12-075 Lorenzo d’Medici II
Vol. 12 No. 075 11/16/2012
Lead: In addition to a powerful public role as 15th century Florence’s first citizen, Lorenzo d’Medici in a time of peace helped the city achieve a prominent place in the Renaissance of art, culture and humanism.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When his grandfather Cosimo died, Lorenzo assumed the place of leadership in the House of Medici and of the city of Florence. He first staunched the city-state’s financial hemorrhage by concluding peace negotiations with various other states with which Florence was at war. This ushered in a long period of peace and prosperity.

Lorenzo’s aggressive business practices struck at the family’s competitors particularly their arch-rivals, the Pazzi family. In 1478, allied with the Vatican and other conspiring city-states, the Pazzi organized a conspiracy which climaxed in a dramatic assassination attempt in the cathedral during the Easter Mass. Lorenzo’ was injured but escaped. His brother was fatally stabbed many times.

The d’Medici and their allies using legal and/or vigilante tactics killed, ruined or exiled hundreds of Pazzi supporters, including Archbishop Salviati who was hung by the neck from a plaza window in his ecclesiastical robes.

Through a series of diplomatic maneuvers, the Pope was isolated and d’Medici power was even more secure than before.

Lorenzo turned to new challenges and by his support and patronage, artists such as Michelangelo and Botticelli excelled in their work. He supported writers such as Luigi Pulci, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and Machiavelli. Florence under Lorenzo took its premier role in the revival of culture and art in what was later described as the Italian Renaissance.

At the University of Richmond, this is Dan Roberts.


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de’Medici, Lorenzo. The Autobiography of Lorenzo de’Medici The Magnificent: A Commentary on my Sonnets. Translated by James Wyatt Cook. Binghamton, NY: Medieval & Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1995.

Fubini, Riccardo, “The Italian League and the Policy of the Balance of Power at the Accession of Lorenzo de’Medici,” The Journal of Modern History 67, Supplement: The origins of the State in Italy, 1300-1600 (1995): S166-S199.

Martines, Lauro. April Blood: Florence and the Plot Against the Medici. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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Roscoe, William. The Life of Lorenzo de’Medici, called The Magnificent. London: Henry G. Bohn Publishing, 1851.

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Yriarte, Charles. Florence: Its History - The Medici - The Humanists. Philadelphia: Henry T. Coates Publishing, 1897.

Copyright 2012 by Daniel M. Roberts, Jr.