Lorenzo di Piero de Medici bigraphy, stories - A Florentine politician, the head of the Florentine republic at the Renaissance period

Lorenzo di Piero de Medici : biography

01 January 1449 - 09 April 1492


Lorenzo de Medici was a son of Piero de Medici and Lucrezia Tornabuoni. He became the head of the republic at the age of twenty years after the death of his father in 1469. However, the following spring he had to fight with armed opposition. Bernardo Nardi, who was outcasted by Lorenzo’s father invaded the republic, leading an armed detachment and took Prato. He was going to move to Florence. Fortunately to Lorenzo, the local guard of Prato, with the head of the city chief, Chezare Petrucci, captured Nardi and his companions. Following the chief’s order, the leaders of the riot were hanged on the city square of Prato.


In 1478 Lorenzo de Medici revealed the conspiracy, saving his brother Juliano’s life. The leader of the conspiracy was Francesco Pacci, who was supported by Pope Sixtus IV and the archbishop of Pisa. Having got furious, the Pope confiscated all the property of Medici, he could approach. The Pope closed concessions in Medici’s bank in Rome and excommunicated Lorenzo and all the officials of Florence from church. Later he excommunicated all Florence. Finally, the Pope negotiated with Neapolitan ruler Ferdinand I, whose son, Alfonso, attacked Florence. The war lasted for two years but there were no big battles. Forces of the Pope and the king of Neapolitan could bring a few victories, because Florentine had no outer support. Neither Venetian, nor Milanese came to help Florence. So, Lorenzo started negotiations with the Neapolitan king. Ferdinand received him highly. They made peace and Florence maintained its territories. War with the Pope lasted for some more time, until Sixtus IV discovered that it was more important for Italian to push away Turkish, who obtained Otranto by that time. Moreover, rumours reached the Pope and he found out that Lorenzo was going to make alliance with the French king, that was why Sixtus received Florentine ambassadors with welcome. On 3 December 1480 they made peace and Florence had to prepare fifteen galleys for the war with Turkish.

After that Lorenzo’s popularity increased and he was able to weaken the republic system of government and bring in the wished changes in the government system. After those changes, all the important business was charged to the council of seventeen citizens, who supported Lorenzo’s political course. Particularly, the council appointed all posts, managed finances and, naturally, satisfied all Lorenzo’s demands, giving him all the money of the republic, as he needed it constantly, leading a luxurious lifestyle. The government arrearage increased and they often had to carry out operations of rather ugly nature. The percent of the government arrearage was decreased by force and money was taken away from charitable organizations. In the end the government treasury became a kind of Lorenzo’s property. And Florentine republic became far from actual republic government, it most almost a monarchy, as Lorenzo has all the abilities of a sovereign monarch.

The was carried out a law, according to which any attempt to bring harm to Lorenzo and his prosperity was considered to be an outrage against the majesty and was punished in a cruel way. It should be mentioned that being honest enough, Lorenzo used his unlimited power mostly for the benefit and glory of the republic.

Prosperity of culture and arts

Lorenzo used public money in order to obtain support of the middle class and promoted interest to philosophy, literature, sculpture and painting. The academy, which was supported by Lorenzo had such members as Ficini, Pico della Mirandila and Policiano. It became the centre, spreading Neoplatonism all over Europe. Sandro Botticelli and Michelangelo Buonarroti created their masterpieces at the Florentine court. In order to keep balance among Italian cities-governments, Lorenzo did everthing he could do to show the positive example of Florentine Renaissance to Rome, Venice, Milan and Naples. The period of Lorenzo’s ruling remained of the times of Pericles and August, as Florence achieved its cultural and economic flourishing. Thanks to Lorenzo’s intellect and luck in military actions, the republic remained safe. Feuds, which brought suffer to many cities of Middle Italy, showed Florentine that they had to value the calmness, brought by Lorenzo de Medici.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine