Pope Sixtus IV

Pope of the Catholic Church, 1471–1484

Pope Sixtus IV (Latin: Xystus Quartus; 21 July 1414 - 12 August 1484),[1] originally Francesco della Rovere, was an Italian priest of the Roman Catholic Church and the 213th Pope from 1471 until his death in 1484.[2]

Sixtus IV
Papacy began9 August 1471
Papacy ended12 August 1484
PredecessorPope Paul II
SuccessorPope Innocent VIII
Personal details
Birth nameFrancesco della Rovere
Born21 July 1414
Celle Ligure
Died12 August 1484
Rome, Italy
Other popes named Sixtus

He is known for beginning construction of the Sistine Chapel.[3]

Early life


Della Rovere was born in Celle Ligure, a town near Savona in Liguria.[3] His family was important.[4]

As a young man, he joined the Franciscan Order. He rose in the order to head of the Franciscans in Liguria.[3]

Della Rovere studied philosophy and theology at the University of Pavia; and he lectured at Padua, Bologna, Pavia, Siena, and Florence.[3]



In 1467, Pope Paul II raised della Rovere to the rank of Cardinal.[3]

He was elected pope on August 9, 1471.[5] He took the name Sixtus because the first day of the conclave which elected him pope was the Feast Day of St. Sixtus.[6]

Pope Sixtus was involved in Italian and European political disputes.[7]

Papal actions




Sixtus ordered the building of the Ponte Sisto (Sistine Bridge) across the Tiber River.[3]

The Vatican Library was enlarged during the reign of Sixtus; and the number of manuscripts grew ten times larger—from 360 during the reign of Pope Nicholas V to 3650.[8]



Coat of arms of Sixtus IV
  1. Note that the first three popes are called "Xystus" in ancient records. Sixtus or Xystus was a Roman name which was Latinized from the Greek name "Ξυστος." This name means "polished." This name is not to be confused with the common Roman name "Sextus" which means "sixth".
  2. "List of Popes," Catholic Encyclopedia (2009); retrieved 2011-11-8.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "Pope Sixtus IV," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-8.
  4. Sixtus IV was the uncle of Pope Julius II.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Chisholm, Hugh (1911). The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information. Encyclopædia Britannica Company. p. 164.
  6. Guruge, Anura (2010). The Next Pope. Anura Guruge. p. 224. ISBN 978-0-615-35372-2.
  7. The Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. C. Knight. 1842. p. 72.
  8. Seldes, George. The Vatican: yesterday, today, tomorrow. Taylor & Francis. p. 30.

Other websites


  Media related to Sixtus IV at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Paul II
Succeeded by
Innocent VIII