One Swift Blow

The Duke of Nemours wasn’t preparing to  just take the Romagna. His plan was to take all of Italy. Knowing Ferdinand and King Henry were about to launch an invasion of France, the Duke of Nemours figured, correctly, that Ferdinand would not send more troops to fight in Italy — that he might, in fact, [...]

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Julius Returns (1)

Michelangelo watched in horror as the defeated papal army stumbled into Rome. He waited in the hot June sun, hoping to catch a glimpse of Julius. But the pope was nowhere to be seen. The rumors were as thick as rats in the Tiber. Julius had been gravely wounded. Julius was dead. No one knew [...]

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Murder in Ravenna (3)

As soon as he reached Ravenna, Cardinal Alidosi sent a message to Julius requesting an audience. He was relieved to receive an invitation to join the pope for dinner that night. All would be well, Alidosi thought. He must have beaten Francesco Maria to town. That night, as he rode to dinner along with a [...]

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