Enea Piccolomini (Pius II) elected Pope

Pope Pius II, born Enea Silvio Piccolomini (Latin Aeneas Sylvius; October 18, 1405 – August 14, 1464) was Pope from August 19, 1458 until his death in 1464.

Pius II, "whose character reflects almost every tendency of the age in which he lived", was born at Corsignano in the Sienese territory of a noble but decayed family. His longest and most enduring work is the story of his life, Commentaries, which is the only autobiography ever written by a reigning Pope.

After studying at the universities of Siena and Florence, he settled in the former city as a teacher, but in 1431 accepted the post of secretary to Domenico Capranica, bishop of Fermo, then on his way to the Council of Basel (1431–39). Capranica was protesting against the new Pope Eugene IV's (1431–1447) refusing him the cardinalate for which he had been designated by Pope Martin V (1417–1431). Arriving at Basel after enduring a stormy voyage to Genoa and then a trip across the Alps, he successively served Capranica, who ran short of money, and then other masters.
In 1435 he was sent by Cardinal Albergati, Eugenius IV's legate at the council, on a secret mission to Scotland, the object of which is variously related even by himself. He visited England as well as Scotland, underwent many perils and vicissitudes in both countries, and has left a valuable account of each. The journey to Scotland proved so tempestuous that Piccolomini swore that he would walk barefoot to the nearest shrine of Our Lady from their landing port. This proved to be Dunbar, and the nearest shrine 10 miles distant at Whitekirk. The journey through the ice and snow left Aeneas afflicted with pain in his legs for the rest of his life. In Scotland he had his second natural child, the other one having been born in Strasburg.
Upon his return to Basel, Aeneas sided actively with the council in its conflict with the Pope, and, although still a layman, eventually obtained a share in the direction of its affairs. He supported the creation of the antipope Felix V (1439–1449), Amadeus, Duke of Savoy, participating in his coronation. Aeneas then withdrew to the Emperor Frederick III's (1440–1493) court at Vienna. He had been crowned imperial poet laureate in 1442, and he obtained the patronage of the Emperor's chancellor, Kaspar Schlick. Some identify the love adventure at Siena Aeneas related in his romance, The Tale of the Two Lovers with an escapade of the Chancellor.
Aeneas' character had hitherto been that of an easy man of the world, with no pretense to strictness in morals or consistency in politics. He now began to be more regular in the former respect, and in the latter adopted a decided line by making his peace between the Empire and Rome. Being sent on a mission to Rome in 1445, with the ostensible object of inducing Eugenius to convoke a new council, he was absolved from ecclesiastical censures, and returned to Germany under an engagement to assist the Pope. This he did most effectually by the diplomatic dexterity with which he smoothed away differences between the papal court of Rome and the German imperial electors; and he had a leading part in the compromise by which, in 1447, the dying Eugenius IV accepted the reconciliation tendered by the German princes, and the council and the antipope were left without support. He had already taken orders, and one of the first acts of Eugenius IV's successor Pope Nicholas V (1447–1455) was to make him bishop of Trieste. He later served as bishop of Siena.
In 1450 Aeneas was sent as ambassador by the Emperor Frederick III to negotiate his marriage with the princess Eleonore of Portugal, which object he successfully achieved; in 1451 he undertook a mission to Bohemia, and concluded a satisfactory arrangement with the Hussite leader George of Podebrady; in 1452 he accompanied Frederick III to Rome, where the Frederick wedded Eleanor and was crowned Emperor by the pope. In August 1455 Aeneas again arrived in Rome on an embassy to proffer the obedience of Germany to the new Pope Calixtus III (1455–1458). He brought strong recommendations from the Emperor and King Ladislaus of Hungary for his nomination to the cardinalate, but delays arose from the Pope's resolution to promote his own nephews first, and he did not attain the object of his ambition until December in the following year. He achieved temporarily the bishopric of Warmia (Ermeland).

