Gregory XV, Pope 1621-1623
Muntoni 8; Berman 1645, PCGS graded MS-64
Rome. GREGORIVS XV P MA around, A II below, bust of Pope Gregory XV right. Reverse: SVB TVVM PRÆSID, the Virgin standing facing on crescent, radiant eclipse around.
At the age of 67, Alesssandro Ludovisi was elected as Pope Gregory XV on July 8, 1623. Due to his advanced age he immediately created his 25-year-old nephew Ludovico Ludovisi as a cardinal in order to serve as his assistant. Together they advanced the fortunes of the Ludovisi family and secured two dukedoms. Otherwise, Pope Gregory XV meddled little in larger European political affairs, aside from funding the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II and the Catholic League in the ongoing war against Protestantism and King Sigismund III of Poland-Lithuania in the continuing struggle against the Ottoman Empire. Pope Gregory XV was also notable for producing the last papal declaration against witchcraft, in which penalties were greatly reduced and capital punishment reserved for those who had committed murder through sorcery.