AFTER THE ROMAN EMPIRE After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Rome fell into decline. There were many invasions, and the population of the city fell. At the same time Rome became a center of the Christian Church, headed by the pope .
This view of Rome was drawn in 1493. On the right is Castle St. Angelo (see page 13) and on the far left is the edge of
the Colosseum (see page 16).
Families at war Rome was a lawless and derelict city in the 14th century. The city’s water supply was cut off, its buildings were ravaged by fire, earthquake and war, and its population was reduced to less than 20,000 by the Black Death . Rome’s noble families (see page 14) waged war against each other, their followers running riot through the ruined buildings and streets of the city. Renaissance Rome The reign of Pope Martin V (1417-31) marked the start of a new era in Rome’s history. Pope Martin began to clean up and restore the crumbling, filthy city. His reign was also the start of papal rule in Rome, which lasted until 1870. It was Pope Nicholas V (1447-55) who brought the Renaissance to Rome. He founded the Vatican Library (see page 37) and planned the rebuilding of St. Peter’s (see page 12). Later popes continued to bring scholars and artists from all over Italy, turning Rome once again into a magnificent city.
Sixtus IV was pope from 1471-84. He founded the Sistine Chapel (see page 37).
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