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Pope Leo X (1475 – 1521), born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was also the head of the Medici family at the time of their return to Florence in 1512, and until he was elected Pope the following year he directly controlled the Florentine government through his younger brother Giuliano.


Leo X was an ally of the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins, through his father Lorenzo de' Medici, who was rescued first by the Assassin Giovanni Auditore from drowning, then by Giovanni's son Ezio Auditore, another Assassin, during the Pazzi Conspiracy in 1478. Leo X's ascendance as Pope reassured the Assassins that their presence in Rome would continue to thrive.[1]

In 1517, he excommunicated Martin Luther after the latter disputed the claim that absolution from sin could be paid for.[2]

In 1518[note 1], he initiated an architectural completion for a new church to be built in place of the old Saint Pantaleo. The architect Jacopo Sansovino won the competition but complications cause the construction to slowly ground to a halt. Over two centuries, various architects tried to finish the church and it was finally completed in 1734.[3]


Leo X was ultimately the first of four members of the House of Medici to serve as Pope.[4]

In 2012, he was included in a mnemonic set in Abstergo Industries' Project Legacy.[5]



  1. The Database entry for San Giovanni dei Fiorentini incorrectly dates this event as 1508, five years prior to Pope Leo X's ordination.