The Pope's Elephants

The Pope s Elephants In Rome the Eternal City was the center of the Christian world and home and workshop to Raphael Leonardo and Michelangelo It was also the city of Pope Leo X the pleasure loving pontiff whos

  • Title: The Pope's Elephants
  • Author: Silvio A. Bedini
  • ISBN: 9780140288629
  • Page: 262
  • Format: Paperback
  • In 1514, Rome, the Eternal City, was the center of the Christian world and home and workshop to Raphael, Leonardo, and Michelangelo It was also the city of Pope Leo X, the pleasure loving pontiff whose court was infamous for its excess, frivolity and impropriety, as well as for its newly arrived white elephant Hanno Hanno became a star feature in processions and festivalIn 1514, Rome, the Eternal City, was the center of the Christian world and home and workshop to Raphael, Leonardo, and Michelangelo It was also the city of Pope Leo X, the pleasure loving pontiff whose court was infamous for its excess, frivolity and impropriety, as well as for its newly arrived white elephant Hanno Hanno became a star feature in processions and festivals, and the subject of countless paintings, sculptures and fountains In this fascinating glimpse at a forgotten sidenote to history, Silvio A Bedini gives us an elephant s back view of early modern Europe and the inner workings of the Vatican at the height of its influence Charmingly written with dozens of accompanying photographs and illustrations, The Pope s Elephant will delight readers just as Hanno delighted the people of Rome five centuries ago.

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      Posted by:Silvio A. Bedini
      Published :2018-05-20T16:20:08+00:00

    1 thought on “The Pope's Elephants”

    1. The (illustrated) story of the 16th-century pope, Leo X, and the white elephant Hanno he was given as a present from the Portuguese king Manuel. It’s an unusual and interesting historical footnote, to be sure --- an elephant (and a stuffed rhinoceros) in the Vatican City in 1514, treated like a pet and trained to genuflect. Bedini gives us the whole picture of 16th-century life, at least at the Holy See and among its artistic hangers-on, through this story.However, his writing style is extreme [...]

    2. There was much more Pope than elephant in this book, maybe a little more than I was hoping for. It's very much an art history/Vatican history book and incredibly researched by Silvio A. Bedini. I found myself spacing out a bit when it started getting into the nuances of papal history. Still, I enjoyed following Hanno the elephant in his brief life in Italy and later his immortality in art.

    3. This book is very prolix with a mass of footnoted material, on a rather obscure subject, Hanno, the Indian elephant gifted to Pope Leo X from King Manuel of Portugal, a year after his coronation as pope in 1513. However, much of the discussion in the book seems contrived as Beldini fusses over whether or not Hanno was the model for depictions of elephants, as well as for a rhinoceros, one having been drowned during a shipwreck. The rhinoceros was to be another gift for Leo from Manuel. Both anim [...]

    4. Very interesting history of Pope Leo X and how he acquired his wonderful, exotic menagerie. It was almost refreshing to learn that a Catholic Pope, especially back in that time period, had an eccentric, sort of quirky, approachable personality and a good rapport with the people, and of course, the animals in his collection. The book also reveals what a high level of respect the Pope had around the world. People traveled thousands of miles with these animals just to grant them as gifts to the Pon [...]

    5. While menageries were nothing new at the courts of European Princes & Monarchs (a custom stretching back as far as ancient times), and while I was aware of there being a female Pope once, I had no knowledge of Leo the Tenth's menagerie, much less of his short-lived pet Indian elephant, Hanno (Annone), who (along with another pachyderm, an Indian rhinoceros that later drowned in a shipwreck on its way to the Papal Court, also destined as an addition to Leo's growing menagerie of exotic fauna) [...]

    6. Follows many lives, all touching on the elephant that was a gift from the Portuguese King Manuel to Pope Leo X (Giovanni de Medici). Written in a mix of popular and scholarly text, heavily footnoted. The elephant becomes a symbol of the extravagance of the Pope and the tributes that he required for blessing the conquest of foreign lands.

    7. Actually a very interesting bit of history about Pope Leo the Tenth, the elephant given him by the king of Portugal, and all the politics et cetera that surrounded such stuff. Unfortunately I just wasn't in a reading mood when I got it from the library, and someone put a hold on it so I couldn't renew it. But it's definitely something I'd like to pick up again in the future.

    8. Up until the last two chapters, this book was an interesting, well-researched read. Those last two chapters dragged, though.

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