Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance - Netflix

Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance tells the story of a violent, dramatic and compelling age; a critical turning point in Western history. Travel back in time to see the real human stories behind the European Renaissance, and the family that bankrolled it.

Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 56 minutes

Premier: 2004-01-01

Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance - House of Medici - Netflix

The House of Medici ( MED-i-chee; Italian pronunciation: [ˈmɛːditʃi]) was an Italian banking family and political dynasty that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of Tuscany and prospered gradually until it was able to fund the Medici Bank. This bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century, and it facilitated the Medicis' rise to political power in Florence, although they officially remained citizens rather than monarchs until the 16th century. The Medici produced three Popes of the Catholic Church—Pope Leo X (1513–1521), Pope Clement VII (1523–1534), and Pope Leo XI (1605)—and two queens regent of France—Catherine de' Medici (1547–1559) and Marie de' Medici (1600–1610). In 1532, the family acquired the hereditary title Duke of Florence. In 1569, the duchy was elevated to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany after territorial expansion. The Medicis ruled the Grand Duchy from its inception until 1737, with the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici. The grand duchy witnessed degrees of economic growth under the early grand dukes but was bankrupt by the time of Cosimo III de' Medici (r. 1670-1723). The Medicis' wealth and influence was initially derived from the textile trade guided by the wool guild of Florence, the Arte della Lana. Like other families ruling in Italian signorie, the Medicis dominated their city's government, were able to bring Florence under their family's power, and created an environment in which art and humanism flourished. They and other families of Italy inspired the Italian Renaissance, such as the Visconti and Sforza in Milan, the Este in Ferrara, and the Gonzaga in Mantua. The Medici Bank, from when it was created in 1397 to its fall in 1494, was one of the most prosperous and respected institutions in Europe, and the Medici family was considered the wealthiest in Europe for a time. From this base, they acquired political power initially in Florence and later in wider Italy and Europe. They were among the earliest businesses to use the general ledger system of accounting through the development of the double-entry bookkeeping system for tracking credits and debits.

Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance - 17th century - Netflix

Ferdinando, although no longer a cardinal, exercised much influence at successive conclaves. In 1605, Ferdinando succeeded in getting his candidate, Alessandro de' Medici, elected Pope Leo XI. He died the same month, but his successor, Pope Paul V, was also pro-Medici. Ferdinando's pro-papal foreign policy, however, had drawbacks. Tuscany was overrun with religious orders, not all of whom were obliged to pay taxes. Ferdinando died in 1609, leaving an affluent realm; his inaction in international affairs, however, would have long-reaching consequences down the line. In France, Marie de' Medici was acting as regent for her son, Louis XIII. Louis repudiated her pro-Habsburg policy in 1617. She lived the rest of her life deprived of any political influence. Ferdinando's successor, Cosimo II, reigned for less than 12 years. He married Maria Maddalena of Austria, with whom he had his eight children, including Margherita de' Medici, Ferdinando II de' Medici, and an Anna de' Medici. He is most remembered as the patron of astronomer Galileo Galilei, whose 1610 treatise, Sidereus Nuncius, was dedicated to him. Cosimo died of consumption (tuberculosis) in 1621. Cosimo's elder son, Ferdinando, was not yet of legal maturity to succeed him, thus Maria Maddalena and his grandmother, Christina of Lorraine, acted as regents. Their collective regency is known as the Turtici. Maria Maddelana's temperament was analogous to Christina's, and together they aligned Tuscany with the papacy, re-doubled the Tuscan clergy, and allowed the heresy trial of Galileo Galilei to occur. Upon the death of the last Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria II), instead of claiming the duchy for Ferdinando, who was married to the Duke of Urbino's granddaughter and heiress, Vittoria della Rovere, they permitted it to be annexed by Pope Urban VIII. In 1626, they banned any Tuscan subject from being educated outside the Grand Duchy, a law later overturned, but resurrected by Maria Maddalena's grandson, Cosimo III. Harold Acton, an Anglo-Italian historian, ascribed the decline of Tuscany to the Turtici regency. Grand Duke Ferdinado was obsessed with new technology, and had a variety of hygrometers, barometers, thermometers, and telescopes installed in the Palazzo Pitti. In 1657, Leopoldo de' Medici, the Grand Duke’s youngest brother, established the Accademia del Cimento, organized to attract scientists to Florence from all over Tuscany for mutual study. Tuscany participated in the Wars of Castro (the last time Medicean Tuscany proper was involved in a conflict) and inflicted a defeat on the forces of Pope Urban VIII in 1643. The war effort was costly and the treasury so empty because of it that when the Castro mercenaries were paid for, the state could no longer afford to pay interest on government bonds, with the result that the interest rate was lowered by 0.75%. At that time, the economy was so decrepit that barter trade became prevalent in rural market places. Ferdinando died on 23 May 1670 afflicted by apoplexy and dropsy. He was interred in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, the Medici's necropolis. At the time of his death, the population of the grand duchy was 730,594; the streets were lined with grass and the buildings on the verge of collapse in Pisa. Ferdinando's marriage to Vittoria della Rovere produced two children: Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Francesco Maria de' Medici, Duke of Rovere and Montefeltro. Upon Vittoria's death in 1694, her allodial possessions, the Duchies of Rovere and Montefeltro, passed to her younger son.

Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance - References - Netflix