The Medici

26 Dec, 2013 940 History of Europe

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Medici family, who dominated Florence’s political and cultural life for three centuries. The House of Medici came to prominence in Italy in the fifteenth century as a result of the wealth they had built up through banking. With the rise of Cosimo de’ Medici, they became Florence’s most powerful and influential dynasty, effectively controlling the city’s government. Their patronage of the arts turned Florence into a leading centre of the Renaissance and the Medici Bank was one of the most successful institutions of its day. As well as producing four popes, members of the House of Medici married into various European royal families.

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  • Evelyn Welch 6 episodes
    Professor of Renaissance Studies at King's College, University of London
  • Robert Black No other episodes
    Professor of Renaissance History at the University of Leeds
  • Catherine Fletcher 4 episodes
    Lecturer in Public History at the University of Sheffield

Reading list

  • The History of Italy
    Francesco Guicciardini (trans. Sidney Alexander) (Princeton University Press, 1984) Google Books →
  • Florence and the Medici
    J. R. Hale (Phoenix Press, 2001) Google Books →
  • The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici
    Christopher Hibbert (Penguin, 1979) Google Books →
  • Florentine Histories
    Niccolo Machiavelli (trans. Laura F. Banfield and Harvey C. Mansfield Jr.) (Princeton University Press, 1990) Google Books →
  • April Blood: Florence and the Plot Against the Medici
    Lauro Martines (Pimlico, 2004) Google Books →
  • A History of Florence 1200-1575
    John M. Najemy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008) Google Books →
  • Art in Renaissance Italy
    Evelyn Welch (Oxford University Press, 2000) Google Books →

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Programme ID: b03m7z08

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Auto-category: 945.05 (Italian Renaissance)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1433, Cosimo de' Medici, one of Florence's wealthiest citizens, was staying in his country villa just to the north of the city.