Friday, November 2, 2012

The Medici's

I think it is sort of comical how the Medici family came to get their name. Apparently they were "medics" and helped bandage people up and fix their wounds. Because of this their family shield was in turn red and white, which stood for the blood and bandage. The red referred to blood, and the white referred to the white bandage they used to bandage up the people. They were essentially doctors for people, and later in their lives they continued to provide for their citizens as they did when they first came into being. Like doctors, as signoris of the Florence, they provided for their citizens in money, trade, and exports. Even though they were not literally doctors later in their history, they still acted as such for their beloved Florence.

4 comments:

wkuehne said...

I think the meanin of the Medici's name becomes more comical once Lorenzo the Magnificent starts openly killing people. Of course, the Medici's were targeted by a rival fmaily (the Borgia, if I'm not mistaken) because of their dominance in Florence, and because of a papal feud. The violence that erupts in Italy may be one reason that its' Renaisance starts to fizzle. I would go so far as to say that Florence's downfall was the impetus for Italy's downfall.

Grant Reggio said...

Will, you are certainly correct about the Borgia. They were not friends with the Medici at all. When Rodrigo Borgia became pope, he had a son, Cesare, who became cardinal in 1493, and essentially made the city of Rome off-limits to the Medici with his father.

Grant Reggio said...

In addition, however, The Borgia were not the only family who sought to undermine the Medici. You also had the very powerful Albizzi, who were the most powerful family in the city by 1427, and were far richer than the Medici. Though they too were patron s of the arts, the family was more interested in waging wars. Rinaldo Albizzi had tried to take the Palazzo Vellchio when he didn't get his way with Cosimo de Medici after his brother had formed an alliance with Cosimo. This act led to the banishment of the Albizzi.

Grant Reggio said...

Another family, the Pazzi, were actually on good terms with the Medici, enjoying commercial terms with them as wealthy bankers.There were even inter-marriages between the two families. However, Lorenzo de'Medici, aware of even the Pazzi ambition, kept every potential rival out of government office during the 1470s. When a relative of Pope Sixtus IV came to the Pazzi with a plan to take Medici land, the Pazzi found this rare chance of power too good to pass up. The sons of Jacopo di Pazzi led an ambitious plan against the Medici. Of course, this plan failed, only strengthening the warning that no one messed with Lorenzo de Medici.
This plan, as I've said, was audacious, and really, really stupid. In fact, coincidentally, the italian word, Pazzo, means hot-headed fool.