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Medici Family of Europe

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Prologue On what shall be said in this Essay The Medici were an illustrious family that rose to fame and fortune during the Renaissance. Starting as humble merchants, the family grew in fame and prosperity until the name was known throughout all of Europe. Every aspect of the Renaissance was influenced by them. They influenced society as a whole, and their ways of relating to the different aspects of life set up standards that were followed, copied or completely avoided by their peers. They influenced the Catholic Church and Religionby having pPopes, cCardinals and bBishops placed in the Church that came from the Medici family. Those positions where obtained by money and by political persuasion and the image of power they displayed in society. The nobles, kKings, bBarons, and dDukes, all wanted their families to be married to the Medici due to the political influence and wealth they held. Though they started as merchants they soon rose and marriedand married among nobles and held positions of the highest power. They The Medici influenced the aArts during the time of the Renaissance in many forms, mostly by sponsoring great artists from different venues and practices, helping notable artists like Michelangelo rise to greatness by sponsoring him. This generosity had thousands of artists flock to them to achieve success and brought a level of art to Italy that would have been unthinkable of without them. People who were on the same levels of society as the Medici , trying to be perceived as well highly as theyy were, continued this practice, which in return created this “RenaissanceRebirth” of the arts which helped sculpt, not only their society, but a whole period on European hHistory. Some members of the family went into practicing art themselves. Lorenzo de’ Medici was a poet and wrote on a broad amount of topics from nature to politics. From a base in 15th-century Florence, the Medici family used charm, patronage, duplicity, and ruthlessness to amass wealth and power among the politicians and government of Italy. The Medici’s also ignited Western history's most important cultural and artistic revolution, the Renaissance, but doomed their own society of the time. This epic drama in the courts, cathedrals, and palaces of Europe traces a family's greed and lust for power and a continent's battle to emerge from the Middle ages and remake itself. The economy was ruled under their extreme experience as bankers and merchants around most of Europe and helped them achieve political and social power amongst their contemporaries. Being a family of Merchants, The Medici’s main goal was to conquer or control all the port cities and towns that held an influence in trade. In the ports of trade the Medici also had their own banks in which they would charge loans and lend money to any and all who needed it. To charge interest was against the Church at that time but all banks would usually find a way around that. Some banks had their members take a loan and after the loan when they went in to pay the last payment they would turn in a gem or some other item of value, and that would be the interest paid for the loan. In using the arts, their power, the trade, and the banking industry to their advantage, the Medici rebuilt Europe into the glorious time period known as the Renaissance. The Medici Family: Who Where They? Before onewe can begin talking about the Medici and their influence upon one of the most famous events in European history we must first ask ourselvesthe questions must be asked: Who where the Medici? Where did they come from? , How did they arise to their position of power? , How did they survive the changes and ups and downs of it, losing and gaining it again?. In this first chapter I plan to resolve all of those questions and talk as much as I can about the familyThe first chapter will clarify these questions as the Medici family history is explored. In order to understand their influence we need to know about the family itself and follow their path to see how they did create an Empire and a whole historical movement. Their OriginsTHEIR ORIGINS It is said that the Medici were descended from a knight by the name of Averado. He was a brave knight who had fought under Charlemagne. Legend dictates that he had freed a town from an evil giant. During the battle, the giant had attacked him with a mace and left multiple dents in the brave Averado’s shield. To honor him and to show his bravery and courage, Charlemagne allowed him to use the dents in the shield as a type of decoration for his coat of arms. The dents where represented by red balls on a field of gold. This becameis the banner and insignia of the Medici family. Other more plausible theories are that the red balls signify pills or coins. This might be more believable because the Medici where bankers and dealt with many coins and they also might have been apothecaries in their early years; and as such either one of these two suggestions is perfectly plausible. Not much is known about the Medici in Florence in their early years. They probably lived quiet lives as merchants and did not occupy public offices very often. The first member of the Medici family to occupy a public office was Ardingo de’ Medici, who occupied the office of Gonfaloniere. The Gonfaloniere’s in the Republic of Italy where highly prestigious communal posts in Italy, notably in Florence. The name derives from gonfalone, which was the term used for the banners representing such communes, and being elected officials those were highly coveted positions. After Ardingo de’ Medici succeeded in public office, the family started to become more involved in the politics of the city. Ardingo de’ Medici’s brother became Gonfaloniere three years later. A few years later the Great Cosimo de’ Medici’s great-great-grandfather Averardo also became a Gonfaloniere. After this rise to public office there appears very little information about the Medici so it is believed that during the period after Averardo, the family suffered a decline. In a short book by Averardo’s grandson, Salvestro de’ Medici . (1331 – 1388), the grandson stateds that the Medici still owned properties and wereare still wealthy, but their social status and the wealth they hadve didoes not compare to what they had before. Salvestro de’ Medici helped the family to rise out of its decline by being elected Gonfaloniere both twice in 1370 and in 1378. In the year of 1378 was the year of the riots of the ciompi, or ‘the people’. Salvestro de’ Medici was sympathetic towards their cause and when the commoners rose he rose with them. Unfortunately it was not a long lived rise and when they fell all of the house of Medici fell with them. The familie’s reputation was nowwas sullied, as they were viewed as part of that they where a party of the people and not the government, which was not a good reputation to have in order to hold power or public positions during the Rennaisance. This particular image of the family was one that Cosimo’s father, Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici was always trying to change. He earned money in his banking business, but he always tried to stay out of the public eye. He was a man that did not want to attract any attention good or badwhether positive or negative, to himself or his family. He enjoyed a position with the people and highly elected officials, but he was always careful not to become too popular or too dislikedhated by any of them. He lived with his wife and two sons in Florence and did not want any part in government. The only problem was that if a rich merchant wanted to succeed then he would need to take a part in the government and take some positions of respect and, against his will, become publicly exposed. So Giovanni he occupied government offices afor few times to guarantee his ascent in social and economical life, but for the most part it appeared he was happy to work in the bank and not arouse any