The Savelli (de Sabellis in documents) were a rich and influential Roman aristocratic family who rose to prominence in the 13th century and became extinct in the main line with Giulio Savelli (1626–1712).
Later members include the condottieriSilvio and Antonello Savelli. Savelli Cardinals include Giovanni Battista Savelli (1471 in pectore, 1480); Giacomo Savelli (1539); Silvio Savelli (1596); Giulio Savelli (1615); Fabrizio Savelli (1647); Paolo Savelli (1664); and Domenico Savelli (1853). The last member of the family left in Rome was Giulio Savelli, who died in 1712. A collateral line, the Giannuzzi Savelli ('Giannuzzi' adopted later on) represent descendants of Antonio Savelli of Rignano who moved to the Kingdom of Naples in 1421 to fight as a condottiero. The title principe di Cerenzia has been held in that family since Ercole Giannuzzi Savelli dei baroni di Pietramala inherited it in 1769 from his mother Ippolita Rota, last of her house. The republican patriot Luigi Giannuzzi Savelli dei principi di Cerenzia was shot 3 April 1799 by orders of Cardinal Ruffo, and the feudal lands of Prince Tommaso Giannuzzi Savelli of Cerenzia were confiscated: Cerenzia, Casino (Castelsilano) Montespinello (Spinello) Belvedere Malapezza, and Zinga.
By the 17th century, the Savelli had fallen on lean times. Castel Gandolfo had been relinquished under terms of Pope Clement VIII's "bull of the barons" to the Papal treasury in return for a mere 150,000 scudi in 1596, and in 1650 Albano, with its princely title, was turned over to Giambattista, the only son of Camillo Pamphili.
In brackets the year of the beginning and end of his pontificate:
^ abNorbert M. Borengässer (1994). "Savelli, röm. Adelsfamilie (de Sabellis)". In Bautz, Traugott (ed.). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 8. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 1446–1447. ISBN 3-88309-053-0.
^"Reversus Albam postera die ad nemora inferiora descendit spectatu digna sub castello, quod Sabellum vocant, unde Sabellae familiae nomen inditum." Flavio Biondo, Commentarii XI.22
^So described by Charles T. Davis in "Roman Patriotism and Republican Propaganda: Ptolemy of Lucca and Pope Nicholas III" Speculum50.3 (July 1975:411-433) p. 424.
^Onofrio Panvinio, De gente Sabella, edited by Enrico Celani, in: Studi e documenti di storia e diritto12 (1891:271-309).
^Four popes are claimed in the Website of Savelli Family Stores: "The Savelli name belongs to an old Roman family that has given the church four Popes: Benedict II, Gregory II, Honorius III and Honorius IV." However, according to the modern historiography the attribution of Pope Honorius III to the Savelli family is incorrect (S. Miranda Cardinal Cencio – Pope Honorius III (note 1); Werner Maleczek, Papst und Kardinalskolleg von 1191 bis 1216, Vienna 1984, p. 111-112). The attribution of Benedict II and Gregory II to that family started only in the 15th century and is also very unlikely.
Norbert M. Borengässer (1994). "Savelli, röm. Adelsfamilie (de Sabellis)". In Bautz, Traugott (ed.). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 8. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 1446–1447. ISBN 3-88309-053-0.
Litta, P. Le famiglie celebri italiane, Vol. X: "I Savelli di Roma" (Turin: Liverani) 1872.