Lorenzo de' Medici

Lorenzo de' Medici

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Lorenzo de' Medici was an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 statesman and de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 ruler of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent (Lorenzo il Magnifico) by contemporary Florentines, he was a diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets. His life coincided with the high point of the early Italian Renaissance; his death marked the end of the Golden Age of Florence. The fragile peace he helped maintain between the various Italian states collapsed with his death. Lorenzo de' Medici is buried in the Medici Chapel
Medici Chapel
The Medici Chapels is a structure in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy. It comprises two structures added to Brunelleschi's original design, each intended to celebrate the power of the Medici as Grand Dukes of Tuscany. One is the Sagrestia Nuova, the "New Sacristy", designed by...

 in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

.

Childhood


Lorenzo's grandfather, Cosimo de' Medici
Cosimo de' Medici
Còsimo di Giovanni degli Mèdici was the first of the Medici political dynasty, de facto rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance; also known as "Cosimo 'the Elder'" and "Cosimo Pater Patriae" .-Biography:Born in Florence, Cosimo inherited both his wealth and his expertise in...

, was the first member of the Medici family to combine running the Medici bank
Medici bank
The Medici Bank was a financial institution created by the Medici family in Italy during the 15th century. It was the largest and most respected bank in Europe during its prime. There are some estimates that the Medici family was, for a period of time, the wealthiest family in Europe...

 with leading the Republic. Cosimo, one of the wealthiest men in Europe, spent a very large portion of his fortune in government and philanthropy. He was a patron of the arts and funded public works. Lorenzo's father, Piero 'the Gouty' de' Medici
Piero di Cosimo de' Medici
Piero di Cosimo de' Medici , , was the de facto ruler of Florence from 1464 to 1469, during the Italian Renaissance. He was the father of Lorenzo the Magnificent and Giuliano de' Medici-Biography:Piero was born in Florence, the son of Cosimo de' Medici the Elder and Contessina de' Bardi...

, was also at the center of Florentine life, active as an art patron and collector. His mother Lucrezia Tornabuoni
Lucrezia Tornabuoni
Lucrezia Tornabuoni was a daughter of Francesco di Simone Tornabuoni and Nanna di Niccolo di Luigi Guicciardini. Her brother was Giovanni Tornabuoni.- Biography :...

 was a poet and writer of sonnets. She was also a friend to figures such as Luigi Pulci
Luigi Pulci
Luigi Pulci was an Italian poet best known for his Morgante, an epic story of a giant who is converted to Christianity and follows the knight Orlando....

 and Agnolo Poliziano and became her son's advisor when he took over power.

Lorenzo was considered the brightest of the five children of Piero and Lucrezia, tutored by a diplomat, Gentile Becchi. He participated in jousting
Jousting
Jousting is a martial game or hastilude between two knights mounted on horses and using lances, often as part of a tournament.Jousting emerged in the High Middle Ages based on the military use of the lance by heavy cavalry. The first camels tournament was staged in 1066, but jousting itself did not...

, hawking
Falconry
Falconry is "the taking of wild quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of a trained raptor". There are two traditional terms used to describe a person involved in falconry: a falconer flies a falcon; an austringer flies a hawk or an eagle...

, hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

, and horse breeding for the palio
Palio
The oldest extant palio is the Palio di Asti, but the Palio di Siena is better known internationally. There are many other palios that are held throughout the various regions of Italy. Here follows an incomplete list:-Tuscany:...

, a horse race in Siena. His own horse was named Morello di Vento.

Piero sent Lorenzo on many important diplomatic missions when he was still a youth. These included trips to Rome to meet with the pope and other important religious and political figures. Lorenzo, however, was a man whose only weakness was separating politics from the many young women who were interested in courting him. {Machiavelli, History of Florence, Book VIII, Chpt. 7}

Politics


Lorenzo, groomed for power, assumed a leading role in the state upon the death of his father in 1469, when Lorenzo was twenty. Lorenzo had little success in running the bank, and its assets contracted seriously during the course of his lifetime.

