I had been concerned about posting term papers in the past. If I posted them too soon after I wrote them, I worried that one of my professors would think I plagiarized another person’s work. Seeing that enough time has past between when I originally submitted this paper, I think it would be okay to post it now.
I choose to write about Lorenzo de’Medici because he struck me as one of the more interesting figures of his time. Assassin’s Creed 2 did his story a disservice as the reality of his life is far more exciting than the poorly written fiction. Since I spent hours researching this paper, I don’t mind others benefiting from my hard work. I will, however, remind anyone reading this post to NOT STEAL MY WORK! I worked far too hard for someone to come in and pass this off as their own work, and, if you don’t already know, at the university level, plagiarism could get you expelled.
Lorenzo de’ Medici, also known as Lorenzo il Magnifico (Lorenzo the Magnificent) is arguably one of the most important figures of the Italian Renaissance. A trained humanist with a passion for the arts, his patronage brought us the greatest artists of the Renaissance like Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Many historians, however, view Lorenzo’s rule over Florence in a negative light. After taking power, Lorenzo quickly established his base of power and expanded Medici control throughout Florence. His reign over only worsened after ‘the Pazzi Conspiracy’, which took the life of Lorenzo’s brother, Giuliano. Lorenzo and his supporters violently rooted out threats to the Medici family and its political authority in the Italian city-state. The idea that Lorenzo was a power-hungry and tyrannical despot conflicts with the myth of il Magnifico as an enlightened ruler who’s patronage helped bring about the golden age of the Renaissance. What does this say about his rule? Though the actions Lorenzo took to secure power were at times brutal, to survive in Florence as a politician, not to mention as the heir to one of Renaissance Italy’s most politically powerful families, one had to be ruthless. This essay will better explain this truth of Lorenzo’s rule by examining his rise to power, some of the actions he took to maintain power, and the political fallout following the failure of ‘the Pazzi Conspiracy’. By doing so, one can better understand the apparently contradictions in the historical accounts of Lorenzo’s life.
Before discussing Lorenzo’s life, it is important to put it into context. By the time of Lorenzo’s birth, his grandfather, Cosimo de’ Medici, had been the unofficial ruler of Florence for fifteen years. During that time, the Medici had amassed tremendous wealth and political power, but also enemies. To combat this rising animosity against the Medici, Cosimo built strong relationships with other powerful families inside Florence. As noted by Lauro Martines in April Blood: Florence and the Plot Against the Medici, the Medici family and their supporters had became interwoven into the social and political fabric of Florence. To retain power, Cosimo gave positions of power to his supporters and harshly dealt with his adversaries. As with those who exiled Cosimo before he took power, the punishment for those who opposed Medici rule was exile. Though the threat of violence was used to keep many in line, the threat of being stripped of one’s wealth and political status and forced to leave Florence, was more than enough to keep the city-state’s political class in line. Though ruthless, this was expected of Florentine politicians as Florence, more than any other Italian city-state, was politically cutthroat.
At the age of forty-eight, Lorenzo’s father, Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici took power. Piero was also known as “il Gottoso” (the Gouty) because he suffered from chronic illness since early manhood. His poor health, prevented him from fulfilling many of his duties as head of the Medici bank, and the unofficial ruler of Florence. As a result, unlike Cosimo, Piero did not have the confidence of his political allies. After Cosimo’s death, Luca Pitti, a fellow banker and close friend of Cosimo, did not believe Piero was a worthy successor and sought to take over as Florence’s new ruler. Agnolo Acciaiuoli, an ambassador to France and Cosimo’s friend also viewed Piero as a weak ruler. He publicly criticized Piero, saying that old age had reduced the father, as illness had reduced the son, ‘to such a cowardice that they avoided anything that cause them trouble or worry’. After recruiting Diotisalvi Neromi, the Archbishop of Florence’s brother, they became known as the Party of the Hill, reformers who wanted to strip the Medici of their power over the Florence’s ‘purse’ and restore office rights to those who had lost their positions under Medici rule. These reformers received significant support from high ranking politicians, many of whom, like Luca Pitti, were former Medici allies, looking to strip the family of its political power and distribute it among themselves. The Party on the Hill also received significant support from powerful merchant families who had grown tired of Medici rule. Those who remained loyal to the Medici became known as the Party of the Plan. From 1465 onward, tensions mounted between the two groups.
