The Medici Family, the Rich and Powerful Art-Lovers Behind the Renaissance

Ever heard of insanely rich families in the middle ages? The Medici family was one of them. Medici Family (also known as the House of Medici), was an Italian family which came into prominence in 13th century with vast success in banking and commerce.

How it began

Their dynasty actually started in 12th century, when Medici family members moved from a Tuscan village to the city of Florence. They eventually rose in power until they were able one day to fund the Medici bank, which was the largest in Europe during the 15th century. Their wealth and influence was said to come from the trade of fine quality textiles under the guidance of the guild of Arte Della Lana.

Florence Medici

Florence, Italy: The birthplace of the Renaissance

The Medicis and the Renaissance

Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici was the family member responsible for starting the great Medici dynasty and the bank of Medici. Giovanni’s elder son Cosimo had taken power in 1434 and Florence was under his Monarchy until his death. Cosimo (the elder) was also a very committed supporter of arts and humanities. Under his influence and the influence of his son Piero and grandson Lorenzo “the Magnificent” which succeeded him, Renaissance culture became very popular.

Interestingly, a plot against Lorenzo and his brother Giuliano, was made by other jealous banking families in 1478 which resulted in the death of Giuliano and the injury of Lorenzo.

The Medicis were central in supporting the arts of the Renaissance

What about the rest of the Medicis?

The family’s monarchy had been successful for 3-4 generations, but not all Medici family descendants were as successful or smart as their ancestors. Piero II, Lorenzo’s son proved out to be incompetent in governing and was forced to exile during the late 15th century.

The family was also involved in Papacy as they have made 4 popes, and their genes were later merged with other European families, up until the 18th century where Cosimo III, married the granddaughter of the king of France, Henry IV, which was the latest generation of Medici in power.

Who knows, maybe you’ll be part of the then next dynasty family that changes the course of the world forever?

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