Lorenzo, like his grandfather, father, and son ruled Florence indirectly, through surrogates in the city councils, threats, payoffs, and strategic marriages. Although Florence flourished under Lorenzo's rule, he effectively reigned as a despot and people had little political freedom. It was inevitable that rival Florentine families should harbor resentments over the Medici's dominance, and enemies of the Medici remained a factor in Florentine life long after Lorenzo's passing.

On Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 Sunday, April 26, 1478, in an incident called the Pazzi Conspiracy, a group including members of the Pazzi
Pazzi
The Pazzi family were an ancient, noble Tuscan family who had given up their titles so that members could be elected to public office. Their main trade, during the 15th century was banking. They are linked to the "Pazzi conspiracy"—to assassinate Giuliano de' Medici and simultaneously attempt...

 family, backed by the Archbishop of Pisa
Francesco Salviati (archbishop)
Francesco Salviati Riario was the archbishop of Pisa in 1475. A blood-member of the Riario family, and of the Salviati family , he was also related by marriage to the Pazzi, Medici, Vettori, and other powerful families...

 and his patron Pope Sixtus IV
Pope Sixtus IV
Pope Sixtus IV , born Francesco della Rovere, was Pope from 1471 to 1484. His accomplishments as Pope included the establishment of the Sistine Chapel; the group of artists that he brought together introduced the Early Renaissance into Rome with the first masterpiece of the city's new artistic age,...

, attacked Lorenzo and his brother and co-ruler Giuliano
Giuliano di Piero de' Medici
Giuliano de' Medici was the second son of Piero de' Medici and Lucrezia Tornabuoni. As co-ruler of Florence, with his brother Lorenzo the Magnificent, he complemented his brother's image as the "patron of the arts" with his own image as the handsome, sporting, "golden boy."-Death:As the opening...

 in the Cathedral of Florence. Giuliano was killed but Lorenzo escaped with a stab wound. The conspiracy was brutally put down by such measures as the lynching of the Archbishop of Pisa and the death of the Pazzi family members who were directly involved.

In the aftermath of the Pazzi Conspiracy and the punishment of Pope Sixtus IV's supporters, the Medici and Florence suffered from the wrath of the Vatican. The Papacy seized all the Medici assets Sixtus IV could find, excommunicated
Excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

 Lorenzo and the entire government of Florence, and ultimately put the entire Florentine city-state under interdict
Interdict (Roman Catholic Church)
In Roman Catholic canon law, an interdict is an ecclesiastical censure that excludes from certain rites of the Church individuals or groups, who nonetheless do not cease to be members of the Church.-Distinctions in canon law:...

. When these moves had little effect, Sixtus IV formed a military alliance with King Ferdinand I of Naples
Ferdinand I of Naples
Ferdinand I , also called Don Ferrante, was the King of Naples from 1458 to 1494. He was the natural son of Alfonso V of Aragon by Giraldona Carlino.-Biography:...

, whose son Alfonso, Duke of Calabria
Alfonso II of Naples
Alfonso II of Naples , also called Alfonso II d'Aragon, was King of Naples from 25 January 1494 to 22 February 1495 with the title King of Naples and Jerusalem...

 led an invasion of the Florentine Republic.


Lorenzo rallied the citizens. However, with little support from the traditional Medici allies in Bologna
Bologna
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

 and Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 (the latter being convulsed by power struggles among the Milanese ruling family, the Sforza), the war dragged on and only diplomacy by Lorenzo, who personally traveled to Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

, ultimately resolved the crisis. This success enabled Lorenzo to secure constitutional changes within the Florentine Republic's government which further enhanced his own power.

Thereafter Lorenzo, like his grandfather Cosimo de' Medici
Cosimo de' Medici
Còsimo di Giovanni degli Mèdici was the first of the Medici political dynasty, de facto rulers of Florence during much of the Italian Renaissance; also known as "Cosimo 'the Elder'" and "Cosimo Pater Patriae" .-Biography:Born in Florence, Cosimo inherited both his wealth and his expertise in...