feelings at all. He never took any strong political stances and worked with anyone that came to him. The current ruling family in the time of Giovanni was the Albizzi family. They where ruthless against all opponents but under them, Florence expanded and flourished. Multiple territories and the port town of Pisa wereas added to the Florentine city. Due to its busy port, Pisa helped Florence grow economically by allowing exports to all of Europe. Giovanni was part of the wool trade guild but he was mainly involved in the banking guild of Florence, Arte della Cambio. This guild created the Florin which became a universal coin that was used throughout all of Europe. Later the Medici overthrew the Albizzi family and took complete control of Florence. They started out simply by working through the banks and trade. One of the most rapidly growing banking businesses under the new economy was the bank of the Medici. The bank had multiple offices all over Europe. Because of the widespread offices,So as such the income from the banks was enormous. Eventually, the banks even began to bebecame the banks of the popes and would finance the Church. The Church at the time believed that it was immoral for banks to charge interest. The only problem was that many banks found ways around this by writing that the amount loaned was greater or having the people pay back the debt and give the bank something extra like food, gems, clothing, etc. As thePapal’ bankers, the Medici bank gained numerous profits and recognition throughout Europe. Afterwards they suffered a slight decline as a Pope took power, and he favored the Spini family banks. When the Spini family went bankrupt, however, the Medici again grew to their position of prosperity. The great rise of the Medici was not only due to Giovanni, but also to his son Cosimo. Cosimo was born the 27th of September of the year 1389. This is the day commemorated to the early Christian martyrs and as such in his self portraits Cosimo often had the martyrs included in the background. As a young boy he studied under famous scholars in the city of Florence learning different languages. He also attended discussion groups to discuss and debate his ideas against that of others. This way of learning gave him a deep respect for classical learning and ideas and turned him into a humanist. He was always a respecting man and never attracted attention. He would walk down streets and give way to others and always showed the proper respect to superiors. If a person came to him for help or assistance he would listen quietly and then answer them promptly and correctly. Cosimo married a daughter of the Bardi family by the name of Contessina. Her dowry was not as grand as that of high nobles but it included a palace and a street that belonged to her family. They moved into the palace together and there they bore their first son who went by the name of Piero de’ Medici. His wife was not someone whom either he detested or loved greatly. He liked her for heris presence and felt the same when she was or was not there. He left for months on end to work and would leave her with Piero and his brother Giovanni and would scarcely ever write or come back to visit. In Rome he slept with his slave and she bore him a son whom he named the son Carlo and sent him with his other sons to be raised and to receive an education. Cosimo’s father was always careful not to help any faction in the city gain power and he advised his sons against it. Cosimo said the same to his sons, but he was putting his money to different uses and the Albizzi, the ruling family of Florence, watched him with concern. During war, Cosimo joined the war council of ten in order to develop stratagems which failed miserably. In order to leave the council, he said he wanted to give someone else a try at strategies and he left with his family to Verona. When he left, all his enemies started to conspire against him but could do nothing because he had the support of multiple people. The Albizzi still worked against him and when he left to work he received urgent summons to come back. When he arrived he waited for three days and on the third day, he went toarrived for a trial but instead he was locked inside of a cell. As the trial began there was talk of having Cosimo executed. As the trialit continued, however, the Albizzi and those plotting against the Medici, where scared of his supporters. Many did not want to execute him, however as they believed that that was too far of anwould be too extreme a solution. In the meantime, Cosimo was gettingTo get messages out of his cell he bribedby bribing his guard well, and managed to sendt messages to all his friends. He also bribed the head judge, who accepted quite happily and said he was ill and could no longer attend the trial. As a new judge was put in place he was also bribed. The Medici family also took action by raising an army to go and liberate Cosimo. After the trial, it was finally decided that he should be banished from Florence for a period of ten years. The same sentence was given to and as well as other members of the Medici family for differing periods of time. During banishment, Cosimo was received in every city he went to with open arms. The Medici banks where widely used throughout Europe and the Medici’s patronage allowed for them to find supporters and friends everywhere. As he spent his years in exile he learned of the entire goings ons in Florence and heard with satisfaction that the Albizzi where losing their favor with the people. Ever since the Medici had left, many bankers would not lend any money at all to the government and thus battles were being lost as well as public favor. As the situation became more desperate, Medici supporters were elected onto the Signoria. Once this was done they waited for the opportune moment and invited Cosimo back. Rinaldo, head of the Albizzi organized his forces and prepared a plan to overthrow all Medici supporters. This failed disastrously however, as his own supporters began to dessert him and he was left with no soldiers or supporters. The pope ordered him to stop the fighting, which he finally did. Soon after another trial was held, and the Medici were welcomed back. The same day Cosimo left Venice with 300 soldiers and was cheered through every town he went. He arrived back at his palazzo in time for dinner on the third day and the people of Florence welcomed him back as if he was a god or great hero. After arriving and settling down, all families against the Medici where banished. Many citizens disagreed with this because they believed that Cosimo would leave no ruling powers to oppose him. His reply was that anyone else could rise up and take the place of all those whom he had banished. After settling down, Cosimo effectively ruled the city without anyone actually knowing he was ruling. He would stay in the background and make the political decisions in ways that would not arouse suspicion or the anger of the people. So after all, Tthe only thing that the people saw was a successful banker living in Florence. However, lLike his father, he eventually realized that if he wanted to be a successful merchant he would need to involve himself in the politics of the city. Cosimo accepted very few government roles and when he did, he held them for the shortest amount of time that he could. He always kept his actual wealth hidden from the people as well. He would pay tax rates that where mnuch higher then he should pay and if he ever had a debt he would exaggerate it so that people would not know if he had a great deal of money or debt. He tried to attract as little attention to himself as possible and let other people take the fame. The only thing that he did publicly help to truly establish was the cento, which controlled the taxation of the city and was dedicated to the concern of national security. The true control of the Medici was hidden from the common people but was all too easy to see by the people inof higher levels of society and the government. In all the positions of power, there was a Medici