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On This Day… The Holy Roman Emperor And The Sacking Of Rome

Written by: George Chittenden : 04 May 2019

It was on this day, 6th May back in 1527 when he army of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, King of Spain, sacked Rome. In those days Italy was a perilous place, savaged by constant wars between the King of France Francis I and his enemy Charles V. Pope Clement VII had given his support to the Kingdom of France in an attempt to alter the balance of power in the region. Now it’s worth noting that sacking Rome wasn’t part of Charles V’s plan. Many argue that he was ultimately responsible since he expressed his desire for a private audience with Pope Clement and his men took action into their own hands. It was the imperial army’s commander, the Duke of Bourbon, who promised his men loot if they captured Rome.

The sacking of Rome.

The sacking of Rome.

Around 20,000 soldiers began their assault and then the Duke was shot and killed almost immediately. What followed was chaos as the troops forgot all their discipline. The Swiss Guard were slaughtered where they stood and the imperial army ransacked churches, tombs and cemeteries. Approximately 12,000 people are estimated to have been murdered. Emperor Charles V was greatly embarrassed by the fact that he had been powerless to stop his troops striking against Pope Clement VII.

Charles V, King of Spain.

Charles V, King of Spain.

Are you already curious to discover what happened tomorrow? Have a great day.

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