, pursued a policy both of maintaining peace and a balance of power between the northern Italian states and of keeping the other major European states such as France and the Holy Roman Empire's Habsburg rulers out of Italy. Lorenzo maintained good relations with Sultan Mehmed II
Mehmed II
Mehmed II , was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire for a short time from 1444 to September 1446, and later from...

 of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, as the Florentine maritime trade with the Ottomans was a major source of wealth for the Medici.

Renaissance



Lorenzo's court included artists such as Piero and Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Andrea del Verrocchio
Andrea del Verrocchio
Andrea del Verrocchio , born Andrea di Michele di Francesco de' Cioni, was an Italian sculptor, goldsmith and painter who worked at the court of Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence in the early renaissance. Few paintings are attributed to him with certainty, but a number of important painters were...

, Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

, Sandro Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

, Domenico Ghirlandaio
Domenico Ghirlandaio
Domenico Ghirlandaio was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence. Among his many apprentices was Michelangelo.-Early years:Ghirlandaio's full name is given as Domenico di Tommaso di Currado di Doffo Bigordi...

, and Michelangelo Buonarroti who were involved in the 15th century Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. Although he did not commission many works himself, he helped them secure commissions from other patrons. Michelangelo lived with Lorenzo and his family for five years, dining at the family table and attending meetings of the Neo-Platonic Academy.

Lorenzo was an artist himself, writing poetry in his native Tuscan
Tuscan dialect
The Tuscan language , or the Tuscan dialect is an Italo-Dalmatian language spoken in Tuscany, Italy.Standard Italian is based on Tuscan, specifically on its Florentine variety...

. In his poetry he celebrates life even while—particularly in his later works—acknowledging with melancholy the fragility and instability of the human condition. Love, feasts and light dominate his verse.

Cosimo had started the collection of books which became the Medici Library (also called the Laurentian Library
Laurentian Library
The Laurentian Library is a historical library in Florence, Italy, containing a repository of more than 11,000 manuscripts and 4,500 early printed books...

) and Lorenzo expanded it. Lorenzo's agents retrieved from the East large numbers of classical works, and he employed a large workshop
Workshop
A workshop is a room or building which provides both the area and tools that may be required for the manufacture or repair of manufactured goods...

 to copy his books and disseminate their content across Europe. He supported the development of humanism
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 through his circle of scholarly friends who studied Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 philosophers, and attempted to merge the ideas of Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 with Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

; among this group were the philosophers Marsilio Ficino
Marsilio Ficino
Marsilio Ficino was one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance, an astrologer, a reviver of Neoplatonism who was in touch with every major academic thinker and writer of his day, and the first translator of Plato's complete extant works into Latin...

, Poliziano
Poliziano
Angelo Ambrogini, commonly known by his nickname, anglicized as Politian, Italian Poliziano, Latin Politianus was an Italian Renaissance classical scholar and poet, one of the revivers of Humanist Latin...

 and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola
Count Giovanni Pico della Mirandola was an Italian Renaissance philosopher. He is famed for the events of 1486, when at the age of 23, he proposed to defend 900 theses on religion, philosophy, natural philosophy and magic against all comers, for which he wrote the famous Oration on the Dignity of...

.

Later years



During his tenure, several branches of the family bank collapsed because of bad loans, and, in later years, he got into financial difficulties and resorted to misappropriating trust and state funds.

Toward the end of Lorenzo's life, Florence came under the spell of Savonarola, who believed Christians had strayed too far into Greco-Roman culture. Lorenzo played a role in bringing Savonarola to Florence.

