Florence and the Medici Family

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10 Questions

Who created the sculpture 'David' as a symbol of resistance for Florence?

Michelangelo Buonarroti

Why was Leonardo da Vinci's study of human anatomy controversial in Florence?

It violated religious beliefs

Who strengthened the Medici family's power by appointing his cousin as Archbishop and Cardinal of Florence?

Giovanni de Medici

What controversial handbook did Machiavelli write while being imprisoned and exiled?

'The Prince'

How did the Medici family raise money after taking control of the Vatican?

Selling indulgences

What triggered a battle for the soul of Europe, leading to the Protestant Reformation?

Martin Luther's refusal to repent

Who dismissed Martin Luther's manifesto as the ramblings of an insignificant monk?

Pope Leo X

What did Pope Clement VII fear for, leading to his fleeing to Florence?

His life

What did the sack of Rome in 1527 result in?

Ravaging and destruction of the city

Who was commissioned by Pope Clement VII to create The Last Judgment fresco?


Study Notes

  • Florence, Italy: City of Renaissance and artistic revolution
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti, a sculptor, creates "David" for the city's town hall as a symbol of resistance
  • Medici family, once rulers of Florence, are exiled due to a civil war sparked by resentment of their wealth and power
  • Giovanni and Giulio de Medici, cousins and former heirs to the Medici dynasty, seek to regain control of Florence
  • Leonardo da Vinci, a contemporary artist, studies human anatomy using corpses from city hospitals, causing controversy
  • Artist competition: Leonardo and Michelangelo each decorate a wall of the Florence council chamber with frescoes of famous battles
  • The Medici cousins return to Florence with papal support and regain control, but face resistance from the people
  • Pope Julius II dies, and Cardinals elect Giovanni de Medici as his successor, Papa Leone X
  • Giovanni de Medici strengthens the Medici family's power by appointing his cousin, Giulio, as Archbishop and Cardinal of Florence
  • Machiavelli, a political advisor who once defended Florence against the Medici, is imprisoned and exiled after being accused of conspiracy
  • Machiavelli writes "The Prince," a handbook for aspiring dictators, separating ethics from politics
  • Cardinals conspire to assassinate Pope Leo X, but he is warned and the conspirators are killed
  • Medici family takes control of the Vatican, selling indulgences to raise money and infiltrating various spheres of power.- Martin Luther, a German monk, publicly criticized the Catholic Church for selling indulgences, which he believed only increased greed and avarice.
  • Luther's manifesto reached Pope Leo X, who dismissed it as the ramblings of an insignificant monk.
  • Leo X, a wealthy and powerful Pope, saw no reason to care about the complaints of a monk from the "land of the barbarians."
  • Luther's refusal to repent triggered a battle for the soul of Europe, leading to the Protestant Reformation and the division between Catholic and Protestant.
  • Pope Leo X died in 1521, leaving his cousin Giulia de Medici to deal with the crisis.
  • The sack of Rome in 1527 saw the city ravaged and destroyed, with an estimated 8,000 people killed and countless buildings damaged or destroyed.
  • Pope Clement VII, the new pope, feared for his life and fled to the safety of Florence.
  • The Medici family, who had supported the Pope, faced riots in Florence, culminating in the destruction of Michelangelo's David.
  • Catherine de Medici, the last legitimate heir to the Medici line, was threatened with being thrown into a soldier's brothel unless the Pope called off his troops.
  • Catherine was later married off to the son of the French King, bringing religious hate to France.
  • Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Clement VII to create a fresco, The Last Judgement, expressing the anxiety and oppression of the time.
  • The corrupt and disastrous reign of the Medici Popes ended in 1534 with the death of Giulio de Medici.
  • The Renaissance would continue to evolve beyond art and sculpture, changing man's understanding of the universe.

Explore the rise and fall of the Medici family and their influence on Florence during the Renaissance, including their conflicts with artists, the church, and the papacy.

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