Pius II ranks among my top 10 people in history
. He left an autobiography, published under the title:
Pius II [Aeneas
Sylvius Piccolomini]. Memoirs of a Renaissance Pope, The Commentaries of Pius II, An Abridgment. Trans. Florence A. Gragg. Ed. Leona C. Gabel. G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York
, 1959, 381 pp.
Gragg and Gabel, both Smith College, used the original Vatican
manuscript, partly in Pius’ own handwriting, as the source. Pius also wrote the first ever History
, which is the part
of "The Commentaries" that G&G cut. Before he was a cardinal, Aeneas
held the job, Poet Laureate of the Holy Roman Empire
. He is the only pope known to have written and self-published a pornographic novel. The Holy Roman
Emperor loved the book. It was last published in English about 1600.
Pius knew everybody that was anybody.
de’Medici, he wrote: "He was more cultured than merchants usually are."
Of Sigismondo Malatesta, he wrote: "Of all men
…the worst scoundrel, the discrase of Italy
and the infamy of our times."
Of Louis XI, King
: "Avarice is his
d’Estouerville, Cardinal of Rouen, who almost beat Aeneas
out in the papal election of 1458: "A slippery fellow who would sell his
Of himself, he wrote: "After his
death…true report will rise again and number Pius among the illustrious popes."Robert
Graves robbed this book big time for "I Claudius