The Papal conclave of 1458 (August 16 – August 19, 1458) convened after the death of Pope Callixtus III, elected as his successor Cardinal Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who took the name Pius II.
Death of Callistus III
Pope Callistus III, the first pope of the House of Borgia, died on August 6, 1458. He was severely criticized due to his nepotism and devotion towards his compatriots of Catalonia, very unpopular among the rather xenophobic Roman populace. After the Pope's death an open revolt against had broken up and some of his partisans (e.g. his nephew Pedro Luis de Borja) had to flee Rome.
List of participants
At the time of Callistus' death, there were 27 living cardinals, of whom 19 were in Rome, but on August 14 Cardinal Domenico Capranica, archpriest of the College, unexpectedly died. In the conclave participated 18 out of 26 members of the Sacred College:
(called Cardinal Fieschi)
|Genovese||Bishop of Ostia e Velletri||1439, December 18||Pope Eugenius IV||Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals; bishop of Albenga|
|Isidore of Kiev
(Cardinal of Ruthenia)
|Greek||Bishop of Sabina;
administrator of SS. Marcellino e Pietro
|1439, December 18||Pope Eugenius IV||Latin Patriarch of Constantinople; administrator of the see of Nicosia|
(Cardinal of Nicea)
|Greek||Bishop of Frascati;
commendatario of SS. XII Apostoli
|1439, December 18||Pope Eugenius IV||Titular archbishop of Nicea and Tebe; administrator of the sees of Mazara del Vallo and Pamplona; Cardinal-protector of the Order of Basilians|
|Guillaume d'Estouteville, O.S.B.Cluny
(Cardinal of Rouen)
|French||Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina||1439, December 18||Pope Eugenius IV||Archbishop of Rouen and administrator of the see of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne; Archpriest of the patriarchal Liberian Basilica; Cardinal-protector of the Order of Augustinians|
|Juan de Torquemada, O.P.
(Cardinal of S. Sisto)
|Castilian||Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere||1439, December 18||Pope Eugenius IV||Administrator of the suburbicarian see of Palestrina; abbot commendatario of Subiaco|
(Cardinal of S. Marco)
|Venetian||Priest of S. Marco||1440, July 1||Pope Eugenius IV (Cardinal-nephew)||Bishop of Vicenza; Archpriest of the patriarchal Vatican Basilica|
|Antonio de la Cerda
(Cardinal of Messina)
|Catalonian||Priest of S. Lucia in Septisolio||1448, February 16||Pope Nicholas V||Bishop of Lerida; administrator of the see of Giovinazzo|
|Roman||Priest of SS. Giovanni e Paolo||1448, December 20||Pope Nicholas V||Administrator of the see of Bari; Archpriest of the patriarchal Lateran Basilica|
|Alain de Coëtivy
(Cardinal of Avignon)
|French||Priest of S. Prassede||1448, December 20||Pope Nicholas V||Bishop of Avignon and administrator of the sees of Nimes and Dol|
(Cardinal of Bologna)
|Bolognese||Priest of S. Lorenzo in Lucina||1448, December 20||Pope Nicholas V (Cardinal-nephew)||Bishop of Bologna|
|Luis Juan del Mila y Borja
(Cardinal of Segorbe)
|Catalonian||Priest of SS. IV Coronati||1456, September 17||Pope Callixtus III (Cardinal-nephew)||Administrator of the see of Segorbe; Legate in Bologna|
|Juan de Mella
(Cardinal of Zamora)
|Castilian||Priest of S. Prisca||1456, December 17||Pope Callixtus III||Bishop of Zamora|
(Cardinal of Pavia)
|Milanese||Priest of S. Anastasia||1456, December 17||Pope Callixtus III||Bishop of Pavia|
|Enea Silvio Piccolomini
(Cardinal of Siena)
|Siena||Priest of S. Sabina||1456, December 17||Pope Callixtus III||Bishop of Siena and bishop of Warmia|
(Cardinal of S. Anastasia)
|Neapolitan||Priest of S. Anastasia||1456, December 17||Pope Callixtus III||Archbishop of Naples; Camerlengo of the Sacred College of Cardinals|
|Roman||Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro||1426, May 24||Pope Martin V (cardinal-nephew)||Protodeacon of the Sacred College of Cardinals|
|Jaime de Portugal
(Cardinal of Portugal)
|Portuguese||Deacon of S. Eustachio||1456, September 17||Pope Callixtus III||Archbishop of Lisbon; administrator of the see of Paphos|
|Catalonian||Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere;
commendatario of S. Maria in Via Lata
|1456, September 17||Pope Callixtus III (Cardinal-nephew)||Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church; Administrator of the see of Valencia; generalissimo of the papal troops|
Eight electors were Italian, five Spaniards, two French, two Greeks and one Portuguese. Seven of them were created by Callistus III, six by Eugenius IV, four of Callixtus III, four by Nicholas V and one by Martin V.
Eight cardinals did not participate in this conclave:
|Pierre de Foix, O.F.M.
