The Age of the Reformation

ON the 18th of August, 1503, after a sudden and mysterious illness Alexander VI had departed this life to the unspeakable joy of all Rome, as Guicciardini assures us. Crowds thronged to see the dead body of the man whose boundless ambition, whose perfidy, cruelty, and licentiousness coupled with shameless greed had infected and poisoned all the world. On this side the Alps the verdict of Luther's time and of the centuries which followed has confirmed the judgment of the Florentine historian without extenuation, and so far as Borgia himself was concerned doubtless this verdict is just. But today if we consider Alexander's pontificate objectively we can recognize its better sides.
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