were in place. If a Medici could not rise to that position, then someone who was loyal to the Medici would be placed there or the person that was already there would be heavily bribed in order to be converted into a loyal Medici follower. During elections, only those who where loyal to the Medici would run. People who opposed the Medici would “surprisingly”conveniently not run or be unable to do so. Cosimo de Medici built up the family politically and is known as the “Father of the Medici Family” Aside from using the family money for political purposes, Cosimo also spent a considerabely part of his huge wealth on charitable acts, livinge simply, and cultivating ed literature and the arts. He amassed the largest library in Europe, and brought in many Greek sources, including the works of Plato, from Constantinople, founded the Platonic Academy and patronized Marsilio Ficino, who later issued the first Latin edition of the collected works of Plato. The artists supported by Cosimo included Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Alberti, Fra Angelico, and Ucello. During his rule and that of his sons and grandson, Florence became the cultural center of Europe and the founder of the new form of Humanism. Cosimo's son Piero ruled for just a few years but continued his father's policies while enjoying the support of the populace. Piero was known as Piero the Gouty. This was due to his constant ill health and his frequent bouts of gout. Unfortunately, due to his constant ill health This impeded himhe was impeded from partaking indoing many important activities essential to the familythings. He could not run the family or the bank, and as such he had to leave it the responsibility to other people to do it for him. This Hhowever, his illness did had not prevent him from serving in public posts in the government, including the rank of Gonfaloniere. This was to be a distinct moment in the Medici history, due to the fact that he would be the last Medici to ever occupy that particular post in government. Though his physical appearance was nowhere near pleasing, he was still kind, and courteous to all people and though he was probably under much pain from multiple illnesses he would rarely show it. Those who where close to him respected him as a man and as a ruler. In the banking industry, he did not have the same flair that Cosimo the elder had for making transactions; however, but what he lacked in flair he more than made up for when he would write things downin his notes, which were. In all of his notes he would be extremely meticulous and write down up to the last full of the most infinitesimal details. With this the banks records were kept intact and all transactions where always accurate. Piero’s wife, Lucrezia Tornaquici, was an extremely pious woman who bore one trait that was regarded as excellent in that time. She bore him five healthy children, making her a respected woman. With those five children the family could live on and those childreney could be expected to work for the family and bring it even greater fame and prosperity. Lucrezia Tornaquici was a poet of great skill but she would mainly dedicate herself to the more relogious verses and hymns of the time. She was also a kind and courteous woman with a high education and set of morals. The children of Piero where such that there wherewere three daughters and two sons. The three daughters where all married well and sent off to their prospective husbands when they where of age. His sons differed in many aspects. Lorenzo and Giuliano where the two boys and Lorenzo did not share any of Guiliano’s traits. He did not have the good looks that both his father and brother had, but his face had a quality to it that though it was not handsome, one couldyou would be captured and awed by it. When he would move, his movements would be short and jerky, but he was a tall and athletic youth. His education spanned multiple subjects and he would swallow them all in like an enormous vacuum. His Lorenzo’s high education allowed his father to trust him with tasks that other boys would find daunting, but due to his intelligence and maturity, he accepted the tasks. His father would send him all over Europe on different errands of differing importance. For example, hHe would be sent to an ambassadors to give thanks for their assistance, and in return, , he mightwould then receive a letter sending him that he must go talk to a noble in France, from there he would go to Rome, or other important cities. etc. While Piero and Lorenzo worked together to keep the family running and maintaining rule of Florence, people such as Luca Pitti and Agnolo Acciaiuoli conspired against the Medici. They believed that the family had sunk into a decline and that they where better and more fit rulers for the city of Florence then the sick Piero. As the resistance grew stronger, Florence was divided into two factions:. tThe party of the hill and the party of the valley. The party of the hilhill was named as such because Luca had his castle being built on a hill and that was where they the Pittis and Acciaiuolis would meet and conspire. and Tthe party of the valley signaled thosewhere the people who remained loyal to the Medici. With sides so divided, the last thing the Medici needed was someone like Niccolo Soderini, was a powerful orator and hewho joined the rebels against the Medici. He spoke out against the system of government which the Medici had established and said that they should go back to the ways things had been done in the old republic. The people all agreed with cheers and shouts to what he said. Niccolo was soon elected Gonfaloniere and his decline was just as quick. The reforms he had promised the people where considered unimportant by the senate and discarded without second thought and after his short term in office the rebels believed that theirre only way to overthrow the Medici would be through and armed revolt. As Piero’s condition worsened, he moved to his villa and that was when the conspirators acted. They summoned troops to move onto the country villa where Pietro was. Pietro Hhowever, Pietro had received warning from a friend and with the help of Lorenzo they discovered a safe route back to Florence. Upon hearing of the sudden return of the Medici, many of the conspirators lost their nerve. While some fled, others took control of troops with no orders to give them. Luca Pitti went himself and confessed everything and begged for forgiveness. Pietro remained calm throughout all of thisthe confession and summoned his men at arms. After doing so he sent word to Milan and other cities asking for assistance. Afterwards, a purely Medici signoria, or senate, was chosen which chose one hundred citizens who established the Medici as head of the government and the coup was over. All conspirators except for Luca were banished, and even though they where banished they still plotted against the Medici. They summoned an army and gained followers and went to attack the town of Tuscany, which also belonged to the Medici. Pietro once again remained calm. He summoned an army and went and asked for assistance once more. After assembling an army of Florentines, they marched to Imola where the enemy army was camped and attacked and defeated them. While being invaded and conspired against, Pietro still continued the family tradition of donating to the Church; and he donated magnificent crucifixes which where beautiful and extremely expensive. He also continued the family tradition of supporting and sponsoring the artists of Italy. He helped Donatello in his old age and sent him money so that he could live comfortably. When Donatello’s last request was to be buried next to Cosimo, Pietro granted it to him. He also sponsored and supported many other painters and sculptors of the time and when one goes to the palaces where any Medici had lived one can see the art of many famous artists from multiple ages hanging on the walls as gifts to the Medici for their sponsorship. In 1469, Piero’s health was declineding even further. People started to go