Death in Florence the Medici, Strathern, Paul

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Contents

Cover About the BookAlso by Paul Strathern List of IllustrationsMaps The Medici Family TreeLeading Dramatis Personae and Main Factions DedicationTitle Page Prologue: ‘The needle of the Italian compass’Epigraph 1 A Prince in All but Name 2 ‘Blind wickedness’ 3 Lorenzo’s Florence 4 Securing the Medici Dynasty 5 Pico’s Challenge 6 The Return of Savonarola 7 Cat and Mouse 8 The End of an Era 9 Noah’s Ark 10 A Bid for Independence 11 ‘Italy faced hard times … beneath stars hostile to her good’12 ‘I will destroy all flesh’ 13 Humiliation 14 A New Government 15 The Voices of Florence 16 ‘A bolt from the blue’ 17 The Bonfire of the Vanities 18 ‘On suspicion of heresy’ 19 Open Defiance 20 The Tables Are Turned 21 Ordeal by Fire 22 The Siege of San Marco 23 Trial and Torture 24 Judgement 25 Hanged and Burned AftermathNotes BibliographyIndex Picture SectionAcknowledgements Copyright

About the Book

  As generous patrons to the likes of Botticelli and Michelangelo, the ruling Medici embodied theprogressive humanist spirit of the age, and in Lorenzo the Magnificent they possessed a diplomat capable of guarding the militarily weak city in a climate of constantly shifting allegiances between themajor Italian powers. The battle which this provoked would be a fight to the death, aseries of sensational events – invasions, trials by fire, the ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’, terrible executions and mysterious deaths – featuring a cast of the most important and charismatic Renaissancefigures.

List of Illustrations

  Taking the Book of Revelation as his theme, he delivered a prophetic sermon during which ‘he spoke with a voice of thunder; reproving the people for their sins,denouncing the whole of Italy, and threatening all with the terrors of God’s wrath’.17 In the course of his sermon, he referred to the four and twenty elders of the Apocalypse seated around the throne of God, whom the Bible described as clothed in white raiment with gold crowns upon their heads. Some time later they approached Florence, with the dome and towers of the city visible beyond the walls, and the traveller accompanied him right up tothe Porta San Gallo, where he took his leave of Savonarola and bade him: ‘Go and do the task which20 God has assigned to you in Florence.’ Savonarola never discovered the name of his Good Samaritan, but he would remember his charity and his benediction for the rest of his life.

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