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John Ambrose Meyer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Ambrose Meyer (May 15, 1899 – October 2, 1969) was a U.S. Representative from Maryland.

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  • ✪ Who Were the Borgias?
  • ✪ The First Sermon in America
  • ✪ The Harlot's Face in the Mirror of Scripture - Puritan John Flavel Sermon


Today we're looking at the Borgias one of the most influential and in fact infamous families from what we would today call the Renaissance papacy and we're looking at them in part of course because they are quite famous even today needless to say if you get a Showtime show named after you the tales of the exploits of your dynasty are certainly well-known so the goal here is to unpack myth from fact and tell what we do know about this dynasty and to say a few things about its place in history and we can begin with a couple of the myths at least the popular understanding of the Borgias of course poisoning and murder and incest and all kinds of things are alleged to be part of this family dynasty this is one of those times when the papacy particularly when it's under the pores of rule seems to be without any spiritual fervor or seriousness at times it seems as if it's a lordship like any other in medieval Europe and hence the legacy now the problem here of course is the way the story always grows with the telling this tends to happen whenever someone is infamous particularly when it is centuries ago the story seems to discontinue to get larger and larger and all the rumors that were ever written down become recorded in the modern world as mere fact so in this case the story of the Pope from the Borgia family Alexander the six the fact that he is known to have had mistresses and sexual liaisons has come down to us today with the story that he hosted regular orgies there in the papal apartments some of these claims are certainly true but again telling which ones are true and which ones are false or which ones are merely embellished about 500 years later can be quite a task one of the interesting things about this though is the Borges when they get control of the papacy or whenever they get enormous influence in the papacy become synonymous with the many things they were considered to be wrong with the papacy during the Renaissance in fact Alexander the six himself is in part one of the central targets for Luther's condemnation of the papacy now he had ceased to be Pope before the Reformation began but you might say that during Luthor's time in the monastery as he was coming under some serious doubt and as he was beginning to question some of the central tenets of the Catholic Church it didn't help that the man who was notoriously the leader of that Catholic Church was rumored even in his own day to be wantin and full of all kinds of vices but who were the Borgias well the family comes from what we call today Spain they come from the area that was known as the kingdom of Aragon and they had migrated over to the area of what we do they call Italy which was in this day and age more or less a conglomeration of various principalities and duchies and other types of things it really had sort of carved up into different regions and the Borgia influence as a family begins to rise during the time of the Renaissance now the Renaissance is remembered for a lot of good things it's remembered for a wonderful turn in art people like Michelangelo da Vinci it's a return to letters and the humanities things we still take for granted today as central parts of education but the Renaissance you might say when it touched the papacy began to lead to all kinds of flowering of new ideas about how the Pope ought to carry himself in the modern world as the modern world at least in their day not the modern world in ours the idea here was is that the Pope was to be seen more lordly than spiritual leader and the Borgia fit hand in glove with in this model the first to take the throne from the Borgia family is a man who will become calixta the third he ruled from 1455 to 1458 not very long he is actually not by the way featured in the show if you're a fan of that show he is the uncle to the future Pope Alexander the six he made Alexander and another of his nephews Cardinals and as one historian has said the two of them together might have come up to the age in the experience level to make one Cardinal but they were both made Cardinals calixta is not remembered as much for the boers dynasty the main things he is involved with is an attempted crew Sade on the Ottoman Turks which is really almost an overriding preoccupation for him as well as in 1455 he reopened the case of Joan of Arc and actually had her declared innocent just a bit too late you might say the real story that many are familiar with comes with the rise of alexander the six to the papacy alexander is in the show by the way he is Jeremy Irons character his birth name is Rodrigo it is under Alexander that some monumental things begin to happen for example columbus sailed the ocean blue right as he took the throne in 1492 this is going to have some pretty controversial impact on the west and the new world you see prior to Alexander there had been some legislation some papal bulls that had outlawed and condemned slavery Alexander you might say relaxed some of these laws he pitched it as conversion of the natives but what he managed to do was at least crack the door and some would say kick the door wide open to the enslavement of those in the new world particularly in South America this is by the way still a controversy in Catholic scholarship today as to what extent did Alexander allow this or not allow this by and large the consensus at least the majority consensus within the Vatican today is that Alexander did in fact make too much allowance for abuses to occur and that the enslavement of natives in the new world was a result of that again it all depends on how severe you want to put the blame on Alexander or not whether or not it was those who misread or conveniently overlooked some of the things that Alexander had legislated or not or whether Alexander was doing this knowing that folks would go the extra mile you might say with the enslavement and forced conversion of natives in either case he is vital for the new world in fact in 1494 this Pope Alexander drew a line right down the middle of the globe at least a known globe in which he divided up the lands between the Portuguese and the Spanish and that's a line that is still in effect you might say today when you look at the differences of Portuguese speaking Brazil and the rest of South America being predominantly Anna speaking that line was drawn by Alexander himself by Rodrigo the big thing about Alexander's rain though is that you see a real pivot and you see it in a number of different ways the monies that were brought in to sustain the papacy during his reign actually began to shift away from monies gained by spiritual things like tithes and alms to now more what we would call today secular aims money has gotten through treaties and trades and other types of things like this you also see an increase beyond even what we saw in Middle Ages of papal involvement in secular or political enterprise many remember of course that Alexander is the first to contract Michelangelo to draw up plans for new st. Peters of course there have been old st. Peter's that had stood since the time of Constantine and there began in the Renaissance during this time first the plans drawn up and then the building of what would be new st. Peter's which is still there today it won't be completed for some time but nonetheless