In 1466 Peiro’s rule was directly challenged by the reformers. With the death of Francesco Sforza, the Duke of Milan and an important ally of Piero, the Party on the Hill made its move. In a secret agreement with Borso d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, they planned to send one armed force under the command of Borso’s brother, Ercole to Florence to secure the city and another to seize and execute Piero and his sons when they returned from the villa of Careggi. After arriving in Careggi, Piero was warned of the plot by his friend Giovanni Bentivoglio, and decided to quickly return to Florence. Lorenzo scouted ahead and saw Borso’s troops loitering on the road near the villa of Diotisalvi Neromi’s brother. As a result, the Medici took an alternate route around the troops. Upon his return to Florence, Luca ran to Piero and begged for forgiveness, saying he would ‘live or die’ with him. He informed Piero of the Party on the Hill’s plot to overthrow him with the assistance of Duke of Ferrara. Piero sent word to Milan for assistance and readied himself for the reformer’s next move.
It was not long before Piero was summoned before the Lord Priors to address the demands of the reformers. Instead of going himself, Peiro sent his sons to represent him, a breach in protocol and a deliberate insult to the Party on the Hill. Two days later, Peiro himself entered Florence with three-thousand mercenaries. Lorenzo who had left the Priors, returned home to grab his horse and suit of armour, and join his father in the city. This display of force was enough to end the revolt against the Medici. The reformers were sent into exile, with their supporters bullied into silence. Pitti, because of his assistance against the Party on the Hill, was forgiven by the Medici. Acciaiuoli and Neromi, along with Niccolo Soderini, a distinguished noblemen who joined the Party on the Hill shortly after its formation and was subsequently exiled, tried one last time to seize power with the help of the Venetians in 1467. Piero quickly responded by calling upon Florence’s allies, Milan and Naples, and in a show of force, ended their plans and brought about an uneasy peace.
Given this political environment, it was important that, as the next in line to lead the Medici family, Lorenzo be raised to be a politician. During his early years of study, his family’s faithful servant, priest Gentile Becchi tutored him. Later, his father assigned him a new tutor, Cristoforo Landino, the translator of Aristotle and well known commentator of the works of Dante Alighieri and Marsilio Ficino. Piero was determined that his son have the best tutors to better prepare him to take over as the head of the Medici household. To prepare him for his future responsibilities Lorenzo was also sent on diplomatic missions. Though a significant responsibility, he was given diplomatic duties at a very young age. When Lorenzo was five, he was dressed in French attire and sent to congratulate the visiting French prince, Jean d’Anjou, who had just been knighted by the city’s Lord Priors. At ten Lorenzo and his younger brother Giuliano recited verse and prose for Sforza prince, Galeazzo Maria in the Medici palace’s chapel in celebration of the prince’s first visit to Florence. At the age of fourteen Lorenzo was sent on diplomatic missions to Pistoria, Lucca and Pisa. At sixteen, as an official emissary to a princely court, he and Guglielmo de’ Pazzi, accompanied thirteen-year-old prince Federigo, son of the King of Naples, to collect Ippolita Sforza, daughter of the Duke of Milan, who was to be married by proxy to his elder brother, Alfonso of Calabria. By 1464, with his grandfather, Cosimo dead and Piero’s health worsening Lorenzo began to take over his father’s diplomatic duties. In 1466, he traveled to Rome to congratulate Pope Paul II on his accession, and to discuss the contract for the alum mines at Tolfa. During this trip, Lorenzo received news that the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, a key Medici ally, had died. On behalf of the family, he traveled to Milan to meet with the new Duke, Galeazzo Maria Sforza to secure his military support. Though Lorenzo believed he was capable of taking over for his father, his political ambitions were kept in check by his father as long as Piero was alive.
