Type: Talk Show
Runtime: 30 minutes
Ferdinando Show - House of Medici - Netflix
The House of Medici ( MED-i-chee; Italian pronunciation: [ˈmɛːditʃi]) was an Italian banking family and political dynasty that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of Tuscany and prospered gradually until it was able to fund the Medici Bank. This bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century, and it facilitated the Medicis' rise to political power in Florence, although they officially remained citizens rather than monarchs until the 16th century. The Medici produced three Popes of the Catholic Church—Pope Leo X (1513–1521), Pope Clement VII (1523–1534), and Pope Leo XI (1605)—and two queens regent of France—Catherine de' Medici (1547–1559) and Marie de' Medici (1600–1610). In 1532, the family acquired the hereditary title Duke of Florence. In 1569, the duchy was elevated to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany after territorial expansion. The Medicis ruled the Grand Duchy from its inception until 1737, with the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici. The grand duchy witnessed degrees of economic growth under the early grand dukes but was bankrupt by the time of Cosimo III de' Medici (r. 1670-1723). The Medicis' wealth and influence was initially derived from the textile trade guided by the wool guild of Florence, the Arte della Lana. Like other families ruling in Italian signorie, the Medicis dominated their city's government, were able to bring Florence under their family's power, and created an environment in which art and humanism flourished. They and other families of Italy inspired the Italian Renaissance, such as the Visconti and Sforza in Milan, the Este in Ferrara, and the Gonzaga in Mantua. The Medici Bank, from when it was created in 1397 to its fall in 1494, was one of the most prosperous and respected institutions in Europe, and the Medici family was considered the wealthiest in Europe for a time. From this base, they acquired political power initially in Florence and later in wider Italy and Europe. They were among the earliest businesses to use the general ledger system of accounting through the development of the double-entry bookkeeping system for tracking credits and debits.
Ferdinando Show - Rise to power - Netflix
For most of the 13th century, the leading banking center in Italy was Siena. But in 1298, one of the leading banking families of Europe, the Bonsignoris, went bankrupt, and the city of Siena lost its status as the banking center of Italy to Florence. Until the late 14th century, prior to the Medici, the leading family of Florence was the House of Albizzi. In 1293, the Ordinances of Justice were enacted; effectively, they became the constitution of the Republic of Florence throughout the Italian Renaissance. The city's numerous luxurious palazzi were becoming surrounded by townhouses built by the prospering merchant class. The main challengers to the Albizzi family were the Medicis, first under Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, later under his son Cosimo di Giovanni de' Medici and great-grandson, Lorenzo de' Medici. The Medici controlled the Medici Bank—then Europe's largest bank—and an array of other enterprises in Florence and elsewhere. In 1433, the Albizzi managed to have Cosimo exiled. The next year, however, a pro-Medici Signoria (civic government) led by Tommaso Soderini, Stoldo Altoviti and Lucca Pitti was elected and Cosimo returned. The Medici became the city's leading family, a position they would hold for the next three centuries. Florence remained a republic until 1537, traditionally marking the end of the High Renaissance in Florence, but the instruments of republican government were firmly under the control of the Medici and their allies, save during intervals after 1494 and 1527. Cosimo and Lorenzo rarely held official posts but were the unquestioned leaders. The Medici family was connected to most other elite families of the time through marriages of convenience, partnerships, or employment, so the family had a central position in the social network: several families had systematic access to the rest of the elite families only through the Medici, perhaps similar to banking relationships. Some examples of these families include the Bardi, Altoviti, Ridolfi, Cavalcanti and the Tornabuoni. This has been suggested as a reason for the rise of the Medici family. Members of the family rose to some prominence in the early 14th century in the wool trade, especially with France and Spain. Despite the presence of some Medici in the city's government institutions, they were still far less notable than other outstanding families such as the Albizzi or the Strozzi. One Salvestro de' Medici was speaker of the woolmakers' guild during the Ciompi revolt of 1378-82, and one Antonio de' Medici was exiled from Florence in 1396. Involvement in another plot in 1400 caused all branches of the family to be banned from Florentine politics for twenty years, with the exception of two.