September 12th, 1492. What happened in the Medici family history?

September 12th, 1492. What happened in the Medici family history?

Lorenzo duca di Urbino, son of Piero The Unfortunate and nephew of Lorenzo The Magnificent, was born on September 12th, 1492.

Lorenzo was born not long after Lorenzo The Magnificent had passed away.

In 1494, Piero The Unfortunate opened the doors of the city of Florence to the French sovereign Charles VIII and his expansionist ambitions. A revolt broke out in Florence and the Medici Family was forced to flee the city; hence the Florentine Republic was established.

Nevertheless, Lorenzo relied on his mother’s influence: Alfonsina Orsini was a noble roman woman who did everything within her power to ensure her son had some territories to govern and rule over.

Furthermore, Medici themselves strived for a political alliance to facilitate their triumphal return to the city of Florence. Medici formed a coalition agreement with Spain and its general Ramon de Cardona who plundered the town of Prato leaving a path of reckless destruction, violence and death in his wake.

This affirmative action would effectively impact on the Chancellor of the Florentine Republic who started to consider the possibility of the return of the family to Florence.

Meanwhile, Lorenzo’s uncle was elected Pope taking the title of Leo X. Lorenzo therefore gained several advantages from this election: on September 4th he entered the city led by his uncles, Leo X and Cardinal Clement VII.A while after, Leo X turned the lordship of Florence over to Lorenzo and gave him the duchy of Urbino.

What was the man Lorenzo like? Handsome and charming, he had been introduced to classical studies by his mother, but he would go on hunting trips or spend time in the company of ladies, rather than learning Greek or Latin.

Lorenzo indulged his family and its expansionist ambitions, being a kind of a pawn in the political scenario at the time. By his marriage with Madeleine de la Tour d’Auvergne, member of the French aristocracy, he had one daughter, Caterina de’ Medici, future queen of France.

Why is Lorenzo a commemorate-to-be figure?

Niccolò Machiavelli addressed to Lorenzo his treatise The Prince, highlighting his ability and shrewdness.

After Lorenzo’s death, April 28th 1519, due to syphilis, Michelangelo Buonarroti addressed him a monumental grave inside the New Sacristy of Basilica di San Lorenzo.

 

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