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Julius II, born Giuliano della Rovere (1443 – 1513), also known as The Fearsome Pope and The Warrior Pope, was the Pope from 1503 to 1513, and was the successor of Pius III (whose predecessor was Alexander VI). He was also the nephew of Sixtus IV.


Rivalry with the Borgia[]

Giuliano was a long time nemesis of the House of Borgia, maintaining his rivalry even when they came to power and controlled all of Rome. When the Assassins began their battle against the Borgia, Giuliano quickly became an ally of the Order and supported them in their efforts to defeat the Borgia forces.[1]

Becoming Pope[]

After the short reign of Pius III, Giuliano was elected Pope in 1503, to which he took the name of Julius, not after the 4th century Pope, Julius I, but the Roman dictator, Julius Caesar. Julius II then ordered a warrant for the arrest of Cesare Borgia, for the crimes of murder, betrayal, and incest. Cesare would ultimately be arrested by Fabio Orsini in Rome following his defeat by the Italian Assassins.[1][2]

In 1505, Julius learned of Leonardo da Vinci's previous work as an engineer for Cesare, having created several war machines for his army. Despite Cesare's imprisonment and Leonardo having been forced into servitude, Julius still elected to deprive the Borgia of his genius and secretly put a hit on him. After finding out about this, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, the Mentor of the Italian Assassins and Leonardo's friend, intercepted Julius' mercenaries and dispatched them before they could kill Leonardo.[3]

Meeting with Ezio[]

Following the capture of Cesare Borgia's right-hand man Micheletto Corella by the Assassins, Julius employed Leonardo da Vinci as a military engineer and later met with Ezio Auditore to talk about the Piece of Eden in his possession, which Leonardo's apprentice Salaì had informed him of. Julius ultimately decided it was best for the artifact to remain with the Assassins, although he advised Ezio to hide it, so that it could be used by future generations.[1]

Despite his newfound alliance with the Assassins, Julius opposed Ezio's decision to kill Cesare and Micheletto, as the Assassin still believed they were a threat despite imprisonment. Julius later worked to rebuild Rome and revive the city from the decrepit state that it had fallen into during the period of Borgia rule.[1]

Intending to curb the Venetian influence in northern Italy, Julius created the League of Cambrai, that served as an anti-Venetian alliance that included Louis XII of France, the Roman Emperor Maximillian I and Ferdinand II of Aragon. The League was initially a success, but the friction between Julius and Louis caused it to collapse by 1510.[4]


  • In the Prophecy of the Popes, Julius is named "Fructus Iovis Iuvabit", meaning "The fruit of Jupiter will help".[5]
  • Historically, the chief instigator of the Pazzi Conspiracy, Pope Sixtus IV, was Giuliano's uncle who was the key to his rise to cardinalate. It is therefore likely that Giuliano, while not entirely a supporter of the conspiracy, favored his uncle's choices, making him an enemy of Lorenzo de' Medici.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, the Borgia banners and flags in buildings are replaced by those inscribed with Julius's coat of arms once Ezio has destroyed all Borgia towers and liberated Rome from their rule, symbolizing Julius's rise to power as Pope.
  • Like Rodrigo Borgia or Alexander VI, bribery played a part in Julius's election as Pope but he later used his position in declaring bribed elections invalid.