Election to Papacy

Calixtus III died on August 6, 1458. On August 10, the cardinals entered into conclave. According to Aeneas' account, the wealthy cardinal Guillaume d'Estouteville of Rouen, though a Frenchman and of apparently exceptionable character, seemed certain to be elected. Aeneas has told us in a passage of his own history of his times, long excerpted from that work and printed clandestinely in the Conclavi de' Pontifici Romani, by what art, energy and eloquence he frustrated this supposedly false step. It seemed appropriate to Aeneas that the election should fall upon himself: although the sacred college included a few men of higher moral standard, he believed his abilities made him most worthy of the tiara. It was the peculiar faculty of Aeneas to accommodate himself perfectly to whatever position he might be called upon to occupy; it was his peculiar good fortune that every step in life had placed him in circumstances appealing more and more to the better part of his nature, an appeal to which he had never failed to respond. The party pamphleteer had been more respectable than the private secretary, the diplomatist than the pamphleteer, the cardinal than the diplomatist; now the unscrupulous adventurer and licentious novelist of a few short years ago seated himself quite naturally in the chair of St. Peter, and from the resources of his versatile character produced without apparent effort many of the virtues and endowments becoming his exalted station.
After allying himself with Ferdinand, the Aragonese claimant to the throne of Naples, his next important act was to convene a congress of the representatives of Christian princes at Mantua for joint action against the Turks. On September 26, 1459, he called for a new crusade against the Ottomans and on January 14, 1460, he proclaimed the official crusade that was to last for three years. His long progress to the place of assembly resembled a triumphal procession; and the Council of Mantua, a complete failure as regarded its ostensible object, at least showed that the impotence of Christendom was not owing to the Pope. The Pope did, however, influence Vlad III Dracula — whom the Pope held in high regard — in starting a war against Mehmed II. This conflict at its peak involved the Wallachians trying to assassinate the Sultan (see The Night Attack).
On his return from the congress, Pius II spent a considerable time in his native district of Siena, where he was joined by his erstwhile host in Mantua Ludovico Gonzaga; Pius has described his delight and the charm of a country life in very pleasing language. He was recalled to Rome by the disturbances occasioned by Tiburzio di Maso, who was ultimately seized and executed. In the struggle for the Kingdom of Naples between the supporters of the House of Aragon and the House of Anjou, the Papal States were at this time troubled by rebellious barons and marauding condottieri, whom he gradually, though momentarily, abated. The Neapolitan War was also terminated by the success of the Pope's ally the Aragonese Ferdinand. In particular, the pope engaged for most of his reign in what looked a personal war against Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, lord of Rimini, with the result of the almost complete submission of that condottiero. Pius II tried also mediation in the Thirteen Years' War between Poland and the Teutonic Knights, but, when he failed to achieve success, cast an anathema over Polish and Prussians both. Pius II was also engaged in a series of disputes with the Bohemian King George of Podebrady and the Sigismund of Austria (who was excommunicated for having arrested Nicholas of Cusa, bishop of Brixen).
In July 1461, Pius II canonized Saint Catherine of Siena, and in October of the same year he gained at first what appeared to be a most brilliant success by inducing the new King of France, Louis XI (1461–1483), to abolish the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, by which the Pope's authority in France had been grievously impaired. But Louis XI had expected that Pius II would in return espouse the French cause in Naples, and when he found himself disappointed he virtually re-established the Pragmatic Sanction by royal ordinances.
The crusade for which the Congress of Mantua had been convoked made no progress. The Pope did his best: he addressed an eloquent letter to the sultan urging him to become a Christian, a letter that probably never was sent. Not surprisingly, if it was delivered, this invitation was not successful. A public ceremony was staged to receive the relics of the head of Saint Andrew when it was brought from the East to Rome. Pius II succeeded in reconciling the Emperor and the King of Hungary, and derived great encouragement as well as pecuniary advantage from the discovery of mines of alum in the papal territory at Tolfa. But France was estranged; the Duke of Burgundy broke his positive promises; Milan was engrossed with the attempt to seize Genoa; Florence cynically advised the Pope to let the Turks and the Venetians wear each other out. Pius II was unaware he was nearing his end, and his malady probably prompted the feverish impatience with which on June 18, 1464, he assumed the cross and departed for Ancona to conduct the crusade in person.

Slavery

Pius condemned slavery of newly baptised Christians as a "great crime" in an address (1462) to the local ruler of the Canary Islands. Pius instructed bishops to impose penalties on transgressors. Pius did not condemn the concept of trading in slaves, only the enslavement of the recently baptised who represented a very small minority of those captured and taken to Portugal.
Pope Urban VIII in his bull dated 22 April 1639 describes these grave warnings of Pius (7 October 1462, Apud Raynaldum in Annalibus Ecclesiasticis ad ann n.42) as relating to "neophytes". According to British diplomatic papers Pius's letter was addressed to Bishop Rubeira and confirms Urbans observation that the condemnation relates to new converts being enslaved.

