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.
After the short reign of Pius III, Giuliano was elected Pope in 1503, to which he took the name of Julius, after the 4th century Pope, Julius I. Julius II then ordered a warrant for the arrest of Cesare Borgia, for the crimes of murder, betrayal, and incest.
Meeting with Ezio
Following Cesare and Micheletto Corella's arrests, Julius II employed Leonardo da Vinci as a military engineer and shortly afterwards met with the Mentor of the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins, Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Julius, who was aware of the Piece of Eden through his contact with Leonardo, discussed its existence with Ezio before deciding it was best for it to remain with the Assassins. From there, he made the suggestion that Ezio hide the artifact, so that it could be used by future generations.
Despite this, 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 following the period of Borgia rule.
Intending to curb the Venetian influence in northern Italy, Pope Julius II 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.
- In the Prophecy of the Popes, Julius is named "Fructus Iovis Iuvabit", meaning "The fruit of Jupiter will help".
- 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 or Alexander VI, bribery played a part on Julius's election as Pope but he later used his position in declaring bribed elections invalid.
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (mentioned only)
- Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood novel (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed: Identity (mentioned in Database entry only)
- Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy (mentioned only)