Loquis: The House of Pierleoni

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The House of Pierleoni


Published on:  2019-03-19 15:09:25

  Kosher Life

At number 20 of via di san giovanni, which has taken off, stands the only remaining house of the numerous palaces owned by the Pierleoni, a rich Roman family of Jewish origin. In the 11th century, a powerful member of the family converted to Catholicism, taking the name of Leo di Benedetto in honour of Pope Leo IX. He was one of the richest families in Rome, and it seems that the enrichment was also due to usury, a feat possible for Jews but forbidden for Christians. The considerable economic availability had led to considerable prestige among the Roman patrician families so as to acquire a leading role in the struggles between the Papacy and the Empire obtaining control of Castel Sant'Angelo by Pope Urban II. Leone's son was called Pietro di Leone and from here the family acquired the name of "Pierleoni". The most famous character was Pietro Pierleoni, cardinal of the Church, who became the antipope Anacleto II. Exponents of the family lived in the ghetto at the time of Pope Paul IV

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