The Rise of Florence/Pre-Medici

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The Rise of Florence/Pre-Medici

        • Costly, continuous wars enlarged the territory of the city-state by conquering Arezzo, Cortona, Prate, Pistoia and Pisa.

        • Pisa’s ports made Florence a sea power and major economic power of the West

        • Banking was a major source of power and income, and the Florentine gold coin, the florin was so reliable that it was the standard coinage in Europe

        • Much of Florence's wealth was dependent on the manufacture or trade of cloth, primarily wool.

      • The city was controlled by Albizzi and Pazzi families until 1438-

        • The Albizzi family had controlled the republican government for two generations, but they led a lot of costly wars, so the people switched allegiances to the Medici.

        • The Pazzi family were wealthy bankers that were in a semi-friendly competition with the Medici family. Eventually, they tried to depose the Medicis, failed, and their lineage ended.

        • Churches, public buildings, and houses constructed with Romanesque or Gothic architecture, reminicant of northern Italian influence.

The Palazzo Davanzati is a good example of the transition from the

medieval tower house to the Renaissance palace.

        • Most of the architecture tried to combine utilitarian and aesthetic purposes, because these mercantile elite needed to rebuilt the city from disasters (a flood in the late 1300s) but they wanted to be impressive as well

        • The Albizzi family supported a lot of artists and cultural icons

The Fall of Florence/ Post-Medici

  • The Fall From Power

        • Girolamo Savonarola was a preacher who settled in Florence in 1489. He attacked the tyranny of the Medici family in his sermons, and when n 1494, Charles VIII of France invaded Italy, the Medici’s lost power, and Savonarola took control, putting Florence under extremely rigid control. Eventually, Savonarola’s follers turned on him, and he was killed. More on Savonarola:

    • Art and Science

      • At this point, most of the artistic products of Florence were in music, and the numerous academies of literature. The Accademia della Crusca compliled the Dictionary. History of the Accademia della Crusca:

      • When the Lorraine family took over Florence, they revived the town's economy, but they also turned Florence more provincial, so it didn’t participate in a thriving international cultural expansion. So Florence’s culture remain unchanged at staid for quite sometime.

        • Cardinal Giovanni de Medici (Pisaro’s uncle) regained control of Florence in 1512 for the lineage.

        • In 1569, Cosimo III became the “Grand Duke” of Tuscany, after taking over many of the surrounding areas. He ruled with a heavy hand, not very popular.His heirs were far weaker.

        • In 1737, Cosimo III dies, and both of his children Gian Gastone and Anna Maria Luisa die childless. The Medici line has died out, and Florence is inherited by the Lorraine Dynasty.

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