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Lorenzo de’ Medici was an Italian noble during the Italian renaissance. He was born in Florence in 1449. Lorenzo was considered the smartest of the

Lorenzo de' Medici as painted by Giorgio Vasari

five siblings, and was groomed from a young age to become a politician. Even though he was not directly part of the city councils, he still ran them by methods like bribes and coercion, and is considered to have been the de- facto ruler of Florence after his father’s death in1469.

The Medici family, in addition to have had control over Florence for the last 3 generations, was successful bankers, but during Lorenzo’s reign the family wealth gradually declined.

Lorenzo was an active community member, and participated in jousting, hunting and horse breading for races. He was also a patron of the arts, employing artists such as Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, and he expanded on the library that his grandfather Cosimo the elder originally started.

In 1475 Lorenzo had a son, Giovanni de’ Medici, who later became Pope Leo X.

Guiliano de' Medici as portaied by Sandro Botticelli

Lorenzo was more successful in diplomacy then banking. In 1478 Lorenzo and his brother Guiliano was targeted in the Pazzi conspiracy. During high mass a group of people tried to assassinate both the brothers, and Guiliano was stabbed 19 times. Lorenzo, who was also stabbed, managed to get away with his life.

In the aftermath of the attempted assassination, many of those complicit were murdered, amongst them the archbishop of Pisa. Pope Sixtus IV who supported the conspiracy in retribution enlisted the papal army to invade Florence, but Lorenzo stopped it in person by traveling down to Naples, where he was first held captive, and negotiating a deal, thereby stopping the invasion.

Lorenzo de’ Medici, who was also called Lorenzo de’ Magnificent died in 1492 at the age of 43, and was buried in the same church as his brother.

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