Osowiecki HIST3353 Peer Review Essay revised (1) (3)

However not everyone is against the accumulation of

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another issue that Erasmus takes with Julius. However, not everyone is against the accumulation of wealth, Machiavelli would say, “And there is nothing wastes so rapidly as liberality, for even whilst you exercise it you lose the power to do so, and so become either poor or despised, or else, in avoiding poverty, rapacious and hated” (Machiavelli Chapter 16). Charity and liberality are no doubt praised by
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Erasmus as virtues befitting a pope, but a prince needs to take a firmer grasp on his finances if he wishes to remain in control. From the preceding analysis it is becoming clear that Julius possesses a character far better suited for a prince, but the image is completed when we realize that Machiavelli applauds many of Julius' actions within the text of The Prince. There is no clearer sign that one is behaving like a prince than being celebrated for behaving like a prince by the man who invented the rules for behaving like a prince. Take for example this quote, “Julius... intended to gain Bologna, to ruin the Venetians, and to drive the French out of Italy. All of these enterprises prospered with him, and so much the more to his credit, inasmuch as he did everything to strengthen the Church and not any private person” (Machiavelli Chapter 11). Gaining territory, ruining opponents, driving away rivals, these actions would be abhorrent to a pope, but they are the very duties of a prince. The Church is Julius' nation, its protection is his only priority and to do so he must behave like a prince. Pope Julius the Second was stuck between two conflicting choices. On one hand he could behave like the saintly pope that Erasmus envisions. Julius could meet every challenge with piety and prayer, and he could watch the papal lands be divided by those anxious expand their own territories. On the other hand Julius could behave like a Machiavellian prince. He could marshal his strength and march on those that would threaten his lands, and in doing so betray everything that his office stands for. Julius was trapped between the destruction of his people, and the desecration of the papacy. When forced to make that choice Julius chose to stand and fight, to protect his people, to maintain the sanctity of his lands. In the end Julius II proves himself a poor pope and a practiced prince.
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  • Spring '13
  • Prof.Myers
  • The Prince, Julius, Pope Julius II, Papal States

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