Lorenzo de' Medici died during the night of April 8/9, 1492, at the long-time family villa
Villa
A villa was originally an ancient Roman upper-class country house. Since its origins in the Roman villa, the idea and function of a villa have evolved considerably. After the fall of the Roman Republic, villas became small farming compounds, which were increasingly fortified in Late Antiquity,...

 of Careggi (Florentine reckoning considers days to begin at sunset, so his death date is the 9th in that reckoning). Savonarola visited Lorenzo on his death bed. The rumor that Savonarola damned Lorenzo on his deathbed has been refuted by Roberto Ridolfi in his book, Vita di Girolamo Savonarola. Letters written by witnesses to Lorenzo's death report that he died a consoled man, on account of the blessing Savonarola gave him. As Lorenzo died, the tower of the church of Santa Reparata was allegedly struck by lightning. He and his brother Giuliano
Giuliano di Piero de' Medici
Giuliano de' Medici was the second son of Piero de' Medici and Lucrezia Tornabuoni. As co-ruler of Florence, with his brother Lorenzo the Magnificent, he complemented his brother's image as the "patron of the arts" with his own image as the handsome, sporting, "golden boy."-Death:As the opening...

 are buried in a chapel designed by Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

, the New Sacristy; it is located adjacent to the north transept of the Church of San Lorenzo
Basilica di San Lorenzo di Firenze
The Basilica di San Lorenzo is one of the largest churches of Florence, Italy, situated at the centre of the city’s main market district, and the burial place of all the principal members of the Medici family from Cosimo il Vecchio to Cosimo III...

 and is reached by passing through the main Cappella Medicea
Medici Chapel
The Medici Chapels is a structure in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy. It comprises two structures added to Brunelleschi's original design, each intended to celebrate the power of the Medici as Grand Dukes of Tuscany. One is the Sagrestia Nuova, the "New Sacristy", designed by...

; the chapel is ornamented with famous sculptures, and some of the original working drawings of Michelangelo can still be distinguished on two of the walls of the Chapel and in the concealed corridor under the New Sacristy discovered only in 1976.

Lorenzo de' Medici died at the dawn of "The Age of Exploration"; Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

 would reach the "New World" only six months later. With his death, the center of the Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

 shifted from Florence to Rome, where it would remain for the next century and beyond.

Marriage and children


Lorenzo married Clarice Orsini
Clarice Orsini
Clarice Orsini was the daughter of Jacopo Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo and Bracciano, and his wife and cousin Maddalena Orsini. Born in the Papal States, she is most known as the wife of Lorenzo de' Medici , de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic...

 by proxy
Proxy marriage
A proxy wedding or is a wedding in which the bride or groom is not physically present, usually being represented instead by another person...

 on 7 February 1469. The marriage in person took place in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 on 4 June 1469. She was a daughter of Giacomo Orsini, Lord of Monterotondo
Monterotondo
-History:According to some historians, Monterotondo is the heir of ancient Sabine town of Eretum, although the modern settlement appeared in the 10th-11th centuries in a different location...

 and Bracciano
Bracciano
Bracciano is a small town in the Italian region of Lazio, 30 km northwest of Rome. The town is famous for its volcanic lake and for a particularly well-preserved medieval castle Castello Orsini-Odescalchi...

 by his wife and cousin Maddalena Orsini.
Clarice and Lorenzo had 10 children:
  • Lucrezia Maria Romola de' Medici
    Lucrezia de' Medici (1470–1553)
    Lucrezia Maria Romola de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman, the eldest daughter of Lorenzo de' Medici and Clarice Orsini and mother of Maria Salviati and Giovanni Salviati, who was a cardinal from 1517 until his death...

     (Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

    , 4 August 1470 – 15 November 1553); married 10 September 1486 Jacopo Salviati
    Jacopo Salviati
    Jacopo Salviati was an Italian politician born in Florence on 15 September 1461.Son of Giovanni Salviati and Maddalena Gondi, he devoted himself in the economic affairs of the family, becoming very wealthy. He then engaged in political life...

     and had 10 children, including Cardinal Giovanni Salviati
    Giovanni Salviati
    Giovanni Salviati was an Italian Cardinal and diplomat. He was papal legate in France, and conducted negotiations with the Emperor Charles V....

    , Cardinal Bernardo Salviati
    Bernardo Salviati
    Bernardo Salviati was an Italian condottiero and Roman Catholic Cardinal.Salviati was born in Florence, the son of Jacopo Salviati and Lucrezia di Lorenzo de' Medici, the sister of Giovanni de' Medici. From an early age he was a knight of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem...

