Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/304

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the bankruptcy of 1575) had greatly exceeded the income. The pains taken to replenish the treasury were as great as those spent on rebuild- ing the city. It was, of course, at the cost of irreparable damage to the monuments of antiquity and primitive Christianity that he constructed great aqueducts, the new Lateran palace, the present residence of the Pope, and the Vatican Library. He ordered the completion of the Dome of St. Peter s, and the erection (despite infinite difficulties) of the obelisk of Caligula on its present-day site in the centre of St. Peter's Square. This monolith had once stood in front of the Egyptian Tem- ple of the Sun in Heliopolis, and had then witnessed the races and the martyrdom of Christians in Nero's Circus. By order of the Pope it now bore the inscription, Christtts vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat.

Sixtus V is also customarily numbered among the Popes who paid heed to politics and finance. Yet these two matters were not his sole concerns. It was not merely as a builder but also as a reformer of the Curia (which even at the present time is essentially the same in structure and organization as it was when he died) ; and as the founder of a special printing press for the publication of ecclesiastical authors and of the Latin Bible of the Church (Vulgata) he left the imprint of his genius and determination upon the life of the Church. Giving labels to the Pope was something Sixtus already disavowed. "Rome," he wrote in confidence, "sometimes changes usage and methods ac- cording to the individual desires of a Pope, but at bottom it alwayt remains the same. . . The princely testimonials of submission to and reverence for the Holy See are wasted." Thus he was really first and last a politician, who utilized his connections and accepted favours without binding himself to anything.

It was the European concept of the balance of power which de- termined his use of the Papal power. He imposed the ban on Henry of Navarre who despite his "conversion" had again tended toward Protestantism; but the fact that he thereupon established closer relations with Spain, which was fostering a Catholic league in France, was actuated by a hope that he could recover England and the Nether- lands for the Catholic Church. He needed King Philip and he used him cautiously, as a dangerous instrument. This monarch, who was like a Pope in his own country, and could get along without Rome so