out in the streets and saying that they were acting under Piero’s authority. In doing this, they marauded and plundered much of Florence. They were surprised when Piero took action and ordered them all to be brought before him. HeE told them that if this did not stop he would have all of their families exiled and never allowed to return. Afterwards they took his threats extremely seriously and the marauding and plundering stopped. Unfortunately, Piero’s health declined even further and before the year had ended he was dead and buried next to his brother. Piero's sons, Lorenzo and Giuliano, ruled the city after his death. However, and in an attack in 1478, Giuliano was killed and Lorenzo wounded. If the family fortunes dwindled somewhat and Florence was not quite as prosperous as before, under Lorenzo, known as the Magnificent, the city surpassed even the cultural achievements of the earlier period. Lorenzo de Medici was born on January 1, 1449 in the town of Florence, Italy "Lorenzo The Magnificent," as he was called by the people of Florence, was a statesman, ruler, and patron of the arts. "The Magnificent" was a common title of respect in Italy at the time, but it was Lorenzo who raised it to special status. Lorenzo was a man who was described as ugly and the portraits of him show it. Yet when he talked, he spoketalked so forcefully and with so much emotion and power that very few “noticed” his physical defects. He was also described as a man who was constantly in high spirits and was always singing and telling jokes with friends and family. He had a deep love and care for his animals and he was constantly taking care of them. He would feed his horse himself and was constantly going all around checking on the other animals he would raise. He was also known for his kindness and consideration to his friends. Lorenzo was betrothed to Clarice Orsini and at the age of nineteen he married her. Due to the fact that she was not a Florentine, the noble families of Florence took this as an affront;, however, but Lorenzo’s father realized that if he had chosen a daughter from one of the noble families of Florence, the jealousy from the other families might provose extremely dangerous to them in the future. Therefore,As such he married Lorenzo outside of Florence and to a wife with a substantial dowry and lands and a powerful family that could raise an army or money if the Medici should ever need their assistance. When his mother went to inspect her, she said that she was not as pretty as her own daughters but that she was still pretty. The mother hoped that after a few months in Florence, Clarice would become used to Florentine customs and would not be so looked down uponafterwards they would not look down on her so much. Once the marriage arrangements had been completed, Lorenzo held a spectacular tournament in which thousands of ducats were spent. It was a magnificent jousting tournament with beautiful armor and charges. The nobles thus appeased, Lorenzo continued with his life as normal. After the death of his father, many of the Medici’s supporters came to offer Lorenzo their remorse and to wish him luck in his ruling in Florence. Though he had barely been married for half a year and was only twenty- one, he realized that to go against the will of the people would be disastrous; and as suchtherefore, he took power after seeking help from all sources that he could. One main source of help, who Lorenzo had already contacted that Lorenzo had asked from even before he took power, was the Duke of Milan. AltThough he was considered cruel and vain, the Duke of Milan deeply respected the Medici and the power that they held. However, cConspirators however did not hold such respect for Lorenzo and tried to overthrow him, thinking that with his inexperience they would win. They did not get very far before Lorenzo organized the government and sent mercenaries after them, and effectively banishinged them. AltThough Florence it was a republic, Lorenzo was itsthe unofficial ruler of Florence. He took part in every political group and would writer political letters to ambassadors and nobles all around Europe. During the rule of Lorenzo, relations with the Church began to becomebecame strained. As Pope Sixtus the IV took power, he started to place his own nephews in positions of power all over Italy. When he asked for a loan from the Medici to buy a town which Lorenzo himself wanted to buy, the Medici Bank declined. Pope Sixtus, Uundeterred, Pope Sixtus went to the rival bank of the Medici’s and got the loan from them. As relations started strainingbetween the Medicis and the Church became strained, Sixtus tried to take another city, which the Medici defended. and Hhe considered this act a directas an affront to himself. Later, when the bishop of Pisa died, the Pope placed a bishop of his own choosing, ignoring the government of Florence. Thus the new Bishop was placed in dangerous territory and contrived in every aAnti- Medici plot that he could. Lorenzo ruled Florence with his younger brother, Giuliano, from 1469 to 1478. After his brother's assassination in 1478, he was sole ruler until his own death. After the assassination the people responsible were hunted down and all killed, including an Archbishop. All the bodies of the conspirators were severely mutilated. Lorenzo's greatest contribution to history however, was his patronage of the arts. He contributed more than anyone to the flowering of Florentine genius in the late 15th century, supporting giants, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Lorenzo treated the artists under his protection with respect and warm-hearted familiarity. In 1485, Girolamo Savonarola, a Dominican friar from the convent of San Marco, began to molest the Florentines with prophetic language of the Apocalypse, first from the pulpit of San Marco and then from the cathedral in Florence. Although it had been Lorenzo who brought Savonarola back from exile in Bologna, the friar soon accused his benefactor of ruining the state and squandering the wealth of the people. These accusations began to undermine Lorenzo's support among the people of Florence. In 1492, Lorenzo fell seriously ill and he realized that he was dying. Fearing eternal damnation, Lorenzo called Savonarola to his deathbed seeking redemption and assurance of salvation. Accounts of their final meeting differ. Some scholars speculate that in the end Savonarola remembered his duty as a priest, and gave Lorenzo absolution for his sins. Others contend that Savonarola's judgment was harsh and that he damned Lorenzo for eternity in the flaming pits of Hell. Lorenzo died during the night of April 8 and 9, 1492 in the Villa of Careggi at the age of 43. He died at the dawn of a "the age of exploration. Christopher Columbus would reach the "New World" about six months later and thus jump start all exploration of the Americas. From the funding of all the voyages the Medici family could have grown to even larger proportions and had wealth that was undreamed of. Florentines were so moved by Lorenzo's premature death that the entire population attended his funeral, even his enemies and those who had lost faith in him. His sonLorenzo’s son, Piero ruled for just two years after his father had died. In 1494, after accepting humiliating peace conditions from the French (who had invaded Tuscany), he was driven out of the city and died in exile. For some time, Florence was now torn by strife, and anarchy and Florence was under , of course, the rule of Savanarola under the rule of a Republic once more. Savanarola was a priest who ruled with an iron fist under a new Republic and was an extremely strict religious believer. Upon the defeat of the French armies in Italy by the Spanish, the Spanish forced Florence to invite the Medici back. After the banishment, Giuliano de’ Medici returned to Florence. This was the second time that the Medici had been exiled and the second time they had been restored to their native Florence. As Giuliano walked back, he came in with a beard and clothes that attracted no