More little spider flowers
The Pirate Pope,
ARRRGGGHHHH ME MATEY, let me tell you the tale of the greatest pirate to sail the high seas!
A lawyer and soldier from a small island off the coast of Naples, Baldasserre Cossa (1370-1418) came from a noble family of minor power and influence. However, after taking part in a few costly wars, the family was left short of cash and found what little power it had waning. So how would a man like Cossa make a fortune, living on an island in the Mediterranean near a very active port situated along a very active trade route? Why piracy of course!
Cossa used what wealth he had to outfit a number of small but fast ships which could easily chase down and board trading ships. At the time Medieval Italy was at the heart of trade in Europe, growing fat and wealthy off commerce from the Silk Road to Asia. There was much in the way of booty and plunder to be made by an enterprising pirate. Over time Cossa’s wealth grew and grew, and as his wealth increased so did his power. This wealth, however, did not come without a price as his two brothers were both caught and executed for piracy.
Cossa used his stolen treasure to earn an education with the University in Bologna and a doctorate degree in theology. So why would a pirate study religion? In Medieval Europe the Roman Catholic Church was the wealthiest and most powerful institution in Europe, perhaps even the world. Cossa was looking for grander targets to plunder. He became a deacon (a lay church servant) a position which allowed him to become a Cardinal and Papal Legate by 1403. He didn’t really earn his position, mostly using bribery or violence to get his way. Cossa still maintained his pirate ships, often raiding the transports of his enemies and forcing them to walk the plank. Furthermore, he stepped up his raiding missions, sponsoring highwaymen to rob travelers at roadsides all over Italy. Cossa’s network of pirates, thieves, and thugs not only provided him his wealth but also removed his competitors or enemies and enforced his will.
At the time of Cossa’s rise to power, the Catholic Church was undergoing a crises. The church was split between two factions, each who had their own claims on leadership of the church. There were actually two Popes, one in Rome and another in Avignon, France. Cossa saw this schism as an opportunity to plunder the greatest booty of them all; the Papacy. Cossa organized a council of seven cardinals who overthrew the both the Roman and Avignon Popes, and installed Alexander V as a puppet Pope in 1409. Ten months later, Alexander V died unexpectedly. Cossa teamed up with the Medici family, a clan of wealthy bankers, and he bribed the College of Cardinals to elect him as the next Pope. Cossa was still technically a layman, so on the 24th of May, 1410 he was ordained as a priest. The next day he was named Pope and took the name John XXIII.
During his Papacy, Pope John XXIII did what any other pirate would do, use his position to increase his swag. He plundered the Vatican Treasury for his own wealthy and lavish lifestyle, when that money ran out, he sold indulgences. He slept around, having several mistresses and numerous illegitimate children. He also made the Medici Bank the official bank of the Papacy; pirates look after each other after all. Unfortunately things did not go as planned for the pirate Pope. John XXIII also used his position to strike against his enemies. One of them was Ladislaus of Naples, who raised an army and ousted John XXIII from Rome. Furthermore, a church council convened to depose all current Pope’s, and name a one true Pope, thus ending the schism. Cossa was ousted from the Papacy, charged with treason, heresy, corruption, and adultery, and imprisoned in Germany. The Medici payed his ransom, and he lived in Florence until his death in 1418. The Medici’s hired Donatello to build his tomb in Florence.
Currently the Catholic Church regards him as an anti-pope, an illegitimate Pope who doesn’t count.
“Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.” ~ (Kurt Vonnegut)
OK SO EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GLASGOW YOU WILL KNOW FROM THIS STATUE
THIS MY FRIENDS IS THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON STATUE IN ROYAL EXCHANGE SQUARE IN GLASGOW AND YES HE HAS A TRAFFIC CONE ON HIS HEAD
NOW LET ME TELL YOU I HAVE LIVED IN GLASGOW FOR 18 AND A HALF YEARS AND NOT ONCE HAVE I SEEN THIS MAN WITHOUT A CONE ON HIS HEAD
IT HAS BEEN REMOVED SO MANY TIMES BY THE COUNCIL BUT SOMEHOW IT ALWAYS SEEMS TO GET BACK UP THERE AND ITS NOT A SMALL STATUE ITS PRETTY FUCKING BIG SO WHOEVER KEEPS ON PUTTING UP THERE IS A DETERMINED WEE FUCKER
IT HAS BECOME A NATIONAL SYMBOL FOR GLASGOW CAUSE ITS JUST THE EPITOME OF GLASWEGIAN HUMOUR AND THEY EVEN PAINTED THE CONE FUCKING GOLD FOR THE OLYMPICS
AND A FEW MONTHS AGO THE COUNCIL SAID THEY WERE GOING TO RAISE UP THE STATUE SO PEOPLE COULDNT PUT THE CONE ON AND LET ME TELL YOU IT WAS FUCKING PANDAEMONIUM ABOUT GLASGOW IT WAS AS IF WORLD WAR THREE HAD BROKEN OUT THERE WERE FACEBOOK PAGES AND PROTESTS AND PETITIONS AND ALL SORTS TO KEEP THE CONE ON
SO LONG AND SHORT OF IT IS THAT THIS STUPID STATUE AND ITS STUPID CONE IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SCOTS IN PARTICULAR GLASWEGIANS CAUSE WE CANT DECIDE WHETHER WE WANT TO RULE OUR OWN COUNTRY OR NOT BUT IF YOU FUCKING DARE TRY TO TAKE THE CONE OFF THE DUKE OF WELLINGTONS HEAD THERE WILL BE A NATION WIDE OUTRAGE AND GLASGOWS OWN VERSION OF LES MIS WILL HAPPEN I AINT FUCKING KIDDIN
I once saw it without the cone on its head. It was very distressing.
Glasgow is a land of proud and noble people