(Cardinal of Foix)
|French||Bishop of Albano||September, 1414||Antipope John XXIII||Legate in Avignon; administrator of the sees of Arles, Lescar and Dax|
|Petrus von Schaumberg
(Cardinal of Augsburg)
|German||Priest of S. Vitale||1439, December 18||Pope Eugenius IV||Protopriest of the Sacred College of Cardinals; Bishop of Augsburg|
(Cardinal of Esztergom)
|Hungarian||Priest of S. Ciriaco||1439, December 18||Pope Eugenius IV||Archbishop of Esztergom; Chancellor of the Kingdom of Hungary|
(Cardinal of Aquileia)
|Venetian||Priest of S. Lorenzo in Damaso||1440, July 1||Pope Eugenius IV||Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church; Patriarch of Aquileia; bishop of Cava; papal legate of the Mediterranean coasts and islands; Supreme Commander of the Papal Fleet; abbot commendatario of Montecassino|
|Juan de Carvajal
(Cardinal of S. Angelo)
|Castilian||Priest of S. Lucia in Septisolio||1446, December 16||Pope Eugenius IV||Bishop of Plasencia; papal legate in Germany, Poland and Hungary|
(Cardinal of Autun)
|French||Priest of S. Stefano al Monte Celio||1448, December 20||Pope Nicholas V||Bishop of Autun|
|Nicholas of Cues
(Cardinal of S. Pietro in Vincoli)
|German||Priest of S. Pietro in Vincoli||1448, December 20||Pope Nicholas V||Bishop of Brixen; papal legate in Germany and England|
|Richard Olivier de Longueil
(Cardinal of Coutances)
|French||Priest [no titulus assigned]||1456, December 17||Pope Callixtus III||Bishop of Coutances|
Of the absentee cardinals four were creatures of Eugenius IV, two of Nicholas V and one of Callixtus III. Pierre de Foix was the last surviving cardinal of the Great Western Schism and was elevated by Pisan Antipope John XXIII.
Among them there were three French, two Germans, one Spaniard, one Italian and the one Hungarian.
Candidates to the papacy
The principal concerns in the conclave of 1458 arose from the rapid rise of the effective power and influence of the French monarchy in the closing years of the Hundred Years War, which had recentely ended with the French victory. The principal Italian states – Kingdom of Naples, Republic of Genoa and Duchy of Milan – feared a rebirth of French interest in Italian affairs and tried to prevent the elevation of a French pope at all costs. The official candidate of the Milanese was Domenico Capranica. The campaign for his election in the preconclave period was so successful that it appeared almost certain that he would be elected to the papacy. But Cardinal Capranica died suddenly on August 14, 1458, two days before the beginning of the conclave, leaving his party in a great confusion. Ottone de Carretto, ambassador of Milan in Rome, made the quick and unconsulted decision to support Cardinal Enea Piccolomini and managed to convince Latino Orsini, one of the most influential cardinals, to back him in this action. The principal candidate of the pro-French party was d'Estouteville. Bessarion, Torquemada and Calandrini also were considered papabile.
Eighteen cardinals entered the conclave in Vatican on August 16. Initially they subscribed the conclave capitulation, which obliged the elect to continue the crusade against the Ottoman Empire and to give more welfare to poorer cardinals.
The first scrutiny took place only on August 18. Cardinals Piccolomini and Calandrini received five votes each, while none of the others obtained more than three. At this point French Cardinal d'Estouteville started the intensive simonical campaign for his own candidature. He promised the office of Vice-Chancellor to the Cardinal of Avignon and offered other bribes to the Greek cardinals. On August 18 in the evening he was certain that he would obtain at least eleven votes on the following morning But the opposite Italian party also didn't waste its time. During the night Cardinal Pietro Barbo called together all the other Italian cardinals except Prospero Colonna and proposed to them that, of them all, the one most likely to obtain the required majority of two thirds was Piccolomini, and that all should support him on the following day.
Election of Pius II
The results of the second ballot on August 19 in the morning were a greatly disappointed surprise for d'Estouteville. He received only six votes – those of de Coëtivy, Colonna, Bessarion, Fieschi, Torquemada, and Castiglione. Cardinal Piccolomini obtained nine votes – those of Barbo, Orsini, Calandrini, Isidore of Kiev, de Mella, de La Cerda, Jaime de Portugal, del Mila y Borja, and that of d'Estouteville, who hesitated to vote for himself but certainly did not consider Piccolomini a serious rival. The votes of Rodrigo Borgia, Giacomo Tebaldi and Enea Piccolomini fell to other candidates. After the announcing the results, Cardinal Dean opened the customary procedure of the accessus. There was a long silence broken by Rodrigo Borgia who changed his vote to Piccolomini. Then the partisans of d'Estouteville made an attempt to adjourn the session, but Cardinal Tebaldi also changed his vote to Piccolomini, who needed only one vote more for the election. At this point Cardinal Colonna arose and called out before anyone could have restrained him: "I also vote for the Cardinal of Siena and I make him Pope". The rest of the adherents of the Cardinal of Rouen could do nothing but change their votes too, and a few minutes later Cardinal Bessarion congratulated Piccolomini for his unanimous election to the papacy.
Cardinal Enea Silvio Piccolomini accepted his election and took the name Pius II. On September 3, 1458 he was solemnly crowned in the steps of the patriarchal Vatican Basilica by Cardinal Prospero Colonna, protodeacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro.
- Francis Burkle-Young “Papal elections in the Fifteenth Century: the election of Pius II II
- Ludwig von Pastor, History of the Popes vol. 2, p. 461
- Salvador Miranda List of participants of papal conclave of 1458.
- Notes according to biographical entries of the respective cardinals on The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church: consistories of XV Century by Salvador Miranda
- Vatican Histiory
- G. Noel, p. 30
- S. Miranda: Cardinal Enea Silvio Piccolomini
- Gerard Noel, The Renaissance Popes: Statesmen, Warriors and the Great Borgia Myth, Carrol & Graf, 2006
- (German) Vatican History: Konklave 1458