attention to himself at all. When he arrived, he arrived to the sounds of happiness and celebration as workers removed old insignias and replaced them with the Medici coat of arms all over the city. Rather thaen head straight towards the Medici palace he headed towards the house of the Albizzi family as if unsure of himself. However, His Giuliano’s brother, Giovanni, who was a cardinal, however had no trouble in coming back with fanfares and attention. He came in on horseback gladly to the ringing of trumpets with 1500 soldiers behind him and following him loyally. While Guiliano wanted to remain quiet his brother had no intention whatsoever of sitting quietly at home. He had worked hard to get back into Florence and he entered the palace with the air of a man who would rule and spoke with the authority of a leader. As he came to power he came under the motto that his yoke was an easy one. What heWhat he meant by the motto was that he would not ask to much of the Florentines although he would ask of them and he would need their help. HeE told the people that he wanted to return to the timed of his forefathers and celebrate the arts again and to have festivals and hear music,. tThings that the republic under the rule of Savanorala had outlawed. The people where joyous when they heard this and all believed theirre new leader to be a truly humane person who understood them. Six months after coming into power Giovani learned that his benefactor the Pope Julius the second was dying. Though Giovani himself was sick, he ordered a litter be prepared for him sdyhgus. Six months after coming into power Giovani learned that his benefactor the Pope Julius the second was dying. Though Giovani himself was sick he ordered a litter be prepared for him in order to be taken to Rome to see Julius before he died. When he arrived, however, he had missed the passing away of his benefactor and the opening ceremonies of the conclave. Though Giovanihad missed the opening ceremonies he attended sick in a bed while the doctor fed him medicine and all the other cardinals bickered as to who would be the new pope. After days of bickering amongst themselves, being fed them only one unappetizing meal a day which was a bland and horrid tasting broth. That combined with being locked inside the chapel for so long made them hurry up the decision. After a while, the name of Giovanni de’ Medici came up as an idea. HeE was amicable, experienced, and took all of his duties seriously. Though all those wereare good reasons, one of the main reasons that they chose him was because he was so sickly that if he was not a good pope he would probably die soon and they would elect again. If he was a good Pope the people would be happy with their choice. After Giovanni de’ Medici was elected Pope he renamed himself Pope Leo X. When the news reached Florence, In Florence upon receiving the enws there was celebration all over the streets. In Rome the celebrations were a bit more controlled then in Florence but they were still grand none the less. Though Wwhen people saw Giovanihim they saw a man that was extremely obese, who looked sick, but he who seemed happy and pleased with everybody and was smiling and giving papal blessings to many people. It is rumored that he said to his own brother Guiliano, “God has given us the Papacy. Let us enjoy it. ” Guiliano was the ruler for the Medici in Florence but the real ruler of the Medici now was Leo X. Under the Pope many new states were added to the kingdom of the Medici and it is they were placed under the control of Lorenzo, son of Piero who was Leo’s brother. Through politics he was able to rid the Spaniards who had helped them from Italy. When the King of France Louis XII died Leo hoped to ally himself with Francis I. This was an event that turned out in a way that Leo X could have never planned. Francis I was a young king who wanted to conquer the Italian states that had once belonged to France. As Leo realized this he spoke to all of his advisors, including Niccolo Machiavelli as to what he should do. His advisors told him to throw in his lot with France but Leo was reluctant to do so and in the end he allied himself with the Spaniards, The English, and the Swiss. When Francis learned of this, he moved into Italy with 100,000 men. The Italians hurried to assemble an army but they where brushed away. France conquered a large portion of Italy. Afterwards Francis ordered a conference with Leo X in Bologna. Pope Leo X traveled to Bologna through the city of Florence and when he passed through the city it was changed into a beautiful spectacle that was just for him to pass through. As he reached Bologna the negotiations went extremely unsatisfactorily. Francis ordered many of the cities of Spain to be given to him;, he also asked for papal treasures. After giving what he needed to to Francis, Pope Leo X returned home to find his brother Guiliano severely ill; and he would die a few months later. After returning to the Vatican he concentrated on acquiring Mantua which he was able to acquire do without any problems. After completing all of this he went to the Vatican palace and relaxed. HeE went through all of the savings of the Church and was deeply in debt to many of the banks of Italy. Even though all this was happening, he made no effort at all to control his extravagant spending. He would hold extravagant parties and dinners and would always have people laughing during his parties. If he did spend a lot of money on frivolity he would also spend it on things of importancet. He would send funds in order to improve certain sectors of the Church. If an old church building was falling apart he would pay for its complete restoration. He also complied with the Medici tradition and sponsored multiple artists and writers. He would read books and would spend many of his savings in order to buy another book. He would also sell high positions of the Church in order to obtain things that he wanted. Though he did help countless writers and artists, the styles which he had chosen were far from the best. The writings and songs were alright and but compared to his father Lorenzo’s collections his were worth nothing. On every opportunity he could obtain Pope Leo would ride out and go to his country villa. Listening to his court advisors rather than canon law, he would participate in the hunt with friends and attendants. Due in part to his poor eyesight, he could not participate in the first parts of the hunt. Whenever a hunt had gone well the Pope would be in a good mood and would sign many different forms and would agree to just about anything. When a hunt had gone badly however, he was noted to be in a sullen mood and growl at people who bothered him at all. Many cardinals were extremely dissatisfied with the way Pope Leo X had been running the administration of the Church. Rather than appoint people to positions because they truly deserved them he would appoint his own friends and close family members. So to no one’s surprise a plot was hatched to assassinate him, but unfortunately the plot was unsuccessful. The conspirators were discovered and tortured horribly, or if they were lucky, they would be fined and then would flee into exile. After the conspiracy ended, many cardinals had been removed from power and as such Leo placed even more of his closest friends in with him as cardinals. After this he planned for the marriage of Lorenzo to the cousin of the King of France. When Lorenzo arrived in France, the French where surprised and awed by the wealth Lorenzo had bnrought with him but they where turned off by his haughty manner and his arrogance. When he returned to Florence, the people there were unhappy with how he ruled. He eventually left to his villa with his wife where they died a few months later. Upon Lorenzo's death, Giulio, the illegitimate son of Lorenzo the Magnificent’s brother Giuliano, became ruler of the city. He took power before news of his brother’s death came to the people and he assured the people that his rule would be different and he would rule the people