Lorenzo Medici

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Medici, Lorenzo De’


(Lorenzo the Magnificent). Born January 1449 in Florence; died there Apr. 8, 1492. Italian writer and political figure.

Lorenzo was the de facto ruler of Florence from 1469. Under his rule the republican form of government lost all significance. He maintained his authority through repression. At the same time, Lorenzo patronized humanists, poets writing in Italian, and artists; his policies helped transform Florence into the greatest center of Renaissance culture.

Lorenzo wrote a book of verse in which, following the example of Dante, he introduced a text in prose containing the story of his love (Commentaries to Some of My Own Sonnets). He was also the author of the lyrical narrative poem Forests of Love; mythological narrative poems in the manner of Renaissance idylls, for example, his Apollo and Pan; and works connected with folklore and popular festivals, including narrative poems containing descriptions of everyday life (The Feast, or The Drunkards, The Falcon Hunt), as well as Carnival Songs, Dance Songs, and The Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne. Lorenzo wrote religious verses (lauds), the mystery play St. John and Paul, and the anticlerical short story “Giacoppo,” which provided the plot for Machiavelli’s Mandragola.


Opere, 2nd ed., vols. 1-2. Edited by A. Simioni. Bari, 1939.


Mokul’skii, S. S. Ital’ianskaia literatura: Vozrozhdenie i Prosveshchenie. Moscow, 1966.
Palmarocchi, R. Lorenzo il Magnifico. Turin, 1946.
Brion, M. Laurent le Magnifique. Paris, 1962. (Bibliography, pp. 35-39.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Lorenzo Medici (1449-92) - grandson of Cosimo Medici (1389-1464), the first Medici to influence and control Florence through his wealth and patronage - was a patron of the arts.