May 1st 1555: Death of Pope Marcellus II, who reigned for only 22 days. Marcello Cervini degli Spanocchi was the last pope not to change his name on becoming pontiff. 1572: Death of Pope Pius V (r. 1566-72). May 3rd 1719: Death of the French sculptor Pierre Le Gros the Younger (b. 1666). 1758: Death of Pope Benedict XIV (r. 1740-58).
May 4th 1611: Birth of the architect Carlo Rainaldi (d. 1691).
May 6th 1527: Sack of Rome by the mutinous troops of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.
May 8th 1721: Election of Pope Innocent XIII (r. 1721-24). 1906: Birth of the film director Roberto Rossellini (d. 1977).
May 9th 1946: Abdication of Vittorio Emanuele III (r. 1900-46), the third king of Italy, in favour of his son Umberto II. King Umberto II reigned for just 24 days. 1978: Body of former prime minister Aldo Moro (b. 1916) found dead in the back of a car in Via Caetani. Moro had been assassinated by the Brigate Rosse (Red Brigades).
May 13th 34 BCE: Death of the historian Gaius Sallustius Crispus (b. 86 BCE), known in English as Sallust. 609: The ancient temple known as the Pantheon was consecrated as the church of Santa Maria ad Martyres. 1572: Election of Pope Gregory XIII (r. 1572-85), the pope who corrected the Julian calendar. 1981: Attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II (r. 1978-2005) in St Peter's Square.
May 14th 1626: Death of the painter Cristoforo Roncalli (b. 1552), better known as il Pomerancio.
May 16th 1605: Election of Pope Paul V (r. 1605-21). 1679: Death of the painter and architect Pietro da Cortona (b. 1597), who is interred in the church of Santi Luca e Martina, which he designed.
May 19th 1769: Election of Pope Clement XIV (r. 1769-74).
May 22nd 1667: Death of Pope Alexander VII (r. 1655-67). 1712: Canonisation of Pope Pius V (r. 1566-72). 1762: Inauguration of the Trevi Fountain.
May 23rd 1555: Election of Pope Paul IV (r. 1555-59). 1915: Italy declared war on Austria, thereby entering the First World War.
May 24th 15 BCE: Birth of Nero Claudius Drusus (d. 19 CE), later known as Germanicus. Germanicus was the nephew of Rome's second emperor, Tiberius (r. 14-37), the father of the third, Caligula (r. 37-41), and the brother of the fourth, Claudius (r. 41-54).
May 26th 1595: Death of St Philip Neri (b. 1515).
May 28th 1606: The artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) killed Ranuccio Tomassoni in a row over a woman. As a result of the murder, Caravaggio spent the last four years of his life on the run.
May 29th 1724: Election of Pope Benedict XIII (r. 1724-30). 1954: Canonisation of Pius X (r. 1903-14), the first pope to be made a saint since 1712.