Catherine de' Medici

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Medici, Catherine de':

see Catherine de' MediciCatherine de' Medici
, 1519–89, queen of France, daughter of Lorenzo de' Medici, duke of Urbino. She was married (1533) to the duc d'Orléans, later King Henry II.
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Catherine de' Medici

(dĕ mĕd`ĭchē, Ital. dā mĕ`dēchē), 1519–89, queen of France, daughter of Lorenzo de' Medici, duke of Urbino. She was married (1533) to the duc d'Orléans, later King Henry II. Neglected during the reign of her husband and that of her eldest son, Francis II, she became (1560) regent for her son Charles IXCharles IX,
1550–74, king of France. He succeeded (1560) his brother Francis II under the regency of his mother, Catherine de' Medici. She retained her influence throughout his reign.
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, who succeeded Francis. She remained Charles's adviser until his death (1574). Concerned primarily with preserving the power of the king in the religious conflicts of the time, with the aid of her chancellor Michel de L'HôpitalL'Hôpital or L'Hospital, Michel de
, c.1505–1573, chancellor of France under Catherine de' Medici.
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, she at first adopted a conciliatory policy toward the Huguenots, or French Protestants. The outbreak (1562) of the Wars of Religion (see Religion, Wars ofReligion, Wars of,
1562–98, series of civil wars in France, also known as the Huguenot Wars.

The immediate issue was the French Protestants' struggle for freedom of worship and the right of establishment (see Huguenots).
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), however, led her to an alliance with the Catholic party under François de Guise (see under GuiseGuise
, influential ducal family of France. The First Duke of Guise

The family was founded as a cadet branch of the ruling house of Lorraine by Claude de Lorraine, 1st duc de Guise, 1496–1550, who received the French fiefs of his father, René II, duke
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, family). After the defeat of royal troops by the Huguenot leader Gaspard de ColignyColigny, Gaspard de Châtillon, comte de
, 1519–72, French Protestant leader. A nephew of Anne, duc de Montmorency, he came to the French court at an early age.
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, Catherine agreed (1570) to the peace of St. Germain. Subsequently Coligny gained considerable influence over Charles IX. Fearing for her own power, and opposed to Coligny's schemes for expansion in the Low Countries which might lead to war with Spain, Catherine and Henri de Guise arranged Coligny's assassination. When the first attempt failed, she took part in planning the massacre of Saint Bartholomew's DaySaint Bartholomew's Day, massacre of,
murder of French Protestants, or Huguenots, that began in Paris on Aug. 24, 1572. It was preceded, on Aug. 22, by an attempt, ordered by Catherine de' Medici, on the life of the Huguenot leader Admiral Coligny.
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 (1572) in which Coligny and hundreds of other Protestants were murdered. After the accession of her third son, Henry III, she vainly tried to revive her old conciliatory policy.


See E. Sichel, Catherine de' Medici and the French Reformation (1905, repr. 1969) and The Later Years of Catherine de' Medici (1908, repr. 1969); P. Van Dyke, Catherine de Médicis (1922); R. Roeder, Catherine de' Medici and the Lost Revolution (1937); Sir J. E. Neale, The Age of Catherine de Medici (1962); W. H. Ross, Catherine de' Medici (1973).

References in periodicals archive ?
13) Charles IX and Catherine de' Medici are shown in the guises of Mars and Juno in plaques in the J.
Alison Saunders for the following references: three references to Catherine de' Medici being associated with Pallas, two of them dating from long after Marguerite's departure from France for Turin.
The chapter on Catherine de' Medici is the only reference to food in the book save for the occasional Bacchanalian feast, but while it's understandable that the authors should focus on accomplishments in the arts, architecture, science, politics, and language, Italian sprezzatura in the culinary arts is equally fascinating, and arguably, has had as much impact on modern life.
So it is perhaps appropriate that in Leonie Frieda's new biography of Catherine de' Medici, we have an opportunity to recall a time of destructive religious fanaticism, violence and cruelty--not in some distant foreign field (or desert), but at the heart of sixteenth-century Europe.
Frieda's declared aim is to present Catherine de' Medici, (who loses the apostrophe in her name in this book), daughter of the Florentine dynasty and Queen Mother of France who lived from 1519 to 1589, in a biography that 'objectively sees her for what she was'.
Catherine de' Medici was known for the ballet de cour, an elaborate spectacle that frequently included mock battles and other stylized violence, often brought under control by the ruler as participant.
Catherine de' Medici so deeply mourned the death of Henry II in 1559 that she changed her coat of arms to feature a pile of quicklime upon which tears were falling with the words: "Adorem extincta testantur vivere flamma / Que la force d'amour dedans nos coeurs empreinte / Vit d'un brasier secret, quand la flamme est eteinte.
Catherine de' Medici surrounded herself with a retinue of some three hundred noble ladies who attended her at Fontainebleau, the Louvre, and when travelling through France.
The format of an engraved portrait gallery of coin obverses was carried forth in such works as the 1553 Promptuaire des medailles of Guillaume Rouiile, in which 828 numismatic portraits (likewise often fanciful) illustrate biographies of individuals from A dam and Eve to Catherine de' Medici.
Sheila ffolliott, for example, adds to her already impressive studies of Catherine de' Medici, while Clifford Brown continues his consideration of the ever-intriguing Isabella d'Este.
Charles IX, twenty-two years old and already ill, was close to the Huguenot Admiral de Coligny; Catherine de' Medici, frustrated and irritable, was trying with the marriage plan to bring peace to the realm; while Henri de Guise, darling of the Catholic extremists, energetically preyed on the fears of the stupid.
Strathern also follows the lives of many of the great Renaissance artists with whom the Medici had dealings, including Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello; as well as scientists like Galileo and Pico della Mirandola; and the fortunes of those members of the Medici family who achieved success away from Florence, including the two Medici popes and Catherine de' Medicis, who became Queen of France and played a major role in that country through three turbulent reigns.