Kaspar Röist

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Kaspar Röist (Zurich, ... – Vatican, 6 May 1527) was a Swiss papal official and commander of the papacy's Swiss Guard. He died whilst commanding it in its stand during the sack of Rome in 1527.


Son of Colonel of the Papal Swiss Guard Markus Röist, Kaspar Röist had joined the company under the command of his father as a soldier and then he made a career as a deputy commander of the body during the absence of his father, engaged diplomatic office in Switzerland. After his father's death in 1524, he assumed command of the company. Politically, the years of the regency of Kaspar Röist were among the hardest, particularly in the diplomatic tensions between the Holy See and the Holy Roman Empire in 1527 which resulted in the terrible sack of Rome, led by Swiss mercenaries in the pay of the Emperor Charles V who was determined to reassert their supremacy over the Church of the Empire. During the assault on Rome, Kaspar Röist had fortified himself at the head of the 189 recruits in the Germanic cemetery, around the central obelisk in the cemetery desperately trying to resist but to no avail, covering the flight of Pope Clement VII to Castel Sant'Angelo. Röist was wounded during this battle and later sought refuge in his house, but was followed by the troops, who killed him in front of his wife, Elizabeth Klingler.