Illness and death

In spite of suffering from a fever, Pope Pius II left Rome for Ancona in the hopes of increasing the morale of the crusading army. However, the crusading army melted away at Ancona for want of transport, and when at last the Venetian fleet arrived, the dying Pope could only view it from a window. He expired two days afterwards, August 14, 1464, and was succeeded by Pope Paul II (1464–71). Pius II's body was buried in Sant'Andrea della Valle, while an empty cenotaph was built in St. Peter's Basilica. Later, the cenotaph was moved to Sant'Andrea as well.
Reputation

Pius II had sincere, loving nature, frank and naïve even in his aberrations and defects. The leading trait of Pius II's character was his extreme impressionableness. Chameleon-like, he took colour from surrounding circumstances, and could always depend on being what these circumstances required him to be. As, therefore, his prospects widened and his responsibilities deepened, his character widened and deepened too; and he who had entered upon life a shifty character quit it a model chief shepherd. While he vied with any man in industry, prudence, wisdom, and courage, he excelled most men in simplicity of tastes, constancy of attachments, kindly playfulness, magnanimity, and mercy. As chief of the church he was able and sagacious, and showed that he comprehended the conditions on which its monopoly of spiritual power could for a season be maintained; his views were far-seeing and liberal; and he was but slightly swayed by personal ends.
Pius II was a versatile and voluminous author, one of the best and most industrious of his period. His most important and longest work is his autobiography Commentaries in 13 books, first published in 1584 by Cardinal Francesco Bandini Piccolomini, a distant relative. Piccolomini altered it to some extent, removing words, phrases and whole passages that were unflattering to his relative. Piccolomini published it under the name of scribe Gobellinus, who was then misattributed as the author, a natural mistake because Pius II chose to write Commentaries from the third-person perspective. Pius II was also the author of numerous erotic poems and an obscene comedy titled Chrysis (such ethics were not unusual for his period).
His Epistles, which were collected by himself, are also an important source of historical information. The most valuable of his minor historical writings are his histories of Bohemia and of the Emperor Frederick III, the latter partly autobiographical. He sketched biographical treatises on Europe and Asia, and in early and middle life produced numerous tracts on the political and theological controversies of his day, as well as on ethical subjects. Pius II was greatly admired as a poet by his contemporaries, but his reputation in belles lettres rests principally upon his The Tale of the Two Lovers, which continues to be read to this day, partly from its truth to nature, and partly from the singularity of an erotic novel being written by a Pope. He also composed some comedies, one of which alone is extant. All these works are in Latin. Pius was not an eminent scholar: his Latin is frequently incorrect, and he knew little Greek; but his writings have high literary qualities.
Pope Pius II inaugurated an unusual urban project, perhaps the first city planning exercise in modern Europe. He refurbished his home town which is now by his name called Pienza (province of Siena, Tuscany). A cathedral and palaces were built in the best style of the day to decorate the city. They survive to this day.

Born at Corsignano, near Siena, 18 Oct., 1405; elected 19 Aug., 1458; died at Ancona, 14 Aug., 1464. He was the eldest of eighteen children of Silvio de' Piccolomini and Vittoria Forteguerra. Although of noble birth, straitened circumstances forced him to help his father in the cultivation of the estate which the family owned at Corsignano. This village he later ranked as a town and made an episcopal residence with the name of Pienza (Pius). Having received some elementary instruction from a priest, he entered, at the age of eighteen, the University of Siena. Here he gave himself up to diligent study and the free enjoyment of sensual pleasures. In 1425 the preaching of St. Bernardine of Siena kindled in him the desire of embracing a monastic life, but he was dissuaded from his purpose by his friends. Attracted by the fame of the celebrated Filelfo, he shortly after spent two years in the study of the classics and poetry at Florence. He returned to Siena at the urgent request of his relatives, to devoted his time to the study of jurisprudence. Passing through Siena on his way to the Council of Basle, Capranica, Bishop of Fermo, invited Enea to accompany him as his secretary. Bishop and secretary arrived there in 1432, and joined the opposition to Pope Eugene IV.

