Pope Julius II (Italian: Papa Giulio II; Latin: Iulius II), born Giuliano della Rovere, and nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope", was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 1 November 1503 to his death in 1513. His papacy was marked by an active foreign policy, ambitious building projects, and patronage of the arts; he commissioned the destruction and rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica, and Michelangelo's decoration of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In addition to an active military policy, he personally led troops into battle on at least two occasions, the first to expel Giovanni Bentivoglio from Bologna (17 August 1506 - 23 March 1507), and the second in an attempt to recover Ferrara for the Papal States (1 September 1510 - 29 June 1512).
As part of the Renaissance programme of reestablishing the glory of antiquity for the Christian capital, Rome, Julius II took considerable effort to present himself as a sort of emperor-pope, capable of leading a Latin-Christian empire. On Palm Sunday, 1507, "Julius II entered Rome ... both as a second Julius Caesar, heir to the majesty of Rome's imperial glory, and in the likeness of Christ, whose vicar the pope was, and who in that capacity governed the universal Roman Church." Julius, who modeled himself after his namesake Caesar, would personally lead his army across the Italian peninsula under the imperial war-cry, "Drive out the barbarians." Yet, despite the imperial rhetoric, the campaigns of Julius were highly local.