    , Maria Salviati
    Maria Salviati
    Maria Salviati was an Italian noblewoman, the daughter of Lucrezia di Lorenzo de' Medici and Jacopo Salviati. She married Giovanni dalle Bande Nere and was the mother of Cosimo I de Medici. Her husband died November 30, 1526, leaving her a widow at the age of 27...

     (mother of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
    Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
    Cosimo I de' Medici was Duke of Florence from 1537 to 1574, reigning as the first Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1569.-Biography:...

    ), and Francesca Salviati (mother of Pope Leo XI
    Pope Leo XI
    Pope Leo XI , born Alessandro Ottaviano de' Medici, was Pope from 1 April 1605 to 27 April of the same year.-Biography:...

    )
  • Twins who died after birth (March 1471)
  • Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici (Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

    , 15 February 1472 – Garigliano River, 28 December 1503), ruler of Florence after his father's death, called "the Unfortunate"
  • Maria Maddalena Romola de' Medici (Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

    , 25 July 1473 – Rome
    Rome
    Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

    , 2 December 1528), married 25 February 1487 Franceschetto Cybo
    Franceschetto Cybo
    Franceschetto Cybo was an Italian nobleman, the illegitimate son of Pope Innocent VIII ....

     (illegitimate son of Pope Innocent VIII
    Pope Innocent VIII
    Pope Innocent VIII , born Giovanni Battista Cybo , was Pope from 1484 until his death.-Early years:Giovanni Battista Cybo was born at Genoa of Greek extraction...

    ) and had seven children
  • Contessina Beatrice de' Medici (23 September 1474 - September 1474), died young
  • Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici (Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

    , 11 December 1475 – Rome
    Rome
    Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

    , 1 December 1521), ascended to the Papacy as Pope Leo X
    Pope Leo X
    Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

    on 9 March 1513
  • Luisa de' Medici (Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

    , 25 January 1477 – July 1488), also called Luigia, was betrothed to Giovanni de' Medici il Popolano
    Giovanni de' Medici il Popolano
    Giovanni de' Medici, later known as il Popolano was an Italian nobleman of the Medici House of Florence. He was the son of Pierfrancesco di Lorenzo de' Medici, and therefore a member of a secondary branch of the family.-Biography:Giovanni was born in Florence...

     but died young
  • Contessina Antonia Romola de' Medici (Pistoia
    Pistoia
    Pistoia is a city and comune in the Tuscany region of Italy, the capital of a province of the same name, located about 30 km west and north of Florence and is crossed by the Ombrone Pistoiese, a tributary of the River Arno.-History:...

    , 16 January 1478 – Rome
    Rome
    Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

    , 29 June 1515); married 1494 Piero Ridolfi (1467 - 1525) and had five children, including Cardinal Niccolò Ridolfi
    Niccolò Ridolfi
    Niccolò Ridolfi was an Italian cardinal.Born in Florence, son of Piero Ridolfi and Contessina de' Medici , he was therefore nephew of Pope Leo X, who granted him a quick ecclesiastical career...

  • Giuliano di Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Nemours (Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

    , 12 March 1479 – Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

    , 17 March 1516), created Duke of Nemours in 1515 by King Francis I of France
    Francis I of France
    Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...



Two of his sons later became powerful popes. His second son, Giovanni, became Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

, and his adopted son Giulio (who was the illegitimate son of his slain brother Giuliano
Giuliano di Piero de' Medici
Giuliano de' Medici was the second son of Piero de' Medici and Lucrezia Tornabuoni. As co-ruler of Florence, with his brother Lorenzo the Magnificent, he complemented his brother's image as the "patron of the arts" with his own image as the handsome, sporting, "golden boy."-Death:As the opening...

) became Pope Clement VII
Pope Clement VII
Clement VII , born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was a cardinal from 1513 to 1523 and was Pope from 1523 to 1534.-Early life:...

.

His first son and his political heir, Piero 'the Unfortunate'
Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici
Piero de' Medici , called Piero the Unfortunate, was the Gran maestro of Florence from 1492 until his exile in 1494.-Life and death:...