At the age of nineteen, it was decided that Lorenzo would marry. Lorenzo chose Clarice Orsini, the daughter of Jacopo Orsini, Lord of Monterotono and Bracciano, for political reasons. Not only was she not of a Florentine family, and thus avoiding angering competing families in Florence, but her family, the Orsini, were soldiers and ecclesiastics, members of the Church, by profession for generations, with large land holdings in Naples and Rome. This meant that, soldiers and money could be raised quickly if needed. Clarice might not have been the most attractive or intelligent bride, but Lorenzo understood the political benefits of a union with her. Though it was not uncommon for nobility, Lorenzo was not present at his own wedding ceremony. It was understood that the marriage union was a contract, and that family members and close friends could replace of the groom if he was unable to attend. With his health failing, Piero couldn’t afford to let Lorenzo go to Rome for the wedding, and instead sent fifty distinguished citizens, including Giuliano, his cousin Pierfrancesco de’ Medici, brothers-in-law Bernado Ruccellai and Guglielmo de’ Pazzi and Gentile Becchi. Despite the apparent coldness between Lorenzo and his bride-to-be, that did not stop him and his father from throwing an enormous, three-day celebration to maximize the propaganda benefit. To further emphasize the union between the Medici and Orsini families, tapestries of both the Medici and Orsini family crests adorned the Medici palace in Via Larga, and a live olive tree was hoisted into the palace through a second-story window . In Renaissance Italy, iconography was important, and this was a message to the public that, not only were the two families now bound together through marriage, but their union would be a fruitful one.
Only two days after Lorenzo’s marriage, his father died. Lorenzo was forced to put aside his youthful desires for the good of the Medici family. As he wrote in his journal,
The second day after [my father’s] death, although, I, Lorenzo, was very young, being twenty years of age, the principal men of the city and of the State came to us in our house to condole with us on our loss and to encourage me to take charge of the city and of the State, as my grandfather and my father had done. This I did, though on account of my youth and the great responsibility and perils arising therefrom, with great reluctance, solely for the safety of our friends and of our possessions. For it is ill living in Florence for the rich unless they rule the state. Till now we have succeeded with honor and renown, which I attribute not to prudence but to the grace of God and the good conduct of my predecessors.
This journal entry paints a picture of Lorenzo as a reluctant ruler. This is more fiction than fact. If Lorenzo was reluctant to take over as head of the Medici family, this feeling did not last long. He was raised to be a political leader and wasted no time in establishing a power base. Almost immediately after his father’s death, Lorenzo sent messages to the Medici allies in Milan asking for assurances they would support him when he assumed his father’s duties. This was also to prevent Florentine exiles in Milan from trying to return and seize power from Lorenzo. The new ruler of Florence also attempted to control the election of the Lord Priors, but failed. The following year, however, he was able to elect Priors favourable to his rule. Through successive favourable groups of Priors, which were most likely the result of vote-rigging, Lorenzo was able to gain further control of the mechanisms of government to the point that, in 1471, through Medicean purse-fixers, he could practically appoint future Priors himself. Lorenzo’s political skills had given him nearly complete control of the Florentine government very early in his rule.
Like his grandfather, Cosimo, Lorenzo had a passion for the arts. Lorenzo’s nickname, il Magnifico (the Magnificent) refers to his artistic patronage. Also, like his mother, Lucrezia Tornabuoni, he was a respected poet. Lorenzo devoted much of his free time to artistic patronage and poetry, using it as an escape from the pressures of public life. Nonetheless, this does not mean he did not using his passion for the arts for political advantage. During Lorenzo’s rule, Florence became the center of the golden age of the Renaissance, and historical study of this period, as Melissa Mariam Bullard noted in Heroes and their Workshops: Medici Patronage and the Problem of Shared Agency, has been clouded by long perpetuated myths of Lorenzo’s patronage. Lorenzo did nothing to dispel these myths. In fact, he encouraged them by frequently referring to his family’s patronage. Seven years after his grandfather’s death, Lorenzo stated that his family had spent 600,000 florins for public purposes since 1434, and that this expenditure “casts a brilliant light upon our condition in the city.” For this reason a lot of the artwork created during this time was falsely attributed to his patronage. Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera, although reputed to be a piece commissioned by Lorenzo, was in fact commissioned by his younger cousin, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco. Despite misinformation regarding his artistic patronage, Lorenzo spent much of his private wealth for the benefit of Florentine citizens, as noted by Niccolo Machiavelli in his History of Florence: Lorenzo de’ Medici,
“In peaceful times he often entertained the people with various festivities, such as jousts, feats of arms, and representations of triumphs of olden times. He aimed to maintain abundance in the city, to keep the people united and the nobility honoured.”
These festivals helped earn Lorenzo respect from Florentine citizens, as well as nobility throughout Europe, which in turn helped strengthen his political position in Florence.
