Cover: A Sudden Terror: The Plot to Murder the Pope in Renaissance Rome, from Harvard University PressCover: A Sudden Terror in PAPERBACK

A Sudden Terror

The Plot to Murder the Pope in Renaissance Rome

Product Details


$31.00 • £26.95 • €28.95

ISBN 9780674061811

Publication Date: 09/30/2011


256 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

15 halftones


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D’Elia deserves a medal for producing such a satisfying study… Sex, papal politics, the excesses of carnival in Renaissance Rome, Christendom confronting the Ottoman empire, scholars joyfully and dangerously dreaming about the glories of ancient Greece: one couldn’t really ask for anything more.—Jonathan Wright, The Catholic Herald

Although there is no conclusive evidence that a conspiracy to murder Paul II was afoot on the eve of Lent 1468, D’Elia painstakingly establishes the plausibility of such a conspiracy by deftly employing an array of distinct but related causes and showing how they could easily coalesce to bring down the Barbo pontificate. And in doing this he paints a portrait of mid 15th-century Rome that is illuminating and serves as a corrective to those who hold the jaundiced and indefensible view that the papacy is constitutionally irreformable and that things have never been worse in Rome than they are now.—Michael W. Higgins, Literary Review of Canada

[A] commendable reconstruction of a Renaissance mystery.—Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

A work of outstanding scholarship presented in a taut yet lively narrative. D’Elia brings to life the vibrant, cruel, and glitteringly public city of Renaissance Rome. A splendid achievement.—Christopher S. Celenza, author of The Lost Italian Renaissance

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