Cosimo de' Medici

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Medici, Cosimo de'

(kô`zēmō dā mĕ`dĭchē, Ital. mā`dēchē), 1389–1464, Italian merchant prince, first of the MediciMedici
, Italian family that directed the destinies of Florence from the 15th cent. until 1737. Of obscure origin, they rose to immense wealth as merchants and bankers, became affiliated through marriage with the major houses of Europe, and, besides acquiring (1569) the title
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 family to rule Florence. He is often called Cosimo the Elder. After the death of his father, Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, Cosimo and his family were banished (1433) from Florence by a faction headed by the powerful Albizzi family. He returned a year later and, supported by the people, soon became the acknowledged leading citizen of the republic. An able financier, he vastly expanded the family's banking business. In spite of his lavish expenses for the state, for charities, and for the arts and learning, he doubled his fortune. He respected the republican institutions of the city, always sought popular support, and made his power as little felt as possible. Guiding Florentine foreign policy, he sought a balance of power among the Italian states. From the traditional alliance with Venice against Milan, he shifted to an alliance with the SforzaSforza
, Italian family that ruled the duchy of Milan from 1450 to 1535. Rising from peasant origins, the Sforzas became condottieri and used this military position to become rulers in Milan. The family governed by force, ruse, and power politics.
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 family, helping the Sforzas to gain control over Milan. Cosimo's claim to greatness, however, rests chiefly on his generosity toward artists and scholars. He founded the famous Medici Library and an academy for Greek studies (headed by Marsilio FicinoFicino, Marsilio
, 1433–99, Italian philosopher. Under the patronage of Cosimo de' Medici, Ficino became the most influential exponent of Platonism in Italy in the 15th cent.
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), built extensively in Florence, and protected such artists as BrunelleschiBrunelleschi, Filippo
, 1377–1446, first great architect of the Italian Renaissance, a Florentine by birth. Trained as sculptor and goldsmith, he designed a trial panel, The Sacrifice of Isaac
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, DonatelloDonatello
, c.1386–1466, Italian sculptor, major innovator in Renaissance art, b. Florence. His full name was Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi. In his formative years he assisted Ghiberti in Florence with the bronze doors for the baptistery.
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, GhibertiGhiberti, Lorenzo
, c.1378–1455, Florentine sculptor. He received his early training in the workshop of Bartoluccio. In 1401 he entered the competition for a bronze portal for the baptistery in Florence. He won the contest against his closest rival, Brunelleschi.
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, and Luca della RobbiaDella Robbia
, Florentine family of sculptors and ceramists famous for their enameled terra-cotta or faience. Many of the Della Robbia pieces are still in their original settings in Florence, Siena, and other Italian cities, but the finest collections are in Florence in the
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. After his death Florence voted him the official title Pater Patriae. His son, Piero de' MediciMedici, Piero de'
, 1416–69, Italian merchant prince. He succeeded his father, Cosimo de' Medici, as head of the Medici family and as leader of the Florentine state. His ill health earned him the nickname Il Gottoso [the gouty].
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, known as Il Gottoso [the gouty], succeeded as head of the family.


See biographies by K. D. Vernon (1899, repr. 1970) and K. S. Gutkind (1939).

Cosimo de' Medici:

see Medici, Cosimo de'Medici, Cosimo de'
, 1389–1464, Italian merchant prince, first of the Medici family to rule Florence. He is often called Cosimo the Elder. After the death of his father, Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, Cosimo and his family were banished (1433) from Florence by a faction
..... Click the link for more information.
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References in periodicals archive ?
(18) Tale lettura, infatti, basata su un esame della sola trasformazione stilistica dell'opera, non tiene conto dello stravolgimento dei contenuti fortemente critici verso Cosimo de' Medici che Cellini aveva affidato al codice Marciano: di conseguenza, essa non rileva come, per un simile messaggio, fosse impossibile pervenire alla stampa in ambito fiorentino.
Whatever the case, in a diplomatic visit to Florence in July 1543, Cosimo de' Medici hired Belluzzi, in the words of Lamberini, as a "military architect, indulging the ambition of this gentleman inclined towards fortifications, to undertake the enobling (nobilitante) profession of arms" (46).
Two objections can be raised against reading Machiavelli's life of Cosimo de' Medici as an example worthy of admiration.
His writing on the subject preceded the boom in palace building in the second half of the century and also Don Timoteo Maffei's dialogue of the 1450s, On the Magnificence of Cosimo de' Medici Against [His] Detractors.
The appendices offer editions in Latin and English of Antoninus's key texts on magnificence, and also Maffei's defence of Cosimo de' Medici.
1415-70), a Lateran Canon Regular, when defending Cosimo de' Medici's expenditure on the rebuilding of the Badia Fiesolana, the ancient monastery overlooking Florence.
This work traces the life of Lorenzo di Piero di Cosimo de' Medici from his birth in 1449 through his death in 1492 and the period following.
This book is a study of the various forms of exclusion of political opponents of the Florentine government that took place between 1215 (the beginning of the battles between members of the Guelf pro-papal and Ghibelline pro-imperial forces in Florentine politics) and 1434 when Cosimo de' Medici the Elder returned to Florence after having himself been excluded from politics and government the previous year by the triumphant Albizzi.
One way to get at this might be to compare two translations of the same Life--perhaps the Themistocles of Guarino translated for a Venetian admiral in 1417 with that of Lapo da Castiglionchio translated for Cosimo de' Medici in the 1430s, or the translations of Timoleon by Antonio Pacini, Andrea Biglia, and Giovanni Aurispa.
In Chapter 2, Galucci paints a portrait of a man who was fiercely anti-authoritarian, as evidenced most especially by his transgressions against the injunctions set forth by Cosimo de' Medici, a man whom Cellini viewed as a tyrant who wanted to exert power and control over the "cultural" and "legal" bodies of his subjects.
For example, Donatello achieved fame and enjoyed the patronage of Cosimo de' Medici, but he died in poverty.
Ficino started writing them to explain nine of the ten dialogues that he translated for his dying patron, Cosimo de' Medici (d.