Like his father and grandfather before him, Lorenzo took power with the full realization that his life was in danger. The Medici had become a politically powerful family, which meant that they had politically powerful enemies. Among them were the Pazzi, a rival banking family that were bitter enemies of the Medici since Lorenzo’s grandfather, Cosimo, ruled Florence. Despite the animosity between the two families, Lorenzo was actually related by marriage to the Pazzi family. His grandfather had arranged a marriage between Lorenzo’s sister, Bianca Maria de’ Medici, and Guglielmo de’ Pazzi in an attempt to unite the two families and put an end to their political rivalry. This attitude towards the Pazzi changed when Lorenzo took power. After numerous attempts to assert their political dominance over the Medici, in 1475, Lorenzo made it publicly known that the Pazzi’s political power came from their ties to the Medici. Also he took steps to restrict their roles within government. This ruthlessness on Lorenzo’s part was not limited to his dealings with the Pazzi. However, being related to the Medici by marriage, they took deep offensive. This animosity between families quickly boiled over and a plot was hatched to end Medici rule in Florence.
In order to better understand what followed, it is important to examine ‘The Pazzi Conspiracy’. This was not the first time Lorenzo’s rule over Florence was challenged. From the time he took power, it was made clear to him that there were those in Florence who would not accept his rule. The ‘Pazzi Conspiracy’, however, was not a collection of political elite protesting Lorenzo’s rule. It was a plot organized by some of the most powerful nobles and political leaders in Renaissance Italy. The main conspirators were Girolamo Riario, Francesco de’ Pazzi and Francesco Salviati, but according to the testimony of Giovan Battista, the Count of Montesecco, Pope Sixtus IV, the King of Naples, Ferdinand I and the Duke of Urbino, Federico III da Montefeltro, were also involved. The reliability of this confession has been questioned, given that Battista was likely tortured and threatened with execution. however, those named were enemies of the Medici who would stand to gain from Lorenzo and Giuliano’s death. As noted above, Lorenzo had publicly humiliated the Pazzi and prevented them from achieving higher office. With his family’s honour tarnished, and his own ambitions thwarted, Francesco de’ Pazzi wanted revenge. Girolamo’s state of Romagna was under threat from being squeezed between Florence and Milan as the former’s territories grew. To him, the assassination of Lorenzo and Giuliano seemed to be the only way to save it. Francesco Salviati, according to Niccolo Valori’s Life of Lorenzo Il Magnifico, blamed Lorenzo for denying him the archbishopric of Pisa. With Salviati and Girolamo’s political connections in the papacy and Francesco de’ Pazzi’s insider knowledge of Florentine government and personal access to the Medici brothers, the three men began planning the assassination.
By April 26, 1478, the fifth Sunday after the celebration of Easter, Florence was a powder keg ready to explode. Unknown to anyone but the conspirators, scores of secretly armed men were preparing to kill Lorenzo and his brother Giuliano, and overthrow the Medici controlled government. To help ensure this, a papal mercenary, the Count of Montesecco, arrived that morning in Florence with thirty mounted crossbowmen and fifty foot soldiers, under the false pretence that they had traveled from Imola to escort Pope Sixtus’ nephew, the Cardinal of San Giorgio, back to Rome. This was the third attempt by these conspirators to assassinate Lorenzo. They had planned to kill him in Rome, expecting that he would travel there for Easter to help ease tensions between himself and Pope Sixtus IV, but fearing an attempt on his life, Lorenzo decided not to travel to the Holy City. The conspirators had also planned to assassinate both Lorenzo and Giuliano at a luncheon banquet for the Pope’s nephew at La Loggia, the main Pazzi villa at Montughi, on April 19, but when Giuliano, due to illnees, failed to attend, it was called off. Both Medici heirs had to be killed to ensure an end to Medici rule. If one survived, the Medici family and its allies would quickly close ranks around him, preventing another assassination attempt. Considering the risks of failure, the conspirators were careful in picking the time and place for the third and final attempt on Lorenzo and Giuliano’s lives.
