Rome 1564. The plot to kill the pope
A novel with a legal bias about a plot that could have changed the course of history.
Rome, November 1564: Pope Pius IV escapes an attempt on his life. This book retraces the course of events in minute detail by examining the lives of the men who attempted to take his life. A complex web of histories and individuals brought to life against the backdrop of a Rome in a period of change. A city growing up chaotically on the remains of Ancient Rome; a magical and superstitious city peopled by exorcising monks, astrologists and treasure-seekers; a city where in the cardinals’ palaces and squares the pope is referred to with alarming irreverence; so much so that the plot, which might otherwise seem like a wild undertaking, little more than an overly ambitious attempt by a group of excited madmen, does in fact express something more profound. Pius IV, whose papacy ran from 1560 to 1565, is a difficult pope who aims to grant the right to full communion to lay people and to introduce marriage for priests so as to satisfy the demands of the emperor and go against the wishes of the faithful in the territories of the Empire. A position strongly opposed by the Roman Inquisition and by the Spain of Phillip II, determined as it was to prevent any strengthening of ties between emperor and papacy….