in a better way. He was known to be a concise ruler and he was effective in everything he did. This was a very good thing because, while he ruled effectively, the Pope Leo X was far from decisive as to what he should do with the republic of Florence. Giulio abdicated in 1523 in order to allow his own illegitimate son, Alessandro to rule while he would become Pope Clement VII. He became Pope after the longest conclave in history, which had lasted a little over two months. After many bribes, treaties and alliances,. hHe came out as Clement VII and lived comfortably in Rome. He made alliances with France which turned out disastrously, however. When Francis was defeated in battle, he was put in a precarious position. At dawn on May 6, 1527, an army of Spanish and German soldiers led by Charles, Dduke of Bourbon, attacked Rome. Although the duke was killed in the early stages of the assault, his troops swiftly took control of the city and decided upon a new leader from amongst them. Their new leader continued what the Duke had begun and tried to make the Pope sign a treaty which he would not do. The Pope sent soldiers to invade the territories of those who had attacked him but was unsuccessful. As the soldiers grew more violent in Rome, Pope Clement VII and thirteen13 cardinals sought refuge in the papal fortress in Rome, the Castel Sant'Angelo. Clement had summoned a council before the invasion and tried his best to raise an army for the defense of Rome. HeE called the people to come and defend their city, but sadly enough very few came and when the attacker scame many where overwhelmed. The pope and many fled to the Castel Sant’Angelo. with cloe to For the next six months, Clement remained captive in the fortress and watched helplessly as the army ravaged the city. Churches were desecrated, houses were ransacked, individuals were tortured and held for ransom. The enemy armies even held Rome itself for ransom, but Clement was unwilling to pay. The extraordinary explosion of artistic and cultural activity that marked the Renaissance in Rome was over. While in the prison, soldiers fired from cannons while the Pope and everyone else huddled inside. After a month however the Pope had to surrender and sign the treaty due to the disease and death occurring inside the Castel. After signing the treaty however, he was still not allowed to leave until he ahdhad payed the ransom that was demanded of him. As such he had to stay for many more months. Eventually the guards told him that one day they would turn a blind eye and allow him to escape. After he escaped however he was extremely poor and held little power. Clement's misfortunes were not confined to Rome. A group of anti-Medici republicans had revolted and driven the Medici from Florence. In Florence the situation was far from better;, two illegitimatebastards Medici sons were ruling and neither was loved by the people. They were said to never know what they were doing and when they acted the distrust they had grew and grew. Eventually all Florentines had lost the trust and respect they once had of the Medici. Their name was now slandered and they were a poor family. Thus, in a single moment, Clement VII seemed to lose all that his uncle Lorenzo the Magnificent had worked so hard to secure for his heirs. Miraculously, within three years, the Medici were once again ruling in Florence, and Clement was secure in the Vatican. Relying on a time-tested Medicean formula of finding favor with powerful patrons, Clement made peace with Charles V of Germany and crowned him emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. In return, Charles dispatched an imperial army against Clement's enemies in Florence, and defended the papal office against demands for reform. Despite their reconciliation, Clement and Charles did not share equal authority. This new political reality became very clear in 1531. An imperial decree confirmed the Medici as the rulers in Florence, but it reclaimed the city as imperial land and subject to Charles V. However, Pope Clement entered into alliances with the Emperor and made a treaty that he would surrender parts of Italy to him if the Medici could become reestablished in Florence. The Florentines where none too happy with this and started to fortify their city and prepare it for assault. The invading Spanish army however had blockaded the city and after ten months the city was in ruins. When entering the city, it was decided that drastic reforms would be needed. All enemies were killed without mercy and Alessandro de’ Medici was sent to rule Florence and reestablish the government of the city. After fixing the problems of the invasions and of Florence, Pope Clement VII looked towards one of his last resources. It was the young Caterina de’ Medici. He wanted her to be married to a relative of the King of France and when she was fourteen she was married. She would eventually rise up in her life to become the Queen of France. After the marriage Pope Clement was seen to be very sickly and shoorlty there after he had died. Rather than being sad, the people of Rome celebrated. They claimed that he had caused too much trouble and they would be better off with the new pope. The people in Florence however were none too happy when they learned the news of the Pope’s death. Alessandro de’ Medici had been kept in check by the Pope and had never gone truly insane with his power. Now that Clement was gone however he started an absolutist state. The people feared him as he started laws and restricted the rights of many of the Florentines. They were happy however shortly thereafter when he was murdered by his friend. Later the matter of succession went under discussion by many people. As Tthe people of power and influence in the city fought and fought until someone mentioned Cosimo de’ Medici. HeE was not corrupted by the previous ruler and many people had personal reasons, like rising to power. The group however was still indecisive until a military leader had his soldiers group outside the window and chant for Cosimo. As the people inside grew fearful their leader shouted in a voice of authority, “Hurry up, I cannot hold them back much longer” So as they were pressured into making a quick decision they chose Cosimo. Though they believed that they could put boundaries on him and control they failed miserably. Apart from being able to advise Cosimo, nothing else could be done. There is no way that one can tell his superiors what to do. HE can give him advice and help to guide him, but straight out tell him was impossible, Should he choose to go his own way there is no one to stop him. If the rulers since Lorenzo the Magnificent had been weak and ineffective, this changed when Cosimo I ascended the throne in 1537 at the age of 18. Cosimo was a descendant not of Cosimo The Elder but from Cosimo's brother. When he was a young boy he saw little of his father. HeE was constantly being tutored and was extremely wuickquick to learn. When his father died he showed no remorse and instead continued with his studies. He became interested in the military bubut his uncle Leo X told him to stop fooling around. People thought that he was a slow boy who would not understand how to run the state and ruin it economically while letting other people run it for him. This was far from the truth. HeE was a person who was extremely wise and constantly learning. He made it clear very early on that ifthat if he ruled, he would rule with absolute power and none would be above him. Though he was extremely young he quickly consolidated his power, and under his rule Tuscany was transformed into an absolutist nation state. He started to hunt down all of his enemies and possible conspirators and had them all killed or tortured one by one. He disabled or ran almost all magistrates and councils so if there was ever a decision that he did not truly agree with then he could use his power and abolish that decision without a second thought. If anyone he thought would dissent against him, he had no qualms in killing or eliminating them by any means