This plan was to take out both Lorenzo and Giuliano at a luncheon banquet at the Medici palace in Florence after Sunday services. The conspirators sent word to Lorenzo through a messenger that before leaving Florence, the Cardinal of San Giorgio would like to see his family’s collection of art. Being the master politician he was, and seeing it as a chance to better relations with Pope Sixtus IV by indulging his nephew, Lorenzo accepted . Ambassadors from Naples, Milan and Ferrara would also be there, including the city’s most honoured knights, allowing the conspirators the opportunity to wipe out not just the Lorenzo and Giuliano, but their political allies. The plan fell apart, however, when the Cardinal went straight to the Medici palace. After being informed, Lorenzo, went to the palace and asked that Sunday mass be delayed. With the Cardinal given the tour of the Medici art collection before mass, the conspirators would be hard pressed to explain the presence of their forces at the luncheon banquet. Even worse, the conspirators learned that Giuliano would not be present at the luncheon. With news of an additional company of crossbowmen approaching the city to support the forces already in Florence, the conspirators knew if these soldiers arrived before the assassination, their plot against the Medici would be discovered. All of this forced them to make their move in Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore during mass. This was far from ideal as members of the Pazzi and Salviati families would be surrounded by the Medici’s family and friends.
The attack was swift. Witnesses claimed Bernardo Bandidni Baroncelli, an ally of the Pazzi family, struck first. Giuliano’s chest was punctured and as he tried to stagger away, he was assaulted by Francesco de’ Pazzi, who stabbed him multiple times with his dagger. Moments later, two priests carrying concealed weapons, lunged at Lorenzo. Grabbing him by the shoulder, they stuck, but only managed to slightly wound Lorenzo’s neck . Drawing his short sword, Lorenzo fought off his attackers and got behind family and friends for safety. Francesco Nori, a manager at one of the Medici banks and a close friend of Lorenzo, was mortally wounded by Baroncelli’s long knife when he came to help his friend. With Medici servants coming to the aid of Lorenzo, the Church became a battle ground. Terrified attendees rushed from the Church into the streets, crying and screaming, leading onlookers outside to believe that the Basilica’s dome was about to collapse. Guglielmo de’ Pazzi and Raffaele Sansoni Riario, the Cardinal of San Giorgio, upon witnessing the events, cried out in terror, professing their innocence. Raffaele, shaken by the bloodshed, ran to the high alter and began franticly praying until he was surrounded by cathedral canons and taken to safety. It was in this panic and confusion that the conspirators, though injured, managed to get away. At the same time, Lorenzo and his allies quickly rushed to the north sacristy and barred the door.
After the attempt to assassinate Lorenzo failed, the plan quickly fell apart. Francesco Salviati was supposed to kill the magistrates and take over the Palazzo Vecchio, the seigniorial palace, but his hesitation alarmed Jacopo Petrucci, the Gonfaloniere of Justice (the magistrate in charge of internal security forces and maintaining public), who called the guards. Both Salviati and another conspirator, Giacopo Poggio, were taken into custody. Giacopo de’ Pazzi tried to rally the citizenry against the Medici, but Petrucci and the guards barricaded the palace gates, keeping out the insurgents. Upon hearing of the death of Giuliano de’ Medici, Petrucci took Poggio to a palace window and hung him. When Francesco de’ Pazzi was discovered in his uncle’s house, nursing the wound he received during the assassination attempt, he was dragged naked to the seigniorial palace and hung with Salviati and other conspirators. Though Giacopo de’ Pazzi fled following the hanging of Francesco, he was quickly captured and returned to Florence where he was executed . Other members of the Pazzi family were also punished with imprisonment or exile with the exception of Guglielmo de’ Pazzi, Lorenzo’s brother-in-law, who was granted protection by the Medici. Lorenzo was also able to save Raffaele Sansoni Riario’s life, but angry Florentines brutally murdered his servants, believing they were involved in the conspiracy . Bernardo Bandidni Baroncelli was later captured by the Turks as he fled to Constantinople. Baroncelli was handed over to the Florentines and hanged for his crimes . In 1488, the last of the conspirators, Count Girolamo Riario, was slashed to death in the government palace. His body was later stripped and thrown into Forli’s central square where it was gaped at and brutalized by the city’s citizenry. Though he hadn’t orchestrated this assassination, Lorenzo was pleased to hear of Riario’s demise. He had directed three previous attempts on the Riario life , but it was a political enemy to the Count’s government who finally managed to succeed where Lorenzo had failed.
It was after ‘the Pazzi Conspiracy’ that nearly took his life, and ended the life of his brother, Giuliano, that’s Lorenzo and his rule of Florence took a noticeably dark turn. Through his supporters, he helped created an atmosphere of fear and hatred within Florence to re-establish control. Those connected to the conspirators were rooted out and dealt with harshly. As Medici supporters loudly proclaimed their loyalty to Lorenzo, those who resented Florence’s ruling family were bullied into silence . Lorenzo’s hadn’t simply rallied the people of Florence to him, but also his political allies outside the city-state. In a letter to the Lords of Milan immediately after the assassination attempt, Lorenzo humbly asked by their military assistance.