Piccolomini, however, soon left the service of the impecunious Capranica for more remunerative employment with Nicodemo della Scala, Bishop of Freising, with Bartolomeo, Bishop of Novara, and with Cardinal Albergati. He accompanied the latter on several journeys, particularly to the Congress of Arras, which in 1435 discussed peace between Burgundy and France. In the same year his master sent him on a secret mission to Scotland. The voyage was very tempestuous and Piccolomini vowed to walk, if spared, barefoot from the port of arrival to the nearest shrine of Our Lady. He landed at Dunbar and, from the pilgrimage of ten miles through ice and snow to the sanctuary of Whitekirk, he contracted the gout from which he suffered for the rest of his life. Although on his return from Scotland Cardinal Albergati was no longer at Basle, he determined to remain in the city, and to his humanistic culture and oratorical talent owed his appointment to different important functions by the council. He continued to side with the opposition to Eugene IV, and associated particularly with a small circle of friends who worshipped classical antiquity and led dissolute lives. That he freely indulged his passions is evidenced not only by the birth of two illegitimate children to him (the one in Scotland, the other at Strasburg), but by the frivolous manner in which he glories in his own disorders. The low moral standard of the epoch may partly explain, but cannot excuse his dissolute conduct. He had not yet received Holy orders, however, and shrank from the ecclesiastical state because of the obligation of continence which it imposed. Even the inducement to become one of the electors of a successor to Eugene IV, unlawfully deposed, could not overcome this reluctance; rather than receive the diaconate he refused the proffered honour.
He was then appointed master of ceremonies to the conclave which elected Amadeus of Savoy to the papacy. He likewise belonged to the delegation which was to escort to Basle in 1439 the newly- elected antipope, who assumed the name of Felix V and chose Piccolomini as his secretary. The latter's clearsightedness, however, soon enabled him to realize that the position of the schismatic party could not fail to become untenable, and he profited by his presence as envoy of the council at the Diet of Frankfort in 1442 again to change masters. His literary attainments were brought to the attention of Frederick III, who crowned him imperial poet, and offered him a position in his service which was gladly accepted. On 11 Nov., 1442, Enea left Basle for Vienna, where he assumed in January of the following year the duties of secretary in the imperial chancery. Receding gradually from his attitude of supporter of Felix V, he ultimately became, with the imperial chancellor Schlick, whose favour he enjoyed, a partisan of Eugene IV. The formal reconciliation between him and this pope took place in 1445, when he came on an official mission to Rome. He was first absolved of the censures which he had incurred as partisan of the Council of Basle and official of the antipope. Hand in hand with this change in personal allegiance went a transformation in his moral character and in March, 1446, he was ordained subdeacon at Vienna. The same year he succeeded in breaking up the Electors' League, equally dangerous to Eugene IV and Frederick III, and shortly afterwards a delegation, of which he was a member, laid before the pope the conditional submission of almost all Germany. In 1447 he was appointed Bishop of Trieste; the following year he played a prominent part in the conclusion of the Concordat of Vienna; and in 1450 he received the Bishopric of Siena. He continued, however, until 1455 in the service of Frederick III, who had frequent recourse to his diplomatic ability. In 1451 he appeared in Bohemia at the head of a royal embassy, and in 1452 accompanied Frederick to Rome for the imperial coronation. He was created cardinal 18 Dec., 1456, by Calixtus III, whose successor he became.