it is under Alexander that this begins to happen he is also responsible for the creation of the so-called Borgia apartments that are there today in the Vatican one of the more testing things though is that the papacy under Alexander really pours a lot of money into the arts again this is the tension that people have they're so thankful for the supply the financing of people like Michelangelo and others of Rafael and all the wonderful Renaissance art that we still enjoy today however what you see is a real increase in opulence that goes hand in glove with the way the Borgias styled themselves at least in the case of Alexander when it came to being Pope and this leads to one of the more infamous stories which is the story of seven Rolla and we're going to have a video on savonarola in his critique of the Renaissance papacy later but for now you need to know that savonarola was a preacher in the city of Florence who condemned the opulence condemned the luxury that he saw in in particular the papacy and the central courts in Rome and of course he himself comes under fire and he comes under fire by the Pope by Alexander and he is eventually himself condemned and burned but this is part of the broader Reformation movement within the church savonarola is probably the no an example of this that is responding to the Borgias and others when they see this new style of renaissance papacy and it does this in there Alexander also broke frankly all kinds of rules when it came to the valve celibacy no small thing for the Catholic Church when it comes to priests in general and certainly not a beloved trade of any Pope throughout history the Alexander is known to have had multiple mistresses at least two while he was Pope and he has a total of nine children one of his sons cheese Airy will live in to become Cardinal mo also be one of the infamous family members of the Porsches more ruling from behind the scenes that anything else he won't himself become Pope but he has just as much influence you might say as his father also Alexander's daughter Lucrezia married three times all too powerful influential people is known as a very very vital and influential figure in this dynasty she as well featured very largely in the Showtime series for that reason really this is a family tree of influence it feels a bit like a Mafia family the family ties the lineages of all these folks one great example of this in fact is for those of you who are video game pants Giovanni Borgia it was actually murdered in 1497 he actually appears in the Assassin's Creed video games as a result in fact in general I don't know for sure but I think all of the scenes that are set in Italy during those games are based around this time in the Renaissance papacy with lots of intrigues and families in this type of thing after the death of Alexander in 1503 you have a real tide turn with the Borgia family there is Pius the third he was elected in large part by the influence of Cesare he lasts on the throw in a matter of weeks in fact it really is only about a month he's one of the shortest-lived Pope's in all of papal history the man to come to the throne after though is Julius the second not a Borgia but a man himself who is actually an enemy of the Borgias a man willing to style himself as one of these more ostentatious pokes it's julie's the second for example who contracts Michelangelo for the Sistine Chapel ceiling he actually mount san army himself later and we'll go and recapture Bologna at the head of that army in 1506 and it is julie's the second after the reign of the Borgias who will be the Pope in Rome when Martin Luther comes for his pilgrimage there in 15 10 now the borders didn't tuck their tail and ron francis borgia another one of the family becomes eventually the general of the Jesuit Order the new fashioned Jesuit Order that was just coming into being in the 16th century he has canonized himself by the way in 1670 and several other the family members will be made Cardinals later in the 16th century now the big question is why the portions is it just a salacious sexy tale of wanton aggression and power and sex and money well I'm sure that's part of it this is the reason why we still know the story of into the eighth and others whenever there is a tale that seems to indicate people of power bypassing all the normal rules of society and really pivoting things in a new direction it does always raise the question of how we were to understand this the boers is you might say just to put it in a nutshell we're a powerful family during the time of the Renaissance however the Borgias are not actually the worst per se of this entire era and here I'm actually reflecting on an article that was in history today actually this month April 2017 I'll put a link in the description below it says give the boers as a break was the title of this article and it's a fair enough article because what the point of it is is it saying the Borgias are using one of these scapegoat families where it seems as if all the problems of a multitude of folks throughout multiple decades or if not centuries get stacked up on one or two individuals as the only example of this type of abuse the fact is is when it comes to the problems of the Renaissance papacy the Borgias are more of a serious case in point than they are a problem of just this one family and in fact given its dovetailing with the Reformation giving its dovetailing with the way Luther will actually site and at least have in mind very often a pope like Alexander the sixth it can be all too easy to stand everything up on this one family but again as this article says the Borgias and their influence was not all that out of sync with what you're seeing in the wider world of the Catholic leadership there in the city of Rome families of this kind had taken over in their fights and their struggles and their turmoils became synonymous with the Pope himself and to the Porsches not a great family not to be remembered as Saints by any means but when we understand who the Borgias are we realize that they are the epitome of the Renaissance papacy and why there was such a strong call for a reformation you


Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Meyer attended the grade schools and Loyola High School. During the First World War, he enlisted as a private in the Students' Army Training Corps at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and served until honorably discharged from the United States Army. He was graduated from Loyola College of Baltimore in 1921, and from the University of Maryland School of Law of Baltimore in 1922. He was admitted to the bar in 1921 and commenced practice in Baltimore. He served as associate judge of the traffic court of Baltimore from 1929 to 1935, and as special assistant city solicitor in 1939 and 1940.

Meyer was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-seventh Congress (January 3, 1941 – January 3, 1943), but was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1942. He served as district rent attorney for the Office of Price Administration during the Second World War. He engaged in the general practice of law in Baltimore, Maryland, until his death there on October 2, 1969. He is interred in Holy Cross Cemetery.


  • United States Congress. "John Ambrose Meyer (id: M000681)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2008-02-10
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ambrose Jerome Kennedy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Daniel Ellison

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website

This page was last edited on 14 May 2019, at 14:09
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