necessary. He went through a long and costly war in order to conquer Sienna. After conquering Sienna, he did not want to stop there. Being a Duke of Florence he wanted to be a Grand Duke. The only problem with becoming a Grand Duke was that in order to become one you needed Papal Authority. He went through all of the steps in order to become Grand Duke with such a passion that it was considered almost a mania. He finally obtained the title of Grand Duke. Although politically ruthless, Cosimo was highly cultured and promoted letters and arts as well as the Tuscan economy and navy. He founded the Accademia della Crusca, a body charged with the promotion of the Tuscan language (which has become the standard Italian language of today), the Accademia del Disegno (Academy of Design), renewed the university of Pisa which had fallen into disuse, and later conquered the cities of Siena and Lucca. In 1569 Cosimo was named Grand Duke of Tuscany. He set the style for the new absolute rule by concentrating the administration of Florence in a new office building, the Uffizi (where he also began a small museum for art works). The entire Uffizi is now a museum. Many of his employees complained about him severely and constantly. HeE was strict to uniformity and detested the slightest fault or error in anything. HeE was also a man that was constantly secretive and the servants said that they never knew where they wherewere going to go from one day to the next. He moved his residence across the river to the Pitti Palace, bought in 1549 and was enlarged and remodeled several times by Cosimo and his descendants. He built a private corridor between the Pitti Palace and the Palazzo Vecchio in the city, where the government met so as to be able to arrive quickly should any problems arise of serious or demanding natures. Vincenzo Galilei moved his family, including the ten-year old Galileo, from Pisa to Florence in the year of Cosimo's death. Cosimo's son, Francesco I was an ineffectual ruler under whom Tuscany languished and suffered. He was named Grand Duke of Tuscany as his father had been but he did not have a taste for for business or industry. He was not at all loved by the people and took on a mistress and lavishes thousands of florins upon her. His younger brother, Ferdinand, who had been made a cardinal at the age of fifteen, became Grand Duke upon Francesco's death in 1587. Ferdinand I was a capable administrator under whom Tuscany flourished again due to his capable administrative skills. HeE was a Cardinal although he did not truly like the religious life; he was in it probably due to family influences or a want of power on his part. He was a lover of Greek sculptures and had many of them at his villas and when he came to Florence he brought them with him. Unlike his brother who wanted to avoid trouble at any cost, Ferdinand was a ruler who would go to any length to help the people of Florence, even force. Under his rule the government of Florence became much less corrupt as he hunted down and persecuted corruption whenever he could find it and he was also able to stabilize the economy. He also Ferdinand helped build many public buildings in order to help the community. Ferdinand was an admirer of Tomasso Campanella and tried to protect him as best he could from the persecution of the Spanish. He was interested in scientific matters, and had a great armillary sphere constructed by Antonio Santucci, his cosmographer, in order to study the skies in greater detail. Ferdinand appointed Galileo to the professorship of mathematics at the universityUniversity of Pisa in 1588. In the year of his accession, Ferdinand married Christina of Lorraine, who was the granddaughter of Catherine de' Medici, Queen of France. Christina was well-disposed to Galileo and as a favor in return for some services rendered by Galileo when he was still in Padua found a position for his brother in law Benedetto Landucci. It was to Christina that Galileo later wrote his letter on science and scripture, "Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Lorraine. Ferdinand and Christina had four sons and four daughters amassing to a total of eight children. The eldest son, Cosimo II, ascended the throne upon his father's death in 1609. Galileo had tutored Cosimo in mathematics during some summers, and therefore the young Grand Duke knew him well and admired him enough to offer him a court position in 1610, after Galileo had dedicated Sidereus Nuncius to him and his family. After a bout of fever, in 1615, Cosimo's health deteriorated, and he died in 1620. Cosimo's son, Ferdinand II was just ten years old when he became Grand Duke, and until he was old enough to rule the government was carried on by the two Grand Duchesses, Cosimo's mother Christina of Lorraine, and Cosimo's wife, Maria Magdalena of Austria, the sister of the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II. This is not uncommon in many other events in history when other governments have children “ruling” while their parents give them “advice” and direct everything for them. At seventeen he left and his mMother and Cosimo’s wife paid no attention to it; and however, they were none too happy when he returned to relinquish their power. As the people of Florence got to know their new leader they found that he was a good person who was always disposed to helping people. Like all Medici he held elaborate parties and dances for all. They were costly but he also did not spend all his money on frivolities as some of his predecessors had done. He had wine hanging outside of the Pitti Palace to show that he would sell wine to anyone that would come. During the outbreak of the plague, in 1630, Ferdinand distinguished himself as a good ruler, but he was not a strong enough ruler and was unable to protect the famous Galileo from the Spanish Inquisition in 1633. In 1657, together with his brother Leopold, Ferdinand established the Accademia del Cimento, or Academy of Experiment, a forerunner of more permanent scientific academies, such as the Royal Society of London and the Royal French Academy of Sciences. The Accademia del Cimento stopped functioning in 1667 but during the time it was open it was recognized as an advanced building and known for its technology and experiments performed there. While it was open, Ferdinand and Leopold performed various experiments there. They spent countless days and hours playing, and tinkering. Ferdinand’s brother Leopoldo was described as a man that would read anything. Any book that he saw he would read no matter what the topiv. It was said that Leopoldo would always keep a book in his pocket to read should he ever become bored. Ferdinando had different interests form books. He preferred the experiments done en El Cimento and he loved the study of the mosaics. He would spend time in the craft shops examining different artworks. He bought multiple artworks and had to expand the Pitti Palace in order to fit all of the artworks. Numerous people could go to the palace and examine artworks from all over Europe. As a ruler he wanted to rule while avoiding as many problems as he could. No matter what happened or whenever a higher power would ask for something he would never fight it. After a time this became tiresome to the people of Florence as they kept losing all of their cities due to their leader giving them all up in order to maintain peace for himself. The only thing that he would ever trouble himself over was the art he would collect. And while he collected marvelous works of art throughout all of Europe,. heHis city of Florence was falling into a decline and the House of Medici had sunk so far that soon it would no longer be able to climb back up. The Florentine and Tuscan economy had been slowly degrading and falling apart since the end of the sixteenth century. Under Ferdinand II, his son, Cosimo III , and his grandson, Gian-Gastone, the city-country slipped into insignificance and the Medici were near forgotten once more. Cosimo III's rule was one of incompetence and religious intolerance and did more harm