Past Event

Ingrid Rowland on Agostino Chigi and Jakob Fugger

March 6, 2018
5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Columbia University Faculty House

The Columbia University Seminar in the Renaissance will meet on Tuesday March 6th at 5:30 pm. Ingrid Rowland (University of Notre Dame) will discuss "Two Renaissance Magnates: Agostino Chigi and Jakob Fugger."


You are cordially invited to the dinner at Faculty House at 7:00 PM, where you will be able to continue the conversation with the speaker and the other Seminar members. If you plan to attend the dinner, please make your check of $30 payable to Columbia University.

Please contact the Rapporteur, Lien Van Geel (, at least ten days prior to the event, if you plan to attend the talk and, especially, if you plan to stay for the dinner. There is no need to contact the Rapporteur if you will not be attending.

When Martin Luther posted his 95 theses in 1517, a pair of merchant bankers controlled a surprisingly large segment of the European economy: Jakob Fugger in Augsburg and Agostino Chigi in Rome. Exact contemporaries (Fugger was seven years older), each had built an extensive international financial empire in the first decades of the sixteenth century that depended on close contacts with the papacy as well as with other European leaders. Both were eminent patrons of the arts, and each endowed one of the earliest social housing projects to be built on the continent. Their political involvement was extensive if carefully understated: Fugger played a direct role in the Protestant Reformation; Chigi served as a papal ambassador to Venice for Pope Julius II. This lecture will argue that their parallel lives were no coincidence, but rather show careful division of labor and closer communication with one another than has hitherto been suspected.