Despite their positions of power, neither Clement VII nor Moctezuma of Mexico were able to prevent the Spanish Empire from establishing a new regime in their regions. Giulio de’ Medici, born at the height of the Italian Renaissance, ascended to the highest office in the Catholic Church as Pope Clement VII. Fear, indecision, and untrustworthy allies undermined his ability to lead a resistance against Spanish domination of the peninsula. Moctezuma II, an Aztec prince, had proven himself as an effective ruler over the Mexican Empire but remained helpless against a Spanish-led coalition of his enemies. Both witnessed the massacres and atrocities that accompanied the occupation of Rome and Tenochtitlan. A story of rebirth, destruction, and revival, this lecture connects several sites with the theme of historical pathos. The optimism of re-emergent humanism as expressed in the Duomo and Laurentian Library are contrasted with the pope’s eight-month captivity within the Castel San Angelo. The lecture also relates how empire of the Aztecs, built on the ruins of a succession of Mesoamerican civilizations, was reborn once again as a Spanish colonial city. Its rebirth was paralleled with the rebuilding of Rome as the capital of a revived Catholicism. This lecture looks at the following regions: 1) Florence, Italy (1400-1550) 2) Rome, Italy in the (1500-1650) 3) Teotihuacan (0 CE-700 CE) 4) Tenochtitlan (1300-1550)
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