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Frederick the Wise

Frederick III of Ernestine Saxony, commonly known as Frederick the Wise, became the first patron of the Protestant Reformation due to his defense of Luther during the early days of the Wittenberg reforms. A known patron of humanist letters and … Continue reading

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Birth of Frederick the Wise

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Birth of Leo X

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Pope Leo X

Leo X was the last of the Renaissance popes before the dawn of the Reformation, but his role in the indulgence controversy left the indelible impression of his pontificate. Born Giovanni de’Medici in Florence on December 11, 1475, he was … Continue reading

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Luther posts his 95 Theses

The traditional date for the start of the Reformation is October 31, 1517, due to Luther’s posting of the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church. The impetus for this was the controversy over indulgences. Papal indulgences … Continue reading

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Bull Decet Romanem Pontificem excommunicates Luther

The bull officially excommunicating Luther, Decet Romanem Pontificem, was drafted on January 3, 1521, but as a mere formality. The previous bull threatening Luther’s excommunication, Exurge Domine, gave him sixty days to recant in person in Rome. On the sixtieth … Continue reading

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Leo X renews charges against Luther

Rome began considering the case against Luther again in early 1520. After Luther’s unproductive meetings with Cardinal Cajetan and papal ambassador Karl von Miltitz, the matter had taken a secondary role to questions over the election of a new emperor. … Continue reading

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