The central idea of his pontificate was the liberation of Europe from Turkish domination. To this end he summoned at the beginning of his reign all the Christian princes to meet in congress on 1 June, 1459. Shortly before his departure for Mantua, where he was personally to direct the deliberations of this assembly, he issued a Bull instituting a new religious order of knights. They were to bear the name of Our Lady of Bethlehem and to have their headquarters in the Island of Lemnos. History is silent concerning the actual existence of this foundation, and the order was probably never organized. At Mantua scant attendance necessitated a delay in the opening of the sessions until 26 Sept., 1459. Even then but few delegates were present, and the deliberations soon revealed the fact that the Christian states could not be relied on for mutual co-operation against the Turks. Venice pursued dilatory and insincere tactics; France would promise nothing, because the pope had preferred Ferrante of Aragon for the throne of Naples to the pretender of the House of Anjou. Among the German delegates, Gregory of Heimburg assumed an ostentatiously disrespectful attitude toward Pius II; the country, however, ultimately agreed to raise 32,000 footmen and 10,000 cavalry. But the promise was never redeemed, and although a three years' war was decreed against the Turks, the congress failed of its object, as no practical results of any importance were attained. It was apparent that the papacy no longer commanded the assent and respect of any of the Powers. This was further demonstrated by the fact that Pius, on the eve of his departure from Mantua, issued the Bull "Execrabilis", in which he condemned all appeals from the decisions of the pope to an oecumenical council (18 Jan., 1460).
During the congress war had broken out in southern Italy about the possession of the Kingdom of Naples. The pope continued to support Ferrante against the Angevin claimant. This attitude was adverse to ecclesiastical interests in France, where he aimed at the repeal of the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges. At his accession to the throne in 1461, Louis XI suppressed indeed that instrument; but this papal success was more apparent than real. For Louis's expectation of support in southern Italy was not realized; and opposition to the suppression manifesting itself in France, his dealings with the Church underwent a corresponding change, and royal ordinances were even issued aiming at the revival of the former Gallican liberties. In Germany Frederick III showed readiness to comply with the obligations assumed at Mantua, but foreign and domestic difficulties rendered him powerless. Between Pius II and Duke Sigismund of Tyrol, however, an acute conflict developed concerning the Bishopric of Brixen. Likewise the refusal of the Archbishop of Mainz, Diether of Isenburg to abide by the pope's decree of deposition led to civil strife. Diether was ultimately defeated and supplanted by Adolf of Nassau, who had been appointed in his stead. More difficult to adjust were the troubles in Bohemia. Hussitism was rampant in the kingdom, which was governed by the wily George Podiebrad, a king seemingly devoid of religious convictions. He had promised in a secret coronation oath personally to profess the Catholic faith and to restore, in his realm, union with Rome in ritual and worship. This was tantamount to a renunciation of the "Compact of Basle", which, under certain conditions subsequently not observed by the Bohemians, had granted them communion under both kinds and other privileges. The pope, deceived for a time by the protestations of royal fidelity, used his influence to bring back the Catholic city of Breslau to the king's allegiance. But in 1461 Podiebrad, to further his fanciful schemes of political aggrandizement, promised his subjects to maintain the Compact. When in 1462 his long- promised embassy appeared in Rome, its purpose was not only to do homage to the pope, but also to obtain the confirmation of that agreement. Pius II, instead of acceding to the latter request, withdrew the misused concessions made by Basle. He continued negotiations with the king, but died before any settlement was reached.

The prevalence of such discord in Christendom left but little hope for armed opposition to the Turks. As rumours had been circulated that the sultan doubted the faith of Islam, the pope attempted to convert him to the Christian faith. But in vain did he address to him in 1461 a letter, in which were set forth the claims of Christianity on his belief. Possibly the transfer with extraordinary pomp of the head of St. Andrew to Rome was also a fruitless attempt to rekindle zeal for the Crusades. As a last resort, Pius II endeavoured to stir up the enthusiasm of the apathetic Christian princes by placing himself at the head of the crusaders. Although seriously ill he left Rome for the East, but died at Ancona, the mustering-place of the Christian troops.

There have been widely divergent appreciations of the life of Pius II. While his varied talents and superior culture cannot be doubted, the motives of his frequent transfer of allegiance, the causes of the radical transformations which his opinions underwent, the influences exercised over him by the environment in which his lot was cast, are so many factors, the bearing of which can be justly and precisely estimated only with the greatest difficulty. In the early period of his life he was, like many humanists, frivolous and immoral in conduct and writing. More earnest were his conceptions and manner of life after his entrance into the ecclesiastical state. As pope he was indeed not sufficiently free from nepotism, but otherwise served the best interests of the Church. Not only was he constantly solicitous for the peace of Christendom against Islam, but he also instituted a commission for the reform of the Roman court, seriously endeavoured to restore monastic discipline, and defended the doctrine of the Church against the writings of Reginald Peacock, the former Bishop of Chichester. He retracted the errors contained in his earlier writings in a Bull, the gist of which was "Reject Eneas, hold fast to Pius". St. Catherine of Siena was canonized during his pontificate.

Even among the many cares of his pontificate he found time for continued literary activity. Two important works of his were either entirely or partly written during this period: his geographical and ethnographical description of Asia and Europe; and his "Memoirs", which are the only autobiography left us by a pope. They are entitled "Pii II Commentarii rerum memorabilium, quae temporibus suis contigerunt". Earlier in his life he had written, besides "Eurialus and Lucretia" and the recently discovered comedy "Chrysis", the following historical works: "Libellus dialogorum de generalis concilii auctoritate et gestis Basileensium"; "Commentarius de rebus Basileae gestis"; "Historia rerum Frederici III imperatoris"; "Historia Bohemica". Imcomplete collections of his works were published in 1551 and 1571 at Basle. A critical edition of his letters by Wolkan is in course of publication.

Pope Pius II was born at Corsignano, near Siena on 18 Oct., 1405; elected Pope 19 Aug., 1458; died in Ancona, 14 Aug., 1464.

