Jullius III, Pope 1550-1555

Muntoni 4; Berman 984, PCGS graded MS-63

Rome. IVLIVS III P M AN II, arms of Pope Julius III. Reverse: VIA VERITAS ET VITA, bust of Jesus left.

At the beginning of his reign, Pope Julius III appears to have intended to undertake Church reform and briefly reconvened the Council of Trent, but little headway was made. Instead Julius III tended to bask in his luxurious palace, the Villa Giulia, and embroil himself in scandals. The most serious of these revolved around Innocenzo Ciocchi Del Monte, his adopted 13-year old nephew, whom the Pope created cardinal and was suspected of being his lover. Despite the general disinterest of Pope Julius III in political and ecclesiastical affairs, he did patronize the arts. His taste for art may be reflected in this gold piece featuring a high Renaissance depiction of Christ on the reverse.