, squandered his father's patrimony and brought down his father's dynasty in Florence. Another Medici, his brother Giovanni
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

, restored it, but it was only made wholly secure again on the accession of a distant relative from a branch line of the family, Cosimo I de' Medici.

In popular culture

  • In Ubisoft
    Ubisoft
    Ubisoft Entertainment S.A. is a major French video game publisher and developer, with headquarters in Montreuil, France. The company has a worldwide presence with 25 studios in 17 countries and subsidiaries in 26 countries....

    's Assassin's Creed II
    Assassin's Creed II
    Assassin's Creed II is a historical third-person action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It is the second video game installment of the Assassin's Creed series, and is a sequel to the 2007 video...

    , the main character Ezio Auditore da Firenze helps Lorenzo survive the Pazzi attack at the Duomo, then after killing Francesco de' Pazzi (during an invasion of the Piazza della Signoria) he became Lorenzo's personal assassin, hunting down the surviving conspirators. Lorenzo would later offer him assassination contracts throughout the remainder of the game, but disappeared from the story after granting Ezio leave to investigate Venice and presenting him with a cape bearing the Medici coat of arms. He also appears as a major character in the promotional film "Assassin's Creed: Lineage
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    Assassin's Creed: Lineage is a series of three short films based on the Assassin's Creed II video game. The films are made by Ubisoft and the first episode was released on October 26, 2009 on YouTube...

    ". He was played by Alex Ivanovici, who also provided the voice and face model of Lorenzo in the game series.
  • Londa Marks, created the "Medici Tarot" deck released in 2009 with focus on Lorenzo de' Medici and how mysticism played an important role in his life and possibly after his death. The tarot story line includes divinations for each card then shows Lorenzo's interests in hermeticism and why it took 560 years for a deck of tarot to be developed in the Medici name when Visconti Sforza tarot deck was created in 15th century. Some of the Medici family are shown on the cards including Lorenzo de' Medici, Cosimo de' Medici, Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, Lucrezia Tornabuoni and other Medici family figures, each playing a role in Lorenzo de' Medici's alchemy of the Medici Tarot.
  • Evelyn Waugh's
    Evelyn Waugh
    Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh , known as Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, travel books and biographies. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer...

     novel "The Loved One
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    " contains a character named Lorenzo Medici ' onMouseout='HidePop("5517")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Wop">wop
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    ") who usurps the job of a character who subsequently commits suicide.
  • In The Simpsons
    The Simpsons
    The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

     Season 13 Episode 16 Mr Burns objects to Homer's request for extra cheese on his pizza exclaiming "Extra cheese? What do you take me for, Lorenzo De Medici?"

Further reading

  • Miles J. Unger, Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de Medici (Simon and Schuster 2008) is a vividly colorful new biography of this true "renaissance man", the uncrowned ruler of Florence during its golden age.
  • Christopher Hibbert, The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall (Morrow-Quill, 1980) is a highly readable, non-scholarly general history of the family, and covers Lorenzo's life in some detail.
  • F. W. Kent, Lorenzo de- Medici and the Art of Magnificence (The Johns Hopkins Symposia in Comparative History (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004) A summary of 40 years of research with a specific theme of Il Magnifico's relationship with the visual arts.
  • Peter Barenboim, Michelangelo Drawings - Key to the Medici Chapel Interpretation ( Moscow, Letny Sad, 2006) ISBN 5-98856-016-4, is a new interpretation of Lorenzo the Magnificent' image in the Medici Chapel.

Historical novels

  • Linda Proud, A Tabernacle for the Sun (Godstow Press, 2005), a literary novel set in Florence during the Pazzi Conspiracy adheres closely to known facts.
  • Linda Proud, Pallas and the Centaur (Godstow Press, 2004), deals with the aftermath of the Pazzi Conspiracy and Lorenzo de' Medici's strained relations with his wife and with Poliziano.
  • Linda Proud, The Rebirth of Venus (Godstow Press, 2008), the final volume of The Botticelli Trilogy, covers the 1490s and the death of Lorenzo.

External links