Lorenzo de' Medici

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Lorenzo de' Medici (January 1, 1449 – April 9, 1492) was an Italian statesman and de facto[1] ruler of the Florentine Republic during the Italian Renaissance. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent (Lorenzo il Magnifico) by contemporary Florentines, he was a diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets. His life coincided with the high point of the early Italian Renaissance; his death marked the end of the Golden Age of Florence. The fragile peace he helped maintain between the various Italian states collapsed with his death. Lorenzo de' Medici is buried in the Medici Chapel in Florence.

Contents

Childhood

Lorenzo's grandfather, Cosimo de' Medici, was the first member of the Medici family to combine running the Medici bank with leading the Republic. Cosimo, one of the wealthiest men in Europe, spent a very large portion of his fortune in government and philanthropy. He was a patron of the arts and funded public works. Lorenzo's father, Piero 'the Gouty' de' Medici, was also at the center of Florentine life, active as an art patron and collector. His mother Lucrezia Tornabuoni was an amateur poet and friend to figures like Luigi Pulci and Agnolo Poliziano.

Lorenzo was considered the brightest of the five children, tutored by a diplomat, Gentile Becchi. He participated in jousting, hawking, hunting, and horse breeding for the palio, a horse race in Siena. His own horse was named Morello di Vento.

Piero sent Lorenzo on many important diplomatic missions when he was still a youth. These included trips to Rome to meet with the pope and other important religious and political figures. Lorenzo however was a man whose only weakness was separating politics from the many young women who were interested in courting him.

Politics

Lorenzo, groomed for power assumed a leading role in the state upon the death of his father in 1469, when Lorenzo was twenty. Lorenzo had little success in running the bank, and its assets contracted seriously during the course of his lifetime.

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