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Paolo V (Camillo Borghese)


Camillo Borghese became Pope Paul V in 1605. A jurist and expert in canon law, he was at first legate in Bologna in 1588 and then envoy at the court of Philip II in 1596. Paul V was involved in the conflict over questions of jurisdiction between the Church and the Republic of Venice, which he brought an interdiction against in 1606. He embellished Rome with sumptuous buildings, completed the Basilica of Saint Peter's, extended the roadways and was a patron of the arts.

Galileo had occasion to meet him personally during his mission of 1611, and the Pope paid him the honor of not having him kneel in his presence. A few years later, however, in 1616, he approved the Vatican policy that led to the ban on Copernicus' (1473-1543) De revolutionibus (Nuremberg, 1543) and to the admonition of Galileo.