He was the eldest of eighteen children born to Silvio de' Piccolomini and Vittoria Forteguerra. Although of noble birth, straitened circumstances forced him to help his father in the cultivation of the estate which the family owned at Corsignano. This village he later ranked as a town and made an episcopal residence with the name of Pienza (Pius). Having received some elementary instruction from a priest, he entered, at the age of eighteen, the University of Sienna. Here he gave himself up to diligent study and the free enjoyment of sensual pleasures. In 1425 the preaching of St. Bernardine of Siena kindled in him the desire of embracing a monastic life, but he was dissuaded from his purpose by his friends. Attracted by the fame of the celebrated Filelfo, he shortly after spent two years in the study of the classics and poetry in Florence. He returned to Sienna at the urgent request of his relatives, to devote his time to the study of jurisprudence. Passing through Sienna on his way to the Council of Basle, Capranica, Bishop of Fermo, invited Enea to accompany him as his secretary. Bishop and secretary arrived there in 1432, and joined the opposition to Pope Eugene IV.

Piccolomini, however, soon left the service of the impecunious Capranica for more remunerative employment with Nicodemo della Scala, Bishop of Freising, with Bartolomeo, Bishop of Novara, and with Cardinal Albergati. He accompanied the latter on several journeys, particularly to the Congress of Arras, which in 1435 discussed peace between Burgundy and France. In the same year his master sent him on a secret mission to Scotland. The voyage was very tempestuous and Piccolomini vowed to walk, if spared, barefoot from the port of arrival to the nearest shrine of Our Lady. He landed at Dunbar and, from the pilgrimage of ten miles through ice and snow to the sanctuary of Whitekirk, he contracted the gout from which he suffered for the rest of his life. Although on his return from Scotland, Cardinal Albergati was no longer at Basle, he determined to remain in that fine city, and to his humanistic culture and oratorical talent owed his appointment to different important functions by the council. He continued to side with the opposition to Eugene IV, and associated particularly with a small circle of friends who worshipped classical antiquity and led dissolute lives. That he freely indulged his passions is evidenced not only by the birth of two illegitimate children to him (the one in Scotland, the other at Strasbourg), but by the frivolous manner in which he glories in his own disorders. The low moral standard of the epoch may partly explain, but cannot excuse his dissolute conduct. He had not yet received Holy orders, however, and shrank from the ecclesiastical state because of the obligation of continence which it imposed. Even the inducement to become one of the electors of a successor to Eugene IV, unlawfully deposed, could not overcome this reluctance. Rather than receive the diaconate he refused the proffered honour.

He was then appointed master of ceremonies to the conclave which elected Amadeus of Savoy to the papacy. He likewise belonged to the delegation which was to escort to Basle in 1439 the newly-elected antipope, who assumed the name of Felix V and chose Piccolomini as his secretary. The latter's clearsightedness, however, soon enabled him to realize that the position of the schismatic party could not fail to become untenable, and he profited by his presence as envoy of the council at the Diet of Frankfurt in 1442 again to change masters. His literary attainments were brought to the attention of Frederick III, who crowned him imperial poet, and offered him a position in his service which was gladly accepted. On 11 Nov., 1442, Enea left Basle for Vienna, where he assumed the duties of secretary in the imperial chancery in January of the following year. Receding gradually from his attitude of supporter of Felix V, he ultimately became, with the imperial chancellor Schlick, whose favour he enjoyed, a partisan of Eugene IV. The formal reconciliation between himself and this pope took place in 1445, when he came on an official mission to Rome. He was first absolved of the censures which he had incurred as partisan of the Council of Basle and official of the antipope. Hand in hand with this change in personal allegiance went a transformation in his moral character and in March, 1446, he was ordained subdeacon at Vienna. The same year he succeeded in breaking up the Electors' League, equally dangerous to Eugene IV and Frederick III, and shortly afterwards a delegation, of which he was a member, laid before the pope the conditional submission of almost all Germany. In 1447 he was appointed Bishop of Trieste. The following year he played a prominent part in the conclusion of the Concordat of Vienna and in 1450 he received the Bishopric of Sienna. He continued, however, until 1455 in the service of Frederick III, who had frequent recourse to his diplomatic ability. In 1451 he appeared in Bohemia at the head of a royal embassy and in 1452 accompanied Frederick to Rome for the imperial coronation. He was created cardinal 18 Dec., 1456, by Calixtus III, whose successor he became.