Born as Giuliano Della Rovere on December 5th, 1443, Julius was the nephew of Pope Sixtus IV, who built the Sistine Chapel. Although his relationship to Sixtus helped his early career, he was forced to flee Italy to avoid assassination attempts ordered by Rodrigo Borgia(Pope Alexander VI), and stayed in exile for ten years before Borgia's death made it possible for him to return.
As pope, Julius became one of the most powerful rulers of the Renaissance, and was more concerned with political matters than theological ones. Crowned Nov.28, 1503, he bcame known as the "warrior pope" and il papa terribile, and worked hard to restore and preserve the Papal States and led military efforts to hold off the encroaching forces of France. When defecting cardinals threatened another schism, he called the Fifth Lateran Council, and overturned another military coup with the help of Swiss troops.
Though he was enormously successful in keeping Italy together politically and militarily, Julius is perhaps best known as a patron of the arts.
He is particularly remembered for his patronage of Raphael, who painted his private rooms at the Vatican, and Michelangelo, who completed the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel barely a year before the pope's death.
Pope Julius died in February 21, 1513, yet his accomplishments still live on. The interesting thing about Pope Julius is that you would find him more on the battle field then in the council house.