My Most Illustrious Lord: My Brother Giuliano has just been killed and my government is in the greatest danger. Now is the time, my lords, to help you servant Lorenzo. Send all the troops you can with all speed, so that they may be the shield and safety of my state, just as they have always been. Your servitor Lorenzo de’ Medici.
Neither the Lords of Milan, nor the people of Florence had to wait long to learn who else was involved in the conspiracy. Three months after his interrogation, Giovan Battista’s testimony was made public . It was no surprise to learn that the Duke of Urbino and the King of Naples were involved. Their ties to the Pazzi and Salviati families were well known. It was the news of the involvement of Girolamo Riario and Pope Sixtus IV that surprised and angered the people of Florence. Lorenzo had not been on good terms with Sixtus since he refused to allow the Medici bank to loan the Pope forty-thousand ducas to purchase the province of Imola for Girolamo. Following this incident, Sixtus stripped the Medici of its special banking status with the papacy, giving it to the Pazzi who had lent the Pope the money for this purchase. In response to Lorenzo making this information public the Pope called upon his allies, Naples, formerly a Florentine ally, Urbino and Ferrara, and marched towards Florence. Without a strong enough military force to stand against the approaching armies, Lorenzo was forced to rely on diplomacy. It took two years, as well as the assistance France, Hungary and Naples, who’s King was convinced by Lorenzo to side with Florence against Rome, but an uneasy truce was reached.
Relations between the papacy and Lorenzo soured following the ‘Pazzi Conspiracy’. Though they had put aside their difference to unite Italy against the invading Turks in 1481, both men distrusted each other. Sixtus IV’s death gave Lorenzo a chance to re-establish friendly relations with the Vatican. As soon as Pope Innocent VIII was elected, Lorenzo sent out agents to learn about the new pontiff’s likes, and then went about sending him gifts. This most consisted of casks of the pope’s favourite wine and ortolans, a small bird which was cooked and eaten whole. It was an Italian delicacy that the pope enjoyed very much. These gestures, however, weren’t enough for Lorenzo. To help ensure peace between the Vatican and Florence, Lorenzo supported the marriage of his daughter Maria Maddalena Romola de’ Medici to the pope’s son, Franceschetto Cybo. This new alliance would be tested in 1485 as Innocent demanded the people of Naples pay taxes to Rome. With its population ready to revolt against King Ferrante, Innocent, hoping to use the civil strife to his advantage, declared war on Naples. Hostility continued until1486, when Lorenzo was able to broker a peace between Naples and Rome.
From 1486, Lorenzo helped maintain an uneasy peace between the Italian city-states. This peace, as well as stability within Florence, finally ended following his death in 1492. Piero di Lorenzo de’ Medici, Lorenzo’s son and heir, was only able to maintain power for a little less than three years before he was forced to flee . The collapse of Medici rule shows just how skilled a politician Lorenzo was. As this essay makes clear, more than an enlightened patron, or tyrannical ruler, Lorenzo was first a politician. Though born to a noble family, his life was never easy. Lorenzo was groomed from an early age to succeed his father, but he was forced to assume the role as head of the House of the Medici when he was very young. This meant that he had to deal not only with problems of his own making, but also ones that had existed prior to his birth, like the Medici’s feud with the Pazzi, and Florence’s conflicts with Urbino and Ferrara. Unlike other rulers of his time, Lorenzo did not simply accept the arrogant notion that his citizens would be loyal. By trumpeting, if not exaggerating his family’s patronage, as well as entertaining Florentine citizens with festivals, Lorenzo gained the support of his people, and the respect of nobility throughout Europe. Their support would be crucial to maintaining control within Florence following the ‘Pazzi Conspiracy’. Florentines came to the aid of their beloved ruler, not only rejecting calls to oust him, but rooting out those who were disloyal to the Medici. When Naples sided with Rome against Florence following this assassination attempt, Lorenzo turned to diplomacy and not only brought powerful allies like France and Hungary to his side, but convinced Ferdinand I, the King of Naples, to abandon Pope Sixtus IV and side with him. More than anything else, Lorenzo De’ Medici was a skilful politician, perhaps the greatest of his time.
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