Pope Pius III
|Papacy began||22 September 1503|
|Papacy ended||18 October 1503|
|Ordination||30 September 1503|
|Consecration||1 October 1503
by Pope Julius II
|Created Cardinal||5 March 1460|
|Birth name||Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini|
29 May 1439|
Siena, Republic of Siena
|Died||18 October 1503
Rome, Papal States
|Papal styles of
Pope Pius III
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
He was born in Siena, son of Nanno Todeschini and Laodamia Piccolomini, sister of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, the future Pope Pius II. He was received as a boy into the household of Aeneas Silvius, who permitted him to assume the name and arms of the Piccolomini family (his brother Antonio being made Duke of Amalfi during the pontificate of Pius II). Pius II appointed him in 1460, when only 21 years of age, to the See of Siena, which he had just raised to an archbishopric, and made him a cardinal at his first consistory, on 5 March 1460. Within months he sent him as legate to the March of Ancona with the experienced Bishop of Marsico as his counsellor. He proved studious and effective.
Cardinal Piccolomini participated in the conclave that elected Paul II (1464–71) in 1464, but was absent when Sixtus IV (1471–84) was elected in 1471. He was employed in several important legations, as by Paul II at the Imperial diet at Regensburg/Ratisbon, and later by Sixtus IV to restore ecclesiastical authority in Umbria. He participated in the conclave of 1484 which elected Innocent VIII and in the conclave of 1492 which elected Alexander VI. The cardinal was involved in Alexander's short-lived effort to reform the Roman Curia following the murder of his son Giovanni Borgia in 1497.
In 1502 the Cardinal commissioned a library with access from an aisle of the Duomo di Siena that was intended to house the library of humanist texts assembled by his uncle and commissioned the artist Pinturicchio to fresco its vault and ten narrative panels along the walls depicting scenes from the life of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini. Its iconography illustrating the donor's career gives an edited version of Pius' life, passing over his former support of the antipope Felix V. Though Pinturrichio labored for five years, the books never reached their splendid destination; yet the Piccolomini Library is a monument of the High Renaissance in Siena. Some of Pope Pius III's most famous portraits can be viewed in the Louvre Museum.
Election to papacy 
Amid the disturbances consequent upon the death of Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503), it took the combined pressures of all the ambassadors to induce Cesare Borgia to withdraw from Rome, so that an unpressured conclave might take place. In it, Cardinal Piccolomini was elected Pope Pius III on 22 September 1503. He named himself Pius III after his uncle Pius II. This selection can be seen as a compromise between factions, Borgia and della Rovere, picking a frail cardinal with long experience in the Curia over the kin of either Sixtus IV or Alexander VI.
His coronation took place on 8 October 1503. He supported Cesare Borgia and reconfirmed him as Gonfalonier; but after a brief pontificate of twenty-six days he died (18 October 1503) of an ulcer in the leg, or, as some have alleged, of poison administered at the instigation of Pandolfo Petrucci, governor of Siena.
- Hendrix, John, History and Culture in Italy, (University Press of America, 2003), 173.
- Munman, Robert, Sienese Renaissance tomb monuments, (DIANE Publishing Co., 1993), 112.
- Williams, George L., Papal Genealogy: The Families And Descendants Of The Popes, (McFarland & Company Inc., 1998), 50.
- The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol.19, Ed. Thomas Spencer Baynes, (Henry G. Allen Company, 1890), 153.
- Catholic Encyclopedia – Visited 2011-10-08
See also 
- Hendrix, John, History and Culture in Italy, University Press of America, 2003.
- Munman, Robert, Sienese Renaissance tomb monuments, DIANE Publishing Co., 1993.
- The Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol.19, Ed. Thomas Spencer Baynes, Henry G. Allen Company, 1890.
- Williams, George L., Papal Genealogy: The Families And Descendants Of The Popes, McFarland & Company Inc., 1998.
Further reading 
- Wilkie, William E. 1974. The cardinal protectors of England. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-20332-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Pope Pius III|
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope Pius III
- Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church:
- Frida De Salve, "The Piccolomini Library"
|Catholic Church titles|
22 September – 18 October 1503