than good to the countries. When Cosimo III married he married a French woman of distinction but they would rarely talk to each other. Margaret-Louise was a young and energetic young girl and when she found out that she was going to marry a sick and ugly boy she begged for her family to change their minds. When they told her that they would not change her minds she went and tried to delay the trip to Florence for as long as she could by making up a myriad of excuses. When the two betrothed met, neither one was happy to see the other and Cosimo did not even try to kiss her. When the doctor told her that hethat he was sick and that they should not sleep together it was said that she experienced a profound relief. Even after they bedded they rarely ever had relations between the two of them and only slept together at most three times a week. Even then they needed to be supervised by a doctor in order to make sure that Cosimo would not hurt himself. After a month of living together they had only eaten together three times and the rest of the times he sent a messenger to tell her to go on ahead because he was not truly that hungry. The Florentines hoped that the summer celebrations would improve Marguerite’s mood. After all the festivals when one talked to her however she always complained that Florence was not grand enough for her because France wasis much better. She remained obstinate and always spoke out against her husband and the Medici family. When she fell in love with any other person she was not discreet and tried her best to shame the Medici family by writing flagrant letters of love to her lovers and saying that she was being imprisoned and held against her will. Eventually the Grand Duke sent her to a country villa to live only with her attendants and he had his own servants watching her constantly to make sure she would receive no letters from the outside world. While the rest of the family went hunting she had to remain at the villa. Eventually she went back to court and asked the Duke to fogiveforgive her and to allow her back. She was allowed back with open arms and with joy from both sides. Cosimo kissed her, she was polite, she was soon preganant, and everything seemed to be turning out for the better in the family. Eventually however, she reverted to her old ways. She would walk far in front of her attendants, making her walk the streets alone. She became sick and threatened to harm Cosimo when he went to check up on her to see if she was alright. Even after all the stress and and sickness she managed to give birth to a healthy baby girl Anna Maria Luisa. She still would have nothing to do with her husband and so the grand Duke sent Cosimo abroad all over Europe until his wife’s temperament would improve. After returning Cosimo was extremely happy with all of Europe and professed that one day he would have liked to have returned. Shortly after returning however, his father died and Cosimo took power. Once in power he tried to resolve the problems that he saw and realized that they were too big for him. As such he left into a chapel and left the running of the state to the rest of the family. Marguerite thought that this was outrageous and told him so and thus the relationship between the two of them deteriorated even further. Eventually they separated and Marguerite went to live on her own. She took to excessive gambling and wearing multiple layers of makeup. Whenever she would run out of money she would send letters to both families asking for more. She went into scandalous love affairs all around and would get angry at Cosimo when he would not send the money that she asked for in due time. Her family forced her into a Monastery to stop her corrupted behavior. She eventually became the Abbess of the monastery and lived there tanquilytranquilly for the rest of her life. Cosimo on her departure did everything to make people like him. He held lavish banquets and parties while talking to everyone. This was probably mainly to counter act the image that marguerite had created for him. His banquets where extremely lavish with all types of foods and decorations all around. While in parties he was excessive, in other things he was far less indulgent. He started to become extremely narrow on his view in religion and would not allow Jews or Christians to even interact with one another. If they did the punishment could go from a simple fine to the death of the person in question. HeE eventually started to have the city start to destroy itself. HeE started to commit even the most trivial of offenses into serious crimes and in one ear there where over two thousand executions of people. What the people did not do that was against the law they would soon have to pay in taxes. New taxes on every type of goodthing where created almost monthly and the tax rates went up so high that very few people could eventually pay them. Most of the taxes were not used for proper items. And when people tried to circumvent the laws it would be considered a capital offense and that person could be killed for it. If peopleyou did not buy salt from the merchants but instead collected it from the sea you they had reason to be executed. The money from taxes would sometimes benefit in the form of books or the restoration of classical buildings. For the most part however, the taxes were lavishly wasted on court frivolities and expensive gifts for friends in Europe. Gian-Gastone's rule was too short to repair the damage that his predecessors had done. Gian was a man who did not like the extravagant parties that moste of his family pertained partook in. What he wanted more than anything else was to remain quiet and alone while studying whatever happened to interest him at the moment. When he first saw his wife, Gianhe was appalled aton first sightte. She was an obese woman with little class and intelligence. When they married he was extremely unhappy and would often leave the castle in which he lived with her to gamble or to sodomize with someone in the town. In 1735, an arrangement was made between Austria, France, England, and the Netherlands that a swap should be made with Lorraine going to France and Tuscany to Austria in return. In 1737 Austrian troops occupied Tuscany. As such the Medici lost Tuscany and were forced to occupy only Florence once more. One of Gian Gastone's last acts was to erect a memorial to Galileo in the church of Santa Croce and to inter Galileo’s remains there. During the transference, several parts of Galileo's skeleton were taken as relics by various people. One of Galileo's fingers is now housed in the Museum of History of Science in Florence. Gian-Gastone had no male heir and being the last male heir of the Medici, the House of Medici died with him. After his death the succession was under discussion because the ruling family had run out of male heirs. Although no Medici were left many people believed Florence was better without Gian-Gastone. He was a man known for his drunkenness and severe detest of the church. Even as the last of the Medici lived, the mistakes they all made were disastrous. Thinking not of the entire family, but only themselves, they would find pleasure for themselves and would never strive to try and help the people at all. When they finally realized that no heir remained it was too late. The men of the family had all been married and never associated with their wives or had finally died. It was in this sad way that one of the greatest families ever died out and disappeared to only be remembered in the history books. The Medici family dominated Florentine politics for two and a half centuries and presided over cultural achievements that were equaled only by Athens in the golden age. The family also had its genes mixed with those of most royal families in Europe including direct families of Kings and Queens. Medici women included Catherine who married Henry II, King of France and ruled the country after her husband's death; Maria married Henry IV, King of France. Maria's daughters bec
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