In 1517, Martin Luther, the Germany theologian, tacked his ninety-five theses to the door of the Wittenberg church, thereby setting off the theological revolution that gave birth to the Reformation. Luther confronted a papal establishment headed by Leo X, the pleasure-loving son of Lorenzo de Medici who made the Vatican the glittering center of the Italian Renaissance and whose driving ambition was the completion of St. Peter’s Cathedral.
This book is, in part, a brilliant study of Luther and Pope Leo X, revealing two men of vastly different backgrounds, outlooks, and philosophies. The split in the Christian Church that was the inevitable result is dramatically portrayed. Written sure-handedly and in a lively fashion, the entire world of the Italian Renaissance comes alive.
Charles L. Mee Jr., Harvard scholar and biographer, brings the Reformation into sharp new focus as he presents Luther as the typical revolutionary and Leo X as his establishment protagonist. He gives us an immensely illuminating, informed, lively, and gossipy account of history’s pivotal figures and the turbulent times in which they lived. Altogether, this book offers an engrossing, biographical history.