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Rodrigo Borgia was appointed Pope Alexander VI in 1492, a rule considered broadly corrupt, and he had Savonarola excommunicated, tortured, and killed in 1498.
The Italian Wars involved most of the major states of Western Europe in a series of conflicts beginning in 1494, the year the French king Charles VIII invaded Italy.
Sixtus IV was appointed Pope in 1471, continuing the major building projects in Rome, including the Sistine Chapel.
Important artistic works from this quarter century include Benozzo Gozzoli's "Adoration of the Magi" (1454), and the competing brothers-in-law Andrea Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini each produced their own versions of "The Agony in the Garden" (1465).
In 1453, the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople, compelling many Greek thinkers and their works to move westward.
Lorenzo de Medici "The Magnificent" took over power in Florence in 1469: his rule is considered the high point of the Florentine Renaissance.In 1440, Lorenzo Valla used textual criticism to expose the Donation of Constantine, a document which had given huge swaths of land to the Catholic church in Rome, as a forgery, one of the classic moments in European intellectual history.In 1446, Bruneschelli died, and in 1450, Francesco Sforza became the fourth Duke Milan and founded the powerful Sforza dynasty.In 1423, Francesco Foscari became Doge in Venice, where he would commission art for the city.Cosimo de Medici inherited the Medici bank in 1429 and began his rise to great power.
Fra Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli wrote "Everything About Arithmetic, Geometry, and Proportion" (1494) which included discussion of the Golden Ratio, and taught da Vinci how to mathematically calculate proportions.