Eftir ad Giovanni de Medici, sem síðar varð Leo X páfi, var sendur til Rómarborgar nám, barst honum bréf frá föður sínum Lorenzo þar sem hann er varaður við: "I know only too well that in going to live in Rome, which is a sink of iniquity, you will find it hard to follow my advice because there are many there who will try to corrupt you and incite you to vice". Hibbert hefur eftirfarandi að segja um þetta (áherslur eru mínar):
Lorenzo's reference to Rome as a sink of iniquity was not unjust. There were reckoned to be almost seven thousand prostitutes in a population of less than 50,000, most of them working in brothels licensed by the papal authorities and many of them suffering from syphilis, 'a kind of illness very common among priests', according to Benvenuto Cellini, who caught the disease himself. There were almost as many professional criminals as there were prostitutes, many if not most of whom avoided punishment by paying bribes to the papal authorities.