King Charles VIII of France invaded Italy and made his way south to Naples where he determined to oust Alfonso.
Charles VIII requested the support of Florence but Piero stated that Florence would remain neutral in the conflict. Charles was not happy with Piero’s reply and invaded Tuscany. Piero tried to organise resistance to Charles, but found little support. The priest Savanarola preached that the French invasion was God’s tool to rid Florence of corruption.
1494 (late October)
Having found little support for resistance to the French army, Piero decided to try to make peace with the French King. Without consulting the Signoria (government), he met with Charles VIII and agreed to all his demands.
1494 (8th November)
Piero returned to Florence, but when it was learned that he had made a deal with Charles, the people were furious and called him a traitor. Piero and his family were forced to leave the city.
Piero and his family went to Venice but Giovanni chose to travel in Europe instead.
Giovanni’s brother Piero had tried repeatedly to return to Florence but the people would not allow it. Piero allied himself with Charles VIII of France hoping that he would help him to regain his position.
Giovanni returned to Rome. He busied himself with literature and art.
1503 (18th August)
Pope Alexander VI died in Rome.
1503 (22nd September)
Francesco Todeschini was elected Pope Pius III.
1503 (18th October)
Pope Pius III died.
1503 (1st November)
Giuliano della Rovere was elected Pope Julius II.
1503 (28th December)
Piero de Medici drowned in the river Garigliano as he attempted to flee the Battle of Garigliano.
1503 (28th December)
Giovanni was now head of the Medici family.
Giovanni attempted to restore the supremacy of the Medici family but he was no businessman. When his attempts failed he immersed himself in literature and the arts.
Pope Julius II was taken seriously ill and Giovanni began to harbour designs on becoming his successor.
1511 (1st October)
Pope Julius II appointed Giovanni Papal Legate of Bologna and Romagna.
Pope Julius II had continually delayed holding a General Council. Without papal authority the French now decided to hold the council in Pisa and Florence supported this. Pope Julius II now approved the return of the Medici to Florence and sent the papal army against the French. Giovanni accompanied the army as papal legate.
1512 (11th April)
Battle of Ravenna
The papal army were defeated by the French army and Giovanni was taken prisoner.
Fifth Lateran Council
Pope Julius II now called a General Council to rival that held in Pisa.
Giovanni managed to escape from the French and returned to Florence where the Medici were re-established as the most important family. The French were driven out of Italy.
1513 (21st February)
Pope Julius II died.
1513 (9th March)
Giovanni de Medici was elected Pope Leo X. His younger brother Giuliano took over as head of the Medici family.
1513 (15th March)
Giovanni de Medici was ordained as a priest.
1513 (17th March)
Giovanni de Medici was ordained Bishop of Rome.
1513 (19th March)
Giovanni de Medici was officially installed as Pope Leo X.
Pope Leo X’s brother, Giuliano, handed over control of Florence to his nephew Lorenzo
Pope Leo X spent money improving and enlarging the Vatican palace. He also ordered a number of churches and chapels to be built in Rome. He also gave lavishly to charity.
1515 (1st January)
Leo X had spent nearly all of the Papal finances. In order to raise more money he created new offices which were given to the highest bidder. He also increased the selling of papal indulgences.
King Francis I of France was determined to regain control of Milan and Naples and marched to Italy at the head of an army.
1515 (13th September)
Battle of Marignano
This battle between the French forces of Francis I and the Swiss army saw the French victorious. Francis gained control of Milan.
1516 (17th March)
Pope Leo X’s brother, Giuliano, died. Giuliano’s illegitimate son, Ippolito, was raised by Leo X.
1516 (18th August)
Concordat of Bologna
This treaty agreed terms with France. Francis I won the right to appoint all churchmen in France.
1517 (16th March)
Fifth Lateran Council
Leo X had presided over sessions of this council since his appointment as Pope. The council agreed a number of measures including the requirement for books to be sanctioned by the church before being published and a crusade against Turkey. But it failed to adequately address the growing criticisms levelled against the Catholic church.
1517 (3rd July)
Pope Leo X published a list of 31 new Cardinals. His cousin Giulio, another cousin and a nephew as well as members of prominent families in Rome were included. He was accused of offering the posts to the highest bidder though there is no evidence to suggest that he actually did.
1517 (31st October)
sent a letter to Archbishop Albert of Mainz, requesting that the sale of indulgences stop. He included a copy of his work ‘Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences’ also known as the ’95 Theses’. The story is traditionally told that Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg but this is now disputed as being symbolic rather than an actual act. Nevertheless, this marks the beginning of the Reformation
Pope Leo X was sent a copy of Martin Luther’s ’95 Theses’ with a request that he declare the work heretical.
Leo X commissioned the artist Raphael to paint a series of biblical frescoes on the inside walls of the Vatican Palace.
1518 (9th November)
Pope Leo X issued a papal bull which legitimised indulgences and declared Luther’s views on the subject to be against the teachings of the Catholic Church.
1519 (12th January)
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor died. He was succeeded by Charles I of Spain who became Charles V Holy Roman Emperor.
1520 (15th June)
The Pope sent Luther a papal bull stating that unless he removed 41 sentences that were deemed heretical from his works, he would be excommunicated. He was given 60 days to comply.
1520 (10th December)
Luther publicly burned the papal bull he had received in June.
1521 (3rd January)
Martin Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X for burning the papal bull he had sent in June 1520.
A beautifully bound copy of King Henry VIII
‘s Book ‘Septum Sacramentorum’ was presented to Pope Leo X. Leo gave Henry the hereditary title Fidei Defensor (Defender of the Faith) for his denounciation of Martin Luther.
1521 (1st December)
Pope Leo X died of pneumonia in Rome.
Published Jul 18, 2020 @ 4:15 pm – Updated – [last-modified]
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2020). Giovanni de Medici, Pope Leo X 1475 – 1521. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/giovanni-de-medici-pope-leo-x-1475-1521 Last accessed [date]