Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Barberini family was a powerful Italian family, originally of Tuscan extraction, who settled in Florence during the early part of the eleventh century. They acquired great wealth and influence, and in 1623, Maffeo Barberini was raised to the papal throne as Pope Urban VIII. He helped his brother, Antonio , become a distinguished soldier. He also elevated two nephews to the position of cardinal, and gave to a third nephew, Taddeo Barberini , the principality of Palestrina. Taddeo was also made leader of the papal army . Great jealousy of their increasing power was excited amongst the neighboring princes, and Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, made war upon Taddeo, and defeated the papal troops in the first War of Castro.
After the death of Urban in 1644 his successor, Pope Innocent X, showed hostility to the Barberini family. Taddeo fled to Paris, where he died in 1647, and with him the family became extinct in the male line. His daughter Cornelia married Prince Giulio Cesare Colonna di Sciarra of the Colonna family in 1728, who added her name to his own. On the death of Prince Enrico Barberini-Colonna the name went to his daughter and heiress Donna Maria and her husband Marquis Luigi Sacchetti , who received the title of prince of Palestrina and permission to bear the name of Barberini.
The fine Barberini palace and library in Rome give evidence of their wealth and magnificence. The ruthless way in which they plundered ancient buildings to adorn their own palaces is the origin of the saying, "Quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt Barberini."
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